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HOPELESSLY DEVOTED (thanks) to you

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It’s just over a month since we brought down the curtain on Kate Tempest’s extraordinary play HOPELESSLY DEVOTED.

Since we premièred the show with our co-producers Birmingham Rep back in 2013, it has visited 43 different theatres. We’ve performed in fields and at German theatre festivals, on campus at Universities and at local arts centres: we’ve been anywhere and everywhere finishing with a bang  at London’s Roundhouse just before Christmas.

We’ve received an overwhelming response to the show over the past few months, so rid us of those January blues we’ve picked our fave bits of your feedback to share here.

Brilliant, great acting, very moving.  Made me cry.  What’s coming next?  Can’t wait!
Karen Raphu, Aylesbury

Saw @painesplough #HopelesslyDevoted by @katetempest @Pegatweet *Brilliant* young people that we took lit up like Xmas trees! Great theatre!
@smacula

Best show I’ve seen since being at uni!  Honestly amazing!
James Ashfield, Lincoln

With the help of the incredible Roundhouse Digital Productions team we also live streamed HOPELESSLY DEVOTED online. We’ve just checked out the viewing figures:

664 people watched the show live with overall playbacks totalling 2,365 in 30 countries.

@painesplough @RoundhouseLDN Wow! amazing stuff. big thanks for bringing #KTHopelesslyDevoted to my kitchen in #Manchester. Incredible show.

Boom. Thanks for tuning in y’all. AND to all of you who came and watched – a MASSIVE thank you.  We loved performing the show for you and reading your feedback.

#KTHopelesslyDevoted

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED live stream

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This week we launch into the final leg of our HOPELESSLY DEVOTED tour after visiting 13 venues across the country from Manchester to Maidstone. We’re hugely excited to be finishing up at London’s Roundhouse, where tickets have been snapped up faster than widescreen TVs on Black Friday.

Don’t worry though, if you haven’t managed to bag yourself a ticket yet or if you just can’t make it down, we’ve got some exciting news for you. This Tuesday 2 December at 8pm GMT, we will be live streaming the performance of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED on The Roundhouse’s website here.

Having toured HOPELESSLY DEVOTED to 44 venues across the UK since 2013, we are thrilled to be giving audiences everywhere the opportunity to see Kate Tempest’s extraordinary play.

The performance will be available free on demand until 2 January 2015 here.

(Oh and if you’re desperate to see it in person we’ve just added an extra show, tomorrow Wednesday 3 December at 3pm. Tickets are selling fast so go go go here.)

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED runs at The Roundhouse until 6 December. Join the conversation online by tweeting @painesplough #KTHopelesslyDevoted.

See you at The Roundhouse – in person, or online.

Back on the road

After last week’s scary motorway smash sadly scuppered our Edinburgh shows, we’re excited to be back on the road for two last HOPELESSLY DEVOTED tour dates before we rock up at The Roundhouse next week.

London is a total sell-out, but if you failed to get your mitts on a ticket, fear not. Tonight and tomorrow the show is a mere train hop from town. We’ve even done the research for you and included a handy train guide below (we know you Londoners don’t like leaving Zone 2 but it’s lovely out there, really).

This evening we’re at the beautiful Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury. The show starts at 7:30pm. When you see this sign you’ll know you’ve arrived.

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London Marylebone – Aylesbury
Max journey time: 1hr 12 mins
Min Journey time: 52 mins
Price for a return from £19.60 / £12.95 with YPR / £13 Network RC

Best trains to get:
OUTBOUND: 18:11 (arr 19:13)
RETURN: 21:32 (arr 22:35)

Tomorrow (Friday 28th) we’re in Kent at The Hazlitt Arts Centre in Maidstone, also at 7:30pm. Here’s a map showing places around Maidstone, which shows that places around Maidstone include – hey presto – London.

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London Kings Cross or Victoria  – Maidstone
Max journey time: 1hr 7 mins
Min Journey time: 49 mins
Price for a return from: £20.40 / £13.45 with YPR / £13.45 Network RC

Best trains to get:
OUTBOUND: 18:16 (arr 19:05)
RETURN: 21:33 (arr 22:36)

Of course if you have the good fortune of living in Aylesbury or Maidstone, you can completely disregard all the train from London information and just take a lovely stroll to the theatre in the crisp autumnal air.

Either way, we hope to see you there.

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED Production Shots

So HOPELESSLY DEVOTED  has officially kicked off its Autumn tour and we’re super excited to have some brand new shots of the production and the brilliant cast to show you. Here’s a sneak peek.

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To see the full album head to our Flickr.

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED is touring through November. Next up Pegasus Theatre, Oxford.

Photos taken by Richard Lakos

#KTHopelesslyDevoted

Q & A with HOPELESSLY DEVOTED Director Stef O’Driscoll

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We caught up with HOPELESSLY DEVOTED director Stef O’Driscoll who gave us the scoop on the upcoming third national tour of Kate Tempest’s lyrically explosive tale of love and redemption.

So, it’s the third time round for HOPELESSLY DEVOTED. What is it about this play that connects with you, and why have you wanted to tell this story again and again?

It’s a beautiful, humane, important story about real people – women – who’ve made mistakes in their lives. This play is tragic and raw and it’s beautiful because there’s no sense of anyone playing the victim. These women are aware of their crimes and are in the process of dealing with them and what we actually explore is how you can love another and yourself again – how you can survive with the choices you made in life.

Just to give it some context, can you tell us a little about the play?

So, we follow the story of Chess and her inmate Serena. You get to see what they bring out of each other and how they’re there for one another. When Serena leaves, Chess has to go on her own journey, and music plays a key part in that when she starts a 12 week music rehabilitation course. Another reason why I love this play is the style of music. It’s a ‘musical’ but it’s cool, it’s contemporary, it’s raw – the lyrics are just insane. You really get to the very heart of Chess’ character, her story, her pain, her hopes and dreams and what she’s lived through – everything – through the music in this play.  And that’s exciting. It’s exciting that it’s three female characters – yet another thing that drew me to this. Three very strong female parts for three strong female performers. Have I said the word female enough?

But that’s important, though, isn’t it? It’s been a huge topic of conversation in the industry, of how we need more strong female parts to be written and performed.

Absolutely, and this has it in spades. And another thing that struck me – doing this the third time round – was the idea of children, and a woman’s role within motherhood. The play explores the tragedy that unfolds when kids are taken away from their mothers – for whatever reason – how all these women who can no longer be with their children have to cope. I think there’s a statistic about how it’s estimated that more than 17,240 children were separated from their mothers in 2010 by imprisonment. And I know I keep saying the word ‘humane’ – but what Kate Tempest does is write human beings at their absolute core. She makes any story universal, no matter the scenario – it’s love, betrayal, redemption – it’s all these things that we all feel and we all recognise and that’s why her stories connect with people. That’s why it hits you.

What’s different about the show this time round?

Firstly, we’ve got a completely new cast. I think when you do something again with a completely new cast, the best thing you can do is scrap anything that you’ve done before and try an entirely fresh approach. And each actress we’re working with has approached this from a completely different place. What they’re bringing to it this time round… I feel like it’s tonally different. It goes to a darker place. We’ve got a new team working on it and we’ve been trying to keep ourselves open to new discoveries. I’ve banned saying “when we did it last time” from the rehearsal room. I think it can be really disruptive, actually – and it’s difficult for me because I’ve done it before and I know, in my head, what worked. But to allow it to be fresh and exciting again, for a new journey to be found within this, I need to let go of that.

Any changes to the script?

Kate, like myself, is an absolute perfectionist. So every time we’ve looked at it – and this is the third time now – we’ve asked ourselves “What worked? What didn’t?” You learn so much by getting work out in front of an audience. And that’s the beauty of new writing – the writer is alive, so they can come into a rehearsal, they can make edits. And Kate’s gone and done that. The script is very, very tight – and we’re all very excited about the way the story unravels this time around, from what we’ve learned previously.

What has working on and developing this piece with Kate Tempest been like?

When you get someone with a phenomenal mind, who is equally down to earth, has a good soul and is just so honest with themselves – it’s a dream. It’s a dream come true. I feel like a brilliant creative relationship has been formed because she only strives for perfection and only wants the work to be the best it can be. To reach out to as many people as she can by telling these stories. No matter what form she touches, whether it’s a play, whether it’s a novel, poetry, music  – she has a way with words and I honestly feel like I’m working with today’s Shakespeare. It’s just a gift to be able to work with someone who just simply wants us to be able to connect with each other and understand one another a bit better; to have empathy for our fellow human. And I feel like that’s at the heart of this play. These women are human. They’ve made some mistakes and we should try to understand why it’s happened and what has failed them. Why are these women where they are in the first place? Is there anything we can do to prevent that in future? I think the simple idea of looking after one another a bit better is at the heart of her work .

Any final words?

There’s something really poignant that Kate said after she received letters from some inmates of a men’s prison. One of them wrote – prison isn’t so terrible when you’ve only known badness and lived a life doing bad things. It’s when you’ve experienced the good in the world that prison becomes a nightmare.  Because it’s the good things that you miss, and how you deal with filling that void.

 

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED opens at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre at 7.30pm tonight, before winging its way to venues nationwide. Catch it.

View the full tour schedule.

View rehearsal snaps.

View the trailer.

Join the conversation online:

#KTHopelesslyDevoted @painesplough  

Rehearsal shots – HOPELESSLY DEVOTED

Lyrical fireworks and soulful music drift through the doors at PP HQ with a notable urgency that marks the final week of rehearsals for Kate Tempest’s HOPELESSLY DEVOTED.

And the air at HQ is crackling with excitement as the team prepare for the show’s opening night in Lincoln next Thursday, 6 November 2014 and its third national tour.

To find out when the show will be winging its way to a venue near you, check out the full list of tour dates here.

And to get you geared up, here are a few rehearsal snaps with our new cast below…

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Photos: Richard Lakos

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To see the full set, visit our Flickr page. To view the trailer, click here.

Join the conversation online:

#KTHopelesslyDevoted @painesplough

Introducing the new cast of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED

As the sound of live music once again fills our office, we’re absolutely thrilled to be welcoming a new cast to Kate Tempest’s HOPELESSLY DEVOTED which heads into rehearsals this week ahead of its Autumn Tour.

FRANCES ASHMAN (Silver)

Theatre includes: Perseverance Drive (The Bush Theatre); This May Hurt a Bit (Out Of Joint); Our Ajax (Southwark Playhouse); People (National Theatre); The Rubber Room (TS Eliot Exchange/Old Vic New Voices); Bang Bang Bang (Out of Joint/Royal Court); After the Accident (The Brewery/Soho Theatre); In The Blood (Finborough Theatre); Pornography (Tricycle Theatre then Traverse Theatre/Birmingham Rep); Cockroach (National Theatre of Scotland/Traverse Theatre); Macbeth (Royal Shakespeare Company); Macbett (Royal Shakespeare Company); The Winter’s Tale & Pericles (Royal Shakespeare Company/Davidson Liberal Arts College NC USA). Film includes: The Ones Below (Cuba Pictures); Nil By Mouth (SE8 Group). Television includes: Birds of Feather (Retort/ITV); Mayday (Kudos Film & TV Ltd/BBC); The Reckoning (Helter Skelter Ltd/ITV); Dr Who (BBC Wales); Law and Order:UK (Kudos Ltd/ITV); Missing (Leopardrama/BBC); Trial and Retribution (La Plante Productions/ITV); Gunrush (ITV Productions). Radio includes: Behind Closed Doors: Excluded (BBC Radio 4).

SHEILA ATIM (Chess)

Sheila trained at Weekend Arts College. Theatre includes: The Lightning Child (Globe Theatre); Ghost Town (Pilot Theatre – Tour); Klook’s Last Stand (Park Theatre); Rachel (Finborogh Theatre) Sheila is also a musician, songwriter and composer.

DEMI OYEDIRAN (Serena)

Theatre Includes: Song of Songs (RSC); Re-Charged (Clean Break Theatre Company); Speechless (Shared Experience); Jo Turners Come and Gone (Young Vic); Twelfth Night, Here Lies Mary Splindler (RSC); Death and the Kings Horseman (National Theatre); Bullet Proof Soul (Birmingham Rep). TV includes: Consuming Passion (BBC4); W10 London (Kudos). Film includes: Apples and Oranges (CH4/IWC Media).

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED kicks off at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre on 6th November. Here’s the full line up for the tour:

6 November – Lincoln Performing Arts Centre

7 November – School of English Theatre, Sheffield

9 November – The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre, Manchester

11 November – The Electric Theatre, Surrey

13 – 14 November - Pegasus Theatre, Oxford

16 November – Nottingham New Theatre, Nottingham

17 November – The Gulbenkian, Kent

18 November – Cast, Doncaster

19 November – The Maltings, Berwick-Upon-Tweed

20 November – Arts Centre Washington, Newcastle

21 November – Derby Theatre, Derby

24 – 25 November – Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh

27 November – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Buckinghamshire

28 November – Hazlitt Arts Centre, Kent

1 – 6 December – Roundhouse, London

Wiesbaden – photo round-up

As we arm ourselves with sun-cream, waterproofs and glitter in our preparations to cause mayhem with  HOPELESSLY DEVOTED at Latitude Festival this week, we thought to look back at our recent international adventures at the Wiesbaden Festival of New Plays in Germany, where HOPELESSLY DEVOTED was the UK’s representative.

On arrival in Frankfurt, we were greeted by the lovely festival team, before making our way to Wiesbaden where countries from all around Europe were showcasing their work in some of the most stunning theatres around. We were placed in The Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden,a majestic building established in 1894.

It was a great chance for all of us to experience some brilliant and unique productions by other visiting companies and engage with different styles and approaches from around the continent. Following a warmly received (*live German translated) show, we held a Q&A with cast and creatives, and in true PP fashion, later carried on these conversations at the Festival bar.

So, here’s our cheeky visual round-up.

Hallo Deutschland!

Back on home soil

 

Next stop: Latitude, Suffolk. See you there?

PP.

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED on the Twittersphere

We’re now blasting into week three of our nationwide tour of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED – the explosive new play by Kate Tempest.

So what’s your verdict online? Here’s the scoop on the Twittersphere:

@feministmumuk:

@painesplough #KTHopelesslyDevoted Speechless. Loved it, best piece of theatre seen in a very long time.

@ElinaS_:

How has this play touched upon all the issues in my life?

@claremccullagh:

Singing addictive songs from #HopelesslyDevoted @katetempest after watching at @marlowetheatre. Think they’ll still be there in a few days!

@SydneyyBurges: 

Brilliant show at Trestle this evening, lovely to see such new and forward thinking drama

@SmallFreck:

@katetempest’s #HopelesslyDevoted was utterly brilliant tonight. Such an ambitious piece of work. Rich, hopeful, moving, and so much more…

Photo by Richard Davenport

We’ll be singing our way to a venue near you. Check out the full list of all the stops on our tour here.

Have you seen the show? Share your thoughts with us!

Tweet: #KTHopelesslyDevoted @painesplough or take our online survey.

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED production photos

After opening HOPELESSLY DEVOTED to a very excited audience at The Garage last Wednesday, we made our way to The Phoenix Theatre in Bordon, and serenaded audiences by the sea at Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis.

Our nationwide tour now in full swing, we’re kicking off week two at Key Theatre in Peterborough tomorrow. To view the  full list of venues on our tour, click here.

In the mean-time, here’s a look at a selection of production shots from the show. For the full set, visit our Flickr page.

All images by Richard Davenport

Join us online:

@painesplough #KTHopelesslyDevoted