Two more weeks to catch HD online

This is how excited Frances Ashman is about HOPELESSLY DEVOTED being available online.

This is how excited Frances Ashman is about HOPELESSLY DEVOTED being available online.

It’s two whole weeks since Kate Tempest’s HOPELESSLY DEVOTED ended its autumn tour at London’s Roundhouse, and we’re missing Chess, Serena and Silver.

If you missed them too, don’t worry, the live stream is still available to watch on demand until 2 January 2015. So the sounds of Lock ‘em up and Kids can still be heard floating down the corridors at PPHQ.

Two more weeks to watch, so catch it whilst you can.

Then let us know what you thought of the show using the hashtag #KTHopelesslyDevoted.

Paines Plough at 40 on BBC Radio 3

Rosyln Hill and Clare Corbett perform HAPPINESS by Nick Payne.

Rosyln Hill and Clare Corbett perform HAPPINESS by Nick Payne.

Tune in to BBC Radio 3 this Sunday 21 December at 10pm to hear the live recording of three brand new plays to celebrate our 40th Anniversary.

You’ll hear James & George introduce affairs as we premiere new short plays by three of our favourite writers – Katie Douglas, Robin French and Nick Payne.

The plays were recorded live in front of a studio audience and star a stellar cast including Susan Brown, Clare Corbett, Monty d’Inverno, Bryan Dick, Roslyn Hill and Karl Johnson.

BBC Radio 3 have created a microsite where you can see photos of the live recording and watch videos of interviews with James & George, Katie, Robin and Nick.

So this Sunday night at 10pm get yourself settled on the sofa with a bottle of port and a plate of mince pies and celebrate 40 years of Paines Plough with us.

(If by any chance you can’t tune in, you can always listen again on iPlayer…)

New York reviews round-up

EVERY BRILLIANT THING opened Off-Broadway at Barrow Street Theatre in New York on Sunday, and we’re thrilled with the response. The critics have fallen head-over-heels for our co-pro with Pentabus, written by Duncan Macmillan with star Jonny Donahoe, and directed by our very own Joint AD George.


Here’s a round-up of the reviews so far:

“Captivating…guaranteed to keep your eyes brimming… often very funny… takes the chill off the depths of a light-starved winter.”
New York Times

“Duncan Macmillan’s affecting, memorable new play…heartbreaking…ultimately life-affirming…Every Brilliant Thing sparkles.”

“Every Brilliant Thing may be the funniest show about depression you’ve ever seen… about finding reasons to live rather than reasons to die. And those reasons can be as minute as wearing a cape and as big as falling in love.”
NY Post

“Works a gentle magic, thanks to Donahoe’s skill as a host… even the audience gets a little chance to shine.”
Time Out New York

“Funny and observant little heart-tugger… another “Brilliant Thing” to add to the list.”
NY Daily News

“[A] heart-tugging tale… Donahoe is a warm and personable performer… shrewdly staged in the round by helmer George Perrin.”

“George Perrin’s seamless direction and Donahoe’s impeccably natural delivery… MacMillan has discovered joy to be just as contagious as despair.”
Theatre Mania

“Beautiful… a specific and deep response to the work of staying alive.”

“Bewitching…about as brilliant as theatre can get.”

“Heartbreaking and joyous…there’s probably no better way to beat the holiday blues than seeing Every Brilliant Thing.”
Holywood Reporter

“Guaranteed to melt all but the hardest hearts… If I see a performance piece any time soon that gives me as much pleasure and raises my spirits as high as Jonny Donahoe’s has, I’ll be grateful. And if I ever start my own list, he’ll be on it prominently.”
Huffington Post

“This sweetly sentimental, wise, and often very funny one-hour piece… humorous and moving…many may consider it yet another of life’s many brilliant things.”
Theatre’s Leiter Side

“Surprisingly rich… ingenious work by playwright Duncan Macmillan… by the end of the sixty minute production we’ve all become a chorus of celebration.”
TDF Stages

“A funny, fun and moving show.”
New York Theater

“A funny and touching work that may not change your life but will certainly remind you to appreciate a bit more the pleasures, great or small, that go with living it.”
New Jersey Newsroom

“It’s not quite magic, but it’s something close to it, one of those incredible, transformative phenomena of collective imagination.”
Slant Magazine

“Wonderful, touching…hilarious. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, one that will make you laugh and maybe bring you to tears, Every Brilliant Thing is an absolute must see.”

“Every Brilliant Thing is a theater lover’s perfect stocking stuffer.”


One year on…

A year ago, Georgia Laws was an intern here at PPHQ. Now she’s assistant producer on an acclaimed new play. We asked her for an update…

It’s great to be back up on the PP blog one year on from my internship with Party Plough! What a year and what a lot I owe to the amazing little new writing company. I fully realise now what a brilliant, well-rounded introduction to the professional theatre world I was given at Paines Plough. My role as production assistant had a suitably broad title and thankfully I was able to assist with an edifying range of theatre processes and practices from drawing up contracts to organising press nights; experience which has proven invaluable now that I’m taking my first solo steps into the theatre world.

Georgia in her interning days at PPHQ

Georgia in her interning days at PPHQ

A month or so ago I went for coffee with the director of Lonesome Schoolboy Productions, Niall Phillips, as he was looking for someone to help him get his new show off the ground- a heartfelt piece of new writing by Steven Lally – a quick read of the script and I was hooked. It was the work I had done with Paines Plough, specifically on Kate Tempest’s WASTED, that had first attracted Niall to my CV and now I find myself in the exciting role of Assistant Producer for this beautiful and thought provoking play at The Drayton Arms. Lally’s play LETTERS FROM EVERYONE was up and running and on its way to perfect in no time whilst my past few weeks have been devoted to giving the play the reach it deserves without a team of new writing experts behind me!

LETTERS FROM EVERYONE’s first week has been a massive success with glowing reviews coming out every day as well as an OFFIE nomination for ‘Most Promising New Playwright’! I am so incredibly proud of the cast and crew who have all worked together to produce theatre that is minimal yet visceral, emotive and witty for a play that captures the everyday disaster and exhilaration in the banality of London life. The perceptive look at London offered in LETTERS FROM EVERYONE is not far from the picture of the city painted in Kate Tempest’s WASTED. The two writers have used very different tools to conceive a similar city. As is noted in A Younger Theatre’s review of LETTERS FROM EVERYONE, ‘the insights offered into these four very different people paint a picture of London as a whole: big, colourful, anonymous and brutal all at the same time.’

LETTERS FROM EVERYONE runs until the 20th December at The Drayton Arms theatre in South Kensington so plenty of time to catch this award nominated new play!





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.

Associate Companies update: a Soho takeover and funding success


It might be getting colder as we near the end of 2014 but things are really heating up in the world of our Associate Companies. So here’s the exclusive low-down on what’s been going on.

Theatre Uncut are currently flying high with their flagship production of five new plays which they commissioned for 2014: fascinating, interlinked short pieces that explore themes of knowledge, information, the news media, power and politics in the digital age by some incredibly exciting writers: Clara Brennan, Inua Ellams, Vivienne Franzmann, Anders Lustgarten and Hayley Squires. Even better, for the first time ever the flagship production will be touring the UK until 13th December: you can catch it at Soho Theatre this week (until Sun 30th Nov), or in Brighton, Bristol, Canterbury or Liverpool. To find out what the critics have been seeing check here.

The flagship plays are also available for anyone in the world to download, read and perform, rights-free, until 13th December. So far already this year the plays have been downloaded over 320 times in 25 countries. We’re proud to support a project that makes new writing available around the world on an unprecedented scale. You can access the plays by visiting Theatre Uncut’s website here.

Meanwhile nabokov have also pitched up at Soho, making it an “associate companies sandwich”  and have taken over the downstairs cabaret space with their rollicking, rocking mashup of theatre and live music, SYMPHONY. A co-production with Soho, the show comes straight off the back of a hugely successful Edinburgh run in August followed by a UK tour. Now it’s taking London audiences by storm if these audience reactions are anything to go by. With three new plays by Ella Hickson, Nick Payne and Tom Wells, interwoven with music from London Snorkelling Team’s Ed Gaughan, it’s definitely not to be missed – a good helping of festival vibes to warm up your winter! You’ve got until Sunday 30th to catch it so be quick!

Last but by no means least, we’re delighted to announce that Forward Theatre Project have just been awarded a grant of £30,000 from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, to support their core overheads and the salary of Artistic Director Charlotte Bennett over the next two years. This hugely exciting and thoroughly well deserved money will allow Forward Theatre Project  to continue to produce distinctive work, created through collaborations between members of the collective, with strong connections to regional locations.

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.


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.


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.

ANGRY BRIGADE transfers to The Bush


We’re very excited to announce that James Graham’s explosive hit THE ANGRY BRIGADE will transfer to The Bush for a six-week run in Spring 2015.

Our co-production with The Theatre Royal Plymouth opened in Plymouth in September before touring to Oxford Playhouse, Warwick Arts Centre and Watford Palace Theatre. It will preview at The Bush from 30 April 2015 with press night on 5 May. It runs until 13 June.

“Its government has declared a vicious class war.
A one-sided war…
We have started to fight back…
…with bombs.”

Against a backdrop of Tory cuts, high unemployment and the deregulated economy of 1970s Britain, a young urban guerrilla group mobilises: The Angry Brigade.

Their targets: MPs. Embassies. Police. Pageant Queens.

A world of order shattered by anarchy; the rules have changed. An uprising has begun. No one is exempt.

A bold new play by James Graham, writer of sell-out smash hits THIS HOUSE and PRIVACY.

“A world with chilling similarities to our own.”
★★★★ The Guardian

“Enthrals… Graham’s witty play deserves a London run.”
★★★★ The Times

20th September 2014. Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth present The Angry Brigade by James Graham.

We’re thrilled to be returning to The Bush, the scene of last year’s sell-out hit JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS. It’s one of our favourite places to present work, and we go back a long way – PP first presented work at The Bush in the 1970s. The artistic director back then was Simon Stokes, who is now AD of our co-producers on THE ANGRY BRIGADE, Theatre Royal Plymouth. So, y’know, it just feels right.

Our AD James first worked with James Graham on The Bush Theatre hit THE WHISKY TASTER back in 2010, designed by Lucy Osborne. So the team is excited to be reunited for a Bush return.

Snap your tickets up right here, right now.

Edinburgh shows cancelled

Bad news folks, we’ve had to cancel performances of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED tonight and tomorrow at Assembly Roxy in Edinburgh. We’re really sorry.

The van carrying the company back from Derby on Friday night broke down on the M1, and someone went into the back of it. Nobody was seriously hurt thankfully, but concussion has meant rest at doctor’s orders.

We’re really sad not to be in Edinburgh. We always relish our visits and were greatly looking forward to playing the Roxy. Anyone who bought tickets should contact the venue direct.

Thanks for your understanding. We hope the show will be back up and running in Aylesbury on Thursday.


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.


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