Ed Fringe 2014: The shows we saw

Now that the dust has just about settled on the year that was Ed Fringe 2014 (and we’ve reluctantly parted ways with those all-night burger stalls and deadly irresistible kebab joints), it’s always good to take a look back.

It was an incredible month of being stimulated, surprised, inspired and challenged by some of the world’s most innovative and creative minds – and we can’t wait to do it all over again.

Here’s our Team PP round-up of the shows we saw:

The 56

A Series of Increasingly Impossible Acts

Beardy Man

Beats North

Before Us



Britania Waves the Rules

Camille O’Sullivan

Captain Amazing

Chewing The Fat

Christeene: The Christeene Machine


The Collector



Cutting Off Kate Bush

Daniel Kitson

Divallusion with Christina Bianco and Velma Celli

The Duck Pond

Early Doors

Eden Gate

Eggs Collective Get A Round

The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland

Guilt and Shame: Going Straight

The Handlebards


Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum

Jason Byrne

Jonny and the Baptists: The Satiric Verses

Kim Noble: You’re Not Alone


Last Christmas


Lorraine & Alan

Luisa Omielan…Am I Right Ladies

Mark Watson: Flaws

Men in the Cities

Milk Presents: Self Service

Mush and Me

Near Gone


The Object Lesson

Out of Water


Sea Wall


Show 6


Sleight and Hand

Small War

So It Goes





We have Fallen



Thank you, Edinburgh. Same time next year?


Open Auditions in the Roundabout Auditorium

Paines Plough Open Auditions
Thursday 25 September 2014
Roundabout @ Hackney Downs Studios, 17 Amhurst Terrace, London E8 2BT
10am – 6pm

We’re really excited to be holding our next round of open auditions in the Roundabout Auditorium, in London. The Roundabout will be at Hackney Downs Studios from 22 – 27 September as part of its inaugural tour this autumn.

We are looking to meet actors previously unknown to Paines Plough and our next meeting will be held on Thursday 25 September 2014 in London. We will see 50 actors (25 pairs), and these slots will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you would like to be seen, please do the following:

- Find yourself a partner – we are auditioning people in pairs.
- Apply by sending ONE email with BOTH of your names to auditions@painesplough.com.
- Please put OPEN AUDITIONS @ ROUNDABOUT HACKNEY in the Subject line.
- Do not send CVs, biogs or headshots as you can bring these with you on the day.
- If you are within the first 25 emails, we will email you back by Monday 15 September with an audition time.
- If you weren’t in the first 25 people to apply we will keep you on a waiting list and may offer you an audition if a slot becomes available.
- Once we have confirmed your time, please prepare a 3 minute piece of dialogue in your pair from a play written in the last 15 years.

Please note:

- If you have auditioned at our previous Open Auditions, we will not be able to see you this time round.
- We do not accept applications from agents. If you have an agent, you must still apply yourself using your own email address.
- Places are all allocated in advance. You will not be able to request a different time, and we will be unable to see people on a walk-up basis.
- We will retain a waiting list and will notify you if you are on this waiting list.
- If you are allotted a time but for any reason cannot make the appointment please let us know ASAP by emailing office@painesplough.com. If you fail to turn up to your allotted slot without letting us know in advance, you will not be able to audition at future Paines Plough Open Auditions.
- We will not accept any emails sent to any email address other than auditions@painesplough.com.
- Due to the large volume of people we are seeing, we will not be able to offer feedback.
- We are not casting for a particular show at the moment – we just want to meet some new actors so that we can have you in mind for future productions.

For more information, please download our FAQs.

We are also offering an ACTING IN THE ROUND workshop for actors, on Wednesday 24 September, 3-5pm which is free to anyone who has a ticket to one of our shows over that week. Places are limited and will be offered on a first come first served basis. For further information click here and if you would like to book your place please email Francesca Moody at francesca@painesplough.com.

Best wishes,
George, James and all at Paines Plough

THE ANGRY BRIGADE rehearsal shots

Things are heating up in Plymouth as we dive into the final week of rehearsals for James Graham’s turbo-charged new thriller, THE ANGRY BRIGADE, our latest co-production with our old pals at Theatre Royal Plymouth. Check out some snaps from rehearsals below.

Photo credit: Richard Lakos

For the full set, visit our Flickr page.

The play premieres at Theatre Royal Plymouth, playing from 18 September – 4 October 2014, before making its way to Oxford Playhouse from 8 – 11 OctoberWarwick Arts Centre from 14 – 17 October and Watford Palace Theatre from 21 – 25 October.

#TheAngryBrigade @painesplough @TRPlymouth

Roundabout: Name a seat

Following its launch at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Roundabout has embarked on its inaugural tour.

The response so far has been overwhelming, leaving us truly invigorated and inspired for the future. Thank you to everyone who has supported us.

We still need your help to keep Roundabout on the road for many years to come.

If you enjoyed your Roundabout experience, you can leave your own mark by naming a seat in the auditorium. Simply make a donation at: justgiving.com/roundaboutauditorium, and our designers will create a bespoke, lasting thank you for your support, which will travel around the country on your seat in the Roundabout.

“The @painesplough Roundabout is a beautiful, magical space.” - @evenicol

“Wins most beautiful interior venue by far.” - @chaotickirstyy

“Something strange and delightful has landed… It’s Paines Plough’s new portable Roundabout auditorium.” - Evening Standard

“The loveliest venue at the Fringe.” - The List

“A perfect setting.” - WhatsOnStage.com

Roundabout is on tour this Autumn from 27 August – 4 October 2014. It will be popping up at Corn Exchange Newbury (27 – 30 August),  Margate Winter Gardens (3 – 7 September),  Hackney Downs Studios (22 – 27 September) and Barnsley Civic (2 – 4 October).

We hope to see you there.

If you would like more information on the Roundabout, please click here. For further information on each show in the Roundabout, please visit our website.

#RoundaboutPP @painesplough

Roundabout Autumn Tour

Following an incredibly warm reception in Edinburgh, Roundabout will embark on its inaugural tour this Autumn.

We’ll be popping up at Newbury Corn ExchangeMargate Winter GardensHackney Downs Studios and Barnsley Civic.

Tour dates:
Newbury Corn Exchange: 27 – 30 August 2014
Margate Winter Gardens: 3 – 7 September 2014
Hackney Downs Studios: 22 – 27 September 2014
Barnsley Civic: 2 – 4 October 2014

We hope to see you there.

Find more information about the Roundabout here.
View the Roundabout trailers.
Find out about naming a seat in the Roundabout.
For enquiries and general information, visit our website

#RoundaboutPP @painesplough

Paines Plough founders reunite for reading

Some will probably know the age-old tale of Paines Plough’s history by now – founded over a pint of Paines bitter in the Plough pub by director John Adams and playwright David Pownall in 1974.

Two years later, the two went on to win Paines Plough’s very first Fringe First award in 1976. And so it began.

Forty years on, as we celebrate our 40th anniversary and another Fringe First win at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it seems a fitting time for us to reflect on where it all began and also celebrate the work of our founding members.

For one night only, on Wednesday 7.30pm at the Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre, RADA, you can catch a reading of Innocent Screams, a new play by David Pownall. We’ll be there.

With pints.

@painesplough  |  www.painesplough.com |  fb/painesploughHQ

Introducing the cast of…THE ANGRY BRIGADE

The air at HQ is crackling with excitement this week as we officially begin rehearsals for THE ANGRY BRIGADE, an electrifying new play by James Graham and our much-anticipated co-production with our old pals at Theatre Royal Plymouth. Luckily, we’ve rounded up an equally excellent cast, and here they are:

Patsy Ferran

Patsy trained at RADA.  Her theatre credits include:  Blithe Spirit (Gielgud Theatre), Poetic Bodies (RADA), The Convent of Pleasure (RADA), Twelfth Night (RADA), The Cherry Orchard (RADA), The Eumenides (RADA), Three Sisters (RADA), Stop the Clocks (Tin Box Theatre Company), The Kidnapper’s Guide (Article 19), Last Easter (Article 19).  Film includes:  Tulip Fever (Ruby Films), The National Phobia Association’s Day Out (Northern Bear Films).

Scarlett Alice Johnson

Her theatre credits include: The Saints (Nuffield Theatre), Slaves (Theatre503), Epic (Theatre503/Latitude), Aunt Dan and Lemon (Royal Court Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Stafford Gatehouse Theatre), Daisy Miller (National Tour), Under Milk Wood (Royal National Theatre), Yehundi Menhuin’s 80th Birthday Concert (Royal Albert Hall/BBC2 Live), La Boheme – Centenary Performance(Royal Albert Hall).  For television:  Pramface Series 1-3 (BBCthree) Big Bad World (Objective/Comedy Central), Babylon Series 1(Nightjack Ltd/Channel 4), Playhouse Presents Nightshift (World Productions/Sky Arts), Midsomer Murders (Bentley Productions/ITV), Beaver Falls Series 2 (Company Pictures/E4), The Damn Thorpes (Warner Bros),  Pete Versus Life (Objective Productions/Channel 4, Eastenders (BBC), Freaks (Zeppotron/Endemol). For Film: Adulthood (Pathe), Panic Button, The Reeds.

Harry Melling

His theatre credits include: peddling (Hightide/New York), King Lear (Chichester/New York), The Hot House (Trafalgar Studios), Smack Family Robinson (Rose Kingston), I Am a Camera (Southwark Playhouse), When Did You Last See My Mother? (Trafalgar Studios); School For Scandal (Barbican), Women Beware Women (National Theatre); Mother Courage and Her Children (National Theatre). For television: Joe Mistry (Hartswood Films), Garrow’s Law II (BBC), Merlin (BBC), Just William (BBC), Friends and Crocodiles (BBC). For film: Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films (Warner Brothers).

Felix Scott

His theatre credits include: Gruesome Playground Injuries (Gate Theatre), The Country Wife (Royal Exchange), The Under Room (Lyric Hammersmith), The Maddening Rain (Old Red Lion/59E59 Theatre), Women Power & Politics (Tricycle), Suddenlossofdignity.com (Bush Theatre), The Man Who Had all the Luck (Donmar Warehouse), In the Heart of America (John Gielgud Theatre), Sentenced (Union Theatre), 16 Minutes (Nabakov), Breaktime (Pleasance Theatre), Lost Yet Found (Hampstead Theatre). For television: Walter (ITV), Wolf Hall (Company Pictures), The Interceptor (BBC), Sirens (Daybreak Pictures), Doc Martin (Buffalo Pictures), Missing (Leopard Drama), Holby City (BBC), The Bill (Talkback), Plus One (Kudos Limited), Lewis II (ITV), Wire in the Blood (Coastal Productions), Victoria cross Heroes (Empire Media Productions), Synchronicity (Shine Limited), Family Affairs, The Bill (Thames Television), Bombshell (Shed Productions), Watch Over Me (BBC). For Film: Blitz (Lionsgate), Inception (Warner Bros), Artifacts (Title Films), Till Something Better Comes Along (Independent Films).

Image designed by Nick Scott

THE ANGRY BRIGADE premieres at Theatre Royal Plymouth on 18 September 2014, before touring to Oxford Playhouse, Warwick Arts Centre and Watford Palace Theatre. For more information, please visit our website or join the conversation online with #TheAngryBrigade @painesplough @TRPlymouth.

Fringe review round-up

We can’t believe we’re now two-thirds of the way through the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Having officially launched our Roundabout auditorium at the start of this month, cheese comas, kebab slumbers and burger babies aside, it’s been weeks of non-stop shows three times a day as we present this year’s Roundabout season of plays.  We couldn’t be prouder of our incredibly dedicated team, who’ve trooped on each day come rain or shine to deliver their best to Fringe audiences.

So here’s the skinny on what critics are saying:


★★★★ The Guardian - “Heart-wrenching, hilarious…possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop.”

★★★★ The Telegraph - “Funny, clever, and surprisingly uplifting.”

★★★★ The Sunday Times - “Absurdly cherishable…fantastically likeable.”

★★★★ Evening Standard - “Immensely likeable…with great sensitivity behind the abundant laughs.”

★★★★ The Independent - “Dual interest in joy and sorrow… a perfect balance.”

★★★★ The Stage - “Extraordinary piece of inclusive, participative theatre.”

★★★★ Time Out London - “Filled to the brim with joy…beautiful, heart wrenching and very funny.”

★★★★ WhatsOnStage – “Beautifully directed…perfectly cast…deeply personal.  I defy anyone not to laugh and cry.”

★★★★ Exeunt Magazine - “Infectiously warm… Somehow manages to overlay utter despair with life-affirming joy.”

★★★★★ BroadwayBaby - “Both devastatingly sad and incredibly uplifting…one of the most engaging, warm and funny performers you are likely to see at the Fringe this year.”

★★★★ A Younger Theatre - “Genuinely wonderful and life affirming. It is impossible not to love.”

★★★★ The Scotsman - ” A piece that demonstrates why life is worth living… you’ll leave feeling elated.”

★★★★ Fest Magazine - “Beautiful…a sweet, comic performance assisted by the audience.”

★★★★ Fringe Review - “One of the simplest, sweetest and most life-affirming hours you’ll experience

★★★★ PostScript - “The spontaneity of it all generates electricity… Funny, sweet, sad and uplifting.”

★★★★ TheatreguideLondon - “Impeccably directed…tears and laughter combine in one of the most uplifting shows on the Fringe in 2014.”


LUNGS by Duncan Macmillan

★★★★★  British Theatre Guide - “Rapid-fire…precise…seamless. The script fits like a glove.”

★★★★★ Official Theatre - ”Brutal, honest and moving… A must see.”

★★★★ Exeunt Magazine - “Assured, grab-you-by-the-heart theatre that will live on in your mind long after the actors have taken their bows.”

★★★★ TheatreguideLondon – “George Perrin’s outstanding revival… is like a thrilling rollercoaster ride, bringing every emotion in equal measure.”

★★★★ Edinburgh Guide - ”Delivered with raw honesty and machine gun speed… powerful, thought provoking stripped back theatre.”

★★★★ Fest Magazine - “Pin-sharp…deliciously quotable…pulses and races.”

★★★★ BroadwayBaby - “Full of comic brilliance…superb acting…ceaselessly captivating.”

★★★★ Fringe Guru - “Poignant, funny and relevant. A brilliant choice.”



★★★★ The Times - ”Fun, funny…comic perfection.”

★★★★ The List – “Clever wordplay…equally clever staging. If there’s something to be said, a new and interesting way has been unearthed to deliver it.”

★★★★ British Theatre Guide –  ”A lovely, simple production…an enthusiastic ensemble of actors ensure that their guests have a great time.”

★★★★ Scots Gay Magazine – “A joy and delight. Don’t miss it.”

★★★★ WhatsOnStage - “Dennis Kelly has done it again… Has all of the wit, grotesque humour and naughtiness of Dahl’s best.”


THE INITIATE by Alexandra Wood

WINNER of Scotsman Fringe First Award 2014 - “An intense, original and memorable play for today, with outstanding performances.”

★★★★ TVBomb - ”A complex show that finds power in its simple execution… quality storytelling.”

The Guardian – “A wonderfully slippery and always intelligent play… Beautifully performed.”

Time Out London – “An unsettling, forthright piece of writing that will leave you thinking.”


Join in the conversation online with #RoundaboutPP @painesplough.

Catch our shows in the Roundabout @ Summerhall until 23 August 2014.

Sean’s Fringe Essentials

It’s the biggest arts festival on the planet. Three and a half weeks of theatre, dance, spoken word, comedy, cabaret, circus, exhibitions and music. At times the fringe can be as bonkers as it is breathtaking but ultimately, it’s the most exciting, surprising and unforgettable month on the theatrical calendar.

Half of Team PP moved north of the border last weekend so are already getting into the swing of all things fringe. With the other half speedily following this week before the unveiling of our Roundabout Auditorium at Summerhall here’s our #edfringe essentials to help see you through the month:

EdFringe Guide

You can pick them up everywhere, they’re free and contain EVERYTHING you need to plan your time in Edinburgh. No messing about, just get one.

Pac-a-mac/Emergency Poncho

Not God’s gift to fashion but after a couple of days running between performances/pubs/parties in the rain one minute and blazing sunshine the next a pac-a-mac will be your new best friend. Portable, practical and most importantly- not porous. Trust.


Late nights, early mornings, and the fast food/coffee/alcohol diet all take their toll. Get a vitamin hit to help stave off the dreaded FringeFlu. (Alternatively you could just eat plenty of fruit and veg, but who’s got time for that?)

Healthy (ish) sustenance

There’s only so many burgers you can eat in a week. We know. We’ve tried.* We like 10 to 10 in Delhi on Nicholson Street for it’s curries and cushions (what more do you need?) and The Potting Shed on Potterow serves food in plant pots and has a pretty impressive cocktail list- our favorite? Rosie and Gin.

*If you do want a burger we can safely say that the Summerhall one has kept us fueled during tech.


We’ll be spending most of our time at The Royal Dick in Summerhall. A playlist of soulful classics, veterinary related art all over the shop and their own gin distillery (not to mention the aforementioned burger). Festival win.

(We also like Brass Monkey on Drummond Street, The Trav Bar and The Fiddler’s Arms on Grassmarket)


Wandering up Arthur’s Seat is a must for the epic views across the city and to get an hour away from flyering and the relentless festival pace. Whatever you do, don’t leave it until the last day when you’re knackered, hungover and the rain’s lashing down because you’ll hate every minute. No one wants that. Especially not Arthur.

What are your top tips for getting through the festival? A Black Medicine coffee? An Elephant and Bagel? Or just red bull, pro plus and a diet coke? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting at us.

See you in Edinburgh!

Name a seat in the Roundabout

Just a few more days to go until we open the doors to Roundabout. Are we excited much? Yes, it’s fair to say we are.

Roundabout is our beautiful new portable in-the-round theatre: a completely self-contained auditorium that flat packs into a single lorry and can pop up anywhere from theatres to school halls, sports centres to warehouses.

It opens for the first time, in partnership with Northern Stage, at Summerhall on Saturday 2 August. Throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe four Paines Plough productions will play in rep, and we welcome a host of exciting work from visiting companies including The Lyric Hammersmith and Royal Exchange Manchester.

We’ve created Roundabout because we’re passionate about new plays and we want as many people as possible to be able to see them. In the coming years, Roundabout will travel the length and breadth of the UK bringing the nation’s best playwrights and a thrilling theatrical experience right to people’s doorsteps.

We need all the help we can get to make that dream a reality, and that’s where you come in.

You can help keep Roundabout on the road by naming a seat in the auditorium. Simply make a donation on our Justgiving page, and we’ll be in touch to ask you what name you want on your very own seat. Our designers will then create a bespoke, lasting thank you for your support, which will travel around the country on your seat in the Roundabout.

By naming a seat you will join our growing band of friends and supporters helping us raise funds to support our work. In this tough funding climate, your support is more valuable than ever. We can only do what we do because of you.

So take a look at our Justgiving page and get your name on a seat in the most dynamic new theatre in the country:


Thank you so much for supporting Paines Plough.