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:

https://www.justgiving.com/roundaboutauditorium/

Thank you so much for supporting Paines Plough.

Highlights: PP at Latitude 2014

Let’s be honest – we were off to a shaky start. Panic slowly started to overtake camp as Producers everywhere frantically held their phones in all manner of positions in an attempt to obtain signal. We quickly realised that we would just have to resort to old school methods of communication and any plans to work that weekend (ha!) just had to be forgotten.

What a shame.

We then geared up to face our true adversaries: mosquitoes. My legs are living proof that the war that raged between Man and Mosquito was not without its casualties… But  spurred on with the promise of back up on its way (in the form of insect repellent) it wasn’t long before Latitude’s magic began to take over, and as glitter was donned and sprinkled and more or less bathed in, our first world problems began to fade away…

So – collectively – we give you, our LATITUDE 2014 experience.

Hopelessly Devoted -  Thursday night kicked off  in the Theatre Tent with our production of Kate Tempest’s HOPELESSLY DEVOTED officially opening the festival. As always, nowhere will you find a theatre audience quite like a Latitude crowd – and the cast, creatives and the PP Team as a whole only had to feed off their incredible energy and good vibes to get off to a good start. A what a start it was.

Booker T and the MG’s – Hearing the legendary Green Onions in the sunshine with a cold cider in hand was a glorious moment only to be topped by Booker T’s cover of Jimi Hendrix’s famous track Hey Joe. A definite tick box moment.

Hollie Cook v Guilty Pleasures – Team PP was divided on Friday night as some danced the night away to the all too familiar cheesy classics in the comedy tent. As half the team screamed at the top of their lungs to the parts they knew of Bon Jovi’s ”Livin’ On A Prayer”, the rest found solace in the form of dub reggae singer Hollie Cook and skanked the night away.

James Grieve’s Camp Fires- Each night, whether rain or shine, armed with sheer determination the PP camp ended its evenings with a camp-fire made by the hands of Paines Plough’s very own Bear Grylls. By the final evening , with the help of some firelighters, the fire was up and running in record time.

Kate Tempest - This gig was off the chain. PP held the fort in front of the left-hand speaker and skanked out hard to Kate’s solo album Everybody Down.  The energy and heart smacked us in the face as we watched a group of ridiculously talented musicians do what they love. If you haven’t heard this album yet, what’s going on? It came out on Big Dada Records in May, so – and our bias aside – we unreservedly recommend it.

Kelis – Wow. This talented lady’s bluesy tones were spell-binding. With a mixture of her popular songs including a more calypso version of Milkshake alongside new tracks of her album Food, Kelis’s set was effortless.

Kids Area -  Whether you have kids or you are just a big kid yourself there was plenty of fun to be had in the Kids Area. Highlights included making our own willow head dresses at the marvelous Spinney Hollow and having maybe a bit too much fun on the Helter Skelter.  (A word of advice to future Latituders – you’re never too old. Never).

Kwabs  Another musical highlight (props to Tom, music recommender extraordinaire). With a voice both technically and emotionally impressive, it was one of those rare moments of witnessing a beautiful old soul shining through a young body. He smashed it – and certainly gained loyal fans in us.  

Nils Frahm – Sunday started with impish German ivory tinkler Nils Frahm taking to the sylvan i-Arena stage. “This is my first gig in the English forest,” he says, before displacing woodland animals for miles around with distorted bass that judders through the subs and gives everyone face palpitations. The hauntingly beautiful piano music combined with heavy synthesiser sounds was magical as we sat in the sun for a whole 45 minutes without saying anything…Well, until I informed everyone I could feel the bass in my face.

MJ Cole – The festival ended on a high as MJ Cole played us out to some of the best old school garage we’d heard in a long time.  None of that commercial “I’ll bring you flowers in the pouring rain” business. PP raved in our usual spot and this highlight may be responsible for Bene’s current knee injury. Has she gone to the doctors yet?

In summary:

Wow. 

Yet another extraordinary, inspiring, magical weekend at Latitude, and after a couple of days back in the office, there definitely has been an influx of new acts added to the PP Spotify playlist.

 

Thank you Latitude.

Same time next year?

ROUNDABOUT Rehearsal Photos

With half our team already in Scotland’s capital, building and tech-ing and line-learning and generally perfecting Roundabout Season 2014 to an inch of its life in the lead-up to next Sunday’s launch, here are a few snaps of our talented team hard at work.

 

All images by Richard Davenport

For the full set, visit our Flickr page.

Catch Paines Plough’s Roundabout @ Summerhall, Edinburgh, from 2 – 23 August 2014. 

Join the online conversation with: #RoundaboutPP @painesplough

www.painesplough.com 

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.

Roundabout pops up in Edinburgh

Roundabout is our beautiful new pop-up in-the-round theatre.

It’s a completely self-contained 168-seat auditorium that flat packs into a single lorry and can pop up anywhere from theatres to school halls, sports centres to warehouses.

We throw open the doors for the first time on 2 August at Summerhall, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with plays by three of the UK’s most exciting playwrights, performed by an ensemble of actors:

Paines Plough presents
LUNGS BY DUNCAN MACMILLAN
In a time of global anxiety, erratic weather and political unrest, a couple want a child but are running out of time. What will be the first to destruct – the planet or their relationship?

Paines Plough presents
THE INITIATE BY ALEXANDRA WOOD
A British couple are seized by Somali pirates. In East London, a Somali taxi-driver decides to rescue them. A thrilling tale of altruism, greed and the search for how to belong.

Paines Plough and Half Moon present
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL BY DENNIS KELLY
Two terrible twins rule their school until the arrival of a headmaster with scaly skin and a spiky tail. An outrageously entertaining comic caper from the writer of Matilda The Musical.

Plus, the return of…

Paines Plough and Pentabus present
EVERY BRILLIANT THING BY DUNCAN MACMILLAN
You’re six-years-old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s ‘done something stupid’. You start a list of everything that’s brilliant in the world. Everything worth living for. 1. Ice Cream. 2. Me. 3. Burning Things

At the end of the Festival, Roundabout will head out on its inaugural tour to Margate, Barnsley and Newbury.

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 a the nations’s best playwrights and a thrilling theatrical experience to people’s doorsteps.

We’ve spent four years developing Roundabout, We are hugely grateful to the organisations and individuals whose belief and support have made it possible, including The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, The John Ellerman Foundation, Universal Consolidated Group and Avolites Ltd, and the many of you who have made donations and sent us messages of support. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Roundabout was designed by Lucy Osborne and Emma Chapman in collaboration with Charcoalblue and Howard Eaton.

We can’t wait for you to see it…

We’re Recruiting Street Team Volunteers

Do you want to be in Edinburgh this August at the world’s most vibrant arts festival?

This August, we’re launching our portable in the round theatre at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  From 2– 23 August, the Roundabout will sit in the courtyard of Edinburgh’s Summerhall and house a season of four extraordinary plays all performed in a thrilling 360 degree setting.

Lungs by Duncan Macmillan
The Initiate by Alex Wood
Our Teacher’s a Troll by Dennis Kelly
Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan

We’re looking for dedicated volunteers to join our PP Festival Street Team, and help us tell Edinburgh about Roundabout and the shows.

We’re seeking people with loads of energy, boundless enthusiasm and the stamina to flyer come rain or come shine, and help us spread the word. And have lots of fun while you’re at it!

Previous experience is not essential, although a passion for new plays is.

Volunteer benefits include:

One return journey to Edinburgh
Shared accommodation in central Edinburgh
A free ticket to all four Roundabout plays
An invite to the official Paines Plough Roundabout Launch
A Summerhall pass which allows you to see all shows (including Paines Plough, Northern Stage & Lyric Hammersmith) at the venue during the festival for free (subject to ticket availability).
Free playtexts for all of the Paines Plough Roundabout plays
An invite to our Street Team end of Edinburgh drinks

We’re holding a volunteer recruitment evening in London on either Monday 14 July or Tuesday 15 July at 6:15pm

All volunteers are required to be in Edinburgh from Monday 28 July – Saturday 23 August 2014.

Application details can be found here. We advise that you read the information sheet thoroughly before submitting your CV.

Application deadline: Friday  11 July at 12pm. 

Roundabout Schedule: what, where and when

So, Fringe breakdown: we have four shows – of which we present three – in one space, everyday. The what, the where and the when is hard enough for even us to get our heads around sometimes…so here’s hoping we demystify things a tad with our full PP Roundabout schedule, from 2 – 23 Aug 2014.

(Artwork by threaddesign.co.uk)

Sat 2 AUG:   
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
THE INITIATE – 12:00 – 13:20
LUNGS – 13:50 : 15:10

Mon 4 AUG:
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30  -11:20
THE INITIATE – 12:00 – 13:20
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Tue 5 AUG: 
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
THE INITIATE – 13:50 – 15:10

Wed 6 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Thu 7 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
THE INITIATE – 13:50 – 15:10

Fri 8 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Sat 9 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
THE INITIATE – 12:00 – 13:20
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Mon 11 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
THE INITIATE – 12:00 – 13:20
LUNGS – 13:50 - 15:10

Tue 12 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20 (relaxed performance)
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10 (relaxed performance)
LUNGS – 13:50 - 15:10 (relaxed performance)

Wed 13 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
THE INITIATE – 13:50 – 15:10 (relaxed performance)

Thu 14 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Fri 15 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10 (signed performance)
THE INITIATE – 13:50 - 15:10

Sat 16 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20 (signed performance)
THE INITIATE – 12:00 – 13:20 (signed performance)
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10 (signed performance)

Mon 18 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Tue 19 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20 (relaxed performance)
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10 (relaxed performance)
THE INITIATE – 13:50 – 15:10 (relaxed performance)

Wed 20 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10 (relaxed performance)

Thu 21 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 - 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT – 12:00 – 13:10
THE INITIATE – 13:50 – 15:10

Fri 22 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Sat 23 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
THE INITIATE – 12:00 – 13:20
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Here’s your stop for tickets, full deets on LUNGS, OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL, THE INITIATE, EVERY BRILLIANT THING or general Roundabout information here.

Alright, folks. Catch you at the Fringe.

Roundabout: Dispatches from the rehearsal room #1

So, if you haven’t already heard, PP HQ is upping sticks and moving north of the border for the whole of August this year as we launch our Roundabout auditorium at the Edinburgh Fringe in partnership with Northern Stage and Summerhall.

We’re producing four plays by three of the country’s hottest writers – LUNGS and EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan, OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL by Dennis Kelly and THE INITIATE by Alexandra Wood.

This week, we started an epic eight week rehearsal period at PP’s London home on Aldwych with our top flight company comprising of Andrew French, Sian Reese-Williams and Abdul Salis. (Don’t panic, Jonny Donahoe will be reprising his role in the one man show Every Brilliant Thing).

After long discussions about how to plan our eight weeks rehearsing three plays we decided that we’d split the weeks across the three plays rather than rehearsing each individual show in two and a half week blocks. The benefit to this is that every time we come back to the play is that it will be fresh after a break and in the meantime, even though we haven’t been directly working on it, all the ideas and thoughts we’ve been forming has had some space to breathe which we decided could only be a good thing.

This week, following the obligatory meet and greet/read through, we’ve been taking it pretty leisurely- reading over all of the plays and breaking them down into sections. Sian has been an absolute hero – rehearsing with us in the morning and then hopping on a train and heading up to Leeds each day to perform in West Yorkshire Playhouse’s production of Alan Bennett’s ENJOY. Keep your eyes peeled on the blog for updates and insights into how we’ve been getting on.

- Sean.

#RoundaboutPP @painesplough

My time at PP HQ

After four months at HQ, our brilliant Admin Placement, Charlotte, rounds up her time with us…

A few weeks ago, I completed my work placement at Paines Plough.

I’ve spent the last few months getting to know PP inside out, working with the wonderful Natalie & Aysha in the Admin department. I came into this placement as a Theatre Production student at the University of West London with a Stage Management background, and very little knowledge of how a theatre company actually runs; and that’s really what I was hoping to learn from this experience.

In my short time at PP HQ, I’ve travelled to a range of places, each completely different to the other but just as brilliant.  From Bordon (to see HOPELESSLY DEVOTED), to Mold (for NOT THE WORST PLACE), and most recently to the tiny village of Whaddon to see EVERY BRILLIANT THING. I’d never heard of writers such as Kate Tempest or Duncan Macmillan before, so being able to see their shows move from rehearsal to being performed in front of a live audience was great.

I will be honest, at the beginning of my placement I did expect to just be photocopying, filing and shredding all day, and I wouldn’t particularly have minded. However, I ended up working on such a broad range of tasks across all departments – there would be way too much to list (photocopying and shredding included, of course). Everything from doing some serious number crunching to booking a multitude of travel for PP’s productions – which little did I know would be the most stressful task out of all of them!

Working with Paines Plough has been such a great opportunity as, I hate to admit it, even as a Theatre student I was seriously lacking in my knowledge of new plays. Throughout my time here I’ve seen 4 new plays and read at least 12 new plays and they definitely won’t be my last. Working at PP has really made me confident that this is the industry that I would like to work in, whether that’s as a Stage Manager or as part of an Admin team; it may well be a huge challenge, but it sure will be fun!

- Charlotte

x

Beyond Theatre: Alex Wood’s Top Faves

If you’re like us, then you must often get curious about what playwrights watch and read and listen to outside of the theatre bubble we live in.

So we recently grabbed the opportunity to guilt-trip blackmail politely ask our awesome former Playwright-in-Residence (and writer of upcoming thriller THE INITIATE) Alexandra Wood to share a few of her top faves with us.

And she was nice enough to comply:

Favourite books: Runaway by Alice Munro has stayed with me. She uses beautifully simple language to tell stories that take you by surprise, and lets you make connections between the stories, without it ever being heavy-handed or didactic. Lionel Shriver’s We Need To Talk About Kevin is one of the most honest books I’ve ever read – it asks bold questions, and allows space for doubt and interpretation. Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy is a puzzle of a book – things never seem quite right, which I love. It reminded me of Borges’ short stories, which I read when I want a touch of the enigmatic. I recently discovered John Steinbeck (I know, I’m late to the party!) but I’m loving what I’ve read of his so far.

Favourite films: Anything by Michael Haneke is invariably brilliant. His first film, The Seventh Continent, is devastating in its understated portrayal of the disintegration of a family.  While researching my adaptation of ‘Wild Swans’, I watched some great Chinese films: Blind Shaft (directed by Li Yang) and Still Life (directed by Jia Zhangke) – I loved the imagery in these films of the vast, broken landscapes.  I’m a fan of documentaries, too: Searching for Sugar Man is amazing, I just loved the humility of a Rodriguez, who was such a huge star in South Africa without even knowing it. And Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, where we watch a man slowly coming to feel remorse for the horrific killings he participated in forty years ago, is an astonishing, completely unique and important film.

Keep a look out on our blog for more ‘Top Faves’ from our writing, directing and acting alumni.