AN INTERVENTION – Production Shots

As the curtain went up on AN INTERVENTION at Watford Palace Theatre last night, the brilliant Kevin Cummins paid us a visit to snap up some production shots from Mike Bartlett’s latest high-powered double-act.

You can see a selection of the images below or view the full set on our Flickr.

Pictured: Rachael Stirling & John Hollingworth. All images by Kevin Cummins.

AN INTERVENTION plays until 3 May at Watford Palace Theatre. Book tickets here.

Join us online:

#AnInterventionPlay @painesplough @watfordpalace

Your guide to…Watford

Watford lies just 17 miles northwest of Central London.  As we excitedly prepare for the world premiere of Mike Bartlett’s AN INTERVENTION at Watford Palace Theatre tonight (playing until 3 May), we consulted with our pals at Watford to bring you this guide to the town’s top 5 hang-outs. Starting with:


“…comprising of over 190 acres of green space stretching from Watford town centre to woodland and countryside to the west of the town.”

With the increased  likelihood of the sun peeping out, the largest public open space in Watford sounds like the perfect place for anything spontaneous – from picnics, to bike-rides or just long walks to take in all that’s on offer around the park.


“…great tasting food, professionally brewed espresso coffee, loose leaf tea and good hospitality.”

Just wait ’til you see the cake menu. Word has spread about their banana loaf and vanilla cupcakes… and once you set foot, you might never leave.  (This will certainly be the case for Team PP).


“…a little bit of the Middle East in the centre of Watford.”

A Mediterranean restaurant located in the heart of Watford, Tarboush is the perfect spot to grab lunch, drinks with friends or spend a chilled out evening dining. Plus – there’s a great Shisha garden.


“Our feel is 1920’s speakeasy meets jazz club with heavy drapes and deep leather sofas to offer a welcome that’s akin to a long hot bath after a rough day.”

A lovely, intimate place for relaxed drinks.


Conveniently located just a few minutes walk from Watford Palace Theatre and Bar Bordega, The Horns might be the perfect place for an all out post-show party. With live music, an impressive selection of drinks and even traditional pub food, this sounds like the perfect place to let your hair down. So, we’ll see you there?

- B.

About Sam Burns

As rehearsals come to an end and NOT THE WORST PLACE sets to open in Mold next Wednesday 23 April, here’s the skinny on the writer of our upcoming co-production with Clwyd Theatr Cymru and Sherman Cyrmu.

Sam Burns. Photo credit: Richard Davenport

In early 2009, Sam Burns was invited onto a five-week writing course at Sherman Cymru following the submission of an unsolicited play. This led to the creation of a full length piece, NOT THE WORST PLACE, which was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn award in 2011.

In 2010 Burns completed Sherman Cymru’s Advanced Writers’ Programme and in April 2012 she spent a week in Sherman Cymru’s writing room.

Produced work includes a monologue in Paines Plough’s COME TO WHERE I’M FROM (July 2010), TWO BEARS as part of SIXTY-SIX BOOKS at the Bush Theatre (October 2011), and AMNESTY FOR AGENT 160 PRESENTS AGENT 160 (February 2012).

Photo credit: Richard Davenport

NOT THE WORST PLACE premieres at Clwyd Theatr Cymru, playing from 23 April – 3 May 2014, before transferring to  Sherman Cyrmu from 6 – 10 May 2014.

Join us online:

@painesplough #NTWP @RhysTweetsNTWP

Mike Bartlett – An Intervention Interview

Here’s an interview Mike Bartlett did with Exeunt Magazine‘s Dan Hutton,  discussing next week’s world premiere of his new play AN INTERVENTION, at Watford Palace Theatre.

Pictured: John Hollingworth and Rachael Stirling. Photo credit: Phoebe Cheong

See below for highlights, or read the full interview here.

What form does An Intervention take?

It’s a double act – two best friends with shared lives and jokes realise they might not be as close as they thought – for various personal and political reasons. And this causes huge upset. As a play it’s all about the two parts and the two actors. We’ve got a fantastic set and production, but there’s something I love about focussing on live performance – the complicity, division, drama and complexity between two people. It’s what an audience comes out to see ultimately. Something live.

Should we, as citizens, ‘intervene’ in general society more regularly?

That’s one of the things the play asks. It’s got to be up to the individual to make a choice – and is related to how much responsibility you think you have for society in general.

Why is it important that theatre engages with these subjects?

Only because it’s part of the world we live in and theatre should be able to address everything and anything. The subject of this play is protest, and politician intervention, but it’s equally about love, betrayal and friendship. Our lives are full of all those things.

Click here for full Exeunt Magazine interview.

AN INTERVENTION plays from 16 April – 3 May 2014.

Book tickets here.

#AnInterventionPlay @painesplough @watfordpalace

AN INTERVENTION: Week three in pictures

After all the table work, in the space of a week and a half we now have the full play on its feet and ended Friday with out first run! Wow, what a marathon of a tennis match it is between these two…!

Here are some of our favourite shots taken by Richard Davenport:

And you can see the rest on our Flickr page here

And if you could ask anything, what would YOU ask Rachael Stirling? The best question gets a video response from Rachael herself, so keep your questions coming in on twitter. You only have until tomorrow! Find us @painesplough with #AnInterventionPlay

Bring on the final week of rehearsals for AN INTERVENTION… Party hats, harmonica lessons and more…

- Kay.

We’re seeking a new Admin Apprentice

Paines Plough is currently seeking a dynamic and highly motivated individual to join our team as an Admin Apprentice for a paid year-long apprenticeship position run through independent training provider DiVA.

The apprentice will assist with day-to-day administration tasks and will work alongside the Admin and Finance Assistant providing vital support to ensure the effective and efficient running of Paines Plough and delivery of its work.

This is a particularly exciting time for Paines Plough, as we celebrate our 40thAnniversary. The successful candidate will be an enthusiastic member of our dedicated team of seven full-time employees based on Aldwych.  This is an opportunity to develop a wide knowledge of theatre and new writing, as well as to learn about theatre administration, production, marketing and finance in a fast-paced environment.

For a full job description and information on how to apply, click here.

Deadline for applications: 20th April at 12pm

First interviews: 29th April

Second interviews: TBC (if applicable)

Applications should be submitted to 

Please note that Paines Plough is unable to accept direct applications for this post.


Paines Plough strives to be an equal opportunities employer.

Registered charity number: 267523

In rehearsals with NOT THE WORST PLACE

Last week, we welcomed the cast of NOT THE WORST PLACE, the brand new play by Sam Burns, to PP HQ.

Hearing this story, set against the backdrop of Swansea bay being read out loud for the first time, something started to become clear – this was a strange kind of special.

The kind of special that creeps up on you without warning, just as you’re about to call it a day, and takes a clear shot – straight at your chest. And it’s incredibly exciting.

Our lovely cast seemed to hit the ground running, bringing with them a new energy (and Welshness) that we fully welcomed.

In true PP fashion, cake made an appearance during the week as things moved at an accelerated rate; by day two, Welsh legend Tom Jones had (quite fittingly) made a cameo outside our offices, day three was accompanied by a birthday celebration and by day four, Scott was dropping the ‘L’ word on us and it wasn’t even (that) weird.

Three more weeks left at our Aldwych headquarters before the cast head off to open the show at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold on 23 April – 3 May. Following that, they’ll be winging their way to Sherman Cymru in Cardiff from 6 – 10 May.

You can check out our blog and Instagram for regular updates until then.

Why not join the conversation online? #NTWP @painesplough or visit us on Facebook.

(And make sure to follow @RhysTweetsNTWP for hilarious Rhys-centric quotes from the play).

Stay tuned,


Week 2 – In Watford

So, we moved to Watford, we got the hats out, we were brought to tears in the first rehearsal of the last scene, we had a photoshoot, did some costume fittings… and I could write all about it, or you could watch some of the best bits here:

And to top it all off we ended our sunny second week back in London for Friday@5, which means drinks with team Paines Plough in the Nell of Old Drury  - this time with our special guest Rachael Stirling.

Tune in for week three, for question time with John and Rachael…


Catching up with the cast of BLISTER

The talented cast of BLISTER – the electrifying new play Laura Lomas – have been hard at work these past few weeks at RWCMD, with the brilliant Stef O’Driscoll.

As we open the show in Cardiff tomorrow, Tuesday 1 April, we caught up with the cast for a round-up of all things BLISTER. Here’s what they had to share:

Mark Newsome:

I have really enjoyed working on this show – working with new writing has been fantastic and you really have the freedom to do what you want to do. Creating a character that’s never been portrayed before is a great opportunity for an actor and you don’t feel pressure to do something that’s ‘right’.

However it also comes with it’s challenges! We had a re-write quite soon before going into tech, but that’s also quite exciting. You don’t have time to panic, you just have to do it and for me that’s quite exhilarating.

Working with Stef has been fantastic. Because she’s so cool and down to earth, you get along with her very easily and that makes rehearsals much more fun – and you need that as some scenes are quite heavy. She’s really helped me go deep and find detail in everything I do. She’s brilliant. We love her.

Hope you enjoy the show!

Here are some rehearsal snaps from the last few weeks:


#BlisterPlay @painesplough

City guide to…Bristol

So, we’ve set up shop in Bristol for our final week of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED at Tobacco Factory Theatres.

And what’s so great about Bristol, you might ask? The simple answer – plenty.

But we consulted with our lovely pals at Tobacco Factory Theatres to put together this nifty little city guide, featuring our selection of the city’s top 5 hot spots. Check it out:


A lovely bar on North Street

“…a sumptuous port-of-call for the discerning ladies and gentlemen of Bristol. Enjoy fine food and drink, an intimate musical experience and the artistic talents of our local community.”

Had us at “fine food.”


Image by Joel Redman for the Guardian

“…this isn’t anti-capitalism old-style, with hair shirt and poor personal hygiene, but with sassy glamour. The streets are painted in vast, colourful murals.”

An entire street as a work of art? Count us in – not least to spot the famous “Mild Mild West” Banksy mural voted “Alternative Landmark of Bristol” in ’07.

        3. POCO

Environmentally friendly cafe bar on the corner of Jamaica Street in Stone Croft

“Our aim is to create a sustainable business model that can be taken as an example of how a modern business can operate sympathetically to its environment.”

Famous for their locally sourced tapas, and winner of the 10th Observer Food Monthly Award – want more could you want?

       4. BELL’S DINER

Bells Diner and Bar Room

“…you can eat as little or as much as you want; prop up our bar with a little bit of something lovely or pull up a chair and eat like a king (or queen).”

We’ll take the latter. Modern Mediterranean dishes with titillating flavours from Spain, North Africa, Italy and France.


Pop up shop located in Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus

“Showcasing a fresh collection of talented artists & designers from Bristol, Bath and the surrounding countryside, this unique shopping experience is the perfect destination for those who covet colourful, eclectic, handmade gifts…”

…and it seems we’re just in time for the Spring shop party. Sweet.

Have thoughts on our top 5? Suggestions for hotspots we need to check out this week? We’d love to hear them! Tweet us with: @painesplough #KTHopelesslyDevoted, or find us on Facebook and Instagram.