Happy Christmas from Team PP


The Fringe First winning Roundabout cast (Richard Corgan, Andy Rush and Remy Beasley)

It’s been a bumper year for us here at PPHQ but it’s time to close our doors for 2016. We’ve had a brilliant year, thanks for being part of it. We’ll be back in the new year with another packed programme.

If you miss us…


You can download our COME TO WHERE I’M FROM app from the App Store. It’s completely free and features nearly 150 short audio plays from writers from all corners of the UK.

Download here.


When EVERY BRILLIANT THING played in New York last year HBO made a film that’s airing on Boxing Day. How cool is that? 8pm if you’re in the US or watch it on demand here.

You can see the trailer here.

Festive opening hours:

Just so you know, we will be closing the office and rehearsal room from 5pm on 16 December 2016 until 10am on 03 January 2017. Please direct any enquiries to office@painesplough.com or leave a message on 020 7240 4533 and we will respond as soon as possible on our return.

In the meantime, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – we can’t wait to see you again in 2017.

NEW: 2017

We’re very pleased to announce that once again we will be working with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. As part of NEW: 2017 we’ve jointly commissioned writer Alison Carr to write a play for their graduating actors in 2017. The plays will run alongside commissions from the Royal Court and Sherman Theatre. They’ll open in Cardiff and then transfer to The Gate in London.


Tues 28 – Fri 31 March
Richard Burton Theatre & Bute Theatre, Cardiff

Tues 4 – Sat 8 April
Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, London

We’re also very excited that Alison’s new play will be directed by Hannah Banister who was the Assistant Director on our production of James Graham’s THE ANGRY BRIGADE in 2015.

Our past productions with RWCMD have been:

TEN WEEKS by Elinor Cook (2016)
GROWTH by Luke Norris (2015)
BLISTER by Laura Lomas (2014)

Alison Carr, Writer

Alison Carr

Alison’s theatre credits include: CLOTHES SWAP THEATRE PARTY (Forward Theatre Project); FAT ALICE (Traverse Theatre); A WONDROUS PLACE (Northern Spirit, tour); NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS (Theatre503); THE GIRLS FROM POPPYFIELD CLOSE, CLINT (Live Theatre) and CAN CAUSE DEATH starring Olivier Award-winning actor David Bradley (Forward Theatre Project at the National Theatre, Northern Stage & Latitude Festival).

Alison has also worked with theatres and companies including Paines Plough, nabokov, Old Vic New Voices, New Writing North and 5065 Lift.

Radio credits include Afternoon Drama DOLLY WOULD (BBC Radio 4) and YACKETY YAK (The Verb, BBC Radio 3).

In 2013, Alison was awarded the Live Theatre/Empty Space Bursary Award to develop her play THE SOAKING OF VERA SHRIMP. The play opened at Live Theatre in September 2014 and was subsequently produced by Live Theatre in association with Rosie & Me at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015.

Alison is a member of The Traverse Fifty and last year completed a 6-month attachment with Monkeywood Theatre.

Alison’s first full-length play commission IRIS opened at Live Theatre, Newcastle in April 2016 (directed by Max Roberts). Most recently, Alison was shortlisted for the Theatre503 Playwriting Award for her play CATERPILLAR.


Hannah Banister

Hannah is a freelance theatre director who is most excited about working on ambitious projects which have at the heart of them an extraordinary story. She loves new writing, re-imagined classics, comedy, sketch comedy, verbatim, non-fiction, adventure, fantasy. Anything you might consider to be a bit rock and roll in theatre.

She has directed THIS IS ART by Charlene James at Proud Archivist in Haggerston and was a finalist for the JMK young Directors’ award 2014.

Her other work as a Director includes STRINGS (in development), I KILLED RASPUTIN by Richard Herring (Assembly), GARDENING FOR THE UNFULFILLED AND ALIENATED (Pleasance, Fringe First Award Winner), CRIMBLE (Old Red Lion), TRAPP (Old Vic) and BEST MEN (Southwark Playhouse). As Associate Director, her credits include PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), THE ABSENCE OF WAR (Headlong), TIGER COUNTRY (Hampstead Theatre), ANOTHER COUNTRY (Trafalgar Studios). As assistant director her credits include THE ANGRY BRIGADE (Paines Plough, The Bush, Theatre Royal Plymouth), THE TEMPEST (The Globe Theatre), LONGING (Hampstead Theatre) and JUMPY (Royal Court Theatre and West End).


Writing submissions: Yorkshire writers


We’ve been notified of another exciting opportunity for Yorkshire based writers. The play submission window at West Yorkshire Playhouse has just closed but as one door closes another opens…

Sheffield Theatres – 4×15

Sheffield Theatres are looking for Yorkshire-based early-career writers for exciting new writing initiative 4×15. Our Joint Artistic Director James started his career at Sheffield Theatres and we worked with them on our first Roundabout season back in 2011. We can’t recommend working with them enough.

Sheffield Theatres has a national reputation for developing exceptional new work and wants to continue supporting local emerging writers, directors, and actors through projects that respond to their main stage productions. They believe these opportunities are vital for early career practitioners to develop connections and confidence in their craft. They are particularly interested in hearing from underrepresented voices.


4×15 will bring together four early-career writers and two movement directors to develop fifteen-minute plays for the Crucible Studio Theatre.

Ten applicants will be shortlisted to meet with Sheffield Theatres and receive a series of stimuli inspired by the upcoming production of ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’. Shortlisted writers will be asked to produce treatments of their planned scripts from which four will be selected.

The selected four writers will work to develop their plays and see them professionally debuted in the Studio Theatre in early April 2017.

Sheffield Theatres will provide:

  • Dramaturgical support from two directors to mentor you through the development of your work
  • Having your play performed by professional actors in the Studio Theatre
  • Networking opportunities with other writers and industry contacts
  • The opportunity to explore the value of incorporating a Movement Director into the creative process


This project demands tight turnarounds and you must be able to commit to the schedule as detailed below:

  • You must be available to attend an initial meeting with other shortlisted writers on Wednesday 4th January 2017
  • 13th January – Treatment deadline
  • 16th January – Selection of four writers to continue development
  • 8th February – First draft deadline
  • 14th February – Development day: dramaturgical meetings, performance of ‘Everybody’s Talking about Jamie’ and Talkback
  • 24th February – Second draft deadline (character requirements to be confirmed)
  • 17th March – Final draft deadline
  • You should also be available as discussed with your director during rehearsals from Tuesday 28th March
  • The performances will take place on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th April 2017


Each of our four writers will receive a one-off fee of £300 for their work on the productions.

How to apply

Send a copy of your CV, a cover letter explaining your interest in this project and how it will help you to develop your craft, and a sample of your previous writing for the stage.

Applications to be sent by email to g.richmond-scott@sheffieldtheatres.co.uk by Wednesday 21st December at 5pm.

Not based in Yorkshire?

We accept unsolicited scripts year round. All the information about submissions is available here. We look forward to hearing from you.

We’re recruiting… university placements

Sadly, we’re coming to the end of a fabulous three months with our current university placements Sonia Martins and Charlotte Young who are back to the text books in the new year.

However, this does mean that we’re on the lookout for some more brilliant students who want to learn about how a theatre company works from the inside to join Team PP’s Production and Administration Departments.

Does that sound like you? Great. Here’s some more info on how to get involved…



You can choose to join either the Administration or Production Department supporting the teams on everything from open auditions and literary submissions to marketing meetings and play text proofing.

Have a look at the sample job descriptions on our website for more of an idea but do bear in mind that these can be flexible depending on your particular fields of interest and Paines Plough’s current needs.

“There’s not really a better place to be… They gave me a platform where I could grow as an artist and a theatre-maker, and I wouldn’t be going to New York without them.”

Hugo Timbrell, Production Placement 2015-16
Hugo is now managing the New Works Lab at Playwrights Horizons


– Placements last three months and you will be in PPHQ 3-5 days per week, subject to your personal study requirements, 10am-6pm with a one-hour break for lunch.

– We offer £10 per day worked to cover travel expenses, as well as occasional theatre trips and touring opportunities.

– You must be over 18 and in full- or part-time study. We don’t mind what you’re studying as long as you have a love of theatre and an interest in learning about new writing and touring.


Please send a CV and short (no more than one page) covering letter detailing your experience, why you are interested in Paines Plough and what you hope to gain from the placement to simone@painesplough.com.

Application deadline 10am on Monday 12 December
Interviews Thursday 15 December
Placement dates Three consecutive months within the period January-July 2017, 3-5 days per week

If these dates are not quite suitable for your course, please do send in your application anyway as we will be open to discussing alternatives.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Workshop: General Management

Growth by Luke Norris rehearsals, Paines Plough- -®HelenMurray-172

A few places have become available for our General Management workshop on Monday 12 December, 6:30pm-8:30pm (with attendee registration from 6pm), in the Paines Plough Rehearsal Room. We are located on 4th Floor, 43 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4DN.

This workshop is a chance for anyone interested in working in the theatre industry as a General Manager, or in Finance and Administration, to find out more about the profession. The evening will consist of a panel discussion followed by a Q&A; there will also be a chance to get to know everyone before and after the workshop.

We already have some brilliant panellists confirmed with more to come:

Natalie Adams, General Manager at Coney.

Fiona Gregory, General Manager at Frantic Assembly.

Catherine McKinney, General Manager at Almeida Theatre.

Sue Storr, freelance Arts Consultant and former General Manager at Paines Plough.

If you would like to register for a place just email Charlotte at charlotte@painesplough.com with the following information:

– Your name.
– Current role and where you work. (If you don’t have a job at the moment, don’t worry about this part – if you’re a student, please put what, and where, you are studying)
– A few sentences on why you’d like to attend this workshop.

Broken Biscuits: #nowplaying Birmingham


It’s the last week of our BROKEN BISCUITS tour. Tom Wells‘ heart-warming comedy finishes at Birmingham REP this week after touring for three months. We’re going out in style by listening to some of the best bands from Birmingham.

Black Sabbath

One of the most famous heavy metal bands in history, what more can we tell you about Black Sabbath? We know former lead singer Ozzy Osbourne ate a bats head live on stage but did you know they’ve won two Grammys? They also used to be named the Polka Tulk Blues Band after a brand of talcum powder. Very metal. MTV ranked them as The Greatest Metal Band of All Time. We highly doubt the BROKEN BISCUITS gang will be inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame for their songs about working in Sainburys.

Judas Priest

There must have been something about Birmingham in the 60’s because not only did it spawn Black Sabbath but also Judas Priest. MTV has them in at second place in the Greatest Metal Band of All Time rankings. The name comes from the Bob Dylan song The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest. Over the years they’ve had 8 different drummers. BROKEN BISCUITS currently have 0. Although Megan is doing her best to make it 1.

Electric Light Orchestra

Birmingham wasn’t just churning out heavy metal bands though. They were also the home of the Electric Light Orchestra. Also known as ELO. The band with the dubious honour of having the most hits in the Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 without ever scoring a number one. Despite not being quite as rock n roll as Black Sabbath and Judas Priest the prog rock boys will be inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

Duran Duran

The dance-rockers so good they named them twice. Duran Duran have sold over 100 million records world wide, 14 singles in the UK Top Ten, 21 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and have won numerous awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Not bad for some lads from brum. There are so many good Duran Duran videos that we struggled to pick one to post below. In the end we went with Rio because honestly, what’s going on here?

Ocean Colour Scene

A band so proud of their roots they named their second album and their record label after Moseley where the band formed. They were part of the Brit-pop wave alongside Oasis, Blur, Pulp and Suede the band had numerous Top Ten album in the 90’s including their second album Moseley Shoals. We’ll leave you with one of the most Brit-pop videos ever made. Check that bucket hat out.

And so end our musical journey round Birmingham. We’ll see you at the REP for the latest chapter when BROKEN BISCUITS take to the stage. Tickets here.


Every Brilliant Thing: North America


We’re delighted to announce that in January and February 2017 EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe is returning to North America. After a 16 week run Off Broadway in 2014 and a week at Spoleto, Charleston in 2015 the award-winning sell-out show will be visiting both the US and Canada in 2017.

Here are the tour dates:

Brigham Young University International Theatre Festival, Utah
13-14 Jan
Tickets here.

High Performance Rodeo, Calgary
18-22 Jan
Tickets here.

PuSh Festival, Vancouver
26-29 Jan
Tickets here.

The Broad Stage, Santa Monica LA
02-12 Feb
Tickets here.

EVERY BRILLIANT THING will also tour to Australia and New Zealand in March and April. You can find the dates here.


Broken Biscuits: #nowplaying Bristol


This week Tom WellsBROKEN BISCUITS is in Bristol at Tobacco Factory Theatres so we’re listening to bands from Bristol and the surrounding areas. We’ve picked out some of our favourites – including a few blasts from the past.

Massive Attack

First up are trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack, consisting of Robert “3D” Del Naja, Grant “Daddy G” Marshall and formerly Andy “Mushroom” Vowles AKA Mush. The Massive Attack boys have sold over 11 millions records worldwide and have two albums in Rolling Stones’ list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (Blue Lines and Mezzanine). Our BROKEN BISCUITS band members have equally cool names: Megan, Holly and Ben.


Portishead are named after a coastal town in Somerset – just eight miles west of Bristol. Despite being together since 1991 the band have only released three studio albums: Dummy (1994), Portishead (1997) and Third (2008).

Fun fact: The opening track of debut album Dummy is named ‘Mysterons’ a reference to popular 60’s TV show Captain Scarlet.

The Pop Group

The Pop Group were a short lived post-punk band from Bristol – releasing two albums Y (1979) and For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder (1980). The band split up to pursue individual careers but reunited in 2010. We hope BROKEN BISCUITS embarks on a similar trajectory. See you in 2046.

Tears For Fears

Technically from Bath (only 15 mins from Bristol on the train) we couldn’t resist including Tears For Fears mainly so we could listen to Everybody Wants to Rule the World. The smash hit single went No 1 in the US and No 2 in the UK. It’s been covered by everyone from Lorde (remember that Hunger Games soundtrack?) to musical comedy duo Ninja Sex Party.

BROKEN BISCUITS plays at Tobacco Factory Theatres on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 November. Tickets available here.

Broken Biscuits tour blog

This week we’re laying down the baton and handing our blog over to our very own Andrew Reed, who plays Ben is BROKEN BISCUITS, for an insight into the world of touring and performing on the road with PP. Over to you, Andrew…

Broken Biscuits tour blog

Scarborough. For a little coastal town lad like myself, I feel right at home. Energy is high, temperature is low as we set up shop at the Stephen Joseph Theatre which is certainly our snuggest fit for Megan’s shed from our venues so far. First night’s audience were ace. They were really responsive and you could just tell they were all there ready to have a good night. We spent Wednesday morning working with ‘Beyond the Stage’ an over 50’s theatre group based at the SJT. We got to show them the first couple of scenes from the play and had a canny little chat and a cuppa.


Sprogs and dogs allowed

You find yourself with a lot of spare time on tour, and what better way to spend that free time doing your laundry. Just last week, Faye and me hauled our backpacks full of washing to Spring Bank laundrette and as we were staring at our 40 degree cycle of spinning socks we clocked good old Mr Tom Wells’ walking past in his beanie and thick winter coat. Classic Tom. We ended that afternoon back at his flat drinking tea and tucking into sausage sandwiches and it was nothing less than bloody delightful. I’ve learnt it’s good to keep yourself busy when not working on tour. However, if there is a trampoline park next to your venue and you have a show the same evening, do the sensible thing.


Three little frogs bouncing around Hull

With doing a show for so long there’s always the risk of becoming a bit of a robot actor. It’s really key to keep listening to what’s being said on stage and keeping everything genuine rather than being there just to speak some lines you’ve memorised. James has reminded us to always keep this in mind when moving about with the show as we can quickly lose lots of the lovely moments in the play if we forget to enjoy them.


Band prep in Hull

Our warm ups can be key to us tapping into the souls of these three 16 year olds. We’ve had plenty front of house members and techies witness our pre show dance and karaoke numbers. Me and Faye attempted the final song from Dirty Dancing on our last night in Scarborough. There was some bickering over who was playing Baby but that’s all water under the bridge now (it’s me).

One strange thing being on tour is rocking up to whoever you’ll be living with each week. I am pretty notorious for booking my digs very last minute, with James sending a photo of a lovely little tent in a field to our WhatsApp group joking that’s where I’d be nestling down when in Plymouth. I’ve found that if you’re lucky with your digs, there’ll be an arrival cup of tea on the cards. If you’re extra lucky, they may even help take your case to your room but beggars can’t be choosers. Usually a quick food shop has to be done so you can awkwardly make a Pot Noodle in a stranger’s kitchen but I’ve struck lucky with the places I’ve stayed so far. So no horror stories to report. Yet.

Now though…it’s 2am and I have an early train to Sheffield tomorrow. Adios Scarbados.

We’re off to… Cardiff!


This week we’re off to Cardiff. It’s the final week of LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY’s Welsh tour after two weeks at Theatr Clwyd. We’ll be in the studio with our co-producers Sherman Theatre.

We’re delighted to be taking Alan Harris’ beautiful, heart-warming show to his home town. And only 25 miles from the play’s setting – Merthyr Tydfil.

We last visited Cardiff with Sam Burns’ NOT THE WORST PLACE in 2014 and Kate Tempest’s WASTED. We love it. We love it so much we comissioned four short plays from Welsh playwrights to be performed as part of our COME TO WHERE I’M FROM series. You can here these on the free app available for download here. The writers are Alan Harris, Sam Burns, Tim Price, Bethan Marlow and Matthew Bulgo.

We’re big fans of a walk round Bute Park – following the River Taff. It’s only a 10 minute walk from the Sherman if you fancy it.

“A stupidly lovely fantasy… very funny… make[s] you believe that sometimes real life can actually be better than the movies.”
★★★★ The Guardian

“Raucously funny… a joyful, surprising tribute to love, hope, community and big ideas.”
★★★★ WhatsOnStage

“Charming, cheering, and socially alert romantic comedy.”
★★★★ The Stage

“Endearing, uplifting and bursting with energy…more magical than the movies.”
★★★★★ The Skinny

“Perrin and his cast delight”
★★★★★ British Theatre Guide

LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY is on Tuesday to Saturday and you can get tickets here. We hope to see you there.