New system for Open Auditions

Tomorrow we’re going to announce our next London Open Auditions.

In the past we’ve always allocated space on a first-come-first-served basis, which meant a lot of fingers hovering over a lot of ‘send’ buttons. Places generally go within minutes – our last London open auditions saw 1,350 applicants for 90 places.

We’ve heard from some of you that the fastest finger first system is frustrating because work or other commitments mean you can’t be online at the exact moment we announce, and you therefore miss out.

So we’re changing things up this time and trialling a new system which we hope is fairer for everyone. This time there will be a window within which you can apply. Once the window closes, we’ll select people at random until the places are full, and we’ll then select a further group of people at random to populate the waiting list.

We hope this means that everyone who wants to apply is able to apply, and that the selection process is fairer to everyone.

Remember, you need to sign up to our Open Auditions mailing list to receive details of the next date and how to apply.

So keep ‘em peeled for the announcement coming tomorrow, but this time there won’t be quite such a rush to get your application in.

Margate… “a town as cool as it gets”

Roundabout has touched down in Margate and we thought, who better to give us the lowdown on what to see and do around town than the inimitable Joseph Brown of Margate Retro? Here, Joe takes us on a whimsical walk around town, painting a vivid picture of magical Margate that has us itching to go exploring.


I’ll take it away from here.

Here’s a few photo favourites above for your Margate imagination…


imageedit_13_2226222738 imageedit_11_5258456960 imageedit_15_8137854624 imageedit_17_6943507246

There’s a lot appearing in the ‘Gate, with the new show Risk about to appear at The Mothership (or Turner Gallery for the uninitiated…)

Leaving the Grayson Perry still present in the mind of gallery go-ers, the renaissance or that over used ‘regeneration’ word clearly in evidence, culture led regeneration proven across the world, clearly in Margate it’s happening on the double (see the commanding yard stick above).

Team Margate is hitting big with a wide number of heavyweight creative types having a go on the Platform Margate that they stand out loud on. Aspirations raised amongst the indigenous people who I count myself amongst.

I could have a rant about some of the more vacuous elements that appear, yet refuse to lower my standards to a few of the art world classes. It’s still a great adventure welcoming new arrivals of people from across the nation, Europe even.

Who can blame them, nationwide beard men and women taking the gateway into the South East and them London salaries grabbed by a less than two hour train ride.

Snapping up a drum of their own in a town as cool as it gets, for less than a price of capital rents (who cares about the 5% commuter ticket price rise in this situation?).

The smart traveller takes a coach to Margate for the day for £20 or £220 a month for regular riders .

What’s new at Hantverk & Found next door to me has proven the proposal, chef Kate quick on her feet from Shoreditch (somewhere in London…). Fine seafood available.

Clearly not being one to deal in boring London-centricity, the East Kent coast enjoys its fine beaches and Bruges or Ghent in less of a VW camper ride than Manchester. As much as I love Manchester, Ghent is nearer.

Enough spin, furthering the champions cause of Margate’s recovery, the Lifeboat pub you previously took a few libations in* is joined by at least four others doing a similar thing.

Harbour Arms Sunday night is an addition to the weekend and better than the two boozy nights before it .

Seeing a creative crowd mingling with a local pub crowd is fairly utopian, as is the old town still, swapping goat skins for labour and a quality chair for 70 cups of tea is still the practice.

Despite seeing 70 shops open and close, within the old town, in a four year period it seems sustainability is upon us.

The holiday apartments have gone from a Valium popping home of a crazy man named Jim Moody, to a unique place to stay with jukebox, space invaders, the lot. All on King Street, an atmospheric street with a pulse and vibrant operators and clearly a community that borders on an open air theatre.

Leaving train travellers in more of a spin if that’s possible after they’ve jumped off a train walked arm in arm along a golden beach into a gallery of mind bending art to be met by a man in a brown shop coat saying ‘Welcome to Margate’.

Welcome to Margate.

To King St and Dreamland.

I’m off to eat before the 9pm show at the Winter Gardens, return the radio contact for more Margate reflection.


Joseph Brown of Margate Retro, at your service.

* That’s Team PP he’s referring to, partial as we are both to a trip to Margate and the odd libation.

Thanks Joe, you legend. Make sure y’all check out the incredible MARGATE RETRO and follow Joe on Twitter @margateretro.

James’ Highlands & Islands Tour Diary

Last week EVERY BRILLIANT THING embarked on a tour of the Highlands & Islands of Scotland. Our Joint-AD James joined Jonny and Stage Manager Hamish for a spectacular road trip. Here’s his tour diary.

Sunday 20 September
Last night Jonny was on stage at Forest Arts Centre in New Milton, Hampshire. If you stand on tiptoes you can just about see the Isle Of Wight from there. Today he begins a journey to the very opposite end of the United Kingdom as EVERY BRILLIANT THING embarks on a week-long tour of the Scottish Highlands & Islands.

I’m going along for the ride, and I can’t wait. We try to make sure someone from Team PP travels to every different tour venue to support the company on the road, to see the venue first hand, meet and get to know venue staff and most importantly meet local people who are our audience. It made sense for it to be one person for this northerly week and I pulled ranks selflessly offered to be that person.

Jonny and I are in the grip of tour anticipation in a surprisingly nice Wetherspoons in the arrivals hall at Glasgow Airport awaiting our Stage Manager Hamish who is driving North with the list, Jonny’s costume and various tour collateral. We’re excited to be taking the show back to its village hall roots – it was conceived with Pentabus Theatre Company for a rural tour circuit and began life in Ludlow before its unexpected journey to New York via Edinburgh and more than 50 UK tour dates so far. We’re excited because neither of us has ever been North of Glasgow before. We’re excited because we both quite like whisky and there may the chance to sample a drop or two. It’s going to be an adventure.

All aboard the tour bus we soon get a first glimpse of the breathtaking scenery we’ll be treated to in the coming days as we drive around Loch Lomond, through the Trossachs National Park and up and over mountains to Fort William. Our pit stop for the night is the Croit Anna which looks incongruously like a U.S. roadside motel teleported to the banks of Loch Eil. We dump our bags, hit town and ensconce ourselves in The Grog and Gruel with pints of local ale, a plate of scallops and plans aplenty.

Monday 21 September
It’s an hour’s drive to Mallaig under blackened skies that unveil a vivid rainbow as we hit the coast and drive onto the car ferry. As we approach The Isle Of Eigg, the sky unfurls another rainbow over its craggy hills and white beaches. Nature is putting on quite a show. The wonderful Maggie meets us off the ferry and whisks us to the island’s one coffee shop, restaurant and bar – Galmisdale Bay – where we’re treated to homemade courgette and rosemary soup and sandwiches while Maggie gives us the Island lowdown. Eigg has been owned by its 98 residents since a pioneering community buy-out of the former Laird in 1997 and it has the world’s first completely wind, water and sun-powered electricity grid which was switched on in 2008 to give islanders 24 hour electricity for the first time. Its beautiful scenery is towered over by “an Sgurr”, the largest pitchstone ridge in Europe.

Eigg is tiny, and there are hardly any roads. It is impossible to get lost. You’d think. But we somehow conspire to embed the car in a field before considering we might have gone wrong somewhere, and Hamish suffers the ignominy of a three point turn under the disdainful gaze of a border collie, a duck and some chickens who know us a mile off for contemptible Southerners.

Isle of Eigg8

We set up the show in the beautiful Isle Of Eigg Community Hall, tuck into delicious homemade lamb curry and sag aloo delivered to us by local caterer Sarah, and set to a highly competitive pre-show warm-up on the ping pong table out back. Showtime is billed as 8pm but Maggie explains “island time” and sure enough our lovely audience of 24 gather for 8:30pm to be part of a very special, intimate Island show. Maggie says the audience would have been bigger but for it being someone’s birthday… we think 25% of the entire population is pretty good going.

We’re staying in the grand former Laird’s house, now converted into Earth Connections Eco Lodge by Bob and Norah who are passionate environmentalists and wonderfully warm and hospitable hosts. We see out the day with Highland ales by a wood burner in their beautiful library.

Tuesday 22 September
Fortified by Norah’s delectable breakfast (the homemade honey had Jonny in raptures), we drive to the other end of the island and hike across fields to the cliff face above the beautiful Singing Sands and spectacular views of the Hebrides. From the ferry we watch as the Islanders stand en masse to wave an emotional goodbye to Spaniard Paloma who has done the summer season on Eigg and become part of the family. From Mallaig we drive a windy coast road south and then inland through dramatic mountains to the tip of Loch Sunart’s wizened finger and Strontian. We’re warmly welcomed to the Ben View Hotel by Graham who we quickly establish is the world’s most genial and hospitable hotelier, his kindness extending to picking us up from the pub at the end of the night after a couple of warming drams from a well stocked top shelf.

Wednesday 23 September
Graham’s breakfast will take some beating. A Scottish cheeseboard and chorizo to start, obvs, fresh fruit and yoghurts, and then the “full heart attack” – top notch bacon, sausage, black pudding and everything else. No need for lunch, it’s fair to say. We shelter from a dreich Scottish morning and tackle some admin before Hamish heads to The Sunart Centre to set up tonight’s show. With the sun making a tentative appearance we head out for some fresh afternoon air and in Jonny’s case a paddle in the crystal clear loch. After a pre-show bite at the riverside Kilcamb Lodge, we head to Ardnamurchan High School which houses the Arts Centre and tonight’s gig. There’s a foosball table in the foyer on which we discover Jonny is a professional standard table football player. He beats Hamish 10-0 and me 10-1.

Before and After!

Strontian: Before and After!

We’d put 40 chairs out tonight but to our delight we’re soon helping our host Eoghan unstack more from the store cupboard as the audience continues to grow. We end up three rows deep and Jonny steps on stage in a warm and responsive atmosphere to tell the story of the list once more.

In an act of unbelievable generosity, Graham welcomes us back to the hotel with a late night feast he’s prepared – lentil soup, garlic bread, Cajun chicken, whisky infused Scottish cheddar. We’ve each put on a stone in 24 hours. Graham joins us to watch the football highlights we discover he does have a foible amidst the amazingness – he’s a Liverpool supporter. We express sympathy and hit the sack.

Thursday 24 September
After another “full heart attack” we’re on the road again and heading North. We think the Sat Nav has had a meltdown before spotting the Corran – Inchree ferry offering us passage across Loch Linnhe. Is this the shortest car ferry route in the world? It takes about 3 minutes. We stop off in Fort William for coffee before joining the A87 for miles of dramatic natural splendour as vicious rain hammers the mountain sides and forms frothing torrents cascading to the lochs below.

Dornie Hall2

Dornie Hall has a strong claim to the most picturesque location of any theatre we’ve ever toured to. Perched on a little peninsular where three great lochs meet, it is surrounded by lobster pots, framed by towering mountains and backdropped by the beautiful and iconic Eilean Donan Castle. It’s breathtaking. We set up the show and head off to take a look at the castle up close, before finding tonight’s now traditional sporting pre-show warm-up in the form of a pool table in The Dornie Hotel. I won. Just saying.

The show is a cracker. Our wonderful hosts Lochan Arts have gone all out to bring in a crowd and make the hall really homely with a little bar and free crisps for all. Jonny really enjoys himself and we’re thrilled to meet audience members afterwards from miles around and even two who are visiting from Montana. It’s a short drive over the bridge to the Isle Of Skye and our hotel for the night.

Friday 25 September 

It has come to our attention that the Talisker Distillery is on the Isle Of Skye, and so are we. It would be rude not to. So we wind our way through jaw-dropping scenery to the other side of the Island to join the fascinating distillery tour and partake in just a tiny little tasting. We were tipped off that last night’s Vet owns a café that serves the best coffee on Skye, so we stop off on the way back. The coffee is excellent, but the Vet is nowhere to be seen. Maybe he has followed a veterinary calling?

Such is the unending spectacle we are treated to through the windscreen, we’re starting to get blasé, but it’s no hardship to retrace our route along the A87 to see again its majestic sidings. We’re soon on the banks of Loch Ness, unable to stop our necks from craning and our eyes from scanning the water for any sign of mysterious dark shapes beneath the surface as we roll into Drumnadrochit.

Tonight’s show is at The Craigmonie Centre at Glen Urquhart High School, which slightly surreally is an exact replica of the school in Strontian. So we know our way around. There is a dart board in the actual room we’re performing in, which solves tonight’s sporting pre-show warm-up. Hamish is a bit of a wiz with the arrows, it turns out. A properly lovely audience assembles and Jonny gives a virtuoso performance in a small but perfectly formed circle.

We’re alerted to the fact that tonight is the last night of the Loch Ness Beer Festival, which is remarkably fortuitous. We need no further bidding.

Saturday 26 September 

Dornie Hall

Allow me to sing for a moment the praises of the largely unsung heroes of touring – stage managers. In our case, he’s called Hamish, and he’s an absolute marvel. Hamish has many skills – amongst them playing darts and Tetris packing a car with a PA, speakers, speaker stands and myriad other things. His workload on tour is frankly Sisyphean: driving for hours, unpacking the car, setting up the show, operating the show, doing the get-out, re-packing the car, organising hotels, corralling sometimes tardy actors and Artistic Directors to stick to carefully conceived schedules – all with great grace and good humour and an air of indefatigable enthusiasm. Truly the lynchpin of the tour.

And thank goodness for Hamish this morning as he uncomplainingly drives our fuzzy heads four hours north from Drumnadrochit to Lyth. We keep going just a little bit further for a quick and unashamedly touristic stop at John O’Groats before traversing the now flattened plains to Lyth Arts Centre. What a welcome awaits us from our tremendous host Bing – coffee and homemade melt-in-the-mouth scones and pancakes, and our lodgings in cosy rooms opposite the theatre with views that stretch for miles of uninterrupted fields stretching to the sea. This beautiful place is a labour of love, conceived by artistic director William in 1970 when he sold his London flat and bought a former school building which he has personally, painstakingly renovated and transformed into a theatre, art gallery, rehearsal space and artists’ residence.

William personally greets the audience as they arrive from miles around and charges their glasses. The show is beautiful – quiet, concentrated, emotional. Then the whole audience joins William for sit-down dinner in the gallery before returning to the auditorium for part two – a concert by Jazz Extempore, five musicians from England, Scotland, Brazil and Croatia who met each other at William’s invitation on Monday and have spent the week living together here, sharing the music of their own cultures and composing new songs to play for us tonight. They are astounding. William says his goodbyes to the audience and joins us and the band for drams late into the night. Lyth Arts Centre – a heart-warming, welcoming, vital place serving its local community and artists worldwide, run with love and integrity. We are honoured to have visited.

Sunday 27 September 
Another bright and breezy start and on to the car ferry from the deliciously named Scrabster to Stromness on Orkney, which looks idyllically lovely in gentle Autumnal sunshine. We arrive at St Magnus Centre in Kirkwall and walk purposefully into the venue, only to beat a hasty and loudly apologetic retreat as we gatecrash a room of lady choristers mid-change into their robes. We take the opportunity for a mosey around the town and harbour.

It’s a cracker of a show to finish our Highlands and Islands adventure. Orkney has the best readers – loud and clear as bells to a man and woman. Our host Ian joins us for some post-show grub at the lovely seafront restaurant Helgi’s before we retire to our digs tired and happy.

Monday 28 September 
The most astounding sunrise paints the sky vermillion as our early morning taxi drives Jonny and I to the mini Kirkwall airport, and heroic Hamish points the car back towards the ferry and south towards our next show tomorrow night in Leeds. It’s been an honour and a privilege to visit such beautiful places, meet such lovely people and perform for such generous, warm-hearted audiences. Thank you to all who welcomed us. The Highlands & Islands – a brilliant thing.

Hello from Nadia


I’ve been at Paines Plough for about 2 months now so I thought it was about time I said a big hello to everyone…HELLO! I’m Nadia and I am the new trainee director from Birkbeck. In our second year, we get put on placement at a theatre somewhere around the country, we apply and if successful get to spend up to 9 months working with amazing playhouses and theatre companies…and I really do think I’ve hit the jackpot working with Paines Plough.

My first assist was with Stef O’Driscoll, PP’s associate director, on Sabrina Mahfouz’s WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK, which premiered at Latitude festival. As a Latitude virgin I was glad to be in the safe hands of the PP team. But more importantly it was my first hedonistic leap into what PP was about. And aside from being probably the friendliest people I’ve ever met, my god do they care about theatre and all those involved.

Ok, I may be slightly biased here, seeing as though they took me under their wing and made me feel very much at home, but I also like to pay heed to people outside PPHQ and in Edinburgh this year, I gave a helping hand to the running of Roundabout. I was so proud to sickeningly gush about how great PP was, and rather then it being a one sided conversation, audience members responded by gushing back! It was great, and so inspiring to a young theatre maker.

But it was in my most recent conversation with George Perrin, as we discussed PP’s style of programming, when all that I had learnt over the past 2 months fell into place. I was about to jump on a train to Leeds to see EVERY BRILLIANT THING and George said that rather then holding up a mirror to the world to show the disarray and discontent, PP wants to provide hope and a feeling that there is greatness out there, even amongst the more tiresome of times. As a young theatre maker, angst was always my go to. Get people rattled by showing them how crap everything was. But I had come to realise that by being around people that care so much, are friendly, approachable and willing to demystify this wonderful world of theatre, the angst was just adding to the discontent around us. And that if we can spread a little bit of hope out into the world through theatre, for example, then maybe a change is a-coming. Maybe that’s the way to get people to engage with theatre, and with the people and issues around them.

I took someone to see EVERY BRILLIANT THING in Leeds last night, someone who isn’t really interested in theatre, someone who would probably find theatre quite cheesy, someone who probably would have preferred to watch the Arsenal match and the first thing he said to me as we walked out the door was – ‘I feel warm inside’. We walked out of the theatre in the highest of spirits. What George had said to me earlier that day rang in my ears – I couldn’t help but think that by making theatre which showed real people and how they find hope rather than wallow in how rubbish everything is, my night was inherently better.

We’re off to… Kendal

Today our ROUNDABOUT arrives in Kendal with THE HUMAN EAR, LUNGS, OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL and EVERY BRILLIANT THING in tow. The team are super excited to be visiting so we asked our friends at the Brewery Arts Centre for their list of brilliant things to see and do while we’re around…


The Castle Green Hotel, Castle Green Lane, Kendal, LA9 6RG.©

Kendal’s only 4 star hotel. The grounds are beautiful and it includes a separate real ale pub and fine dining restaurant so you can relax with a pint or do something a little special. There’s something for everyone.


The Brewery, Grainstore Restaurant, 122a Highgate, Kendal, LA9 4HE.Grainstore Restaurant

Serving a Mediterranean menu featuring tasty tapas menu with a quirky twist using local ingredients and pizzas. Situated in the Brewery complex, it’s a great spot to enjoy a bite before the show.


The Brewery, Vats Bar, 122a Highgate, Kendal, LA9 4HE.Vats Bar

Settle into one of the Brewery’s original brewing Vats and enjoy a fantastic selection of local real ales, beers and wines. Super cosy and casual it’s a great spot to relax and unwind.


The Brewery, Warehouse Cafe, 122a Highgate, Kendal, LA9 4HE.Warehouse CAfe

Shabby chic café featuring a homemade cakes, pies, crepes, snacks and local Farrer’s coffees and teas. Treat yourself! There’s also free WiFi available so you can Instagram your treats and make your friends jealous.


Abbot Hall Park.

Lucky for us, it’s just across the road from the Brewery. A lovely green open space by the River Kent surrounded by trees and historic buildings and with a nearby children’s playground. Ideal if you’re bringing the little ‘uns to see OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL.


You can’t miss Kendal Castle.

Standing atop a hill overlooking the town, it’s a spectacular ruined castle and the reputed home of Catherine Parr (one of Henry the VIII’s wives). The perfect place for panoramic views of Kendal and the surrounding fells.

If you’re coming to see a show, why don’t you check out some of these spots too?

Now to find some mint cake to take back to PPHQ…

ROUNDABOUT Reviews and Responses

ROUNDABOUT is currently weaving its way across the country and this week we’ve popped up in Lincoln where our partners and good friends LPAC have programmed a fantastic festival of local talent alongside performances of LUNGS, THE HUMAN EAR and OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL.

We’ve been absolutely bowled over by your responses to ROUNDABOUT and our shows so a big hearty thank you to everyone who has already joined us and come to see a show – we’ve loved meeting you and keeping an eye on our Twitter to see what you’ve been saying! Here’s a little snapshot of our favourite responses…


#RoundaboutPP is, in my opinion, exactly how theatre should be. A small space filled with nothing but great actors, acting their socks off.” (@SarahJCullum)

“I love that #roundaboutpp is able to go into communities without theatres. Vital work. @painesplough“(@shakespeareanLK)

And here’s just a selection of what Edinburgh’s critics and audiences have had to say about the shows…


“Fast paced and incredibly slick.” ★★★★★ (The Public Reviews)

“Thanks for a great hour of laughter and fun @painesplough #OurTeachersATroll fantastic venue #RoundaboutPP @edfringe” (@jcnewton90)

“Infectious from the off.” ★★★★ (BroadwayBaby)


 “Stunning to watch.”★★★★★ (BroadwayBaby)

#TheHumanEar at #RoundaboutPP was unsettling and complex, yet another @painesplough success. @Reese_Williams absolutely riveting as always” (@Lisa_Varty)

“Reverberates quietly long after it’s over.”★★★★ (The Guardian)

“Dazzling technical tour-de-force… astonishing.” ★★★★ (The Scotsman)  


“Simple yet profoundly moving… it is one of the best plays I have seen all year.”★★★★★ (West End Frame)

“Highlight from yesterday had to be #LungsPlay at #RoundaboutPP @painesplough Hilarious and heartbreaking in the same breath!” (@michaelwoodhall)

“What a beautiful creation @painesplough #lungsplay thank you. Think you just broke my heart @edfringe Wonderful performances x” (@AngharadLee)


“Powerfully, stunningly, joyfully uplifting – you’ll be rushing off to start your own list too.” ★★★★★ (The Skinny)


“the new @painesplough roundabout venue @Summerhallery is awesome and #everybrilliantthing defies description. MUST SEE!” (@markagorman)

You can catch ROUNDABOUT on the road until October 18th at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, Theatre Royal Margate and Appetite, Stoke.

For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

See you in ROUNDABOUT soon.

Roundabout Prototype FAQs

Hello everyone,

We’re thrilled our Prototype giveaway has fired so many imaginations and prompted so many expressions of interest. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response. So overwhelmed in fact that we’re going to struggle to respond to you all individually straight away, such is the volume of emails.

So for now we thought we’d direct you here so we could answer the most common questions in one go, we hope you don’t mind.

How much does it cost?

Nothing. We don’t want any money for it. We’re giving it away free to good homes. But there will be associated costs…

What are the associated costs?

All the following costs are estimates only, offered as a guide. You will need to cover the load from our store into a 40ft trailer (£400) and transport (£400 – £800 depending on where you are in the UK). You will need to hire a specialist crew of eight at £12-£15 pp p/h for the fit up at your venue plus our production manager (£500 + travel, accommodation and per diems) to include transport booking, organising truck load, assessing fit up site, updating relevant health & safety documentation, advising on crew and one day fit up. You will need a specialist carpenter present at the fit up (£250) and a hired skip (£200). Plus contingency.

Do I need a license?

The prototype is classified as seating so as long as it sits within a venue with an existing entertainment license there should be no further costs associated with licensing. If you do not have an entertainment license you will need to apply for one via your local council and there will be costs associated with that.

What are the dimensions of the structure?

12m diameter, 5m high. You will require a further 1.2m around the structure as a legal requirement for emergency exit routes. So you will need a minimum space of 14.2m² and clearance of 6m to the grid. The performance space is 4.6m diameter.

Do you have technical drawings?

Yes, you can download them here:

Use the ‘Roundabout Prototype Plans’ link from the ‘Links and Downloads’ section on the right of the page.

How much space does it take up when stored?

It fills a 40ft trailer to the rim.

How much does it cost to store?

It’s about £75 per week to store it on a 40ft trailer.

How much does it weigh?

Approximately three tonnes.

Is it waterproof?

No. So it will need to sit inside an existing structure or at very least a tent.

Why are we doing this?

We now have our state-of-the-art, fully portable, pop-up Roundabout out on the road. So we no longer have a use for the prototype which we built back in 2011 to test the concept and the architecture before building the real thing. But the prototype remains a beautifully designed, highly engineered auditorium. We want it to go to good homes so it can be enjoyed by audiences and artists. We were only able to build Roundabout thanks to the belief and generous financial support of many wonderful Trusts & Foundations and individuals so we want to pass on some of that goodwill by lending the prototype to people who can give it a future life to benefit more people.

What else will I need?

You’ll have to provide proof of public liability insurance for the period of time the prototype is in your custody. We’ll insure the installation and removal, either end.

How long can I have it for?

If you could use the auditorium for part of the year, perhaps others could use it the rest of the time, and you could share the costs between you. It’s also possible you could have the auditorium for a couple of years or take it off our hands altogether. Once we’ve been in touch with everyone individually, we’ll work out if there is obvious home or convenient pattern amongst many interested parties and go from there.

What happens next?

If you’re still interested having read all the above and you have a concrete plan for the prototype and the means to absorb the associated costs, please could you send us an expression of interest that includes the following information:

– Your name

– Your organisation

– Where you’re based

– What’s your plan for the prototype (a really brief outline, just the salient points, we don’t want to make this hard work)?

– Who will benefit?

– How long you want it for and when you want it.

– How you’re meeting the associated costs.

– Anything else important you might want to tell us.

Please send your expression of interest to with Prototype as the subject line by 4pm on Friday 2 October 2015.

How will we decide who gets it?

Oh gosh, we’re not sure yet, we’ve been rather taken aback by the level of interest. We’ll gather all the expressions of interest on Friday 2 October and we’ll try to make a decision by Friday 16 October. It’s not a competition – we’d love all of you to have it, you’d all make great use of it. But as there’s only one prototype we’ll just have to bite the bullet and choose its new home(s) on the basis of where we think it can make the biggest difference or benefit people the most. It will be a really hard decision, but we’ll try to make it a good decision.

Thanks for reading. And thanks so much for your interest. We’re so excited the prototype will have new life.

More questions? If there’s anything we haven’t answered here please email with ‘Prototype question’ as the subject line and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Arts Council backing for Roundabout

High fives at PPHQ with the news that Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Programme will invest £784,052 in the future of Roundabout.


This is really exciting news for us because it means that we’ll be able to deliver festivals of brand new work in Roundabout every year for the next three years and develop and expand our already exciting partnerships in Barnsley, Margate, Lincoln, Kendal, Cornwall, Stoke-on-Trent and Salford right through to 2018.

Our aim is for Roundabout to become a creative hub everywhere it visits showcasing top notch new plays from PP alongside locally produced and curated festivals tailored to each community – engaging audiences while giving a platform to local talent.

Here’s what our ADs James & George had to say:

“We are indebted to Arts Council England for the belief and support evidenced by this investment from the Strategic Touring Programme. This enables us to further realise the potential of Roundabout to offer people across the UK access to the best new theatre. We look forward to working with key partners including Margate Theatre Royal, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre and Brewery Arts Centre Kendal to invite local people to curate and take part in festivals of new work in Roundabout in their home towns.”

Roundabout launched as the centerpiece of our 40th anniversary programme in 2014 thanks to the generous support of principal funder Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation along with J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, John Ellerman Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.  This funding from the Arts Council will help us pop-up all over England and ensures that the Roundabout will form an integral part of future Paines Plough’s programmes.


We love being out on the road, sharing our shows with audiences far and wide, and we’re super chuffed that we’ll be able to continue doing that in Roundabout. Thanks to everyone at Arts Council England for their belief and support, and thanks to all of you for your enthusiasm for Roundabout.

We’ll be popping up in a town near you soon…

Anyone want a theatre?


Remember this? It’s our prototype Roundabout auditorium which we built to test the concept before we built the real thing. You will have sat in the prototype if you came to see our Roundabout seasons at Sheffield Theatres in 2011 or Shoreditch Town Hall in 2012.

It’s just sitting there in our store and we wondered whether anyone out there might want to put it to good use?

The prototype is essentially a scale model of our Roundabout auditorium. It’s made of steel and wood and seats 138 people completely in the round. It was never intended to tour so it doesn’t do any of the clever flat pack stuff and of course there’s no roof so no inbuilt lighting or sound.

But even though we’ve upgraded to a newer model, the prototype remains a very cool structure and it seems a terrible shame not to use it.

If you think you could resurrect the prototype and put it to use, give us a shout, we’d love to hear from you.


We’re off to… Newbury

We’ve packed away our Irn Bru and migrated down south from Edinburgh to kick off the Autumn leg of Roundabout’s tour of the UK. First stop, Newbury!

Alongside EVERY BRILLIANT THING, OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL and LUNGS we’re super excited to be taking THE HUMAN EAR out and about having premiered at the Fringe. The show received glowing 4* star reviews from The British Theatre Guide, who said it ‘maintains high drama throughout’, and The Guardian who commented that the play ‘reverberates quietly long after it’s over’. It all kicks off TONIGHT, so what are you waiting for? Get involved!

For those of you joining us, here’s a little cheat sheet to make the most of your time in Newbury courtesy of our friends at the Corn Exhange…

Where to eat

Brebis (independent family run French restaurant – AMAZING food)

El Sabio (Spanish Tapas – independent family run)

Tiy Tea Bar (Asian snack – authentic!)

Chilis (Indian – the food is amazing and the staff are lovely!)

Where to drink

Kings Charles Tavern (nice atmosphere)

The Newbury (cocktails and good beers)

The Catherine Wheel (great selection of beers!)

Lock Stock and Barrel (nice outdoor seating on the canal)

Newbury Real Ale Festival on Saturday 12 September!

Mr Moo Juice (milkshakes and juices!)

The famous bridge in the town centre by the Lock, Stock & Barrel which a Troll might live under…

Where to get coffee

All independents…

If nice weather: The Teashop by the Canal – just a 3min walk from the theatre!

Quaint teashop just off the main high street: Weavers Walk Teashop

Top of the high street- Heatherton’s

Hang out at/Must see

101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space

Boat trip on the Kennet & Avon Canal – see Carolyn at the Tourist Information across the Market Place (the building with the big clock!)

Highclere Castle (open until 10 September)

Donnington Castle – great views of Newbury!

Shaw House – historical house

West Berkshire Museum – just 2mins walk from the theatre

Greenham Common

Our cinema! this week we’re showing Irrational Man