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), Aunt Dan and Lemon (Royal Court Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Stafford Gatehouse Theatre), Daisy Miller (National Tour), Under Milk Wood (Royal National Theatre), Cinderella (Stafford Gatehouse Theatre), Yehundi Menhuin’s 80th Birthday Concert (Royal Albert Hall/BBC2 Live), La Boheme – Centenary Performance (Royal Albert Hall).  For television:  Midsomer Murders (Bently Productions), Pram Face Series 3 (BBC), Big Bad World (Objective/Comedy Central), Babylon Series 1 (Nightjack Ltd/Channel 4), Nightshift (Bruce Goodison World Productions/Cajun Pictures), Pram Face Series 2 (BBC), Beaver Falls Series 2 (Company Pictures), Pram Face (BBC), Pete Versus Life (Objective Productions), Eastenders (BBC), Freaks (Zeppotron/Endem).  For Film:  Panic Button (all2gethr), Pimp, The Reeds, Adulthood (Pathe).

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:

EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan

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

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

★★★★★ 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.”

★★★★ 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.”

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

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

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

 

OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL by Dennis Kelly

★★★★ 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.”

 

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.

Berocca

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.

Drinking

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)

Downtime

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:

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.