Monthly archives: March 2012

LOVE LOVE LOVE first week of rehearsal

Aaaaand LOVE, LOVE, LOVE has hit the ground running. Very exciting: it’s Friday of the first week and the (exceptionally talented) company have already stumbled through the first Act. During the first few days we worked through the text in fine detail, breaking it down into sections and events. James has a great collection of books we’ve been dipping into as well enjoying ‘top 10 movies of 1967’ and other fun facts I found whilst doing research, e.g Cannabis was made illegal in 1928, the most popular book in 1990 was ‘Jurassic Park’ and the average UK house price has increased by 273% since 1959!

Those are some boots ladies!

The company shared their own memories or imaginings of the ’60s with all its extraordinary colours, sounds, tastes and feelings. Discussions about familial relationships followed; stories of brothers, parents and children became intermingled with historical facts as we explored the next two Acts. Personally, I spent a large (possibly unhealthy) portion of the time silently psychoanalysing my own family..

Keble College, Oxford, 1967

In the rehearsal room, pictures of the ’60s and the (somewhat bleaker) ’90s cover one wall, an eclectic Beatles-and-co soundtrack greets us each morning and although the space slightly resembles (and occasionally feels like) a small greenhouse, everyone is in great spirits. Onto Act 2 and the next week…

Picture us WASTED

So it’s week one of the WASTED tour. And what an amazing tour it has been so far. On Tuesday 28th, we took the tour bus up to Birmingham: laughter, digital pool and a brief dip into To The Actor before arriving at the unmistakable Travelodge. It was a great opportunity to meet up with Kate and James, to share in the delights of the city that, the next day, would see the landing of WASTED .

Up bright and early on Weds, we ventured into town to find the rehearsal space and student union for Birmingham City. With James safely at the helm, we got lost quite a few times but the collective array of WASTED posters, some rather intelligently graffitied, assured us we were heading in the right direction. The buzz about the show was massive, and as soon as we had mic-checked, we were asked if we could do an interview with Kate and ourselves with a bit from the play for the local radio station, Scratch. Course we would! That night and the following night at the Matthew Boulton Campus, we showed WASTED for the first time to two amazing audiences. Standing ovations, whoops and cheers of excitement and agreement… We were so excited and thrilled to see that our hard work and the play that we all have so much belief in was being met with such an unprecedented kind of response. As one audience member said, “This is what theatre should always be like!” Afterwards. it was really special to meet up with more of the Paines Plough crew for celebrations…and back to the unmistakeable Travelodge!

Opening night at the MAC couldn’t have gone better. During the day, while the PP crew worked tirelessly as ever, to set the space up, Lizzy, Cary and I chilled out in the sun, ran our lines, sorted out some last minute accommodation! and made sure we were all set for the tour ahead. The show went up without a hitch and once again, we were honoured to receive another standing ovation! We were being spoilt now!

You can’t spend every night in the Travelodge, or at least all night, so in some of our down time, we headed on over to Wagamama. It’s amazing to see great minds working together so keenly, as you can witness here. Some might scoff, but the Wagamama puzzle place mats are darn tricky. But with James and the team on it, we cracked it. The next day.

With Birmingham firmly under our belts, exceptionally early on the Saturday morning, we jumped in the tour bus and headed to the Sherman theatre in Cardiff. The show was an interesting one, our first one without the full team, but again, the audience was brilliant and it seems the words of Kate Tempest strike chords with people from any town or city. We came off, tired but massively inspired. The next day, George was in town directing for the Royal Welsh so we had a beautiful day in Bute Park, overlooking the castle, and a sumptuous Sunday lunch.

That evening, we were straight back on the road again,from Cardiff to head to Frome in Somerset, to spit some lyrics to a different town, a different country even. Exhausted from a fully loaded week but hyped and energised by the awesome audiences we were meeting, we snuggled into the back of the tour bus. The next week will bring three more cities, and we can only hope that this tour, and all its moments, will keep on going from strength to strength. Whatever happens, we are sure we won’t allow a moment to be WASTED.

Next Thursday, check out what will have happened in Frome, Exeter, and Bristol.

WASTED opens tonight

After months of planning, several redrafts, a new set, and 2 weeks in the PP rehearsal room with various outings to South London and the Roundhouse Recording Studio, we are unbelievably excited that Kate Tempest’s WASTED opens tonight at MAC in Birmingham, presented by our co-producers Birmingham Rep, before touring to 23 more venues.
We spent last weekend teching at People Show in Bethnal Green, mixing Tom Gibbon’s adrenaline fuelled soundscape with Kwake’s music and Mathy and Fran’s beautiful visuals, plotting Angela Anson’s fabulously funky LX design, and making the final touches to Cai Dyfan’s uber cool set.

Tech time

During the tech, Kate and the cast found time to sneak out around the corner to Rich Mix, where Kate performed some poetry at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, and invited the cast up on stage to perform a teaser from WASTED. They absolutely smashed it and if any of you were there, we’d love to know what you thought.

Kate and the cast performing at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Then this week we said goodbye to London, packed up the van and headed to Birmingham, where we’ve had two brilliant previews in front of a lovely bunch of eager students at Birmingham Met College, and the Student Union at Birmingham City University.

Pre show at Birmingham Met College

Here’s what some of the students had to say about the show.

And here’s an interview with Kate Tempest on WASTED.

There are only a handful of tickets left for tonight’s performance, a great way to start your Friday night. You can buy them from the Birmingham Rep and MAC website.

Tickets are selling fast across the tour, so don’t miss out and book now.

Roundabout Reunited

We were all very excited at PP HQ to see the première of Nick Payne‘s Lay Down Your Cross directed by Claire Lizzimore at the Hampstead Theatre Downstairs.

It reunites the brilliant writer-director team behind One Day When We Were Young which was part of our Roundabout Season 2011, a co-production with Sheffield Theatres. It’s an incredibly moving play which highlights the nuances of human grief to devastating effect.

The show runs only until Saturday 24th March so click here to book now. Hope you enjoy the show as much as we did!

Kate Tempest on WASTED

What was it that interested you in writing a play? Can you tell us a little about how it came about?

James Grieve from Paines Plough knew my work as a poet, and commissioned me to write a new play. I’ve always been interested in theatre, and have read the plays of some of my favourite writers, but it always felt like a form that was beyond me. I had been quite intimidated by it, and in fact, still am, even now Wasted is finished and about to go on tour, but when the opportunity came up I was dead excited by the idea of it.

 

How did your background as a performance poet and rapper help you to write the play? And how did you find hearing your words spoken by actors and not you?

It’s been an amazing experience working with the actors. At first it was strange hearing my words spoken by others, but as we’ve moved through the rehearsal process I’ve been blown away by the nuances they find in the writing that I didn’t even know was there. Like – they really question their lines, and try and understand how one thought leads to another and why something is being said – and then James is constantly pushing that even further and it’s been like nothing else I’ve ever been involved in really, watching these characters coming to life. My background as a poet and a rapper has helped with the rhymed bits of the text, it’s been fun helping the actors find their flow when it comes to delivering those bits especially.

 

WASTED tells the story of three friends in their mid-twenties making life-changing decisions about their future, what was it that drew you to this point in their lives?

Well, mainly because it’s where I’m at now, and where my pals are at. And also because it seems to me that a lot of people who I care about and who are around me are stuck in the same moment as they have been for ages. A moment of decision making that never seems to lead to a decision being made. I believe that everybody has the potential to live the life they want to. Its just a question of being honest about what that life might be, and then having the guts to go after it. I was drawn to this stage in people’s lives because I think it’s an interesting time and because I don’t think people at this stage of their lives are often told that they deserve to be happy and that it’s not too late to make changes.

 

Did you have a particular audience in mind when you wrote it?

Do I didn’t have an audience in mind. I feel if you write for an audience rather than for the piece itself you’ll never get started. I hope it can be enjoyed by everyone.

 

How did you find the experience of working with director James Grieve?

At the risk of coming over all theatrical and gushy– James has been incredible. His belief in my work is just mental. He questions and challenges me all the time, he knows what he thinks I can do, so if a piece of text isn’t quite singing in the way he thinks it could, he’ll sit me down and we’ll talk it through and then I’ll go back to it and make it better. The way he works with the actors is amazing too. I cant begin to describe how interesting it is for me watching them all working, Writing a play is very different to writing poetry, writing plays, for me, seems to be about discipline and building and constantly crafting, whereas poetry and song writing is instinctive for me and although it is definitely also about crafting, it seems to come much more naturally – I couldn’t have written a play at all without having James’s excitement for the project pushing me through the moments when I thought – what the fuck am I doing and why are these people letting me do it…?!

 

Has the script gone through many changes since it premiered at Latitude Festival last summer?

Yep. It’s gone through about ten redrafts. The introduction and then deletion of a new character. It’s gone through 3 different endings and many new scenes. We’ve had to adapt the staging for smaller stages, and create a touring soundtrack – as Kwake who scored the play – cant be at all the shows to play the score live.

 

Do you have any links to any of the venues on tour and will you be visiting any to see the show?

I”ll be at the Albany in Deptford, which is where I’m from and I’m excited about seeing it there. I’ve performed my poetry there lots of times, and an early scratch idea I had for a play was performed in their foyer a good few years ago. Also, I’ll be at the Roundhouse and at the Birmingham MAC. I want to see it in Bristol too coz two of my sisters live there and I think I’ll go to the Brighton show if I can. The crazy thing is that it’s just off on it’s own trip now. It’s going all over the place, my words, but without me. It’s exciting.

 

What’s next for you?

I’ve started working on a new show for theatre in partnership with the Battersea Arts Centre. We’ll scratch that at Latitude with a live orchestral accompaniment, which is exciting, and then it will premiere at the BAC in September. I’m also writing a new record at the moment and I feel like I’m drawing heavily on everything I’ve learned about plot, tension and drama in writing new character based songs. It’s been amazing being back in the studio again. But then eventually, I would really love to write another play. I feel like I’m just getting started.

 

Would you like to add anything else about the show?

Only that I hope people enjoy it. It may not be what they are used to, from me, or from theatre, but it’s been an amazing experience for me, and hopefully it will be an amazing experience for the audience. Which, I am well aware, does sound a little far fetched, but regardless –what’s the point of something being on stage if it’s a chore to watch? I believe the audience is the most important part in any performance, so I honestly do hope it’s enjoyable for them.

Kate’s debut play WASTED opens at Birmingham MAC on 23rd March 2012 and tours until 26th May. For tour dates and booking information click here.

Kate in rehearsals for WASTED

 

 

THE 8TH tour announced

We’re very excited to announce today that we’re taking our 2011 co-production with Manchester International Festival THE 8TH by Paul Heaton and book by Ché Walker back on the road again later this year presented by SJM Concerts.

Reg E Cathey in THE 8TH at The Manchester International Festival 2011

“Victim of an overdose or recipient of bullet
Just the harvest of the finger or the wrist
It’s the needle or the trigger, the 8th could push or pull it
As long as folk believe that he exists”
One of Manchester’s greatest songwriters Paul Heaton (The Beautiful South, The Housemartins), premieres an epic new pop song, THE 8TH, in a thrilling live show.
Joined onstage by his band and a host of special guests, Heaton transports you to a destitute neighbourhood where the seven deadly sins unfurl. From the seven an eighth is born – a new and thoroughly modern sin that imprisons all who cross its path.
THE 8TH’s book is written by Ché Walker who previously worked with us here at PP on Crazy Love back in 2007 and is directed by our very own Joint Artistic Director George Perrin.
So here’s where it’s heading:
Thursday 5th July @ Barbican Centre, London
Tuesday 10th July @ Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
Wednesday 11th July @ St. Paul’s Church, Birmingham
Thursday 12th July@ Latitude Festival
With a cast including US hit TV show The Wire‘s Reg E Cathey it’s sure to be a hot ticket this Summer. So for more details on the show and how to book tickets check out THE 8TH page on our website

Cast announced for LOVE, LOVE, LOVE

Here at Paines Plough we are delighted to announce the cast for Mike Bartlett‘s LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, a new co-production with the Royal Court Theatre in association with Drum Theatre Plymouth. It’s an absolutely incredible cast we think you’ll agree. Read on to find out more…

Claire Foy (Rosie) trained at the Oxford School of Drama.

Her television credits include: Upstairs Downstairs, The Night Watch (BBC Television), The Promise (Daybreak Pictures/Channel Four), Going Postal (Mob Productions/Sky One), Little Dorrit (BBC Television), Being Human (Touchpaper TV/BBC Television) and Pulse (BBC Television). Her film credits include Season of the Witch (Columbia Pictures).

Her stage credits include: The Connections Plays: DNA by Dennis Kelly, Baby Girl by Roy Williams and The Miracle by Lin Coghlan (Royal National Theatre).

Claire can currently be seen playing Charlotte in the BBC Two series White Heat by Paula Milne.

Victoria Hamilton plays Sandra. Previous theatre credits include Twelfth Night (Donmar West End), King Lear at the Old Vic, Suddenly Last Summer in the West End, As You Like It at the Sheffield Crucible and Lyric Hammersmith and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg in the West End. On television, her credits include Toast, Lark Rise to Candleford, Pride and Prejudice and on film, she appeared in Mansfield Park.

Ben Miles (Kenneth) trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

His television credits include: The Forsyte Saga (Granada TV), Zen (Left Bank Pictures/BBC), The Promise (Daybreak Pictures/Channel Four), Bon Voyage (ITV), Sex, the City and Me (Blast Films), Cold Feet (ITV), Trial and Retribution (La Plante Productions) and After Thomas (Hartswood Films).

His film credits include: Ninja Assassin and V for Vendetta (Warner Brothers) and Speed Racer (Velocity Productions).

His stage credits include: Betrayal by Harold Pinter (Comedy Theatre), The Norman Conquests by Alan Ayckbourn, Richard II (Old Vic Theatre), Measure For Measure (Almeida Theatre), My Child by Mike Bartlett (Royal Court Theatre) and Hand in Hand by Simon Block (Hampstead Theatre).

George Rainsford (Jamie) trained at LAMDA.

His television credits include: Casualty, Call the Midwife, Waking the Dead and Doctors (BBC Television), Secret Diary of a Call Girl (Tiger Aspect/ITV Television) and Law and Order UK (Kudos/ITV Television).

His film credits include: Wild Target (Magic Light Pictures)

His stage credits include: Carrot by Ben Ockrent and PLAYlist by Various Writers (Theatre 503, Latitude Festival), Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales (Lyric Hammersmith), Days of Significance by Roy Williams (RSC UK Tour), The Man, Men Without Shadows (Finborough), All’s Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare (Ian Charleson Award Commendation), Polar Bear (Birmingham Rep), Chatroom by Enda Walsh and Citizenship by Mark Ravenhill (Royal National Theatre and UK Tour and Hong Kong Arts Festival), The Three Musketeers (Bristol Old Vic), The 24 Hour Plays (Old Vic), Miles to Go (Nabokov, Latitude Festival).

Sam Troughton (Henry) studied Drama at Hull University.

His television credits include: Silent Witness, Judge John Deed (BBC Television), Robin Hood (Tiger Aspect/BBC Television), Messiah III (Messiah Films), Gunpowder, Treason and Plot (Box TV), Ultimate Force (ITV Television) and Foyle’s War (Greenlit Productions). His film credits include: Spirit Trap (Archangel Films), Alien VS Predator (20th Century Fox) and Vera Drake (Thin Man Films).

His stage credits include: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse), Morte D’Arthur by Thomas Malory, Romeo and Juliet, The Winter’s Tale and Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, The Grain Store by Natal’ia Vorozhbit (Royal Shakespeare Company), An Oak Tree by Tim Crouch (Birmingham Rep), As You Like It by William Shakespeare (Sheffield Crucible) and Buried Child by Sam Shepard (Royal National Theatre).

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE opens on the 27th April and runs until the 2nd June. Tickets are selling fast so if you want to see the show get your tickets here.

Hope to see you there!

In the recording studio with Kwake

With Kate Tempest’s WASTED nearing the end of rehearsal week 2, the production is coming together and by golly it’s exciting. Oh. Yes. It. Is. We had our final production meeting on Tuesday in preparation for the tech at People Show this weekend. The set is being built (thanks to your generous speaker donations), lighting plans are being drawn, the film is being edited, and composer Kwake Bass has laid down the tracks for his epic score.

Kwake and sound designer Tom spent all of yesterday in the recording studio at the Roundhouse, along with the cast, director James, and Kate, who is of course used to being in the studio with her band Sound Of Rum. The actors spoke their lines while Kwake accompanied them on his drums, and Tom did lots of techincal things I know nothing about with the sound. All the while James got to press a button and say “rolling”. (We had to tear him away from the microphone to stop him doing his karaoke rendition of Mr Brightside!)

Here’s a few snaps of the day…

We can’t wait to hear Kwake’s music in full flow during the show. Who knows, he may even pop up at some tour venues and play live…

A good day’s work, rewarded of course by another trip to the pub!

WASTED rehearsal shots

Its week 2 of rehearsals for WASTED by Kate Tempest. Here are some rehearsal shots taken at PP HQ by the rather brilliant Elyse Marks:

See the photos in full on our Flickr page.

We’re looking for an Administrative Intern

We’re looking for an enthusiastic and highly organised intern to offer administrative support across our exciting portfolio of work.

Based in our Central London office, the successful applicant will have the opportunity to gain invaluable experience across all areas of a producing company including casting support, tour planning and marketing as well as performing general office administration tasks.

For an application pack please email office@painesplough.com or download one from http://www.painesplough.com/about-us/get-involved.

Placement start date: Monday 2nd April 2012

Duration of placement: 12 weeks

Hours: 10am – 6pm, Monday to Friday

Application closing date: Thursday 15th March at 5pm

Interview date: Thursday 22nd March