Category Archive: Roundabout

#RoundaboutPP Social Media Call

Calling all bloggers, tweeters, instagrammers, social media conversation starters and digital trendsetters…

#RoundaboutPP social media call
Thursday 6 August 2015 / 12:00
Roundabout @ Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1PL

If you write or talk about theatre online, this is the event for you. It’s a chance to take a tour of our groundbreaking, award-winning pop-up theatre, hear about our programme of shows and events, and meet Team PP and the people behind the shows at #RoundaboutPP this Fringe.

Bring your camera, smartphone, flipcam, and thumbs to blog, take photos and video. Live tweet or fire questions at anyone from actors to stage management to artistic directors. Anything goes – it’s a chance for you to see behind the scenes and get some exclusive content.

Here’s the schedule…

1200/     Team PP welcome you to #RoundaboutPP with a goody bag.

1210/     James & George introduce the Roundabout programme 2015.

1215/     A chance to explore Roundabout and take photos and video.

1225/     Son et lumiere. Otherwise known as a sound and light show. We’ll give you a peek at the tricks we can do in Roundabout with our state-of-the-art technology.

1230/     Team PP and some of our visiting companies will be hanging out in the Summerhall courtyard and will be on hand for interviews or to answer any questions you may have.

Everyone attending our social media call will also be offered a complimentary ticket to see OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL by Dennis Kelly immediately beforehand. The show starts at 11am and runs for 45 minutes.

If you would like a space please contact rachel@painesplough.com with your name and a link to your website, blog or wherever you cover theatre online. Please include your Twitter handle so we can follow you. Let us know if you would also like a ticket to TROLL. We’ll be back in touch to confirm your place. Spaces are limited so get in quick – we hope to accommodate as many of you as possible.

Any questions, hit us up @painesplough.

We very much hope you can join us.

Team PP x

Stellar line-up for EARLIER/LATER

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Ten years ago Mark Ravenhill launched PP’s hugely influential late-night playwright’s salon LATER. We’re reviving its renegade spirit in Edinburgh this year with EARLIER / LATER – a series of early morning and late night one-off events in  ROUNDABOUT @ SUMMERHALL 2015.

We’ve put together a smashing line-up including an unmissable show from the Royal Court, performances from Roundhouse Resident Artists and alumni Sophie Rose, Cecilia Knapp, Yolanda Mercy and Caleb Femi, a poetry battle of epic proportions presented by Luke Wright, SAVE THE MALE – headlined by pop-punk poet Brigitte Aphrodite, comedians Jack Rooke and Lynn Ruth Miller (she’s 81 by the way – expect swearing), new-writing champions Poleroid Theatre, the final leg of Josie Long‘s side splitting Alternative Reality Tour and a dangerously dark physical comedy from Encounter Productions.

Music, poetry, theatre and comedy – we’ve got it all, so if you’re looking for us at 10am or 10:30pm just head to ROUNDABOUT, we’ll be hanging out there. Bring croissants or beer. Here’s the programme in full:

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM – EDINBURGH
12 August, 10:00

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COME TO WHERE I’M FROM is a theatrical tapestry of the UK, woven by writers asking if home is really where the heart is. Since 2010, more than 100 playwrights from across the UK have written plays about the places that shaped them.

Now we’ve invited Edinburgh’s finest to pen plays about Auld Reekie. At this very special one-off show they will perform those plays themselves.

For the line-up of writers, keep an eye on @painesplough and #PPEarlier


 

Royal Court
MANWATCHING
Written by an anonymous woman
Performed by an unprepared man
14, 21 August, 10:00
10, 15, 19 August, 22:30

Manwatching Image

So I think it’s fair to say that most women almost definitely do masturbate. We just wait to discuss it until we’re in an oddly anonymous but public situation like this one.”

A funny, frank, and occasionally explicit insight into heterosexual female desire, read out loud by a man.

Each show begins with a male comedian being given a script they have never seen before. They will read the script for the first time, out-loud live in front of an audience; all about what one woman thinks about when she thinks about sex and men.

Performers will include comedians James Acaster, Marcus Brigstocke and Nick Helm. More to be announced.

This piece is a work-in-progress being piloted at the Edinburgh Festival. It is being developed in collaboration with the Royal Court Theatre.

With direction and dramaturgy by Lucy Morrison, and dramaturgical input from Ryan Nobel, Lisa Heledd Jones, and Christopher Brett Bailey.
Special thanks to previous performers Tim Key, Mike Wozniak and Nathaniel Martello-White.


 

Roundhouse Young Artist
ON THE EDGE OF ME by Yolanda Mercy
13 August, 10:00

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ON THE EDGE OF ME is a relatable dark comedy, exploring themes of graduate blues, love, anxiety, JSA and mental health. Follow Remi (a recent university graduate), as she confronts life as she knows it, through the medium of Live literature, theatre and storytelling with YOU the audience as the centre piece!


 

The Good Grief Project
SAVE THE MALE
14 August, 22:30

Save The Male

Save The Male is a comedy, poetry and music showcase raising awareness of male suicide prevention charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), who exist to tackle the statistic of suicide being the single biggest killer of young men in the UK & Scotland.

Curated by comedian Jack Rooke and poet Cecilia Knapp, Save The Male’s aim is to encourage more of us to engage in creative expression as an outlet when times get tough. Whether it’s writing lyrics, performing poems or even doodling (Jack likes to draw moustaches on the attractive cast of Hollyoaks in the TV Guide.)

This Roundabout performance features Brigitte Aphrodite, Jack Rooke and some very special guests.

For info on Save The Male visit www.thegoodgriefproject.com and for info on CALM visit www.thecalmzone.net


 

LUKE WRIGHT PRESENTS A POETRY BATTLE
17 August, 22:30

Luke Wright

A spoken word quick-fire starring Elvis McGonagall, Rob Auton, Jemima Foxtrot, John Osborne, Luke Wright and more. Each poet has to respond to the piece performed by the previous performer. Expect linguistic gymnastics, breath-taking salvos and a fair bit of crow-barring. Laughs and tears and all the rest, in a never-to-be-repeated show.


 

SXWKS / Roundhouse Resident Artist
STILL DREAMING
19 August, 10:00

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SXWKS present, Still Dreaming, a submersion into the intangible substance of dreams through words and music. An amalgamation of the various artistic disciplines within SXWKS creating one unique experience that will stay with you long after the show. See features from Roundhouse Poetry Slam Winner 2015, Caleb Femi and Shortlisted Young Poet Laureate Jolade. A show not to be missed.


 

The Good Grief Project
JACK ROOKE AND LYNN RUTH MILLER LAUGH ABOUT DEATH
20 August, 10:00

Jack Rooke & Lynn Ruth Miller Image 2

Jack Rooke is a 21-year-old comedian who writes about grief. Lynn Ruth Miller is an acclaimed 81-year-old comedian who talks about death. Together the two of them are gonna sit down, laugh and have an open chat about all the things we’re too scared to talk about, whilst performing extracts from Jack’s debut comedy-theatre show ‘Good Grief’ and Lynn’s new comedy hour ‘Get A Grip’.

For more information visit www.thegoodgriefproject.com


 

Poleroid Theatre
WRITE IT: MIC IT
20 August, 22:30

Write it Mic It Image

Poleroid Theatre are back in Edinburgh this Summer with WRITE IT : MIC IT, their legendary Open ‘Write’ Platform. After two years of sold out nights in Hackney and Manchester, Poleroid head to the Roundabout for one night only with an eclectic mix of new material from some of the UK’s most exciting emerging playwrights, comedians & performance poets. Fresh from debuting their new play Plastic by Kenneth Emson at Latitude Festival 2015 and nominated for three Off-West End Theatre Awards in 2014, Poleroid Theatre is working to discover and develop the contemporary image of emerging artists in the UK and give this talent a platform through eclectic, fast-paced and immediate theatre.

www.poleroidtheatre.co.uk
@poleroidtheatre


 

Roundhouse / Sophie Rose
QUIET VIOLENCE by Sophie Rose
21 August, 22:30

1. Happy jenga smash QV_CN LARGE

A show about blue plastic bags and wearing shoes that don’t fit.

Squeezed between tight jeans, jenga block flats and clip-on earrings, a young woman is making bad decisions and an old man is eating too much cheese.

They’re sharing biscuits on an inflatable sofa; something has to pop.

Fast, physical and full of anarchic poetry, shards of life collide in this powerful story of punishment and rescue.

Free hobnobs.

An exciting new voice in spoken word theatre, co-produced by Roundhouse.

‘Bold, brave and very special’ (Polarbear, spoken word artist)


 

Josie Long with Show and Tell
ALTERNATIVE REALITY TOUR WITH JOSIE LONG
22 August, 22:30

Alternative Reality Tour Imag

Where is the fucking joy? It’s summer. It’s supposed to be like in films. It’s supposed to be magical. Beautiful sunsets and whirlwind romances; the promise of friendship, adventure, discovery, love and fun. The days last forever because school’s out forever.

So why isn’t it here? What do we get instead? Every day we are reminded that this country is miserable, skint and exhausted. That this is just the way it is and that we deserve it. That there’s no other way and we can’t change it. We’re all in it together. It’s the plan. We are tired, we are angry and we are bored.

We are all better than this.

We are coming to your town in August. We are going to bring something strange, fun and unexpected. Led by the multi award-winning comedian Josie Long, we are a group of performers, musicians and people who make things happen and we want to make something unforgettable.

We want another type of life. We want it to be better. We want a summer that doesn’t end.

The summer 2015 Alternative Reality Tour finishes up in Edinburgh on August 22nd.

www.alternativerealitytour.com


 

FINDING HOME by Cecilia Knapp
23 August, 10:00

Finding Home

Along the cycle paths, alleyways and canals of London comes a spoken word theatre coming¬-of-age story that maps the journey of a young girl from Brighton to the tenements of East London as a 20 ¬something.

Writer and performer Cecilia Knapp’s debut piece is a journey through flashbacks to her father singing, her mum’s cassette tapes in the car and the sound of the sea. Cecilia explores loss and circumstance in an attempt to reconcile her past, telling stories and reflecting on the characters she meets along the way who help her make sense of the world, and realise that things can be ok in the wake of it all.

Supported by Arts Council England and Roundhouse, London, with an original soundtrack from world champion beatboxer and double bass musician Bellatrix and sound design by Chris Redmond (Tongue Fu) and direction by Stef O’Driscoll (Kate Tempest’s Hopelessly Devoted).


 

Encounter Productions
I HEART CATHERINE PISTACHIO
23 August, 22:30

IHCP Image

“I Heart Catherine Pistachio is outrageous and it is deplorable but it is also a fucking sickening tragedy performed as if a sinkhole is about to bury us all…fucking great.” (Megan Vaughan)

Following sold-out runs at Soho Theatre, London and the Sophiensaele, Berlin, Dance and Theatre combine in the latest show from Encounter.

Directed by Jen Malarkey, with writer Lee Mattinson and movement director Simone Coxall,I Heart Catherine Pistachio is a dangerously dark physical comedy about a square-eyed young girl stuck in a suburban swamp of abuse.

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EARLIER/LATER shows will be listed daily outside ROUNDABOUT and announced at 11am and 5pm on Twitter so keep your beady eyes on @painesplough because you never know, we might just have a few extra events up our sleeves…

#RoundaboutPP #PPEarlier / #PPLater

ROUNDABOUT @ Summerhall 2015

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We’ve barely had time to unpack our rucksacks after the sunshine and sing-alongs of Latitude but we’re preparing to pack again as we head up to bonny Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

From 6-30 August our plug-and-play theatre ROUNDABOUT will be popped-up at Summerhall where you can catch the world première of THE HUMAN EAR from Fringe First award-winning writer Alexandra Wood plus OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL by Dennis Kelly, LUNGS and EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan.

We’re thrilled to be welcoming some of the UK’s most exciting companies and artists to the ROUNDABOUT @ Summerhall programme this year including Theatre Uncut, Jonny & The Baptists, Papermash, Tricycle Theatre, Soho Theatre, Dancing Brick, Eastern Angles, Unity Theatre Liverpool and some chap called Daniel Kitson. Plus our daily EARLIER / LATER slots will showcase daring, new and one-off shows and events from the likes of The Royal Court, Josie Long, Luke Wright, The Roundhouse and many more.

Roundabout… it’s THE place to be this Edfringe.

ROUNDABOUT @ Summerhall Programme 2015…

Paines Plough and Half Moon present
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL
by Dennis Kelly
Time 11:00  Dates Aug 6-10, 12-17, 19-23

Two terrible twins with a talent for turmoil rule their school with terror and tyranny, until the arrival of a new head teacher with green scaly skin, sharp fangs and a long spiky tail… Can the twins save the school from the child-eating Troll? Can they get Brussels sprouts in peanut butter taken off the menu? And most importantly, can naughtiness prevail? Be outrageously entertained in this colourfully comic show from the writer of West End hit, Matilda the Musical. For ages 7+ and their accompanying trolls (or parents). “Comic perfection” ★★★★ (The Times).

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Paines Plough presents
LUNGS
by Duncan Macmillan
Time 15:35/22:30  Dates Aug 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23-30

‘I could fly to New York and back every day for seven years and still not leave a carbon footprint as big as if I have a child. Ten thousand tonnes of CO2. That’s the weight of the Eiffel Tower. I’d be giving birth to the Eiffel Tower.’ 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?
“The most beautiful, shattering play of the year” ★★★★★ (Sunday Express).

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Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company present
EVERY BRILLIANT THING
by Duncan Macmillan
Time 14:05  Dates Aug 8-10, 12-17, 19-24, 26-30

You’re six years old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s ‘done something stupid’. She finds it hard to be happy. So you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything worth living for. 1. Ice cream. 2. Kung fu movies. 3. Burning things. 4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose. 5. Construction cranes. 6. Me. A play about depression and the lengths we go to for those we love.
“Heart-wrenching, hilarious … possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see” ★★★★ (Guardian).

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Paines Plough presents the World Premiere of
THE HUMAN EAR
by Alexandra Wood
Time 15:35  Dates Aug 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30

A man turns up at Lucy’s door claiming to be the brother she hasn’t seen in 10 years. But why has he come? Is it really him? And what happens when there’s another knock at the door? Forced to confront the messy inner workings of sibling love with its petty resentments, casual cruelty, profound betrayals and implicit understanding, can the bond between brother and sister be rebuilt? An intriguing tale of loss, renewal and knowing who to trust from Fringe First Award winner Alexandra Wood.

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Eastern Angles in association with Unity Theatre Liverpool present
CHICKEN
by Molly Davies
Time 17:05  Dates Aug 7-10, 12-17, 19-24, 26-30

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Eastern Angles and Unity Theatre, Liverpool present Chicken, a darkly comic new play by Molly Davies. Set in a dystopian future where people from the North and South are alienated from one another, London sits above the chaos as a sovereign state. Davies, whose previous credits include A Miracle and God Bless The Child (Royal Court), Shooting Truth (National Theatre Connections) and Orpheus & Eurydice (NYT/Old Vic Tunnels), has created a wonderfully twisted world where communities collide, families are fractured and the agricultural idyll is distorted beyond recognition.

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Papermash Theatre and Tricycle Theatre present
HAPPY BIRTHDAY WITHOUT YOU
by Sonia Jalaly
Time 21:10  Dates Aug 7-10, 12-17, 19-24, 26-30

Fringe Image HBWY FINAL 343by343

A hilarious, award-winning one-woman comedy with lipstick, slapstick, and a whole lot of Shirley Bassey. Violet Fox is a live and visual spoken word vegan solo artist and occasional collaborator. Today is a celebration of every birthday. And you’re invited. In ‘Happy Birthday Without You’ Violet tells the story of her complicated relationship with her mega diva mother. Bring beer and bunting and come on a journey through her childhood of pop tarts, Patti Smith and second hand smoke.

* Warning: people usually cry.

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Dancing Brick and Soho Theatre present
I’M NOT HERE RIGHT NOW
by Thomas Eccleshare
Time 18:25  Dates Aug 7-17, 19-24, 26-30

INHRN_image

On top of a mountain in the middle of a blizzard, you see a figure: eight foot tall, with white matted hair covering his body. He stands upright on two legs. You see him. He sees you. But who will believe you and how far can you trust what you see?

Thomas Eccleshare’s stunning new drama is the story of a scientist with an unbelievable story to tell, a woman who doesn’t know what to believe.

In a vibrant collaboration between Dancing Brick and Soho Theatre, Steve Marmion directs this spellbinding play starring Valentina Ceschi.

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JONNY & THE BAPTISTS: THE END IS NIGH
Time
19:50  Dates Aug 7-17, 19-24, 26-30

JONNY & THE BAPTISTS - THE END IS NIGH - Ed Fringe image - 343x343px

Last year, Jonny accidentally told his four-year-old niece that climate change would end the world. To stop her crying, he and Paddy promised to fix it. They really did try very hard…

A brand new show from the multi-award-nominated stars of Radio 4’s The Now Show and Infinite Monkey Cage.

“Politically engaged… raucously silly.” (Guardian)
“Riotous rock’n’ROFLing.” (Independent on Sunday)
“The political edge of 80s alternative comedy… a pop-soul voice to win X Factor.” ★★★★ (Stewart Lee, Observer)
“A triumph… if you’re looking for a fun time, the Baptists will deliver.” (Chortle)

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POLYPHONY by Daniel Kitson
Time 12:15  Dates Aug 7-10, 12-17, 19-24, 26-30

Show Image

I have written a Play – a real humdinger.

It has a pretty epic scope, a relatively staggering vision and somewhere in the region of twenty characters.

Each of which has been performed and recorded in isolation, producing a litany of individual voices – each of them perfect, captured as a single track that will, when played back in precise unison, form a glorious theatrical polyphony.

The play is perfect.

The recordings are perfect.

I just need enough people to hit play.

That’s all.

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THEATRE UNCUT: IN OPPOSITION
Time
10:00  Dates Aug 24-30

Theatre Uncut scissors-1

HERALD ANGEL, PICK OF THE FRINGE AND FRINGE FIRST WINNERS

Multi award-winning Theatre Uncut has been at the forefront of political new writing for the past 4 years. Now we present the best of Theatre Uncut in one sitting, followed by our signature post-show debates. See six of our catalogue of political short plays by leading writers including Dennis Kelly, Neil LaBute, Clara Brennan, Stef Smith and more. Tackling current issues of austerity, education & democracy these acerbic, witty, punchy and always challenging plays bring our audience to the conversation like no other theatre company.

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Paines Plough and friends present
EARLIER/LATER
Times 10:00 & 22:30  Dates Aug 8-29 (check painesplough.com for daily listings)

earlier later v38

A series of early morning and late night one-off shows: theatre, poetry, comedy, music, rumbles, shenanigans and much more in Roundabout throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Get your fix of fresh new work, exhilarating debates and rip-roaring performances. Kick start your morning and round-up your evening in Roundabout – “the loveliest venue at the fringe” (The List, 2014).

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So what do you think of ROUNDABOUT @ Summerhall 2015? Who catches your eye? Let us know and follow us @painesplough – you never know what other surprises we might have up our sleeves #RoundaboutPP.

See you there.

ROUNDABOUT @ SOUTHBANK CENTRE Trailer

Look out people, we’ve just launched this trailer for ROUNDABOUT @ SOUTHBANK CENTRE

To pick up tickets for LUNGS, THE INITIATE, OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL and EVERY BRILLIANT THING visit the Southbank Centre website here.

Hello new Roundabout website

Launching today… Roundabout’s very own website.

We decided it was about time the world’s first pop-up plug-and-play theatre had its own home online, and our incredible designer and all round creative genius Michael at Thread Design made this little beauty.

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You’ll find everything you need to know about our state-of-the-art auditorium (how many individual lights are there in Roundabout… you can soon find out), deets of the plays we’re presenting, loads of photos, videos, tour dates, a lovely map (we like maps) and LOTS MORE.

So please have a browse and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear your feedback. You can find the all new Roundabout website right here.

And you can visit Roundabout in person right there at The Southbank Centre until 18 July.

George talks Roundabout

Here’s our AD George talking to Whatsonstage.com about Roundabout, currently popped-up at The Southbank Centre until 18 July.

Lucy Osborne interviewed in The Stage

Imagine our delight when we saw that designer extraordinare, Lucy Osborne, was the subject of The Big Interview in The Stage this week. The design brains that made Roundabout a reality, Lucy sat down with Jo Caird and had a good old chinwag about the process of bringing our pop-up theatre to life. Check it out on their website here or just have a look below:

The Big Interview: Lucy Osborne

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“So many people had told us it wasn’t possible. That’s such a cliche but I don’t know how else to say it. So many people wouldn’t build it, wouldn’t come near it, didn’t want to hear anything about it, told us we were nutters.”

Lucy Osborne is talking about the Roundabout, the entirely self-contained mobile theatre she designed for new-writing company Paines Plough. In development for four years, with Osborne working closely alongside lighting designer Emma Chapman, Paines Plough’s James Grieve and George Perrin, and lighting consultant Howard Eaton, the Roundabout was launched in Edinburgh in August 2014. A few months later it was crowned theatre building of the year at The Stage Awards, sharing the prize with the new Liverpool Everyman. It makes its London debut, outside the Southbank Centre, this summer.

“We just felt amazed we’d got there, and we’d manage to do what we set out to achieve,” said the theatre designer of the moment in January when she and the team received the award. “And for me, personally, to go up with [architect] Steve Tompkins to get his [award for the Everyman] was just extraordinary. To feel like you’re in that company is an absolute honour.”

Grieve and Perrin approached Osborne about the Roundabout soon after taking over as joint artistic directors of Paines Plough in 2010. The designer had worked with Grieve on new plays, including Mike Bartlett’s Artefacts and James Graham’s The Whisky Taster at the Bush – Grieve was associate director there, while Osborne was associate artist (she went on to design the front-of-house areas of the west London theatre’s new home in a former library).

Roundabout audience Rich Lakos

Born of Grieve and Perrin’s desire to take new writing to audiences that Paines Plough wasn’t able to reach because of a lack of existing infrastructure, the Roundabout had to be quick and easy to put together, and have a capacity of around 150. The rest of the brief, at least at the very beginning, was delightfully vague.

“There’s a brilliant back of a receipt from a restaurant meal that James and George had. It’s basically a circle and it says on it ‘10 metres’ and then there’s a little drawing of a person stood up with a ceiling and I think it says something like, ‘High enough so this man can stand up’. I’ll find it when I unpack all my boxes,” Osborne says, gesturing to the little garden cottage that serves as her studio. “We should get it framed.”

The studio, which she shares with her partner, the composer and musical director David White, occupies an idyllic spot beside the towpath of the Surrey canal where their houseboat is moored. Osborne has been based here for a few years now, but it’s only relatively recently that she and White made the decision to convert the cottage, and she’s still getting used to the new space. Chapman, her long-time collaborator, lives just down the road.

The Roundabout was envisioned as a fully integrated auditorium from early in the design process, Osborne explains, the team drawing inspiration from the mobile spaces toured by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Manchester Royal Exchange in the 1980s and 1990s.

“This idea that it could just turn up anywhere and people would just join in and help, anyone could carry anything and it would kind of go up by itself. As long as you’ve got one person with the knowledge, everything else was kind of up for grabs. The spirit of adventure and the spirit of the circus coming to town.”

It had to be a welcoming environment too, says Osborne, a non-intimidating space that Paines Plough could take into communities unfamiliar and perhaps uncomfortable with the notion of theatre. “It needed to feel homey and warm and inviting and comfortable and democratic,” she says. “That the space could be used as effectively for a discussion, or that you could do lots of different things in it.”

ROUNDABOUT - EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 2014

The project felt like a natural next step for Osborne, whose interest in creating physical contexts beyond those taking place on stage actually predates her career as a set and costume designer. While still at school, she joined the technical team at the National Student Drama Festival in Scarborough, ultimately becoming the festival’s venue designer.

“You would be working with the [student] company to try and interpret what they’d had originally, and trying to put it into a space that worked for them. So we started really pushing the boundaries of what was possible: dividing spaces in half and building things up at height – just doing some really unconventional mad things.

“And because we were all students, you’ve got a crew of 60-80 people – you can do a huge amount,” she recalls. “Looking back, it made me unafraid to play with space in that way and also made me question any kind of conventional theatre layout.”

The festival wasn’t just a safe place in which to experiment and make mistakes, it also led to Osborne’s first paid role in theatre: working as a follow-spot operator at the Theatre Royal Newcastle while studying fine art at the university. It was here that she first began to think about theatre as a possible career path, rather than just a hobby.

The RSC, which toured to the Theatre Royal every year during Osborne’s time there, was a major influence. “I was sat doing my job and there was somebody there going, ‘That should look like that; why is it not like that?’, and I had a moment when I thought, ‘What’s that job? That looks cool.’”

Osborne finished her art degree then enrolled on to the now defunct Motley Theatre Design Course, an intensive year-long course run from a back room at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

“It was brilliant, totally madcap, and everyone worked insanely. You’d get like six hours’ sleep a night for a year; it was crazy,” the designer remembers. “I fell in love with the craziness actually, how zany it was.

“When I was in my interview, there was a painting of Percy [Margaret ‘Percy’ Harris, who set it up] hanging on the wall, and they all talked to her all the way through my interview. So Ali [course director Alison Chitty] would keep looking up at this painting, going, ‘So, Percy, what do you think about this?’”

The course was taught entirely by practising professional directors and designers, among them Josie Rourke, then trainee associate director at the Royal Court. Rourke brought in a piece of new writing for the students to work on as their final project and she and Osborne hit it off.

They didn’t work together again for another three years (on Steve Waters’ adaptation of the Joseph Roth novel Flight Without End at LAMDA in 2006), but the seed was sown for a collaboration that has proved both fruitful and enduring. Osborne has since designed more than a dozen productions for Rourke, with new writing making up a significant proportion of their work together.

It’s fairly common for young designers to be offered mainly new plays at the start of their careers, Osborne points out, but it’s thanks to her relationship with Rourke – and Grieve, whom she began working with a couple of years later – that new writing has become her own particular niche.

“When you’ve built up a relationship with a director where there’s a lot of trust and a lot of belief in what it is that you’re doing, I think that you can then start to do exciting things because actually you can really push the boundaries; you feel very safe without making safe decisions; you feel safe to be able to make some crazy decisions.”

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The six-week Roundabout season at the Southbank Centre is just one of the new writing projects the designer has on the go this summer. Another is Anders Lustgarten’s Lampedusa, which is transferring to the main space at the Soho Theatre, having sold out its run at the upstairs studio. Osborne, unsurprisingly, is unfazed by the prospect of totally transforming the auditorium in order to maintain the ‘democratic’ feel of her original design for the show.

She’s also working on the UK premiere of Luna Gale by the American playwright Rebecca Gilman, which opens at the Hampstead Theatre this month. Her main concern on this rather “filmic” project is being “as truthful as possible to the locations but as quick as possible about getting from one to the other,” she says. “I’m hoping we’ve done it. We’ll find out in tech, I guess.”

So what is it about new writing that so inspires her?

“There’s nothing more exciting than being sent a new play to read. You might be only the eighth, ninth, 10th person to read it, and it’s such a brave thing to do for a writer to put that out into the world,” she says. “You feel so privileged to be able to read it and feel like you can create this thing the first time it’s ever seen.”

Osborne relishes the creative collaborations involved in designing for new writing too. Matt Charman’s The Machine, which Rourke directed for the Manchester International Festival in 2013, is a case in point. “We were kind of designing it as he was rewriting and it just felt like it was all part of the same process,” she recalls. “We were all talking all the time and it was really exciting and really fun. Just to work in that way with a writer was lovely.”

Not that the designer has a problem with the classics. Her CV is peppered with Shakespeare, from Richard III at the Cambridge Arts Theatre with Tom Cornford in 2006 to Rourke’s Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (2009 and 2010 respectively) to Coriolanus at the Donmar in 2013.

The only difference between the two disciplines, as far as Osborne is concerned, is not having the writer in the room. “You start from scratch and put it in the context of now,” she says. “So I don’t think it changes your approach. You have to get rid of all that baggage. You have to say, ‘Why are we doing this play here and now?’”

The other major project occupying the designer’s time at the moment doesn’t involve a writer at all. Osborne, Chapman and Eaton set up Studio Three Sixty in 2014 to design and build different types of mobile venue that could draw on the expertise and technologies developed on the Roundabout – in particular the theatre’s innovative pre-focused LED lighting panels, which require no specialist lighting design experience to use and cut down drastically on get-in time.

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The trio are working on a venue that they’re hoping to build at the end of the year, ready to hire out on a commercial basis in 2016. Most likely end-on rather than in-the-round, designed mainly for music rather than for theatre, rough and ready enough for “muddy welly” festivals, the new space will be markedly different from the Roundabout. But the inspiration behind the projects is the same.

“We just feel like you go to so many festivals and temporary events and see temporary performance spaces that are not really fit for purpose. You put up with so much when you’re in the middle of a field but actually there’s no reason why production values can’t be high. So it’s just taking the Roundabout ethos and applying it to different spaces.”

Underlying Osborne’s work with Studio Three Sixty is the same philosophy that informs her entire design practice. Whether she’s dreaming up mobile venues, designing sets and costumes, creating all-encompassing site-specific environments or working with architects on front-of-house spaces, “it’s fundamentally about a really joyful, exhilarating marriage of constraints and possibility and opportunity”.

 

(Source: TheStage.co.uk)

We’re recruiting our Edinburgh Festival Street Team

WANTED: Street Team(ers) to join PP in Edinburgh

Listen up everyone. This August we’re super pleased to be returning to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with ROUNDABOUT. From 6 – 30 August, ROUNDABOUT will pop up in the courtyard of Edinburgh’s Summerhall and house a season of extraordinary work all performed in a thrilling 360 degree setting.

WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

We’re looking for dedicated people to join our Festival Street Team, and help us tell Edinburgh about a host of exciting work taking place in ROUNDABOUT. We’re seeking people with unrelenting energy, boundless enthusiasm, an ability to work independently and the stamina to keep going at the world’s most vibrant arts festival.

Previous experience is not essential, although an interest and passion for theatre and comedy and all forms of the arts are. You must be a good communicator, extremely friendly and enthusiastic and be comfortable chatting with anyone.

This role is very flexible so would suit students living in Edinburgh and anyone who might be performing in their own shows, whatever brings you up to the festival we want to hear from you.

WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING?

You’ll be working as part of our Street Team to promote all the shows in Paines Plough’s Roundabout.

– Flyering and postering around Edinburgh (come rain or shine)
– Talking to the public about the shows
– Sticking up and stapling reviews
– Reporting to the Assistant Producer and Administrator at the beginning and end of each shift

Most importantly, you’ll be having fun and experiencing all that the festival has to offer!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Each shift is 4hrs
We’ll pay you £26 for each shift
This job is flexible so you can work as many or as few shifts as you like, depending on your availability

WHAT ELSE DO YOU GET?

An Edinburgh Goody bag full of treats from Paines Plough
A Summerhall pass which allows you to see all shows at the venue during the festival for free (subject to ticket availability)

WHAT ARE THE SHOWS?

We’re excited to be welcoming a host of hugely exciting companies and performers who will be bringing their work to ROUNDABOUT alongside Paines Plough shows:

Paines Plough
Lungs by Duncan Macmillan
The Human Ear by Alex Wood

Paines Plough and Half Moon Theatre
Our Teacher’s a Troll by Dennis Kelly

Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company
Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe

Daniel Kitson
Polyphony by Daniel Kitson

Eastern Angles in association with the Unity Theatre
Chicken by Molly Davies

Dancing Brick in Association with Soho Theatre
I’m Not Here Right Now by Thomas Eccleshare

Papermash in association with Tricycle Theatre
Happy Birthday Without You by Sonia Jalaly

Supporting Wall
Jonny and the Baptists: The End is Nigh

Theatre Uncut
Theatre Uncut

HOW DO YOU APPLY?

If you are interested in becoming part of our street team please send an email to francesca@painesplough.com  with the subject line STREET TEAM attaching your CV and 250 words explaining why you’re applying and what you think you can bring to the team.

Interviews will either take place over the phone or as part of a recruitment evening. If you’re based near London or Edinburgh we’ll be running recruitment evenings on the week commencing 29th June. If you’re based anywhere else in between then we might give you a call instead.

Please also let us know if you have any specific access requirements.

Deadline for applications is Friday 26th June, 12pm

You must be over 18 to apply for this position.

For more information on ROUNDABOUT and each of the Paines Plough shows please visit www.painesplough.com.

Chris Riddell appointed Children’s Laureate

There was a collective ‘woop!’ at PP Towers yesterday as Chris Riddell was appointed the next Children’s Laureate taking over from Malorie Blackman until 2017.

Chris drew the image for our children’s show Our Teacher’s A Troll by Dennis Kelly:

OUR TEACHER'S A TROLL by Dennis Kelly (Credit: Chris Riddell)

OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL by Dennis Kelly (Credit: Chris Riddell)

You can read all about Chris’ appointment here and have a gander at some of his other work here.

For more information about OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL and to book tickets visit the Southbank Centre website here.

Welcome to ROUNDABOUT.

Welcome to ROUNDABOUT. The world’s first plug-and-play theatre.

This summer’s unmissable pop-up experience: ROUNDABOUT follows its sell out run at The Brighton Festival with a two month residency at the Southbank Centre, before it heads to the Edinburgh Festival and on a nationwide tour.

You can book tickets for the Southbank Centre residency here.

Join the conversation:
@painesplough
#RoundaboutPP