Category Archive: Roundabout

THEATRE UNCUT in Roundabout

Working on projects for Theatre Uncut is always a joy, but this year we have two reasons to be especially cheerful…  We are absolutely delighted to be part of the Paines Plough ROUNDABOUT season at Edinburgh this year.  ROUNDABOUT is a special venue, and one that reflects the ethos of Theatre Uncut to an uncanny degree. Equitable, open, quick to assemble but with a long lasting effect: this is all very like we hope to be. But more than that ROUNDABOUT’s ability to be put up anywhere, to function as a beautiful theatre space anywhere it chooses, to reach un-expecting and unexpected audiences is a joy and a wonder.

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Our second reason to be cheerful is that in this, the approach to our fifth year, in the year of the general election, we are in a reflective mood and are staging some of our most downloaded scripts.  This means that as Artistic Directors, we’ve had the chance to revisit scripts we’ve loved and directed before. It’s a wonderful feeling to come back to an excellent script: it’s both an echo and a discovery. As time marches forward the scripts inevitably change resonance. What’s extraordinary about our writers is quite how immediate the scripts still are. And what writers we have: Clara Brennan’s ‘Hi Vis’ is from our first year, and holds all the visceral energy of that time. Exploring the affects of cuts to the disability mobility allowance with the help of a clown and a vibrator, it is hilarious and moving, a gem of a script. Also from year 1, is Dennis Kelly’s ‘Things That Make No Sense’, a dystopian nightmare that asks are we really ‘all in this together’? From Year two we have Neil LaBute at his controversial best examining Occupy and the 1% in ‘In the Beginning’.  Vivienne Franzmann’s ‘The Most Horrific’ is from 2014, and brilliantly skewers the media and how we consume stories, climaxing in a throaty call to arms. From our TU: Istanbul collection Stef Smith gives us an insight into the Gezi Park protests and the dented democracy in Turkey through the eyes of three very different young women. Lastly, from our Scottish Referendum scripts, comes Kieran Hurley’s brilliant ‘Close': a piece that asks us to consider democracy in all its disappointments and challenges us: ‘what now?’

And what now indeed? As we head out of Cameron’s first 100 days as Prime Minister of a Tory government- what now? As we see the country decide if Labour should head back to its left wing roots or stick to its ‘middle’ ground- what now? What now for Theatre Uncut and for all of us? The question is out there. Come and join us and answer it with us. Do that online, or in one of our post show discussions. We will keep asking, and looking for change. If there is one thing these scripts show, is that change happens whatever we do, so let’s be the architects of it.

Theatre Uncut: In Opposition runs in ROUNDABOUT @ SUMMERHALL at 10am every day until August 30th.

#RoundaboutPP

The story behind FINDING HOME

FINDING HOME is Cecilia Knapp’s 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. This Sunday 23rd at 10am she will perform it in ROUNDABOUT as part of our EARLIER/LATER programme. Here she tells us a little about the journey behind her brilliant show…

STORIES THAT TRAVEL

Somewhere in the sky over Algeria that I realised how far I’d come. From sitting on my friend Maria’s sofa in Walthamstow drinking wine from the petrol station and starting to write my story, to that moment, up there in the air.

I’ve been writing spoken word poetry for the last 5 years and performing around London and the UK. I write about life and experience. I write as a way to deal with things. One day, I started to write about a bike ride I’d had along the canal in Tower Hamlets on the way to a depressing pub job I had for a year whilst I was at university. What I thought was going to be a standard 3 minute poem soon began to turn into something very different and I started writing the story of my life, a series of flashbacks experienced whilst cycling down that canal. I wrote about relationships, friendships, place, family and the loss of my Brother 3 years ago. I realised I was writing a one woman spoken word theatre piece.

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After a year, some Arts Council funding, a lot of red pen and rehearsal and the acquirement of an incredible creative team, I was on the way to Johannesburg to perform my one woman show Finding Home. I’d be performing it at Rise up and Walk Festival, an international youth arts festival which ran for three days at Joberg theatre and featured everything from dance to stand up, hip hop to feminist theatre. And my little show. My story of growing up in Brighton in a single parent household with my Dad, of moving to London, of love, loss and reconciliation.

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As I stepped off the plane, and out into arrivals, I couldn’t help but feel  completely overwhelmed that writing had brought me to this point. What followed over the next week was a series of exchanges and conversations with some of the most interesting, compassionate and talented people I have ever met. Fellow artists at the festival shared my conviction in the need for creative expression and passion for the arts. We spoke about how it should be everyone’s imperative to enable young people to participate in creativity no matter what their background or circumstance. It was affirming and mobilising to share these ideas with people who lived on a different continent to me. On the second day of my trip, we drove out to the largest township in Johannesburg, Soweto, to run a workshop with local young people. We shared ideas, questions we wanted to ask society and our individual stories. We learnt from each other in sharing each other’s truths and experiences and writing together.

Finding Home is my coming of age story. But beyond my background, circumstance and location, it is a story about learning to love yourself in spite of how hard life can make things for you. It’s about finding home within yourself and I think that no matter where you’re from, that idea is universal. I spoke about this with my new friends and fellow writers and performers in South Africa and about the power that stories have. How in telling your story, you are opening up the door for empathy, understanding and discovery. How stories allow us to transcend and explore each other’s lives. How they help you make sense of the world. My trip to Johannesburg confirmed this. And that’s why I wanted to write Finding Home. To reconcile my past in the hope that others will look into it to and see parallels of their own lives. That there’ll be some hope to find within it.

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I want my story to reach as many people as possible. Last week it was in Johannesburg, and this week it’s back in the UK, this time at the majestic Edinburgh Fringe, where, in a similar way to Rise up and Walk Festival, artists come together and share their creative contributions to the world. Where they express and collaborate and comment and change the world through art. I can’t quite believe that when I sat on that sofa in Walthamstow over a year ago and put pen to paper, what would come out was this piece of work. That it has already taken me so far. But it was a story I felt needed to be told. So, I’m going to need some people to hear it. I’ll be at Paines Plough’s venue The Roundabout in Summerhall this Sunday 23rd August at 10am and I’d love to share my story with you. Grab a coffee and come and settle in. Fellow writer and performer Jack Rooke will also be sharing some of his one man show Good Grief afterwards which has received very deserved 5 star reviews and has just been nominated for an Total Theatre Award. Jack confronts and explores grief and the loss of his Father in a brave, innovative and refreshing way. It’s funny and beautiful and important. So come down and see us both. I’d say that’s a pretty lush way to spend a morning. See you there.

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FINDING HOME on in Roundabout @ Summerhall, 23rd August at 10am. It is directed by Paines Plough Associate Director Stef O’Driscoll, produced by Liz Counsell and was developed with support from the Roundhouse and Rich Mix.

#RoundaboutPP

Come To Where I’m From: Edinburgh

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We’ve got four of Edinburgh’s finest for you on the bill for COME TO WHERE I’M FROM: EDINBURGH.

Mikey Burnett, Rob Drummond, Jules Horne and Kieran Hurley take to the stage at Roundabout @ Summerhall on Wednesday 12 August at 10am to perform themselves – for the very first time – their own short plays about the place they call home.

They are the latest of more than 100 playwrights  from across the UK to take part in our COME TO WHERE I’M FROM project which asks playwrights to write mini-plays about their home towns – then perform those plays themselves.

Wednesday’s very special one-off Edinburgh event is part of our EARLIER series at Roundabout. Bring a coffee and a croissant and start your day with some of Scotland’s finest scribes taking you back home.

Mikey Burnett is a 30 year old writer from Edinburgh. He has previously been on an attachment with The Traverse Theatre as part of ‘The Traverse Fifty’. His new play CAPITAL CONVERSE is scheduled for production in November.

Rob Drummond is a playwright, performer and director. He has worked with the National Theatre of Scotland, the Traverse, the Arches, the Tron, the Citizens and the National Theatre amongst others. Rob’s wide ranging work includes ROB DRUMMOND: WRESTLING, for which he trained as a professional wrestler, BULLET CATCH, for which he trained as a magician and QUIZ SHOW, which won a CATS award for best new play in 2013.

Jules Horne is from the Borders, and writes for stage and radio. She has won two Scotsman Fringe Firsts for her plays for Nutshell Theatre, ALLOTMENT (2011) and THREAD (2012). Other stage work includes GORGEOUS AVATAR for the Traverse Theatre, THE WIFE OF USHER’S WELL for Quondam Theatre, and SCAPE for the MA in Classical and Contemporary Text at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Kieran Hurley is an award winning playwright and theatre maker. His plays include GRIT: THE MARTYN BENNETT STORY (Pachamama Productions / Tramway / Mull), CHALK FARM (Oran Mor), BEATS (Arches, Traverse, Bush, Soho and UK Tour), HITCH (The Arches, Forest Fringe, UK and international tour).

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM: EDINBURGH
Wednesday 12 August, 10:00 (40 mins)
Roundabout @ Summerhall
Buy tickets here

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#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 producers 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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“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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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)