Category Archive: Roundabout

We’re off to… Kendal

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


Abbot Hall Park.

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


You can’t miss Kendal Castle.

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

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

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

ROUNDABOUT Reviews and Responses

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

See you in ROUNDABOUT soon.

Roundabout Prototype FAQs

Hello everyone,

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

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

How much does it cost?

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

What are the associated costs?

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

Do I need a license?

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

What are the dimensions of the structure?

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

Do you have technical drawings?

Yes, you can download them here:

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

How much space does it take up when stored?

It fills a 40ft trailer to the rim.

How much does it cost to store?

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

How much does it weigh?

Approximately three tonnes.

Is it waterproof?

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

Why are we doing this?

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

What else will I need?

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

How long can I have it for?

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

What happens next?

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

– Your name

– Your organisation

– Where you’re based

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

– Who will benefit?

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

– How you’re meeting the associated costs.

– Anything else important you might want to tell us.

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

How will we decide who gets it?

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

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

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

Arts Council backing for Roundabout

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Anyone want a theatre?


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

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

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

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

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


We’re off to… Newbury

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

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

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

Where to eat

Brebis (independent family run French restaurant – AMAZING food)

El Sabio (Spanish Tapas – independent family run)

Tiy Tea Bar (Asian snack – authentic!)

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

Where to drink

Kings Charles Tavern (nice atmosphere)

The Newbury (cocktails and good beers)

The Catherine Wheel (great selection of beers!)

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

Newbury Real Ale Festival on Saturday 12 September!

Mr Moo Juice (milkshakes and juices!)

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

Where to get coffee

All independents…

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

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

Top of the high street- Heatherton’s

Hang out at/Must see

101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space

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

Highclere Castle (open until 10 September)

Donnington Castle – great views of Newbury!

Shaw House – historical house

West Berkshire Museum – just 2mins walk from the theatre

Greenham Common

Our cinema! this week we’re showing Irrational Man

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.

TU blog pic

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.


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…


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.


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.


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.


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.

earlier later v38


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.


Come To Where I’m From: Edinburgh


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).

Wednesday 12 August, 10:00 (40 mins)
Roundabout @ Summerhall
Buy tickets here

earlier later v38

#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 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