I’m Francesca, the new Assistant Producer at Paines Plough. I’m only in my third week at PP but WHAT a three weeks it has been. My feet feel like they quite literally haven’t touched the ground.
Of course I’ve had some big shoes to fill, but fortunately for me since Hanna has moved up to the much revered role of Producer she’s right here when I need her and fortunately for Hanna that means I’m constantly plying her with a fresh supply of fruit and nuts from the top drawer under my desk. I’ve also been bribing the rest of the office with mango, food seems to go down well here…
Since starting it’s been somewhat of a juggling act – trying to soak up everything I need to know about PP’s brilliant Small Scale Touring programme, whilst also reading the ten plays we’re producing this year, whilst also casting Not The Worst Place by Sam Burns, whilst also introducing myself to the vast PP network, whilst also putting together the Hopelessly Devoted creative team, whilst also helping Launch our 40th year at the NT Shed, whilst also going up to Manchester for our Future of Small Scale Touring Symposium, whilst also writing this blog…you get the picture.
I’ve joined at a particularly busy time, but ultimately an exciting one. The last few weeks have been wonderfully inspiring and have only confirmed what I already knew, that PP is probably one of the most thrilling, passionate and driven companies to be part of right now, and I’m pretty darn lucky to be here with them.
On my final note, our post 40th year launch party took us to Fernandez and Wells for a one off wine and cheese reception – as a big fan of cheese this went down particularly well with me but since we probably won’t be back to F&W for a while feel free to send cheese packages to me at PP HQ - juggling needs sustenance.
Can’t wait to get going
At the end of July our seventh production of Programme 2013 found a home at the The Shed at The National Theatre.
Sea Wall by Simon Stephens starring Andrew Scott and directed by our very own Joint Artistic Director George Perrin played for just seven performances on the opposite side of the river to our Aldwych home.
The critics and twitics were in a plenty so here’s a wee round up of what they had to say:
‘An absorbing, profoundly human and disproportionately powerful miniature, pungent with pure joy and the salty tang of despair.’ ★★★★ The Times (paywall)
‘Andrew Scott plays Sea Wall like jazz. Takes a fine-tuned text and blitzes it up until you can’t see what it’s doing, you can only keep up.‘ @matttrueman
‘The moments of brutality come through clearly, but its the moments of collective laughter which come before which give Sea Wall its shattering humanity.’ ★★★★★ Exeunt
‘I’m gonna hold on to this one for a while. Andrew Scott is simply brilliant. #SeaWallPlay @ntShed’ @emylie
‘Director George Perrin, of Paines Plough, leaves Scott’s extraordinary performance unadorned – with bare stage and house lights up. The clarity of Stephens’ vision and Scott’s understanding of the text means even when Alex cannot bring himself to say things, silence and gestures fill in the gaps. Remarkable.’ ★★★★ Metro
‘Sometimes, just once in a while, you see something that you know you’ll never forget: Andrew Scott, Seawall @painesplough @NationalTheatre’ – @gregorynash_bc
Never a group to turn down the opportunity for a roadtrip, a couple of weeks ago we displayed our wares at the NUS Trade Fair in sunny Birmingham.
Conspicous by our bright pink banners and many thousands of leaflets, Team Paines Plough stood bravely amidst a sea of jagerbombs and giant cheesestrings. Ahead of the WASTED 2013 Campus tour, we headed to the stomping ground of every SU manager in the country to spread the gospel of PP, talk about WASTED, and take advantage of the free pizza.
Campus is PP’s exciting initiative which aims to not only tour our work around the country, but to the heart of university campus’. Our aim is to take WASTED to non-traditional theatre spaces; whether that be the back room of a pub or the sticky basement of a student union. We’re passionate about taking our message to the people who will identify with it most.
So, if you want to get WASTED on your campus, email Hanna on firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a ring on 0207 240 4533.