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We’re recruiting a ROUNDABOUT Venue Technician

We’re on the lookout for a friendly and dedicated Venue Technician to join the good ship ROUNDABOUT and team PP in Edinburgh. Could it be you? Details below:



To apply please email a CV and brief cover letter to

Application deadline: Monday 6th July.

Reporting to: Producer

Principal Working Relationships: Roundabout Technical Stage Manager, Paines Plough Production Manager, Roundabout Company Stage Manager, Paines Plough Producer and Assistant Producer, Visiting Company Stage and Technical Managers, Summerhall Front of House team

Dates: 29 July – 1 August, Initial Roundabout install
2 – 6 August, technical rehearsals in Edinburgh
6 – 30 August, Edinburgh Fringe Festival run
31 August – 1st September Roundabout strike

About Roundabout: Developed over the past 4 years, the Roundabout Auditorium is a demountable in-the-round theatre with incorporated LED lighting features.

The Roundabout:
• Travels in a 45ft trailer
• Can be build in 20 hours and a crew of 4-6
• Runs off 3-4 13Amp sockets
• Facilitates a specially developed LED ceiling and does not rely on traditional theatrical lighting

About Roundabout in Edinburgh: This summer Paines Plough’s Roundabout auditorium returns to Summerhall where it will house a season of extraordinary work from Paines Plough and a host of hugely exciting external companies and performers as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

These companies are:

Half Moon
Pentabus Theatre Company
Daniel Kitson
Eastern Angles in association with the Unity Theatre
Dancing Brick in Association with Soho Theatre
Papermash in association with Tricycle Theatre
Supporting Wall
Theatre Uncut

Job Purpose:

To support the Production Manager and Technical Stage Manager in ensuring the efficient running of the Roundabout auditorium and the management of all technical aspects of the auditorium and Paines Plough shows in Roundabout at the Edinburgh Festival. With the Technical Stage Manager providing a safe, tidy and welcoming environment within the auditorium for all visiting companies and supervising their staff in any use of Roundabout.

Key Responsibilities (including but not limited to):

1) To support the Roundabout TSM on all technical aspects of running the Roundabout Auditorium.

2) To take responsibility for all technical elements of the Roundabout Auditorium when the Technical Stage Manager is not on site.

3) To undertake duties during fit up / strike as requested by and following the schedule of the Production Manager.

4) With the Technical Stage Manager, welcoming and supervising visiting companies and any Technical and Stage Management employed by them in their use of the Roundabout during technical rehearsals and performances.

5) To ensure safe working methods within the Roundabout’s specific H&S procedures.

6) To complete day to day maintenance-work as required, and report any maintenance issues to the TSM, Producer and Production Manager.

7) To strictly monitor and adhere to the weekly schedules as provided by the Producer and Production Manager.

8) To be responsible for the daily power-up and power-down of the Roundabout based on scheduled working days.

9) To support the TSM in ensuring that tools and all fit-up equipment are kept in a tidy, complete, adequately stocked and secure state at all times and to replace any consumable items within budgets and parameters as requested by Producer.

10) In conjunction and liaison with the TSM and CSM, to ensure that all working and public areas are kept tidy and clear of waste material and that equipment is maintained to a safe and proper standard.

11) In the absence of the CSM, cover the running and/or operating of all four Paines Plough productions within the Roundabout.

12) To liaise and co-operate with all other departments and individuals within Paines Plough and Summerhall.

13) To act as a credible ambassador for the company at all times.

14) To adhere to the Health and Safety Policy of the company, undertaking such duties as are required, and ensuring that reasonable care is taken to ensure a healthy and safe working environment.

15) To undertake any other appropriate duties which may be allocated by the Producer.

Person Specification

• Experience of technical management within a venue
• Working knowledge of get-ins/strikes
• Working knowledge of lighting control
• Working knowledge of sound control including Qlab and digital control desks
• Bright, proactive and energetic
• Dedicated and committed with excellent focus and organisational skills
• Good working knowledge of industry H&S regulations Experienced in monitoring and enforcing H&S regulations and ideally H&S trained (IOSH certified)
• Rigging qualification
• IT and AutoCAD literate.
• Degree in technical theatre practice or equivalent qualification
• First Aid trained
• Good team player

• Edinburgh based
• Knowledge of LED technology and pixel mapping

Fee: £450 p/w

The hours for this post will be based on a rota, working six days a week, with no additional payment for overtime.

To apply please email a CV and brief cover letter to

Application deadline: Monday 6th July.

Interview date: TBC

Please note there may be second interviews. Date TBC.

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.


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 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


“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.”


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.”


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.


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”.



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:

Open Auditions: Beside the Seaside

This month our Roundabout theatre rocked up by the beaches of Brighton and we thought it would be a great place to host our Open Auditions.

Mike Bartlett was well represented and we saw duologues from BULL, COCK and AN INTERVENTION. Other snippets of Paines Plough alumnus included LITTLE LIGHT and REVOLT SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. by Alice BirchAFTER THE END by Dennis Kelly, BIRDLAND by Simon Stephens, NO QUARTER by Polly Stenham, 2ND MAY 1997 by Jack Thorne and RAW by Chris O’Connell.

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SOME VOICES by Joe Penhall, PRIVATE FEARS IN PUBLIC PLACES by Alan Ayckborn, STITCHING by Anthony Neilson, THERE’S A CITY IN MY MIND by Steve Dykes, HOT MESS by Ella Hickson, DI AND VIV AND ROSE by Anna Mackmin, POMONA by Alistair McDowall and KICKING A DEAD HORSE by Sam Shepard.

We also polled our auditionees and asked them to tell us their favourite contemporary playwright of the last 25 years. The range was huge from our good friend James Graham writer of THE ANGRY BRIGADE to Sabrina Mahfouz, whose play WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK will premiere at Latitude in July.

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There were also nods to home-grown talent Tom Wells (JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS), the work of Moira Buffini, and Torben Betts. Whilst flying the flag for Scotland we had Rona Munro and David Greig, and from further afield German playwright Marius Von Mayenburg, and American Tony Kushner.

That being said when we totted up the tally Dennis Kelly absolutely stormed it as the most popular playwright, followed by Simon Stephens.

An exciting, varied reading list we’re sure you’ll agree. Despite the weather’s best efforts we had a grand old time beside the seaside and really enjoyed meeting everyone, so thank you all for coming down.

Now, if you don’t mind we’re off to make a cuppa and settle down with the second draft of WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK which has just arrived in our inbox…

The Initiate Production Shots

Meanwhile in windy but beautiful Brighton the Roundabout company are well under way with LUNGS, THE INITAITE and OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL. Here’s a few of our favourite production shots of THE INITAITE with new company member Sidney Cole. To see the rest head over to our Flickr page.

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Photos by Richard Davenport

THE INITIATE runs at Brighton Festival until 22 May in and at Southbank Centre from 7 June – 18 July.


Open Auditions at Roundabout in Brighton

Paines Plough Open Auditions
Monday 18 May 2015
Roundabout at Regency Square, Brighton, BN1 2GG
10am – 6pm

We’re really excited to be holding our second round of open auditions for this year in the Roundabout, in Brighton. Roundabout pitches up in Regency Square for the duration of Brighton Festival from 2 – 24 May 2015.

We are looking to meet actors previously unknown to Paines Plough and our next meeting will be held on Monday 18 May. We will see 60 actors (30 pairs), and these slots will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you would like to be seen, please do the following:

– Find yourself a partner – we are auditioning people in pairs.
– Apply by sending ONE email with BOTH of your names to
– Please put OPEN AUDITIONS @ ROUNDABOUT BRIGHTON in the Subject line.
– Do not send CVs, biogs or headshots as you can bring these with you on the day.
– If you are within the first 30 emails, we will email you back by Wednesday 6 May with an audition time.
– If you weren’t in the first 30 people to apply we will keep you on a waiting list and may offer you an audition if a slot becomes available.
– Once we have confirmed your time, please prepare a 3 minute piece of dialogue in your pair from a play written in the last 15 years.

Please note:

– If you have auditioned at our previous Open Auditions, we will not be able to see you this time round.
– We do not accept applications from agents. If you have an agent, you must still apply yourself using your own email address.
– Places are all allocated in advance. You will not be able to request a different time, and we will be unable to see people on a walk-up basis.
– We will retain a waiting list and will notify you if you are on this waiting list.
– If you are allotted a time but for any reason cannot make the appointment please let us know ASAP by emailing If you fail to turn up to your allotted slot without letting us know in advance, you will not be able to audition at future Paines Plough Open Auditions.
– We will not accept any emails sent to any email address other than
– Due to the large volume of people we are seeing, we will not be able to offer feedback.
– We are not casting for a particular show at the moment – we just want to meet some new actors so that we can have you in mind for future productions.

For more information, please download our FAQs.

Best wishes,

George, James and all at Paines Plough

Say hello to Bhavini


Hey everyone! I am extremely thrilled to be part of Paines Plough as Trainee Administrator for the next year.

Kick-starting my first week off was a fantastic introduction to the company – I got to witness the rising of the Roundabout at the phenomenal Backstage Centre in Thurrock while getting showered in play texts and PP love.

For the rest of the week in the office I’ve steadily been making a butt-groove in my desk chair and getting to know every nook and cranny of the building (I have so many left to find!). All in all, a brilliant first week at PPHQ.

Like Natalie I got this opportunity through Creative Access – a fantastic government funded scheme that provides creative internships for those of a BAME background. I am very grateful and honoured to have received this opportunity through CA and look forward to being part of a lively, hilarious and intelligent bunch of people.

And not to forget, Taste Tuesday and general foodiness around the office. Omg.

Alexandra Wood on The Initiate

With just a week until ROUNDABOUT pops up at Brighton Festival we caught playwright Alexandra Wood to talk all things THE INITIATE, modern day pirates and  find out just what it’s like to have your play staged in ROUNDABOUT.

Abdul Salis and Sian Reese-Williams in THE INITIATE - photo by Richard Davenport

Abdul Salis and Sian Reese-Williams in THE INITIATE – photo by Richard Davenport

So, what inspired you to write THE INITIATE?

Honestly? I wanted to write a play about pirates! It was as simple as that. When I started to research modern day piracy I came across this article about a British Somali man who’d gone back to Somalia to help negotiate the release of British hostages, and I knew I’d found my story. The play didn’t really end up being about pirates of course, although there is still a pirate in it!

And where did you write it?

While I was on attachment at the National Theatre Studio in 2011.

How do you think it compares to your previous plays?

I’m sure there are common themes, identity and belonging are certainly things I seem to come back to. The British characters in The Empty Quarter, for example, find themselves on the edge of a vast desert in Dubai, and try to work out what’s brought them there and why they stay. I’m interested in character: how it’s defined, constructed, portrayed. In The Eleventh Capital we never meet the man about whom the play revolves, a nameless civil servant forced to leave his family and live in the new capital city. We only catch snippets of who he is and things he’s done from other people. In The Initiate, how other people see Dalmar comes as a shock to him, forcing him to question his place and his very idea of himself.

This is the second time PP are producing THE INITIATE, what’s going to be different this time?

Well the obvious answer to that is that there’s a new cast member, Sidney Cole. Not only will he bring something different to the role, but it’ll also change the dynamic with Sian and Abdul. Staging plays in the ROUNDABOUT really does put the actor at the heart of everything, there’s no real set, costume or gimmicks, it’s just actors in a space, so a change of actor will have quite an impact I think.

Speaking of actors – you’ve been sat in on rehearsals over the last few weeks, what’s it been like to watch the ROUNDABOUT company working?

It’s incredibly satisfying to see the commitment with which the whole company’s embracing the play.  It’s my first experience having one of my plays being produced for a second time, but any worries about things feeling stale have been dispelled, everyone’s coming to it with more confidence and a renewed energy.

What’s it like to work in ROUNDABOUT?

It’s a brilliant space. The actors, the play and most importantly the audience’s imagination are at the centre of things. It’s intimate and epic at the same time. It’s inherently theatrical as well – it feels like you really do have to embrace the performance element.

One final question – which part of the play are you most excited to see come to life?

I think I’m most excited to see the play as a whole, which might sound like a cop out, but in rehearsals we spend a long time working line by line, scene by scene, and that’s all great, detailed work which needs to be done, but ultimately, the power will hopefully come from seeing it all together.

THE INITIATE is a part of our Roundabout season 2015. Roundabout pops up at Brighton Festival from 2 May and at Southbank Centre from 7 June.

For more info and tickets for THE INITIATE at Brighton Festival click here and at Southbank Centre click here.