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Roundabout pops up in Edinburgh

Roundabout is our beautiful new pop-up in-the-round theatre.

It’s a completely self-contained 168-seat auditorium that flat packs into a single lorry and can pop up anywhere from theatres to school halls, sports centres to warehouses.

We throw open the doors for the first time on 2 August at Summerhall, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with plays by three of the UK’s most exciting playwrights, performed by an ensemble of actors:

Paines Plough presents
LUNGS BY DUNCAN MACMILLAN
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?

Paines Plough presents
THE INITIATE BY ALEXANDRA WOOD
A British couple are seized by Somali pirates. In East London, a Somali taxi-driver decides to rescue them. A thrilling tale of altruism, greed and the search for how to belong.

Paines Plough and Half Moon present
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL BY DENNIS KELLY
Two terrible twins rule their school until the arrival of a headmaster with scaly skin and a spiky tail. An outrageously entertaining comic caper from the writer of Matilda The Musical.

Plus, the return of…

Paines Plough and Pentabus present
EVERY BRILLIANT THING BY DUNCAN MACMILLAN
You’re six-years-old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s ‘done something stupid’. You start a list of everything that’s brilliant in the world. Everything worth living for. 1. Ice Cream. 2. Me. 3. Burning Things

At the end of the Festival, Roundabout will head out on its inaugural tour to Margate, Barnsley and Newbury.

We’ve created Roundabout because we’re passionate about new plays and we want as many people as possible to be able to see them. In the coming years, Roundabout will travel the length and breadth of the UK bringing a the nations’s best playwrights and a thrilling theatrical experience to people’s doorsteps.

We’ve spent four years developing Roundabout, We are hugely grateful to the organisations and individuals whose belief and support have made it possible, including The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, The John Ellerman Foundation, Universal Consolidated Group and Avolites Ltd, and the many of you who have made donations and sent us messages of support. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Roundabout was designed by Lucy Osborne and Emma Chapman in collaboration with Charcoalblue and Howard Eaton.

We can’t wait for you to see it…

We’re Recruiting Street Team Volunteers

Do you want to be in Edinburgh this August at the world’s most vibrant arts festival?

This August, we’re launching our portable in the round theatre at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  From 2– 23 August, the Roundabout will sit in the courtyard of Edinburgh’s Summerhall and house a season of four extraordinary plays all performed in a thrilling 360 degree setting.

Lungs by Duncan Macmillan
The Initiate by Alex Wood
Our Teacher’s a Troll by Dennis Kelly
Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan

We’re looking for dedicated volunteers to join our PP Festival Street Team, and help us tell Edinburgh about Roundabout and the shows.

We’re seeking people with loads of energy, boundless enthusiasm and the stamina to flyer come rain or come shine, and help us spread the word. And have lots of fun while you’re at it!

Previous experience is not essential, although a passion for new plays is.

Volunteer benefits include:

One return journey to Edinburgh
Shared accommodation in central Edinburgh
A free ticket to all four Roundabout plays
An invite to the official Paines Plough Roundabout Launch
A Summerhall pass which allows you to see all shows (including Paines Plough, Northern Stage & Lyric Hammersmith) at the venue during the festival for free (subject to ticket availability).
Free playtexts for all of the Paines Plough Roundabout plays
An invite to our Street Team end of Edinburgh drinks

We’re holding a volunteer recruitment evening in London on either Monday 14 July or Tuesday 15 July at 6:15pm

All volunteers are required to be in Edinburgh from Monday 28 July – Saturday 23 August 2014.

Application details can be found here. We advise that you read the information sheet thoroughly before submitting your CV.

Application deadline: Friday  11 July at 12pm. 

Roundabout Schedule: what, where and when

So, Fringe breakdown: we have four shows – of which we present three – in one space, everyday. The what, the where and the when is hard enough for even us to get our heads around sometimes…so here’s hoping we demystify things a tad with our full PP Roundabout schedule, from 2 – 23 Aug 2014.

(Artwork by threaddesign.co.uk)

Sat 2 AUG:   
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
THE INITIATE – 12:00 – 13:20
LUNGS – 13:50 : 15:10

Mon 4 AUG:
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30  -11:20
THE INITIATE – 12:00 – 13:20
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Tue 5 AUG: 
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
THE INITIATE – 13:50 – 15:10

Wed 6 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Thu 7 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
THE INITIATE – 13:50 – 15:10

Fri 8 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Sat 9 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
THE INITIATE – 12:00 – 13:20
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Mon 11 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
THE INITIATE – 12:00 – 13:20
LUNGS – 13:50 - 15:10

Tue 12 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20 (relaxed performance)
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10 (relaxed performance)
LUNGS – 13:50 - 15:10 (relaxed performance)

Wed 13 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
THE INITIATE – 13:50 – 15:10 (relaxed performance)

Thu 14 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Fri 15 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10 (signed performance)
THE INITIATE – 13:50 - 15:10

Sat 16 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20 (signed performance)
THE INITIATE – 12:00 – 13:20 (signed performance)
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10 (signed performance)

Mon 18 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Tue 19 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20 (relaxed performance)
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10 (relaxed performance)
THE INITIATE – 13:50 – 15:10 (relaxed performance)

Wed 20 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10 (relaxed performance)

Thu 21 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 - 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT – 12:00 – 13:10
THE INITIATE – 13:50 – 15:10

Fri 22 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
EVERY BRILLIANT THING – 12:00 – 13:10
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Sat 23 AUG
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL – 10:30 – 11:20
THE INITIATE – 12:00 – 13:20
LUNGS – 13:50 – 15:10

Here’s your stop for tickets, full deets on LUNGS, OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL, THE INITIATE, EVERY BRILLIANT THING or general Roundabout information here.

Alright, folks. Catch you at the Fringe.

ROUNDABOUT launches this summer

We’re beside ourselves with excitement as we gear up to launch Roundabout this summer at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

After three years of designing and prototyping and problem-solving, we are ready to unveil our beautiful travelling theatre with a repertory of new plays from the nation’s hottest playwrights.

Roundabout means we can tour outstanding new plays further and wider than ever before. Our state-of-the-art pop-up amphitheatre seats 168 people completely in the round. It flat packs into a single lorry and can pop up anywhere from the stage of a proscenium arch playhouse to a school hall, sports centre or warehouse.With a bear pit atmosphere, Roundabout is the most dynamic, most innovative, most essential new theatre in the country.

Designed by Lucy Osborne and Emma Chapman, the Roundabout Auditorium was piloted in 2011 in partnership with Sheffield Theatres and showcased at Shoreditch Town Hall in 2012. It has since been developed with Charcoalblue, Howard Eaton and Factory Settings and made possible by the generous support of principal funder The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, along with The J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, The John Ellerman Foundation, The Garfield Weston Foundation and a host of you lovely people who have made invaluable donations through our Justgiving page… thank you all.

The Roundabout auditorium will be presented at Summerhall in collaboration with Northern Stage and will play host to our 2014 Roundabout Season, made possible with the support of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation: THE INITIATE by Alexandra Wood, OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL by Dennis Kelly and LUNGS by Duncan Macmillan.

Also playing in the auditorium this summer will be Duncan Macmillan’s EVERY BRILLIANT THING as well as a host of guest productions including productions from Northern Stage.

Follow the links to see the full list of cast and creatives, check out dates or buy tickets.

#RoundaboutPP

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spacer THE INITIATE
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spacer First up in our Roundabout Season 2014 is the world premiere of THE INITIATE, a thrilling new play by our former Playwright-in-Residence and George Devine Award winner Alexandra Wood.

A British couple are seized by Somali pirates. In East London, a taxi-driver decides to rescue them. Meeting disbelief with determination, he dismisses his wife’s fears and flies out to negotiate their release.

Speeding from the banks of the Thames to the now unfamiliar world of his homeland, he confronts the family he left behind and the bravado of the men he once called brothers.

A thrilling tale of altruism, greed, and the search for how to belong.

Cast: Andrew French, Sian Reese-Williams and Abdul Salis.

#TheInitiatePlay
@painesplough

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spacer Dennis Kelly, the multi award winning writer of MATILDA THE MUSICAL, returns to Paines Plough with a deliciously funny play for young people, which we are co-producing with Half Moon.

Two terrible twins with a talent for turmoil rule their school with terror and tyranny. That is, until the arrival of a new head teacher with green scaly skin, sharp gnarly 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 lunch menu? And most importantly, can naughtiness prevail?

OUR TEACHER’S A TROLLis a hilarious play about mischief and mayhem for ages 7+ and their accompanying trolls (or parents).

Cast: Andrew French, Sian Reese-Williams and Abdul Salis.

#OurTeachersATroll #OTAT
@painesplough
@HalfMoonTheatre

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spacer Duncan Macmillan’s award-winning, internationally acclaimed LUNGS is back by popular demand.

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.

A couple are deciding their future. Thirty-something, educated and thoughtful, they want to have a child for the right reasons. But in a time of overpopulation, erratic weather and political unrest, what exactly are the right reasons?

A play about the different types of love we feel in a lifetime.

‘The most beautiful, shattering play of the year.’ ★★★★★ Sunday Express

Cast: Sian Reese-Williams and Abdul Salis.

#LungsPlay
@painesplough

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spacer EVERY BRILLIANT THING
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spacer Following its successful rural tour with co-producers Pentabus Theatre Company, Duncan Macmillan’s EVERY BRILLIANT THING will also play at the Edinburgh Festival as part of our Roundabout Season.

You’re six years old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s ‘done something stupid’. She finds it hard to be happy.

You start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s 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

You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling.

Soon, the list will take on a life of its own.

A new play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love.

Each performance of Every Brilliant Thing involves members of the audience, making every night unique.

Cast: Jonny Donahoe.

#EveryBrilliantThing
@painesplough
@PentabusTheatre

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Paines Plough turns 40

In 2014, we’re 40 years old. Happy birthday to us. Life begins at 40, right?

Right. So we’re planning our biggest, boldest, most far-reaching programme of work ever, with more plays touring to more places than even we thought possible.

We’ll be announcing the whole shebang in January, with attendant trumpet fanfare. But in the meantime, there’s a little taster of what to expect below, and some words from illustrious PP alumni.

Where it began… In 1974, while they were all working at The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster, actor Chris Crooks asked playwright David Pownall to write a play for him. John Adams agreed to direct it.

Christened over pints of Paines bitter in The Plough pub Bolnhurst, Paines Plough was registered as company no. 1165130 on 1st April 1974.The company opened Pownall’s play – Crates On Barrels – at 6pm on Wednesday 11 September 1975 at the Lyceum Studio, Edinburgh.

128 productions, eight Artistic Directorships, 42 awards and 40 years later, Paines Plough is now the national theatre of new plays – still doing what it has always done, touring the best new plays to every corner of the UK.

“Back in 1982, after seven years on the road, we passed Paines Plough into other hands. Since then we have watched it grow, change and develop into its present strength and reputation.  We feel part of the present company, glad that our aims have lived so long, and especially glad the company is still a stage for new plays.”
John Adams and David Pownall, founders

Paines Plough old skool stylee

James and George:

“It is a true honour to lead Paines Plough in to its fifth decade of touring new plays.

“Talking to our illustrious alumni in the lead up to our 40th anniversary year, it has become clear that Paines Plough is less a company than a movement; generation after generation of the UK’s top directors and playwrights have assembled in our shabby Aldwych offices to conceive some of the most important modern plays before setting off to share them with audiences in every corner of the country.

“That’s exactly what we’ve done since we took over in 2010 – and we hope our 40th anniversary year programme will encapsulate all that is essential about Paines Plough’s contribution to British cultural life.”

With lots more to be announced, our 40th anniversary year will include new plays from playwrights spanning Olivier Award-winner Mike Bartlett and debutant Sam Burns, touring the length and breadth of the country.

The centrepiece of Programme 2014 will be the unveiling of Roundabout, our portable in-the-round auditorium.

Our portable pop-up Roundabout Auditorium

A prototype Roundabout was co-produced with Sheffield Theatres in 2011 and played at Shoreditch Town Hall in 2012. Armed with the experience of these two runs, and the generous support of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, John Ellerman Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation, the brand new pop-up theatre will form an integral part of future Paines Plough programmes.

“It’s hard to imagine that Paines Plough is 40 years old.  Its energy and verve remain so youthful, dynamic and daring.  Its work has become a crucial component of the new writing landscape in the UK and long may it thrive.”
Daniel Evans, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres

We’ll be resident at the NT Shed for a series of PP Platforms at the start of the 40th anniversary year. Paines Plough alumni – writers, actors and directors – will share their memories and celebrate the crucial part the company has played in their careers to date.

“In 2005 Paines Plough made me their writer in residence and I can honestly say it was the single most important event in my career as a writer. Being a playwright moved from being a dream into being a reality as I got to spend time with people I’d only heard about, people whose books I read and plays I’d seen. I was given the chance to write what I wanted in a place that cared about writing.”
Dennis Kelly, playwright.

On 30 January, in conjunction with the Royal Exchange Manchester and ITC, Paines Plough will host a Small Scale Touring Symposium, inviting leading practitioners, journalists and companies across the UK to share in talks examining current and new aspects of touring theatre.

“For me personally it was a paradigm shift. To discover, encourage and direct the work of some extraordinary writers, to begin to understand audiences, to learn to be part of the landscape of Britain was a privilege and enormous fun. It opened the doors for all my ensuing adventures and for many others too and will always remain thrillingly alive and inspiring in my heart.”
Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director Royal Court Theatre (Artistic Director of Paines Plough 1997 – 2004)

That’s all you’re getting for now, but stay tuned. Programme 2014 is going to be huuuge.

LUNGS plays the planet

This Sunday we open our next production of Programme 2013 and it is visiting every living room, bedroom, train, pavement, hotel, gym, laptop, iPad, wireless and car in the UK.

In fact, anyone anywhere in the world with an internet connection (2.4 billion people, or 34.3% of the global population, at the last count) can experience the show.

And it’s on for one night only.

Thanks to BBC Radio 3, our co-production with Sheffield Theatres of Duncan Macmillan’s LUNGS will be broadcast at 20:30 GMT on Sunday 24th March on 90 – 93 FM, online via the BBC Radio 3 website, on the iPlayer Radio App and on DAB digital radio.

As part of their growing collection of stage transfers, BBC Radio 3 recorded Richard Wilson’s production of the play with the original cast Alistair Cope and Kate O’Flynn only a few weeks ago. Thanks to some nifty editing by Richard and Producer Toby Swift, the production is now ready for airing and joins an illustrious canon of stage plays given radio airplay.

So far the production has played in our Roundabout auditorium in both Sheffield and London where a combined total of 2,703 people have seen it. The stage production will soon embark on a national tour as part of our ongoing plans for Roundabout. But in the meantime the studio recording will be available to listen to – for free – on Sunday night and thereafter on iPlayer catch up.

Enjoy the show, planet earth.

PP wins at the Offies

Last Sunday, team PP were thrilled to accept two Offie Awards from offwestend.com.

LUNGS by Duncan Macmillan, which we co-produced with Sheffield Theatres, won the Best New Play Award and our Artistic Directors James and George won Best Artistic Director(s). Our brilliant ROUNDABOUT cast were short-listed for Best Ensemble.

James and George said:

“We’re greatly honoured to receive this award. Our Programme 2012 saw 11 productions touring to 44 places nationwide. We produced the work of 33 playwrights and worked with 30 Actors and 45 creatives and stage managers. We want to thank each and every brilliant one of them along with our 22 co-producing partners and 32 host theatres. Most of all we want to thank the amazing Team PP whose immense skill and endless passion make it all happen.”

To find out more about OffWestEnd and the Offie Awards, visit www.offwestend.com.

LUNGS to broadcast on BBC Radio 3

On Sunday 24th March at 20:30 GMT our co-production with Sheffield Theatres of Duncan Macmillan’s LUNGS will transfer to BBC Radio 3.

The station will broadcast a studio recording of Richard Wilson’s production, starring original cast Alistair Cope and Kate O’Flynn, first seen at Sheffield Theatres in our Roundabout Auditorium in 2011.

Last autumn LUNGS played alongside ONE DAY WHEN WE WERE YOUNG by Nick Payne and THE SOUND OF HEAVY RAIN by Penelope Skinner in the prototype Roundabout Auditorium which we popped up in Shoreditch Town Hall.

Critics raved and audiences swooned at Duncan’s heart-breaking story, Richard’s delicate production and Alistair and Kate’s virtuosic performances.

“Subtle, intelligent environment drama that quietly socks you in the guts.” ★★★★ Time Out

“The most beautiful, quietly shattering play of the year.” ★★★★★ The Sunday Express

Last Sunday, LUNGS won the Offie Award for Best New Play after being shortlisted in the same category at last year’s Theatre Awards UK.

Now, thanks to BBC Radio 3, we’re bringing this breath-taking play direct to your living room.

Make a date now for the broadcast or set a reminder to listen again on catch-up.

Listen live here.

“Keep Calm and Eat Cake”

Our super amazing volunteer Annabel talks about her time at PP HQ:

Well it’s been eight months since I started volunteering at Paines Plough and I can hardly believe how quickly the time has flown by.  I’ve loved every minute of it and couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome.

It has been a busy time for the amazing PP team, yes I am biased, but bear with me on this as I can back it up with some pretty impressive statistics.  In the past eight months there has been Wasted, Love, Love, Love, The 8th, Smithereens, Good With People, the Roundabout Auditorium at Shoreditch Town Hall (with One Day When We Were Young, Lungs and The Sound of Heavy Rain) and London.  Can you understand my awe with the sheer enthusiasm and energy here at 43 Aldwych?

I was recently asked by a friend how Paines Plough manage to be so prolific.  My rather flippant answer was ‘cake’.  Possibly inspired by the poster on the wall in the production office that says “Keep Calm and Eat Cake” but actually in a way my answer was very appropriate.  PP is a team that supports each other, care passionately about the work they are creating, work incredibly hard and are always happy to eat cake.

Thank you team PP for a life changing experience.

Theatre Awards UK: Theatre 1 Football 0

All the winners at The Theatre Awards UK 2012

We were thrilled to attend The Theatre Awards UK last Sunday, hosted by The TMA and The Stage at the magnificent Guildhall in the heart of the City of London.

We were proudly supporting Duncan Macmillan whose play LUNGS – part of our Roundabout Season – was nominated in The Best New Play category.

The TMA does a fantastic job of celebrating the truly national reach of British Theatre. Nominees in its annual awards ranged from The Lyric Belfast to The Theatre Chipping Norton, via touring companies like Graeae and ETT, and celebrating the invaluable contribution of backstage, box office, marketing and management staff who make our theatres tick, as well as the writers, actors, directors and creatives whose work we see on stage.

As TMA president Rachel Tackley rightly said: “Regional theatre is going from strength to strength, and we should recognise and celebrate that success.”

Rachel also offered a suprising statistic: “With 30 million theatre attendances a year in Britain, theatre-going easily outstrips football attendances.”

So much for theatre being a minority sport.

We loved hearing Sam West speak so passionately about his parents Timothy West and Prunella Scales who were honoured with The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre for their lifetime devotion to touring far and wide. And we loved celebrating the extraordinary energy and innovation of a nationwide industry bloodied but unbowed by funding cuts.

We also loved the salmon mousse, rack of lamb and chocolate soufle. Obvs.

The Best New Play award was won by Sarah Ruhl for her play IN THE NEXT ROOM, produced at The Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath. So congratulations to her, and congratulations to all the winners and nominees (but especially Duncan, we’re unashamedly biased…)

And congratulations to British Theatre collectively, in all its diversity and variety and brilliance. You beat football.