Today we announce Programme 2019: a must-see celebration of the most striking and original playwriting talent in 10 thrilling productions out on tour to every nook and cranny of the UK and beyond.
#PP2019 features our pick of the most distinctive, observant and entertaining new voices in British theatre with brand new plays by Zia Ahmed, Nathan Bryon, Ifeyinwa Frederick, Daf James, Anna Jordan, Sarah McDonald-Hughes, Charley Miles and Sam Steiner. You can catch their words on tour across the length and breadth of the UK in city centres, seaside towns and village halls.
ROUNDABOUT once again hosts a jam-packed Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme and brings mini-festivals to each stop on its nationwide tour. We’ll broadcast Anna Jordan’s POP MUSIC live and celebrate 10 years of COME TO WHERE I’M FROM with special live events and our COME TO WHERE I’M FROM app featuring more than 180 short audio plays available to download free from the App Store and GooglePlay. We will once again be holding OPEN AUDITIONS as part of our pledge to actors. Our new series of podcasts, INSIGHTS, offers a view into the writer’s experience of life inside the rehearsal room.
And as ever, we’ll be announcing a host of exciting new stuff to add to the mix as we go through the year.
Wherever you are, a Paines Plough show is touring to you soon.
James and George said:
“This programme epitomises what Paines Plough has always been about for us: urgent new plays from original new voices featuring top new talent on wide-ranging tours the length and breadth of the UK. We’re hugely proud to be presenting the best of a new generation of British playwrights. We’re celebrating 10 years of COME TO WHERE I’M FROM and another three years of ROUNDABOUT funding. Graduates of our Playwright Fellowship and Trainee Director Bursary headline the programme. Loyal venue partners reaffirm their commitment to the importance of new plays. Our newly launched podcast series INSIGHTS aims to make us ever more open and accessible, joining existing initiatives like OPEN AUDITIONS, our Casting Pledge and our UNSOLICITED SCRIPT policy. It’s everything we think a national theatre of new plays should be.”
Introducing our playwrights for 2019…
Zia Ahmed has written one of the most exciting debut plays we’ve come across in years. In partnership with Tamasha, we’re hitting the road on a national tour with the tender and lyrical love story I WANNA BE YOURS, a co-production with Tamasha, directed by our former Trainee Director Anna Himali Howard.
Zia is from North West London. He is a London Laureate, having been shortlisted to be the Young Poet Laureate for London 2015/16. He is a former Roundhouse Poetry Slam champion. Zia was Paines Plough’s Channel 4 Playwright in Residence 2016/2017. In 2016 he was one of the commissioned writers for the London leg of Paines Plough’s ongoing COME TO WHERE I’M FROM series.
Nathan Bryon is writing one of this year’s Roundabout rep plays in co-production with Theatr Clwyd, directed by Stef O’Driscoll. Nathan was our Playwright Fellow in 2016 and we co-produced his one-man show MIXED BRAIN with tiata fahodzi in 2017. We’re thrilled he’s back at PP writing a brand new show for all ages for this year’s ROUNDABOUT rep.
Nathan is a writer and actor, who grew up eating as much Uxbridge Road Caribbean food as his bank balance would allow. He is best known to viewers for his role as regular character Jamie in SOME GIRLS and BENIDORM’s sunniest holiday maker, Joey Ellis. Nathan has written for critically acclaimed CBeebies’ animation RASTAMOUSE, BAFTA award winning SWASHBUCKLE and on all three series of BAFTA nominated APPLE TREE HOUSE (CBeebies) alongside BAFTA winning GIGGLEBIZ. Last Year Nathan’s one-man show MIXED BRAIN a show about his mixed heritage premiered in Roundabout at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Nathan has secured a 3 picture book deal with Penguin Random House. His first book LOOK UP! will hit shelves in the US and UK in June 2019.
Daf James is writing one of this year’s ROUNDABOUT rep plays in co-production with Theatr Clwyd, directed by Stef O’Driscoll. We are long time admirers of Daf’s sharp and potent writing and we’re excited to welcome him to PP with a brand new play for ROUNDABOUT audiences everywhere.
Daf is an award-winning writer, composer and performer working across theatre, radio television and film in English and Welsh. Having trained in the Lecoq pedagogy at the London International School of Performing Arts he went on to earn a doctorate in Theatre Studies from the University of Warwick. His first full-length play LLWYTH[Tribe] was described in Contemporary Welsh Plays as ‘a water-shed play that changed the landscape of Welsh language theatre forever.’
Charley Miles is writing the third of this year’s ROUNDABOUT rep plays in co-production with Theatr Clwyd, directed by Stef O’Driscoll. Charley is our current Playwright Fellow. We fell in love with her debut play BLACKTHORN as it wowed audiences in Edinburgh last summer and we can’t wait for her new ROUNDABOUT play as part of this year’s rep.
Charley Miles is a playwright from rural North Yorkshire. She is currently the Paines Plough Playwright Fellow. Her debut play, BLACKTHORN, was produced in 2016 and went on to become a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn award in New York in 2017. She was the Channel 4 Playwright in Residence at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2017, and has recently written plays for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Royal Court, and Leeds Playhouse. Her original television drama, IN MEMORIAM, is in development with Buccaneer Media.
With Soho Theatre we have co-commissioned a new play from Ifeyinwa Frederick, one of the 2019 Soho Six, a yearlong attachment programme for artists at Soho Theatre. Ifeyinwa’s debut THE HOES announced a major new talent, and we’re pumped to be producing her new play.
Ifeyinwa is a writer and entrepreneur, using both writing and business as creative outlets. Writing alongside her full-time job as co-founder of Chuku’s – the world’s first Nigerian tapas restaurant – she has been featured in Forbes’ list of 100 Women Founders in Europe. She began writing in 2016, joining Soho Theatre Writers’ Lab. Supported by the programme, she wrote her debut play THE HOES which received a full production at Hampstead Theatre in 2018. The play was shortlisted for the 2017 Tony Craze Award and Character 7 Award and longlisted for the 2017 Verity Bargate Award. Fuelled by a childlike curiosity and fascination with people, her stories explore the intricacies of people and the dichotomy between how we really are and how society or we portray ourselves to be.
Our Birmingham Repertory Theatre co-production of Anna Jordan’s POP MUSIC returns for live dates and a live broadcast following an acclaimed national tour in 2018. Turbo charged by non-stop pop hits from the past 30 years of chart toppers, POP MUSIC is a euphoric, nostalgic, poptastic theatre party for anyone who’s ever been a dick on the dancefloor.
Anna won the 2013 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting for Yen (Royal Court) after having been twice longlisted for her plays MARIANNE and CHICKEN SHOP. YEN has had productions at Manchester Royal Exchange, the Royal Court and MCC New York as well as several international productions. It was also shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2015-2016. Her current projects include THE UNRETURNING (Frantic Assembly / Theatre Royal Plymouth) and a new adaptation of MOTHER COURAGE (Royal Exchange / Headlong). She is also under commission to the Royal Court Theatre.
We’re teaming up once again with Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and The Gate Theatre to showcase the world premiere of Sarah McDonald-Hughes’s electrifying TURBINES, directed by former Trainee Director Emily Ling Williams. Sarah returns to Paines Plough following her award-winning play for young people HOW TO BE A KID.
Sarah is an actor and writer from Manchester. Plays include: SHERBET (Octagon Bolton), HOW TO BE A KID (Paines Plough); BLACKOUT (Dukes Lancaster) THE MANCHESTER PROJECT (Monkeywood Theatre/HOME/National Theatre), TRIAL, MULTI STORY (Octagon Bolton/Monkeywood), WONDROUS PLACE (Northern Spirit/Liverpool Unity/Sheffield Crucible/Northern Stage/Royal Exchange), FLESH (Monkeywood Theatre/Royal Exchange), BY FAR THE GREATEST TEAM, ONCE IN A HOUSE ON FIRE, MAINE ROAD (Monkeywood Theatre), THE TREE, NIGHT TRAIN (Action Transport Theatre), OUR PALS and THE NORTH (Royal Exchange Studio).
YOU STUPID DARKNESS! is the World Premiere of an urgent new play by rising star Sam Steiner (LEMONS, LEMONS, LEMONS, LEMONS, LEMONS; KANYE THE FIRST), directed by Paines Plough Joint Artistic Director James Grieve. In a call centre for Brightline helpline, four volunteers spend a few hours every Tuesday night on the phone to strangers telling them everything is going to be ok. A hopeful play about the struggle for optimism and community amid the chaos of a collapsing world. The production marks the continuation of a long-standing relationship between Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth and follows the success of LOVE LOVE LOVE and THE ANGRY BRIGADE.
Sam was our inaugural Playwright Fellow in 2015. YOU STUPID DARKNESS! runs at Theatre Royal Plymouth 7 – 23 February with an Opening Night on 12 February. Check out our brand new trailer below:
Thank you to our brilliant season launch creative team:
And that’s Programme 2019. Let us know what you think.
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