George Perrin and James Grieve announce that they are stepping down as Artistic Directors of Paines Plough

James Grieve and George Perrin

Ahead of announcing their 10th annual programme of new plays on tour, George Perrin and James Grieve have announced that they are stepping down as Artistic Directors of Paines Plough.

George and James took over from Roxana Silbert in 2010, and have since produced 45 World Premieres by writers such as Mike Bartlett, Penelope Skinner, James Graham, Sabrina Mahfouz and Vinay Patel, touring them to hundreds of villages, towns and cities across the UK and around the world.

James Grieve and George Perrin, 2010 . Credit Geraint Lewis

Their playwright development initiative THE BIG ROOM has launched the careers of a whole new generation of playwrights over the last decade.

They have revitalised small-scale touring whilst at PP, and have launched celebrated initiatives such as Open Auditions, ensuring that we meet actors from all backgrounds across the whole of the UK.

They also launched COME TO WHERE I’M FROM, a national project that invites playwrights to write and perform mini plays about their home towns. Since 2010 more than 160 playwrights from across the UK have written plays about the places that shaped them, making up a theatrical tapestry of the nation – a playwrights’ guide to Great Britain. All of the audio plays are available to listen to on our free app.

In 2014, Perrin and Grieve built their own pop-up theatre ROUNDABOUT for Paines Plough to reach those communities least engaged with the arts. ROUNDABOUT is now recognised as a fixture of touring theatre across the country and a deliverable and radical touring model for British theatre.

Inside ROUNDABOUT 2016

George and James said:

 “We are honoured to have been the custodians of this essential organisation for nearly a decade of our lives. We were lucky enough to inherit from Roxana Silbert a company in rude health and are proud to now pass it on to a new generation of artists and producers in an even better place that we found it. It’s been a joy to travel the country and traverse the globe bringing the best new British plays to the doorsteps of our audiences. We’ve only been able to achieve what we have with Paines Plough because of the committed partners with whom we have co-produced every production; the hunger and bravery of the venues that have programmed our work; the trust of all our funders; the belief of our board and Chairs; the dedication of our team; and the faith of the playwrights and audiences we’ve been so inspired to serve – our deepest thanks to you all. We’ll leave as we arrived: die-hard fans of the best new writing touring company in the world.”

Kim Grant, Chair of the Paines Plough Board of Trustees, said:

George and James have led Paines Plough through nine years of outstanding achievement, unrelenting progress and unforgettable theatre experiences for audiences across the UK. Throughout their stewardship the company has remained true to its roots as the leading national touring theatre company for new plays and with ROUNDABOUT now firmly established as a unique and sophisticated flexible  pop-up theatre space, they leave us and their successors a wonderful legacy.”

Our Programme 2019 will be announced later this week. James and George will leave PP in the summer to pursue new projects, and our board will begin their search for new artistic leadership in February.

Here is the full list of productions that were produced during James and George’s leadership of PP…


Introducing Paines Plough: Insights – a new series of podcasts live from the Paines Plough Rehearsal Room, where our director and playwright reflect on the week’s progress, featuring a different guest each week.

We are currently in the midst of rehearsals for Sam Steiner’s YOU STUPID DARKNESS!, a co-production with Theatre Royal Plymouth.

This first series – YOU STUPID PODCAST! – follows the rehearsal process from the writer’s perspective. James Grieve interviews Sam and other members of the cast and creative team during their Friday lunch break each week.

You can listen to the first two episodes by following the link below:

YOU STUPID DARKNESS! opens at Theatre Royal Plymouth on 07 February. You can book tickets here.

Welcome Gemma and Christabel

We are delighted to announce the two newest members of Team PP.
Gemma Grand will be taking over as our Administration and Finance Manager as of Monday, and Christabel Holmes will be taking over as Assistant Producer. We can’t wait to start working with them. 

Gemma Grand: Administration and Finance Manager

Gemma joins Paines Plough from Frantic Assembly. As their Finance and Office Administrator she has worked on a wide variety of projects including productions THINGS I KNOW TO BE TRUE, FATHERLAND and THE UNRETURNING as well as their flagship participation programme Ignition. She graduated from De Montfort University in 2014 with a first class BA(Hons) in Drama Studies. After university Gemma spent three years in the Construction industry working as a Quantity Surveyor and gained an HNC in Construction at London South Bank University. As a Quantity Surveyor she worked across numerous projects which includes new build luxury apartments, social housing maintenance and the rebuild of Walford (Eastenders) at BBC Elstree Centre. In her spare time she is an advocate and often marketing advisor to theatre company Phosphoros Theatre who work with a company of actors who came to the UK as Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children. 

Christabel Holmes: Assistant Producer

Christabel joins PP after having worked as Production Assistant at Playful Productions. She has worked at Fiery Angel across numerous touring and West End productions including LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT and spent six months working at Seabright Productions as part of the Stage One Trainee Producer scheme. As a freelancer, she was Assistant Producer for Making Room, working on BLUSH by Snuff Box Theatre (Soho Theatre/UK tour). In 2016, she was the inaugural recipient of the Clive Wolfe Bursary at the Orange Tree Theatre and was selected for the Edinburgh Fringe Emerging Producers Development Programme. Christabel worked with LUNG Theatre as Assistant Producer on a number of productions including CHILCOT (The Lowry/Battersea Arts Centre), THE 56 (UK tour), E15 (Summerhall) and DOLLY WANTS TO DIE (Barnsley Civic/Underbelly). She graduated from the University of Leeds in 2015 with a First Class Honours in English Literature and Theatre Studies – spending a year studying at the Université de Nantes in France. She is still trying to learn French.


Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

We are delighted to announce our cast and crew for Sam Steiner’s YOU STUPID DARKNESS!, a co-production with Theatre Royal Plymouth.

The new play, set in a call centre for Brightline helpline, looks at 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.

Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

Director James Grieve says:

‘I am honoured and thrilled to be working with Sam on this extraordinary new play. At an epochal moment when our world feels so unsettled, confusing, oppositional and angry, Sam has written a beautiful, funny, humane play that celebrates kindness, compassion and the indomitable human spirit in the face of uncertainty and fear. It is wonderfully witty, wise, joyful and deeply moving writing that adds up to an unerringly prescient, utterly compelling, vitally important new play about staring at a world we no longer recognise, and which sometimes scares us half to death. Sam Steiner was the recipient of our Playwright Fellowship 2016 in acknowledgement of his rare brilliance as an emerging playwright and this play confirms him an electrifying new voice in British Theatre. I am hugely excited to continue Paines Plough’s 40 year relationship with Theatre Royal Plymouth to present another World Premiere by a major writer following in the footsteps of many previous co-productions like Philip Ridley’s MERCURY FUR, Rona Munro’s LONG TIME DEAD, Mike Bartlett’s LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and James Graham’s THE ANGRY BRIGADE.’


Sam Steiner
Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

Sam is a playwright and screenwriter from Manchester. Sam’s debut play, the award-winning LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS, was produced by Walrus Theatre (a company he cofounded). It has had three sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and toured nationally. The play has since been produced all over the world in seven different languages. Sam’s second play, KANYE THE FIRST, was commissioned and produced by Hightide and premiered at the festival in September 2017. Other pieces of Sam’s work have been showcased at the Royal Exchange, Soho Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Sala Beckett in Barcelona and the Cannes and London Film Festivals. He completed an attachment at Paines Plough as their Playwright Fellowship and holds an MA in Screenwriting from the National Film and Television School. Sam is currently developing television projects with Drama Republic and Euston North. 



David Carlyle
Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

Theatre credits include: THE TELL TALE HEART (National Theatre); THE OUTSIDER (L’ETRANGER) (The Print Room); ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh); THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR (Birmingham Rep and Tour); TO KILL A MOCKINGBORD (Regents Park Open Air Theatre, UK Tour, Barbican Theatre); VICTORIA (Dundee Rep); SOMERSAULTS (Finborough Theatre); YELLOW MOON (National Theatre of Scotland); HANSEL AND GRETEL (Citizens Theatre); DEAD HEAVY FANTASTIC (Liverpool Everyman); THE MONSTER IN THE HALL (Glasgow Citizens / Traverse Theatre); CALEDONIA (National Theatre of Scotland); THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISSOCIA (Unicorn Theatre); THE WHITE DEVIL (Shakespeare’s Globe – Sam Wanamaker Festival). Television includes: BODYGUARD (BBC); LIP SERVICE (Kudos). Radio includes: KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL (BBC Radio 4); BEHIND HER EYES (Sweet Talk / BBC Radio); THE STROMA SESSIONS (BBC Radio 3); CHERNOBYL (Sweet Talk / BBC)


Andrew Finnigan
Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

Andrew trained with The Customs House, South Shields. His theatre credits include: THE FIFTEEN STREETS (The Customs House, South Shields); BROKEN BISCUITS (Live Theatre/Paines Plough and UK tour); WORMTOWN (The Customs House, South Shields); MY UNCLE FREDDIE (The Customs House, South Shields) and most recently DRIP (Boundless Theatre, Edinburgh Festival, UK Tour and the Bush).


Becci Gemmell
Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

Theatre includes: EYAM; THE WINTER’S TALE; COMEDY OF ERRORS; TAMING OF THE SHREW (Globe Theatre), THE HERE AND THIS AND NOW; FOREVER HOUSE (Plymouth Drum), NOISES OFF (Nottingham Playhouse/Northern Stage/Nuffield), WALKING THE TIGHTROPE (Offstage), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Manchester Royal Exchange), 65 MILES (Paines Plough/Hull Truck), ONCE UPON A TIME IN WIGAN (Hull Truck), TAMING OF THE SHREW (Sprite), SIXTY-SIX BOOKS (Bush Theatre), FOXFINDER (Papatango/Finborough), EURYDICE (ATC/Young Vic), LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD (Kenwright), ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS (Theatre 503), AS YOU LIKE IT (Dash Arts/Curve Theatre), FUCKED (Tangram Theatre/Old Red Lion/Assembly Rooms), IS EVERYONE OK? (Nabokov/Watford Palace/Plymouth Drum), HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY AND NEVER BE FOUND (Southwark Playhouse), MAD, FUNNY, JUST (Creased/Old Vic New Voices/Theatre 503), UNCERTAINTY (Sincera Productions/Latitude Festival), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Oxford Shakespeare Company), AIR GUITAR (Bristol Old Vic Studio), ANNIVERSARY (Old Vic New Voices – 24 Hour Plays), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Guildford Shakespeare Company), VOLPONE (Present Moment). TV & Film includes: DOCTORS; CALL THE MIDWIFE; CASUALTY; CODE OF A KILLER; LAND GIRLS; RED LIGHTS; HOME TIME; ANGEL OF DEATH.


Lydia Larson
Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

Theatre includes: FINDING FASSBENDER (Pleasance Courtyard); ELECTRA (The Bunker); BRUTAL CESSATION (Theatre 503); SKIN A CAT (The Bunker) – Offie shortlisted Best Actress; TRAVESTY (Fight in the Dog Ltd.); A SUPER HAPPY STORY (Silent Uproar); SKIN A CAT (Vault Festival); WE HAVE FALLEN (InSite Performance (Underbelly)); THE AFTER-DINNER JOKE (Orange Tree); SPRINGS ETERNAL (Orange Tree); EVERYBODY’S DOING IT (Arcola (Miniaturists)); PERSUASION (Salisbury Playhouse); BOOMERANG (Old Vic 24 Hour Plays); PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Theatre Royal Bath and Number One Tour); ARCADIA (Sonia Friedman Productions). Television includes: DOCTORS (BBC); THREE MINUTE WONDERS: ROUTES (Channel 4); KIDNAPPED (Prospect Pictures). Rehearsed Readings: DAD’S DEAD; MURDER OF CROWS; LITTLE LIGHT (New Britannia); CORRESPONDENCE (Central School of Speech and Drama). Commercials: TWININGS (Blink); LIBRESE (T&T); SAMSUNG WAVE (RSA Films); ORANGE MOBILE (Mitra Films)/ Short Film includes: THE REUNION (NFTS); LAURA (5.0 Films); EXCUSE ME (Euro RSCG)



James Grieve
Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

James is Joint Artistic Director of Paines Plough, the UK’s national theatre of new plays. For Paines Plough he has directed POP MUSIC by Anna Jordan, OUT OF LOVE by Elinor Cook, BLACK MOUNTAIN by Brad Birch, HOW TO BE A KID by Sarah McDonald Hughes, BROKEN BISCUITS and JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS by Tom Wells, HAPPINESS by Nick Payne (BBC Radio 3), THE ANGRY BRIGADE by James Graham, AN INTERVENTION and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE by Mike Bartlett, HOPELESSLY DEVOTED and WASTED by Kate Tempest, THE SOUND OF HEAVY RAIN by Penelope Skinner, YOU CANNOT GO FORWARD FROM WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW by David Watson, TINY VOLCANOES by Laurence Wilson and FLY ME TO THE MOON by Marie Jones. His freelance work includes the new musical THE ASSASSINATION OF KATIE HOPKINS for Theatr Clywd, a new production of LES MISERABLES for Wermland Opera in Sweden and Brian Friel’s TRANSLATIONS which won Best Production at the UK Theatre Awards 2014. James was formerly founder and Joint Artistic Director of nabokov with George Perrin, and Associate Director at the Bush Theatre.


Freddie Crossley
Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

Freddie is Resident Assistant Director at TRP. A director, performer, writer and musician, recent assistant directing work includes THE KNEEBONE CADILLAC (TRP) and QUIZ(Chichester Festival Theatre). Other stage credits include THE HAPLESS CHILD (MAPU, Italy); SUNSET VISINGØ (University of Cambridge); GIANT; THE GIRL WHO FELL IN LOVE WITH THE MOON (ZooCo); PROMETHEUS BOUND AND THE FROGS; A COMEDY OF ERRORS; A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Cambridge Arts Theatre).  Further work with THE UNRETURNING(Frantic Assembly) and Handspring Puppet Company, Cape Town. Also a painter and potter, he has previously exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery, Cass Sculpture Foundation and The North Wall.



Amy is a set and costume designer working in theatre and performance. She was the winner of Best Design at the Wales Theatre Awards 2017. Theatre includes:  JELLYFISH (The Bush); NOT TALKING (Arcola); LAVA (Nottingham Playhouse); OUR BLUE HEAVEN (New Wolsey Theatre); THE FUNERAL DIRECTOR (Southwark Playhouse); THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE, ST NICHOLAS (Theatr Clwyd); INSIGNIFICANCE (Theatre Clwyd/Langham Place, New York); UP N UNDER (UK Tour); THE 8TH (Barbican); Mydidaea (Soho Theatre/Trafalgar Studios); 66 BOOKS (Bush/Westminster Abbey); MUDLARKS (Bush/HighTide Festival); MEDEA (Gate Theatre); 65 MILES, ONCE UPON A TIME IN WIGAN (Hull Truck); HAMLET (Young Vic/Maria Theatre); THE WATER ENGINE (Old Vic Tunnels); GLORY DAZED (Soho Theatre); THE MOBILE PHONE SHOW (Lyric Hammersmith); ALMOST MAINE (Park Theatre); THE SEPARATION (Project Arts Centre, Dublin/Theatre503); WHERE THE MANGROVE GROWS (Theatre503); TO DREAM AGAIN (Clwyd/Polka); THE GIANT JAM SANDWICH (Trafalgar Studio/Derby Live/Polka) THUMBELINA’S GREAT ADVENTURE (Cambridge Arts Centre); I (HEART) PETERBOROUGH (Pleasance/Tour).


Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster
Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster is a passionate contemporary dance theatre choreographer, maker and movement director and is a co-founding member of award winning company, C-12 Dance Theatre. Recent Theatre Credits Include: GRIMM TALES, directed by Kirsty Housley at the Unicorn Theatre; JERICHO’S ROSE by Althea Theatre at The Hope & Anchor; POP MUSIC by Anna Jordan and directed by James Grieve, Barry Jackson and Paines Plough national tour; THE COURT MUST HAVE A QUEEN by Ade Solanke directed by Sam Curtis Lindsay at Hampton Court Palace; THESE BRIDGES by Phoebe Éclair-Powell (WCYT as part of National Theatre Connections at The Bush); THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL AND OTHER HAPPIER TALES by Joel Horwood and Emma Rice (Shakespeare’s Globe, Bristol Old Voc and National Tour); THE DARK ROOM by Angela Betzien (Theatre 503); I KNOW ALL THE SECRETS OF MY WORLD by Natalie Ibu (Tiata Fahodzi, National Tour). Recent Dance Credits Include: FORCE(Abbey Road Studios, Imagine Festival Watford, Greenwich & Docklands International Festival, & Netherlands) SHHH! (Dance City, MAC Birmingham, Norwich Playhouse, The Woodville Gravesend, CircoMedia Bristol, Winchester Theatre Royal) THE VAN MAN (Watch This Space at The National, St Albans Festival, Freedom Festival Hull, The Albany Outdoors).


Dominic Kennedy
Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

Dominic Kennedy is a Sound Designer and Music Producer for performance and live events, he has a keen interest in developing new work and implementing sound and music at an early stage in a creative process. Dominic is a graduate from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama where he developed specialist skills in collaborative and devised theatre making, music composition and installation practices. His work often fuses found sound, field recordings, music composition and synthesis.  Recent design credits include; RAMONA TELLS JIM (Bush Theatre), AND THE REST OF ME FLOATS (Outbox), I AM A TREE (Jamie Wood), BOX CLEVER (nabokov), SKATE HARD TURN LEFT (Battersea Arts Centre), ROUNDABOUT SEASON 2017 (Paines Plough), GAP IN THE LIGHT (Engineer), BROKEN BISCUITS (Paines Plough), ROUNDABOUT SEASON 2016 (Paines Plough), WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK (Paines Plough), THE HUMAN EAR (Paines Plough), THE DEVIL SPEAKS TRUE (Goat and Monkey), RUN (Engineer), ONO (Jamie Wood).


Peter Small
Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

Peter studied Lighting Design at RADA. He has recently been nominated for two Offie Best Lighting Awards forBLACK MOUNTAIN (Paines Plough) at The Orange Tree Theatre and A GIRL IN SCHOOL UNIFORM (WALKS IN TO A BAR) at the New Diorama, as well as the Theatre & Technology Creative Innovation in Lighting Award, also for A GIRL IN SCHOOL UNIFORM. Recent lighting designs for theatre include three of the 2018 Paines Plough Roundabout tour shows, HOW TO SPOT AN ALIEN, STICKS AND STONESandISLAND TOWN, also SQUARE GO, OUT OF LOVE, BLACK MOUNTAIN and HOW TO BE A KID (2017);  PLASTIC (Poleroid Theatre, Old Red Lion); OLD FOOLS (Southwark Playhouse); A GIRL IN SCHOOL UNIFORM (WALKS INTO A BAR) (New Diorama); FOX (Old Red Lion); MEMORY OF LEAVES (UK Tour); SHE CALLED ME MOTHER(Pitch Lake Productions, UK Tour); THE VENUS FACTOR (Bridewell Theatre, MTA Academy); EAST END BOYS AND WEST END GIRLS (Arcola Theatre and tour); A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, FREE ASSOCIATION and CRAZY LADY (Forum Alpbach, Austria) and RICHARD IIIand BARD ON BOARD 2(Royal Court, Queen Mary 2 Ocean Liner). Lighting designs for Opera and Musical Theatre include THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA (Stratford Circus), ALL OR NOTHING (West End and tour), CINDERELLA (Loughborough Theatre), TOM & JERRY(EventBox Theatre, Egypt), THE VENUS FACTOR (Bridewell Theatre). Peter was also a Revival Lighting Designer on KISS ME KATEfor Oper Graz. Upcoming projects include SORELLA MIAat The Place, as well as taking AD LIBIDOand SQUARE GOon UK tours.