From our Artistic Directors: Statement of Intent.

‘‘The voyage is new, it’s uncertain, unknown.
The waters are choppy as we sail from our shows.
We charter our course, open hearts, open minds
Ready to embrace the new paths we find’

Katie Posner and Charlotte Bennett

We at Paines Plough are committed to being a national company for new writing in whatever capacity. We thrive on the strength of our audiences, artistic community and friends and see great solidarity in the times ahead.

We may be stopped from physically sharing shows with you but there are still stories to be experienced and artists’ voices to be heard. We have the power to ripple through borders and barriers to make and share work across the nation. Please know this is still a major priority for us and we are committed to using new and existing digital platforms through which to do so.

We send great strength and are here with love and support. We will be honouring existing relationships and looking at how we continue to create new opportunities and support as many as we can through this unpredictable time.

We’ve been told to ‘be the leaders you want to see’, and we are seeing so much incredible leadership out there. We may not always get it right but we pledge to be open, brave and try our best.

With love

Katie and Charlotte x

Recruitment: ROUNDABOUT Technical Stage Manager

We are recruiting a TECHNICAL STAGE MANAGER for ROUNDABOUT.

Responsible to: Technical Director

The Technical Stage Manager is a key member of the ROUNDABOUT team, working closely with the Technical Director, Company Stage Manager and the Producer to deliver on the tour. The Technical Stage Manager will liaise with the Visiting Companies on tour and play a crucial role in supporting all technical elements in the absence of the Technical Director.

Person Specification

Below is a list of the experience, skills and attributes we’re looking for but we know that not everyone can meet all of them. If you don’t think you have everything on the list but believe you could make a real difference to Paines Plough then we encourage you to make an application.

  • Minimum 4 years professional mid to large-scale touring experience, preferably with temporary, demountable structures.
  • Demonstrable experience of supervising crew during get ins and get outs.
  • Working knowledge of lighting controls, especially with regards to LED technology and pixel mapping.
  • Organised yet flexible approach and calm under pressure.
  • Dedicated and committed with excellent focus and organisational skills.
  • Ability to be creative and resourceful in problem solving.
  • Proven ability to work within allocated budgets.
  • A working knowledge of the ITC/Equity Subsidised Repertory Agreements.
  • Awareness and experience of health and safety legislation and practice.
  • Experience of and ability to operate QLab and Programme.
  • Good and proactive team player, with experience in delivering productions to the highest technical level.
  • Good working knowledge of industry Health & Safety regulations Experienced in monitoring and enforcing Health & Safety regulations and ideally Health & Safety trained (IOSH certified).
  • Rigging qualification.
  • Ability to demonstrate a recognisable level of credibility within the industry.
  • IT and AutoCAD literate.
  • Degree in technical theatre practice or equivalent qualification.
  • First Aid trained.

Paines Plough strives to be an equal opportunities employer and we are committed to working towards a more diverse and inclusive theatre industry. We welcome and encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and walks of life, particularly disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates, as these groups are currently under-represented.

This is a Fixed Term Contract from 19 June to 08 November (19 October – 08 November is tbc)

Sound like you? Someone you know? Great! Check out the Technical Stage Manager Application Pack and then head to our website for details on how to apply.

Deadline for applications is 12pm, Monday 23 March 2020.

Good luck!

Team PP

From the rehearsal room: Assistant Director Matilda Ibini

‘So I was asked to write a blog about my experience of being in the rehearsal room for RUN SISTER RUN by Chloë Moss and directed by Charlotte Bennett. It is an amazing co-production between Paines Plough, Sheffield Theatres and Soho Theatre.

Matilda Ibini in rehearsal for RUN SISTER RUN, photo by The Other Richard

This was a big first for me. I’d been in lots of rehearsal rooms but only ever as a writer, a dramaturg, or a devisor (and even as a performer many moons ago but we won’t talk about that).

This was the first time I was in a rehearsal room as an assistant director. I was really nervous, eager to learn but I also wanted to be useful to help realise Chloë and Charlotte’s vision.

I feel it’s important to mention that I am disabled and my current state of health doesn’t always make it possible for me to work or create in the more traditional sense. I shared this with Charlotte, who was open and supportive from day one. She asked what I would need to do this role. Charlotte was not just eager to better understand my needs – she also wanted me to feel empowered by the experience. So what did I need I hear you ask; well, I needed flexibility and so the role of assistant director was a job share with the wonderful Lucy McCann. I did a couple of half days and Lucy did a couple of full days, we would then send a brief summary at the end of each day of rehearsal to one another to catch the other up.

I needed access to wheelchair-accessible rehearsal spaces (and wheelchair accessible restrooms), the freedom to take a break when I needed and Charlotte also scheduled check-ins to ensure that I always felt included and able to contribute.

Chloë has written this incredible script (you know it’s great writing when you’re envious that you haven’t written it). And so before rehearsals began, we spent a week workshopping the script, if this is something that could be scheduled into future rehearsal processes I’d highly recommend it. Spending a week workshopping the script before rehearsals begin should be put into every production budget. It was such a rich experience to have the time and space to excavate the script with the cast before throwing ourselves into rehearsals for the production. There were so many interesting conversations had, it also gives the writer the opportunity to make big changes to the script, and can help aid actors in their journey to understanding their characters and helps to ensure everyone is on the same page (pun intended).

Chloë has written a rich, taut but tender play about sisters growing up in the care system in the 80s and how their experiences continue to impact them as adults. The play really tests familial bonds and its breaking points. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a sucker for stories about siblings (I’m the second oldest of four) and Chloë’s script does not disappoint.

Observing the way Charlotte worked with the actors, it was really refreshing to see how collaboratively and compassionately she works. At the beginning of the rehearsal process it’s okay to not have all the answers and that we’re all working together to find the most truthful solutions. What was also really great was observing the number of people behind the production, the people you don’t get to see on stage, and how important it is as a director to surround yourself with collaborators you can rely on (and it helps if they’re wickedly talented at what they do) but who also challenge you, have feelings and thoughts on the play that you’re working on and how beneficial it can be to find collaborators you haven’t worked with before.

Being in such a supportive and welcoming rehearsal room has been such a positive learning experience. There were so many useful techniques and practices that I will take forward into my own directing process.

Huge thank you to Charlotte and Chloë for inviting me on this journey. To my fellow A.D. Lucy who is a generous and fiercely intelligent collaborator.

To the brilliant cast: Lucy Ellinson, Helena Lymbery, Lucas Button and Silas Carson and crew (not forgetting you Patch the dog) watching you all work has been an honour and I can’t wait for audiences to see the magic you’ve all created.’

You can find out more about how to get involved with upcoming Paines Plough projects and find all the details for RUN SISTER RUN right here.