Paines Plough supports the call for transparency about who we workk with. Our statistics ahow that we need to work harder to ensure Paines Plough is representative of the audiences and artists we aim to reach. We have been acknowledging our history, reflecting on our present and focusing on striving for a more positive future.
THE STORIES WE TELL AND HOW WE TELL THEM
New writing is at the heart of Paines Plough. We want to challenge our own lens around the new plays we choose to produce and programme, as well as how we develop them. This will increase the breadth and improve the quality of the stories we tell. We will be diversifying our dramaturgy including providing professional development opportunities in the next 12 months focused on under-represented voices within this field.
WHERE WE SHARE THESE STORIES
As a national touring company we are often visitors in other people’s places and spaces. The environment we enter is often outside of our direct control. But we have not always worked well enough with our partners to ensure that between us we create environments for artists and audiences that afford everyone the safety and sense of belonging that they deserve. From now on we will createan anti-racism rider that’s a requirement of anyone we work with.
WHO SUPPORTS THESE STORIES TO BE HEARD
We are a small core team of 10. We are also a majoritively white team – historic and present. We will be looking at diversifying our core team. We will be addressing our recruitment practices to increase representation, eliminate barriers and enshrine values of inclusivity from the top down.
We will provide regular anti oppression trining and external facilitation on equality, access and inclusion for our core team – promoting collective responsibility for inclusivity.
As a charity, our board of trustees hold us to account. There is currently an imbalance in representation on our board with the current make up including 82% of board members identifying as white. Supported by our trustees in the next 18 months we will diversify our board to ensure there is a range of voices continuing to shape the future of Paines Plough and that is more representative of the audiences and artists we want to reach.
HOW WE MONITOR OUR OWN STORY
We will challenge how we monitor represntation by reviewing our data collection systems. We recognise that percentages do not tell a full story, nor do they account for the multiplicity of identities one individual can hold. We have been too passive in relying on box ticking set by external bodies to analyse who we work with and who we reach. We will be undertaking an immediate review of our equal opportunities form including at the very least, a space for an individual to write how they self-identify outside of ticking a box.
Pentabus is the nation’s rural theatre company. We are the only professional theatre company in the UK whose vision is singularly rural. We tour new plays about the contemporary rural world to new audiences in village halls, fields, festivals and theatres, telling stories with local relevance, plus national and international impact. We believe that every person living in an isolated rural community has a right to exceptional theatre. We are based on a farm in Shropshire, and to date all of our work has been made here. It then tours village halls and theatres locally and nationally. Over four and a half decades we’ve produced 172 new plays, reached over half a million audience members, won a prestigious South Bank Show award, a Fringe First and were the first to live stream from a village hall. We have hosted a writer in residence since 2014 and they have gone on to be commissioned by the Royal Court, Birmingham Rep, Royal Welsh College, Nottingham Playhouse and the Bush.
We are a champion for rural young people aged 16 to 25 and Pentabus Young Company is our new initiative offering workshops, masterclasses, work experience and mentorships, as well as the opportunity to join our Young Writers’ Group, which has been running for seven years.
Callum is an aspiring actor and playwright from the town of Ludlow (Shropshire). He is a member of the National Youth Theatre. His play SURVIVORS was performed at The Courtyard, Hereford, and The Hive, Shrewsbury, as part of Pentabus Rural Theatre Company’s young writers festival, INTO THE UNKNOWN in July 2019.
Jacob is a graduate of the 2013 Royal Court Young Writers Programme and the 2016/18 New Welsh Playwrights Programmes at the Sherman Theatre. His play BETWEEN ETERNITY AND TIME was produced at the RWCMD and the Gate Theatre, London, as part of RWCMD’s NEW:2019. Jacob’s other works have received rehearsed readings at the Sherman Theatre and Theatre503 and have been shortlisted for BBC Writersroom Scriptroom 8 and the 2016 Wales Drama Award, and longlisted for BBC Script Room Drama 2019, the 2017 Bruntwood Prize and the 2017 Papatango New Writing Prize. Jacob is the Associate Playwright at Chippy Lane Productions.
Kat Woods is a writer and director from Co. Fermanagh in N. Ireland. She has a particular interest in staging works that provide a platform for those from the Underclass/Benefit class background. Works that are representative of her community. Works that redefine the discourse surrounding the poverty stereotype. Kat is represented by Alex Rusher at Independent Talent and is published by Samuel French. Kat is an Associate Artist at The Pleasance Theatre London and an Associate Writer at Omnibus Theatre. She is a Royal Court/Kudos TV writers group alumnus. Kat is currently under commission with the MAC, Tinderbox Theatre and Abbey Theatre Dublin, and has been selected to take part in both this year’s BBC Writers Room and BBC Belfast Voices.
Kat’s work has been performed across the UK, Ireland, Finland and the USA including New York. Select credits include BELFAST BOY, WASTED, MULE AND KILLYMUCK. She is a three times recipient of the Peggy Ramsey award; an awardee of the Royal Literary Fund and her work has gauged critical acclaim winning The Stage award for Excellence and the Fringe review award for Outstanding Theatre.
Little John Nee
Little John Nee is a playwright, performer and musician based in the west of Ireland; he received an Irish Times Theatre Sound Design Award for SPARKPLUG and a Prix Italia Special Mention Award for the RTE radio version. Other plays include THE DERRY BOAT, JOHNNY PATTERSON THE SINGING IRISH CLOWN, RADIO ROSARIO AND TEA DANCE. He is currently working on a series of radio pieces THE JUMPIN’ INN and preparing for a tour of DONEGAL TILT OF THE SKY for Earagail Arts Festival. In 2016 he was elected to Aosdána, the state organisation that honours artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland.
Olivia trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama first as a jazz vocalist and then on the Mmus Leadership course. Since then her practise has evolved to encompass theatre, solo and ensemble performance and creative facilitation. Over the last 10 years, she has lead creative workshops in a range of contexts from psychiatric units to abandoned cinemas, from orchestral halls to farms, in the U.K. and other places such as: India, West Africa, Indonesia, Singapore, Ireland and Bosnia. Her performances have been inspired by these experiences. Since moving to the Welsh borderlands 5 years ago, she has led a more settled life being more inspired by her immediate surroundings and a few major life events. Other than writing and performing, Olivia is the founder of Voice Yoga U.K.
Natasha Marshall (Writer/Performer) has always enjoyed performing from a young age. Natasha graduated from East15 Acting School in 2012. In 2014 and 2015 Natasha participated in the Royal Court Writers Group. In 2015/2016 she also did the SOHO Theatre’s Writers group, as well as SOHO Rising and Talawa Firsts. Natasha also enjoyed being apart of BBC Sketch Group, BBC Comedy Group and BBC New Voices during that time. Most recently Natasha has written a BLAP for Channel4 based on her play HALFBREED.
Tom Wentworth’s first short film THE REAL DEAL, produced by BBC Studios for BBC Four/BBC America will air later in 2020 for the CRIP TALES season, starring Liz Carr. As a playwright, Tom’s play BURKE AND HARE, recently had successful runs at The Watermill Theatre, Newbury and London’s Jermyn Street Theatre, and was described by The Sunday Times as ‘fast, fun and ever so slightly sick’.
Previously, his play BULLY received a bursary from MGC Futures and his play WINDY OLD FOSSILS (Pentabus) is published by Fair Acre Press. He’s currently under commission to Graeae Theatre Company, National Theatre Wales and his new cycle of monologues about falling are currently being supported by an Unlimited Micro Bursary. Tom is currently part of BBC Writersroom Access Group to develop disabled talent, and a formerly member of the Bush’s Emerging Writers Group
Yasmin Wilde Yasmin lives in North Cornwall with her family. She has been an actress and singer for thirty years, appearing in theatres all over the country and TV shows such as Silent Witness, Back, EastEnders and Holby City. She has always had a passion for writing, and is currently working on her second Musical THE NIGHTINGALE. She is currently on the RIFCO associates writers program.