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.


We are very excited to announce the four playwrights who will be performing their own short plays on the 15 January at Theatre Royal Bath.

Since 2010 writers from across the UK have returned to their home towns to pen plays about the places that shaped them. At theatres from Bristol to Belfast, Cardiff to Coventry and Nottingham to Newcastle, these plays have been performed by the playwrights themselves, coming home to tell their tale.

Now COME TO WHERE I’M FROM visits Bath to invite four of the city’s finest playwrights to join this celebrated nationwide project by performing their own short plays about their home.



Matt is a writer and director working in both theatre and film. He was the winner of the Papatango Prize 2016 for his debut play ORCA, which was produced at Southwark Playhouse in November 2016. The play is published by Nick Hern Books. His second play THE DOG AND THE ELEPHANT ran at the Bristol Old Vic Studio and Vault Fest, produced in conjunction with Ferment. Matt is currently one of the Open Session Writers on attachment at the Bristol Old Vic. His short films include SMALL TALK, JESSIE and THE PARTY PHOTOGRAPHER. Matt is also the artistic director of Red Rope Theatre Company, which he formed in 2012 with actor-producer Rebecca Robson. Matt is currently working on a new commission with Papatango.


Melanie Delargy HeadshotMelanie Delargy is part of a writer’s group based at the Theatre Royal Bath. Most recently her full- length play TOSSERS was produced at the egg as part of a festival of new writing organised by the Theatre Royal’s Engage programme. Her short plays MANNERS and A LIGHT have received rehearsed readings at the Rondo theatre in Bath. In 2012 her short play MR REHMAN was chosen to be part of a one-act play festival which was also organised by the Theatre Royal’s Engage programme.


Samuel-Taylor-Headshot.jpgSamuel is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers programme. Work for theatre includes solo[solo] (Bristol Old Vic), All Songs are Love Songs (Bunker Theatre/Play Theatre Co), PLAY 29 (Vault Festival). His first feature film, Benbecula, is in development with Wellington Films.  He is currently studying towards a practice based PhD funded by the Institute for Education in collaboration with Bristol Old Vic exploring participatory and live art practices in deprived coastal communities. He is a founding member of performance collective Huge if True.


Hattie Taylor HeadshotHattie is a writer and theatre maker based in Bath. She trained on the MA Theatre For Young Audiences at Bath Spa University and has worked on a number of shows for and with young people since. Her previous writing work includes WENT THE DAY WELL? (Theatre Royal Bath) and OPEN MIC (Apricity Theatre). She is an associate artist of Apricity Theatre.

To book tickets call the box office on: 01225 823409

Or visit Theatre Royal Bath’s website.

160 previous COME TO WHERE I’M FROM plays are available in audio form, for free, on the App Store or Google Play. Just click here.


In other exciting news, our COME TO WHERE I’M FROM: NORTHAMPTON writers can now all be found on the app. Listen to DC MOORE, SUBIKA ANWAR, ROBIN SOANS and LOUISE BREALEY here.

ROUNDABOUT 2019-2021

We are delighted to announce that Arts Council England is continuing to support ROUNDABOUT until 2021.

‘For Roundabout’ by The Poetry Takeaway, Video by TEA Films

Paines Plough’s ROUNDABOUT has transformed the possibilities of national touring, taking new plays to the heart of local communities. The ROUNDABOUT Auditorium – a pop-up, plug and play in-the-round theatre – provides an environment with a festival feel, open and accessible, and has enjoyed successful seasons in urban and rural environments across the UK since its launch in 2014.

James Grieve and George Perrin said:

“ROUNDABOUT is the nation’s local theatre, popping up in local communities, inviting people to pop in and see a show, take part themselves and experience something new. For five years now we have seen audiences grow as local people have taken ownership of ROUNDABOUT with ever more community generated events and activities alongside Paines Plough productions of outstanding new plays. This is touring at its most grassroots, a theatre for local people run by local people. We are thrilled and grateful Arts Council England has recognised the impact and value of ROUNDABOUT with a significant investment that secures the project for another three years.”

ROUNDABOUT has had a significant impact on attracting audiences from areas of least engagement, particularly amongst young people. Early indications from the Audience Agency are that the proportion of ROUNDABOUT’s audience that come from the least engaged segments has more than doubled since the project began.

From 2019, we will continue to work closely with our partners to grow audiences and participants for ROUNDABOUT in places like Mold, Salford, Lincoln, Poole, Stoke-on-Trent and Stratford.

We are looking forward to continuing to work with the communities that have made ROUNDABOUT such a success so far.

Here’s to the next three years!

Recruitment: Assistant Producer

Wanted: New member of Team PP

Exciting times at PPHQ. We’re on the search for a talented new Assistant Producer to join Team PP. We’re looking for someone with excellent administrative skills to support the Producer and Executive Producer to deliver Paines Plough’s programme of work. Someone who is highly motivated and passionate about new plays and touring.

Up your street? Excellent. We can’t wait to hear from you. Details below.

Who are we looking for?

The Assistant Producer will be an enthusiastic member of our dedicated team. They will have a passion for new plays and touring and experience of working in a busy production office. The Assistant Producer will be on the road with our Roundabout and Small-Scale productions for around four or five months of the year taking the best new plays out and around the UK. This will fall around July – December in 2019.

Guidance Notes for Applicants

Application Pack: Job Description and Person Specification

The purpose and main duties and responsibilities of the post are set out in the job description and the knowledge, skills and experience we are looking for in the successful candidate are listed in the person specification.

Completing the Application Form

The Application Form is your opportunity to tell us specifically why you wish to apply for the vacancy and what makes you a suitable applicant. It is important that you provide us with evidence to demonstrate that you possess the knowledge, skills and experience required as set out in the person specification for the role.
Please do not attach any additional information to your application form. CVs will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Tuesday 11 December 2018 at 12pm

Applications should be submitted by email to
Please address applications to and clearly mark the email subject: ASSISTANT PRODUCER APPLICATION.

If you have any questions about the application process or would like the application pack in a different format please contact Charlotte Walton, Administrator on or 020 7240 4533.


ASSISTANT PRODUCER 2018 Application Pack

Paines Plough Application Form


General Management Workshop: December 2018

Here at Paines Plough we’re always looking for ways we can demystify the processes behind touring new plays and provide support for theatre makers throughout their careers. We started our General Management workshop series in 2016 with an aim to introduce more people to the world of Arts Administration, and the huge variety of roles within in.

For the past three years we’ve met lots of people with an interest in taking their first step into Arts Administration. This year, we are focusing on those people who may have already secured their first job within the industry, but are curious about transitioning into the role of GM – either from a current administration role, or from another department. The workshop will look at what the role of a General Manager actually entails, and how our panel of current GMs got to where they are now.

So far we have confirmed panellists from The Bush Theatre, Hofesh Shechter Company, The Old Vic and Siobhan Davies Dance, with more due to be announced soon. Team Paines Plough will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have. The evening will consist of a discussion, Q & As and plenty of time to network before and after the event over drinks.

The workshop will take place on Monday 10 December 6.30-8.30pm, with registration from 6pm in the Paines Plough Rehearsal Room. We are located on 4th Floor, 43 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4DN.

If you would like to register for a place, apply here by 10am Wednesday 28 November.

We look forward to meeting you all soon.

Paines Plough Team

Desert Island Disc-o: Tanya Stephenson, Ben Pavey, Annie-Lunnette Deakin Foster


This week’s cast-aways are POP MUSIC’s Lighting Designer Tanya Stephenson, Production Manager Ben Pavey and Movement Director Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster. We’ve asked each of them to choose their three Desert Island POP tracks. The accompanying Spotify Desert Island Disc-o playlist is growing at an alarming rate – find it at the bottom of this page. We’re open to new suggestions! Get in touch.


Tanya Stephenson:

Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac

Because it still hasn’t got old for me and it reminds me that I can do things for myself.

Don’t Speak – No Doubt

Reminds me of being young, school dramas, breaking up, and I can sing every word.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross

Think I would need this on an island, it would uplift and encourage me to be strong and to dance like nobody’s watching.


Ben Pavey:

Times Like These – Foo Fighters

If I was pushed to name one band that summed up my transition from barely listening to terrible pop music on drive time radio to actively going out and buying my own CD’s, it would have to be the Foo Fighters. They had just enough street cred to be considered cool by the grungers and metalers throughout the early 00’s but still radio friendly enough to convince Mum to play it in the car (she would later go on to come with me and my brothers to see the Foo’s in concert several times).

Teardrops on the Dancefloor – Womack & Womack

I remember first hearing Rebecca Ferguson sing this song on the X Factor (to date the only performance on that show that stopped me in my tracks). Truly, has there ever been a more perfect pop song? It’s good to dance to, its good to cry to, if it comes on the iPod it’s simply unskippable.

Got to Give it Up – Marvin Gaye

I remember discovering this song when I was at university. This was in the late 00’s when literally the only song that was being played at any party was Sex is on Fire by the Kings of Leon and various different Dub-Step tracks (possibly the most undancable music of all time). I used to take great pride in putting this on at parties, and boogieing away to the first 30 seconds of the song before abruptly having it interrupted again by Sex is on Fire…


Annie-Lunnette Deakin Foster:

Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel – Tavares

Because it reminds me of all things happy, joyful and good! It’s almost 80% likely to be played at any Wedding and it’s 100% likely to get me up on the dance floor.

Bright Side of The Road – Van Morrison

I absolutely love Van Morrison, and this would be the perfect accompaniment to beached isolation. It’s happy go lucky & full of fun.

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

This song reminds me of extreme dancing nights out, great times with friends, and reminds me of my ethos of how to live life! Banging tune!


Spotify Playlist here:


Next week’s cast-aways are the team holding up the fort at the PPHQ London office – Senior Producer Hanna Streeter, Producer Sofia Stephanou and Production Assistant Phillippe Cato.

Desert Island Disc-o: Anna Jordan, James Grieve, Harriet Bolwell

As POP MUSIC has just kicked off its nationwide tour, we asked members of our POP MUSIC creative team to each come up with their three Desert Island Pop Discs. Their answers have been trickling in – talk about buried treasure! We’ve even created our own Spotify Playlist to keep spirits popping in the tour-mobile.

This week we have writer Anna Jordan, Director James Grieve and Assistant Producer Harriet Bolwell.


Anna Jordan:

All About Tonight – Pixie Lott

The ultimate feel-good floor filler with hedonism at its heart. Contains the iconic lyric “Tomorrow Doesn’t Matter When You’re Moving Your Feet”. Which means waking up face down in a kebab is fine.

Africa – Toto

A genuine thing of beauty. The eighties rock classic that keeps on giving.

U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer 

What can I say? The riff, the trousers, the dance… Sadly I didn’t master the “Running Man” until I was 27 and by that point no one cared.


James Grieve:

 Losing My Religion – REM

The soundtrack to car journeys as a kid, turned up loud on the car stereo or blasted through those terrible old foam headphones from my Sony Walkman. It is impossible not to sing along to this song.

This Is The One – The Stone Roses

They may be a fusion of punk and rave cultures but the Stone Roses wrote belting pop tunes, and no more so than this blissful, soaring, ecstatic hymn to living life to the absolute max. Always the last song I played before going out as a teenager. Immerse me in your splendour.

All That She Wants – Ace of Base

I had to have a guilty pleasure, and this is as good as Euro Pop can ever get.


Harriet Bolwell:

Modern Love – David Bowie

Can’t listen to this song enough.

Believe – Cher

The love this song receives every time it’s played know no limits.

Time After Time – Cindy Lauper

Full dance routines accompany this song.


Spotify Playlist here:


We’ll be back next week with choice tunes from our lighting designer Tanya Stephenson, Production Manager Ben Pavey and Movement Director Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster.



Kim Grant to succeed Caro Newling as new Chair of Paines Plough’s Board of Trustees

We announce today that the Chair of our Board of Trustees Caro Newling is stepping down from her role after nine years. Our Artistic Directors James and George pay tribute to a true legend of PP…

We’ve long been in thrall to Caro’s brilliance. As graduates running our fledgling company nabokov we read Matt Wolf’s book Stepping Into Freedom which captured the magic of the Mendes era Donmar at its hit factory heights. On stage, film stars fronted the hottest tickets in town while behind the scenes an extraordinary operation transformed a tiny warehouse with no funding into one of the mightiest theatres in the world. The mastermind and maestro of that operation was Caro Newling.

Years later when she agreed to become our Chair at PP we had the incredible opportunity to work alongside one of our heroes. Caro’s passion, imagination, inventiveness and drive has been the bedrock of everything we’ve done since. Galvanising, enabling, envisioning, problem-solving, mentoring, miracle-working, Caro has been our constant champion and confidante. Through strategies, business plans, rebrands, campaigns and fundraising drives her entrepreneurialism, wisdom and skill has powered Paines Plough.

Caro’s superpowers were never more evident than during the four years from conception to launch of Roundabout. Her indomitable belief in the project, acumen, advocacy, extensive contacts book and flair for corralling support and raising funds forged a dream into reality.

Our gratitude to Caro is shared by all our colleagues at PP past and present, our stakeholders and funders, our co-producers and partners and most importantly the hundreds of playwrights and artists whose work Caro has enabled, and the audiences across the world who have experienced it.

We’re thrilled that Caro will be succeeded by Kim Grant whose vision and leadership we have hugely valued as Chair of our Finance, Audit and Risk committee in recent years. Kim is the perfect person to take on Caro’s mantle and propel PP to an exciting future.

James & George


How To Feasibly Watch Three Plays a Week

Our AD James Grieve has recently written an article for The Stage on how it really is possible to watch 3 plays a week for under £12.50. You can read it here:

In light of this, we’ve decided to create an ongoing resource centre for all those that want to watch as much theatre as possible without breaking the bank! We also do not want this to be a London-centric space,  so are particularly interested in deals and schemes from regional theatres. Please DM us on Twitter with any further suggestions, or email – we’ll just keep adding!

London Theatres:

Almeida Theatre

Under 25 £5 tickets UNDER25 code

Black Ticket Project

An initiative giving young black people the opportunity to experience theatre free of charge / at a discounted rate.

Bridge Theatre

Young Bridge – 16-25 £15 Tickets

Bush Connect

Under 26 / Student £5 off standard tickets and £2.50 off Studio tickets + 10% off in bar

Donmar Warehouse’s Young Free

FREE tickets for under 25s

Hampstead Downstairs Club

16-30 £5 tickets to shows in Downstairs theatre

National Theatre Entry Pass

£7.50 tickets + bring a friend for £10.00 – and workshops!

National Theatre Standing Tickets

You can pay £5 to stand at the back of the Olivier or Lyttleton Theatres. Standing tickets can only be bought on the day of performance at the Box Office.

New Diorama Theatre

£3 previews for unemployed / on job seeker’s allowance

The Old Vic

£10 previews

Orange Tree Theatre

Under 30 £12 Tickets

Royal Court

Under 26 £15 tickets + £12 Mondays, 10p standing tickets!

Young Barbican

14-25 £5 – £15 tickets + no booking fees

Young Vic

Under 26 / full time student – £10 tickets


Regional Theatres:

ARC Stockton

Pay What You Decide nights

Birmingham Rep

£5 Tickets

Bristol Old Vic

£5 tickets for Bristol Uni and UWE students

Chichester Theatre

PROLOGUE offers £5 tickets to 16 – 25s

Coventry Belgrade

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Glasgow Citizens Theatre

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HOME Manchester

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Leicester Curve

16-26 Discounted Tickets

Lincoln Performing Arts Centre

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Live Theatre, Newcastle

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Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse

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Nottingham Playhouse

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Royal and Derngate

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Sherman Cymru, Cardiff

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SJT Scarborough

Under 30’s £10 Tickets

Theatr Clwyd

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Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Under 30 £15 Tickets

Theatre Royal, Plymouth

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This Week On Tour: Elin Schofield

Elin has written this week’s blog post on her experiences working on Anna Jordan’s POP MUSIC over the past few months – and she’s done so in a suitably poppy manner!

I’m Elin, the Assistant Director on POP MUSIC, Paines Plough’s new show by Anna Jordan. POP MUSIC is a joyous roller coaster celebrating the last thirty years of pop. From Whitney to Oasis to Clean Bandit, there is something for everyone.

We are about to take this slice of pop magic on the road where we will be performing at venues across the country, so I thought I would sit down and fill you in on what has happened so far!

Track 1

It’s not every Monday that you come to work and learn the entire choreography for Single Ladies, but at Paines Plough HQ it’s becoming pretty standard. The office workers across the road are marvelling at our twerking and a pop party playlist of dreams is pouring out of the rehearsal room (thank you Anna Jordan).

We have a cast of three, the brilliant Katherine Kotz, Rakesh Boury and Ciaran Alexander Stewart. Together they are going to tell this brilliant story whilst integrating BSL into the production (including sign within the choreography!) I have been learning a bit of BSL too, including the sign for ‘Madonna’ and ‘MJ’. As the Assistant Director, I am making sure I know the show inside and out. I am making notes on all of the routines, the blocking and the rhythm of the words and how they fit with the songs. We are about to do a rehearsal room run for the Paines Plough team. It’s nerve-wracking but we are ready to put it in front of an audience. Roll on Latitude!

Track 2

The tents are up, the glitter is packed and we have arrived at Latitude with 100 metallic balloons and the biggest glitter ball I have ever seen. The Theatre Tent is gigantic, and we are waiting for the first performance, glow stick in hand! This performance is captioned as well as having BSL integration, which is great because as well as making it accessible, it means that we can sing-a-long to our favourite pop tunes, karaoke style. The audience are amazing, they dance and sing and shed a tear and we head back outside just in time for The Killers’ set!

Track 3

We are getting back to it after a break. Anna has had a baby and he is amazing. We are in rehearsals again at Paines Plough HQ to recap the show and make it bigger and better than before. The week is up and before we know it we are Birmingham-bound, heading to the REP for the start of our technical rehearsals. These rehearsals are very important for this show because the action is built around the music. The text is intricately woven in and out of songs so getting the microphones at the right level and making sure every word can be heard is crucial! We are ready to open the show and everyone is excited. The audience stick around after the curtain call to dance on the stage! We go and celebrate in the only way that feels appropriate … a night at Pop World!

Track 4

The show closes at the REP, but we aren’t quite ready to leave Birmingham. We are taking POP MUSIC on a community tour of Birmingham and the West Midlands. The spaces are not always theatre spaces, and some of them are smaller than our space at the REP. I rework some of the blocking with the cast for smaller spaces with different entrances and exits and we perform to new audiences.


Track 5

We are welcoming the fantastic Vedi Roy this week who is going to play G on the POP MUSIC national tour as we say Bye Bye Bye to Rakesh (turn of the century NSYNC, anyone?) This is where my note taking throughout rehearsals is going to be very useful because Director James is away, and I am in charge of bringing Vedi up to speed and getting him ready for his first performance, which is fast approaching. We can’t wait to see him out there on the stage with the team!