Paines Plough to tour Luke Norris’ award winning play Growth in Autumn 2017

Playwright Luke Norris
Playwright Luke Norris

Playwright Luke Norris © Rebecca Need Menear

Luke Norris’ award winning production of Growth will embark upon a second UK tour this Autumn. The production originally debuted at Paines Plough’s ROUNDABOUT @ SUMMERHALL at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2016 and won a prestigious Fringe First award before touring the UK.

Dominic Jones will play Tobes with Dafydd Llyr Thomas playing roles including Jared, Joff, Julian, Justin, Jack, Jermaine, Jamie and Joel and Safiyya Ingar will play roles including Beth, Ellie, Lily, Lise, Bess, Billie, Liza and Izzy. Growth will tour to over twenty-five venues across the UK.

It’s a lump in a bag of lumps. It’s fine.”
Tobes is young, free and having a ball. Off.
He’s successfully ignored his lump for two years but it’s starting to get in the way – cramping his style and, worse, affecting his sex life. So now there are pants to be dropped, and decisions to be made… It’s a real ball ache.

Luke Norris is a writer of stage and screen. His play Growth was performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016 in Paines Plough’s Roundabout, where it won a Fringe First before heading out on a UK tour. He is currently under commission to the Bush Theatre and is writing a new play under attachment to the National Theatre New Work Department. His radio play for BBC Radio 4 The Coming Tide is currently available on iPlayer here.

Luke’s professional debut Goodbye To All That was performed at the Royal Court Jerwood and was widely acclaimed. His next play So Here We Are, won a Bruntwood Judges Award and was nominated for two Manchester Theatre Awards. It debuted at High Tide Festival in September 2015 before transferring to Manchester Royal Exchange. Luke has also written for the National Theatre Connections (Hearts), which played at the Sheffield Crucible and the Shed Theatre at the National.

For TV Luke writes drama and comedy and has had original ideas under option to Lovely Day and Hat Trick. He was selected to participate in the Channel 4 Screenwriting Course 2014, which led to his original drama script Autumn.

In addition to writing, Luke has appeared on screen as an actor in PoldarkFirstBorn, Skins and The Inbetweeners.

Dominic Jones will play Tobes with Dafydd Llyr Thomas playing roles including Jared, Joff, Julian, Justin, Jack, Jermaine, Jamie and Joel and Safiyya Ingar playing roles including Beth, Ellie, Lily, Lise, Bess, Billie, Liza and Izzy.

Dominic Jones has recently graduated from the Oxford School of Drama. His theatre whilst training included Flare Plath, A Month in the Country, The London Cuckolds, Twelfth Night, Andorra, Cause Celebre, The Light (Royal Court Theatre), If and When and Attempts on her Life (both Soho Theatre).

Dafydd Llyr Thomas trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. His previous stage credits include Cyrano de Bergerac (Theatr Clwyd), The Havest (Theatre Royal Bath), The Witch of Edmonton(Royal Shakespeare Company), Mametz (National Theatre wales), Wendy and Peter (Royal Shakespeare Company) and The Welsh Atlantis (Latitude Festival).

In addition to his work on stage, Dafydd’s television credits include Ordinary Lives 2, Aliens, Stella, Scrotal Recall, Casualty, Quick Cuts, Zanzibar and Ar Y Tracs. His film credits include A Long Way Down andHunky Dory.

Safiyya Ingar is delighted to be making her professional debut in Growth. She recently completed her BA Acting (Hons) at Arts Educational Schools in London and her credits whilst training included The Crucible, The Frontline and Sunny.

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Out of Joint Co-Director, Kate Wasserberg, Interview: “I want to work with new people and I want to open doors.”

Kate Wasserberger

Kate WasserbergKate Wasserberg’s new job as co-Artistic Director of Out of Joint sees her joining founder Max Stafford-Clark to helm the company. Out of Joint have performed in six continents and co-produced with leading theatres globally, led from the start by Stafford-Clark.  So, how will the new management structure work? “Max was very central to the recruitment process and we had really honest conversations about the fact that I was already an Artistic Director. I made it clear that I was interested in running the company with him as a partnership, that I wanted us to have a genuine relationship as co-directors and that we would find a way to run it shoulder-to-shoulder,” she says. “Audiences can expect a commitment to political work, alongside a commitment to an aesthetic”, she says. “I want to find a language for my work that is complimentary with Max’s work with Out of Joint, but also distinct, so that we are increasing our breadth as a company. I want us to engage young audiences. I want us to be the hot ticket in town, and I think that often we are – but I want to build on that.”

Variety is the key both to her work and her artistic tastes. “I want to work with new people and I want to open doors. If we all keep working with people we know then there is no way for new people to break in,” she says. Wasserberg wants to be part of a wider conversation that reaches beyond theatre. “One of the reasons that I had to apply for the job was because of the political climate. Out of Joint is one of those companies that directly affects discussions around the kitchen table all up and down Britain. That doesn’t mean that all our work will be political with a capital ‘p’ but it means I’m going to engage with those conversations on a national level.”

There’s no question that Wasserberg has put in the work to reach where she is now. She was Associate Director at Theatr Clwyd and the Finborough Theatre and has directed plays for the Traverse, Soho TheatrePaines Plough and HighTideThe shape of my career is that I’ve made a lot of shows and sometimes I’ve learned by doing it wrong. My work hasn’t been as diverse at it could have been and I probably should have tried harder. That is something that I will be doing,” she says. “I feel like I’ve taken the slow road. It wasn’t my choice and when I was in my twenties and I saw my contemporaries excel I was, at times, envious.”

In 2014, Wasserberg founded and ran the Cardiff pub theatre the Other Room. She and her team achieved some remarkable things in a very short space of time. (The Other Room was named Fringe Theatre of the Year by The Stage in 2016). I ask her what she’ll miss most“Oh God, everything. They are the most remarkable group of people I have ever had the privilege to work with in my life. Every single day we did the impossible. Their standards are really high, they are so passionate, so talented.” She is satisfied with her achievements but looking to the future. “I doubt I’ll have that precise experience again in my life. It was so profound and special. The things that run through The Other Room like a stick of rock: an absolute commitment to artistic excellent, always thinking about the audience first and paying everyone properly. I’m really proud of that.”

When it comes to influences, she cites Emma Rice, Tamara Harvey and Neil McPherson: “Neil taught me that excellence is the only option,” she smiles. I think it’s really important to remain a fan of theatre and stay in love with it.”

We discuss Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s extraordinary play An Octoroon, which is both an adaptation of a 19th-century melodrama and a postmodernist critique of it. “It blew me away – I felt really fired up by it,” she pauses. “I’m quite conflicted too though because I’ve read the Exeunt response and it was so intelligent and considered. It made me question my easy response. My reaction to that work, though, was as a white audience member. I thought it was gloriously bold, I thought the company was incredible. I found it really bracing… the Orange Tree Theatre is a fireball of ingenuity.”

Wasserberg bluntly describes the challenges of being a working mother in this industry. “I struggle with it constantly; it’s a scramble,” she says, “The thing I was unprepared for was the emotional toll of being away from them. I have two extraordinary, resilient and optimistic children, but I still struggle with it. I’m excited to get them to London and as they grow – they may not be interested in the arts at all – but they will meet all sorts of people and their world will be large. I wish I could do all of that and put them to bed every single night… OSunday night I was a bit tearful about being away from home and my husband, who is a very wise man, said: try and enjoy this, you’ve worked so hard for it. If I’m away from them and I feel guilty then there’s no point in doing it”, she declares “so, when I go home I’m going to turn the phone off and live both parts of my life fully.” 

Rita, Sue and Bob Too, A revival of the play, directed by Max Stafford-Clark, tours from September.

Paines Plough’s Roundabout plays will transfer to Orange Tree Theatre in January 2018

Black Mountain
Black Mountain

Black Mountain

Co-Artistic Directors of Paines Plough James Grieve and George Perrin today announced that, in co-production with Orange Tree Theatre and Theatr Clwyd, Black Mountain by Brad Birch, Out Of Love by Elinor Cook and How To Be A Kid Sarah McDonald-Hughes will transfer to Orange Tree Theatre in January 2018.

The three plays will be preceded by Paines Plough’s global phenomenon Every Brilliant Thing which will play at Orange Tree Theatre from 9 – 28 October 2017.

Tickets are on general sale from 26 June at:

James Grieve and George Perrin said today: “We’re delighted to announce that four of Paines Plough’s productions will be staged at Orange Tree from this Autumn. The inclusive spirit of London’s only permanent theatre in-the-round is perfect for Every Brilliant Thing and we can’t wait to give London audiences a chance to see the show again.

It’s been a joy to work with Orange Tree Theatre as one of our co-producers for Roundabout this year, and we’re thrilled that Black Mountain, Out Of Love and How To Be A Kid will be playing in Richmond at the start of 2018.

We hugely admire the work that Paul, Sarah and their team have been doing over the past couple of years, and are excited to be working with one of the most dynamic theatres in London for innovative new writing.”

Black Mountain, Out Of Love and How To Be A Kid will preview at Theatr Clwyd (24 June – 22 July) before opening in ROUNDABOUT @ SUMMERHALL as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (4 – 27 August). Following this ROUNDABOUT will embark upon a UK tour visiting Salford, Kendal, Margate, Lincoln, Darlington, Poole, Stoke and Luton in Autumn 2017. All three productions will star Hasan Dixon, Katie Elin-Salt and Sally Messham and are directed by James Grieve.

Following a 2017 European tour and dates in South Korea, Paines Plough’s globally acclaimed Every Brilliant Thing will transfer to Orange Tree Theatre in October 2017. Every Brilliant Thing was written by Duncan Macmillan (People Places and Things, 1984) with Jonny Donahoe and directed by Paines Plough joint Artistic Director George Perrin, and has now been seen by over 45,000 people across four continents.

A Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company production
By Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe

9 – 28 October 2017

The worldwide smash hit is back for its first major London run.

You’re seven years old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s ‘done something stupid’. She finds it hard to be happy.

You make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world.

Everything worth living for.

1. Ice cream
2. Water fights
3. Staying up past your bedtime and being allowed to watch TV
4. The colour yellow
5. Things with stripes
6. Rollercoasters
7. People falling over

A play about depression and the lengths we go to for those we love.

Based on true and untrue stories.

Jonny Donahoe is a comedian, writer and performer. When Every Brilliant Thing played Off-Broadway, he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show. He returns to the Orange Tree after his sell-out performances with Jonny & the Baptists, who have toured extensively including the Edinburgh Fringe.


A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production
By Brad Birch

26 January – 3 March 2018

Rebecca and Paul are running away. Away from memories and mistakes.

They’re trying to save their relationship. They need time and space. An isolated house in the country is the perfect place to work things out.

But you can’t run forever. Especially when you’re being followed.

Black Mountain is a tense psychological thriller about betrayal and forgiveness by Fringe First winner and recipient of the prestigious Harold Pinter Commission, Brad Birch.


A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production

By Elinor Cook
27 January – 3 March 2018

Lorna and Grace do everything together. They share crisps, cigarettes and crushes. That’s what happens when you’re best friends forever.

But when Lorna gets a place at University, and Grace gets pregnant, they suddenly find themselves in starkly different worlds. Can anything bridge the gap between them?

A tale of friendship, love and rivalry over thirty years from award-winning playwright Elinor Cook.

Elinor Cook is the Winner of the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright (2013).


A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production
By Sarah McDonald-Hughes

25 January – 3 March 2018

Molly cooks. Molly does the dishes. Molly gets her little brother Joe ready for school. Molly is only 12, but she doesn’t feel much like a kid anymore.

Now Molly’s Mum is feeling better, maybe things will get back to normal. Can you help Molly learn how to be a kid again?

Join Molly, Joe and her Nan for a larger than life story of family, friends and fitting in by Sarah McDonald-Hughes, twice nominated for the Best New Play at the Manchester Theatre Awards.

Warning: Contains dancing, chocolate cake and an epic car chase.


9 – 28 October
Orange Tree Theatre
Box Office: 020 8940 3633

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm (except 10 Oct 7.00pm)
Sat matinees 4.00pm


22 January – 3 March
Orange Tree Theatre
Box Office: 020 8940 3633

Black Mountain
Previews: Fri 26, Thu 30 Jan 7.30pm
Fri 2, Mon 5, Wed 7, Sat 10, Tue 13, Fri 16, Mon 19, Wed 21, Sat 24, Tue 27 Feb, Fri 2 March 7.30pm
Thu 1, Thu 15 Feb, Thu 1 March 2.30pm
Sat 3, Thu 8, Sat 17, Thu 22 Feb, Sat 3 March 4.30pm

Out of Love
Previews: Sat 27, Mon 29 Jan 7.30pm
Wed 31 Jan, Sat 3, Tue 6, Fri 9, Mon 12, Wed 14, Sat 17, Tue 20, Fri 23, Mon 26, Wed 28 Feb, Sat 3 March 7.30pm
Thu 8, Thu 22 Feb 2.30pm
Thu 1, Sat 10, Thu 15, Thu 1 March 4.30pm

How To Be A Kid
Preview: Thu 25 Feb 7.30pm
Thu 7.30pm & Sat 2.30pm

Post-show talks
Out of Love Tue 6 Feb 7.30pm
Black Mountain Tue 13 Feb 7.30pm

Captioned performances
Sat 24 Feb
How To Be A Kid 2.30pm
Out of Love 4.30pm
Black Mountain 7.30pm


4 – 27 August
Roundabout @ Summerhall
Box Office: 0131 560 1580

Press Performance for Out of Love: 6 August, 1.25pm
Press Performance for Black Mountain: 7 August, 1.25pm


24 June – 22 July
Theatr Clwyd
Box Office: 01352 701521

7 – 10 September
The Lowry
Box Office: 0843 208 6000

14 – 17 September
Brewery Arts Centre
Box Office: 01539 722833

21 – 24 September
Theatre Royal Margate
Box Office: 01843 292795

28 September – 1 October
Lincoln Performing Arts Centre
Box Office: 01522 837600

5 – 8 October
Darlington Theatre Town
Box Office details will be announced in due course.

12 – 15 October
Lighthouse, Poole
Box Office: 01202 280000

19 – 22 October
Appetite Stoke
Box Office: 01782 717962

26 – 29 October
Revoluton Arts



Paines Plough’s global smash hit Every Brilliant Thing to begin European Tour in May 2017

Theatr Clwyd announces 2017 Summer and Autumn seasons

Tamara Harvey
Tamara Harvey

Tamara Harvey

As she completes her first year as Artistic Director of Theatr Clwyd, Tamara Harvey today announced the 2017 Summer and Autumn seasons for the company. These include four world premières; BoHo, a co-production with Hijinx Theatre which features both learning disabled and non-disabled actors, and, after a successful collaboration on the production of Love Lies and Taxidermy, Theatr Clwyd reunites with Paines Plough to open the 2017 Roundabout Season with co-productions of Black Mountain, Out Of Love and How To Be A Kid in collaboration with the Orange Tree Theatre. The Theatr Clwyd and Sheffield Theatres co-production of a new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, by Welsh Playwright Peter Gill, will be directed by Harvey and will open at Clwyd from the 21 September ahead of transferring to Sheffield Theatres as part of Robert Hastie’s inaugural season.

This summer will see the second annual Family Arts Weekend take place as Theatr Clwyd gives access to all areas of the building with performances, workshops and adventures for children of all ages and their families. Following on from this, the Summer Schools for children aged 6-18 will run from 31 July – 18 August and from October 5 Kate Wasserberg returns to Clwyd to direct a new production of The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright.

Highlights of the visiting programme include Theatr Clwyd hosting the National Theatre’s My Country; a work in progress by Artistic Director Rufus Norris and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. Welsh pianist Llyr Williams and international renowned clarinettist Emma Johnson and the Castalian String Quartet present a programme including Mozart and Brahms clarinet quintets. In June, Kneehigh’s acclaimed Tristan & Yseult will be at the theatre and tells a great celtic love story in an show which blends comedy and live music for an irresistible night of love.

Tamara Harvey said today “Celebrating homegrown talent is at the forefront of what we do at Theatr Clwyd and we are privileged, in this forthcoming season, to be working with world renowned and emerging Welsh and Wales-based artists, including playwrights Peter Gill and Brad Birch and director Kate Wasserberg. And I’m very proud to be welcoming back Hannah Noone to direct the world premiere of ‘BoHo’ in our co-production with Hijinx, featuring actors with and without learning disabilities. As I begin my second year in the role of Artistic Director, I’m looking forward to building on the inspiring relationships we’ve formed with some of the UK’s most creative individuals and companies. We’re particularly honoured to be co-producing Paines Plough’s 2017 Roundabout season and opening all three new plays on Theatr Clwyd’s beautiful hillside. Already this spring we’ve co-produced three premières – Scarlett, Junkyard and Sinners Club, the latter created by our first Writer in Residence, Lucy Rivers, whilst she was with us at Theatr Clwyd. As the Writers in Residence scheme begins its second year, my hope is that the relationships we build will further establish us as a home from home for emerging writers as they take centre stage at the heart of our work.”


Roundabout is the world’s first pop-up, plug-and-play theatre. It flat packs into a lorry and pops up all over the country in theatres, school halls, warehouses, sports centres, car parks and fields. Theatr Clwyd are proud to hold the press night for How To Be A Kid on Thursday 29 June and Out Of Love and Black Mountain press nights will be held in Edinburgh. Artistic Director of Paines Plough, James Grieve, will direct three world première productions that will appear in rep on Theatr Clwyd’s hilltop throughout July.



By Elinor Cook

 A Theatr Clwyd, Paines Plough and Orange Tree Theatre co-production

 Director: James Grieve

 Monday 10 – Saturday 22 July

 From the award-winning writer of Pilgrims, which was co-produced with Theatr Clwyd, HighTide and Vicky Graham Productions and directed by Tamara Harvey, Out Of Love is a tale of friendship, love and rivalry over thirty years.

 Lorna and Grace do everything together and share everything. But when Lorna gets a place at university and Grace gets pregnant they suddenly find themselves in starkly different worlds. Can anything bridge the gap between them?

 Elinor Cook won the 2013 George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright for Pilgrims, directed by Tamara Harvey, and her play The Girl’s Guide to Saving the World was produced by HighTide as part of their festival in April 2014, directed by Amelia Sears. Her other plays include Ten Weeks (Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama at Gate Theatre), Microwave (short-listed for the Old Vic/Theatre 503 Award for new writing),The Boy Preference (National Theatre Connections), The Circle Game (Old Vic New Voices Time Warner Ignite 3 recipient and performed at Latitude Festival) and This is Where We Got to When You Came In (co-written with non zero one and Bush Theatre). She wrote an episode of The Secrets, which was directed by Dominic Savage on BBC One. 

James Grieve directs all three Roundabout productions and is Joint Artistic Director of Paines Plough. For Paines Plough his credits include Broken Biscuits, Jumpers For Goalposts, The Angry Brigade, An Intervention, Love, Love, Love, Hopelessly Devoted, Wasted, The Sound Of Heavy Rain, You Cannot Go Forward From Where You Are Right Now, Tiny Volcanoes and Fly Me To The Moon. Other directing credits include a new production of Les Miserables (Wermland Opera in Karlstad) Translations (Sheffield Theatres/ETT/Rose Theatre Kingston), A NOBODY (66 BOOKS) by Laura Dockrill, The Whisky Taster and Psychogeography (Bush Theatre), and The List (Arcola Theatre). Grieve has also directed comedians and poets including Isy Suttie, Simon Brodkin (Lee Nelson), Luke Wright, Martin Figura and Aisle16.



By Sarah McDonald-Hughes

 A Theatr Clwyd, Paines Plough and Orange Tree Theatre co-production

 Director: James Grieve

 Saturday 24 June – Saturday 22 July

Press Night: Thursday 29 June 7pm

From Manchester playwright Sarah McDonald-Hughes, How To Be a Kid is for children 7 or over and is alarger than life story of friends, family and fitting in and tackles some big subjects with extraordinary lightness of touch and a lot of joyous dancing.

 Molly cooks and does the dishes. She gets her little brother Joe ready for school. Molly is only 12, but she doesn’t feel much like a kid anymore. Now her mum is feeling better, maybe things will get back to normal. Can Molly learn to be a kid again?

Sarah McDonald Hughes is an award-winning playwright. Her work includes Multi Story (Octagon Bolton),Wondrous Place (Northern Spirit/Liverpool Unity/Sheffield Crucible/Northern Stage/Royal Exchange), Flesh(Manchester Royal Exchange), By Far The Greatest Team, Once In A House On Fire, Maine Road(Monkeywood Theatre), Salisbury Street (Liverpool Everyman), The Tower (Paines Plough/Royal Exchange Studio), The Tree, Night Train (Action Transport Theatre), and Our Pals and The North (Royal Exchange Studio).



By Brad Birch

A Theatr Clwyd, Paines Plough and Orange Tree Theatre co-production

Director: James Grieve

Saturday 8 – Friday 21 July

 Black Mountain from Welsh playwright Brad Birch is a tense psychological thriller about betrayal and forgiveness.

 Rebecca and Paul are running away. They’re trying to save their relationship. An isolated house in the country is the perfect place to work things out. But you can’t run forever. Especially when you’re being followed.

Brad Birch is an award-winning writer. His plays include This Must Be The Place (Poleroid Theatre/ VAULT Festival), The Brink (Orange Tree Theatre), The Protest (The Old Vic), Selfie: The Modern Day Dorian Gray(Ambassador’s Theatre), Tender Bolus (Manchester Royal Exchange/Schauspielhaus), Gardening For The Unfulfilled and Alienated (winner Fringe First Award 2013) (Undeb Theatre/Edinburgh Festival), Soap Opera, Where The Shot Rabbits Lay, Permafrost (Royal Court Theatre), Even Stillness Breathes Softly Against A Brick Wall (Soho Theatre Upstairs), Want For Nothing-For Waifs And Strays (Lyric Hammersmith), Light Arrested Between The Curtain And The Glass (Sherman Cymru) and Sunflowers, The Snow Queen (Theatr Prowys).

Roundabout is part of Paines Plough’s Programme 2017. Following Theatr Clwyd, Roundabout will tour to Salford, Kendal, Margate, Lincoln, Darlington, Poole, Stoke and Luton in Autumn 2017. Orange Tree Theatre dates, Edinburgh dates and casting for Roundabout 2017 will be announced in due course.



Devised by Hijinx Theatre Company

 A Theatr Clwyd and Hijinx Theatre co-production

 Director and Composer: Hannah Noone

 Thursday 22 – Saturday 24 June

Press Night: Thursday 22 June
Devised by the company with a score by Hannah Noone, the world première production of BoHo is a dystopian musical misadventure.

Hannah Noone has previously worked at Theatr Clwyd as Assistant Director on Tamara Harvey’s first two productions, Much Ado About Nothing and Pilgrims. She is a member of the JMK Sherman Cymru’s Directors Group, Resident Director for Opera’r Ddraig and Artistic Director of Welsh Youth Performance Academy. Directing credits include Die Fledermaus, The Beggar’s Opera, Carmen, Hansel & Gretel (Opera’r Ddraig), Cinderella (Bute Park Opera) and Venus & Adonis (Opera Mint).



By Anton Chekhov; Adapted by Peter Gill

Director: Tamara Harvey

Thursday 21 September – Saturday 14 October

Press Night: Tuesday 26 September 7.45pm

Chekhov’s comic tragedy about polite people going crazy in the middle of nowhere, drinking too much and not having enough sex. Can people ever take a leap and change their own lives?

 Tamara Harvey directs this poignant comedy in a heartbreaking new version by Peter Gill, which was commissioned by Theatr Clwyd. The production will be performed in the round.

 Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) was a Russian playwright and short story writer. His principal works for the stage include Ivanov, Platonov, The Seagull, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.

 Peter Gill (b.1939) is a Welsh playwright, theatre director and actor. As a playwright, his works include, The Sleeper’s Den, Over Gardens Out, Small Change, Kick for Touch, Cardiff East, Certain Young Men, The York Realist, Original Sin, Another Door Closed, Versailles and As Good a Time as Any. His adaptations for the stage include A Provincial Life, The Merry-Go-Round, The Cherry Orchard, Touch and Go, As I Lay Dyingand The Seagull.

 Artistic Director of Theatr Clwyd, Tamara Harvey directs – which sees her return to Sheffield Theatres following her recent production of Pride and Prejudice. She has directed in the West End, throughout the UK and abroad, working on classic plays, new writing, musical theatre and in film. Her inaugural production for Theatr Clwyd was Much Ado About Nothing, followed by the première of Elinor Cook’s award-winning new play, Pilgrims and Skylight by David Hare. Her previous credits include the world premières of From Here To Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), Breeders (St James Theatre), The Kitchen Sink, The Contingency Plan,Sixty-Six Books and tHe dYsFUnCKshOnalZ! (Bush Theatre), In the Vale of Health (a cycle of four plays by Simon Gray), Elephants, Blue Heart Afternoon and Hello/Goodbye (Hampstead Theatre), and Plague Over England (Finborough Theatre & West End). Other theatre includes Kreutzer vs Kreutzer (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse/Royal Festival Hall), Bash (Trafalgar Studios), Whipping It Up (New Ambassadors), One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Gielgud & Garrick Theatres), Educating Rita and Smash (Menier Chocolate Factory & Theatre Royal Bath), Romeo and Juliet (Theatre of Memory at Middle Temple Hall), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe), Dancing at Lughnasa (Birmingham Rep), Bedroom Farce (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Importance of Being Earnest (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Closer(Theatre Royal Northampton), Tell Me On A Sunday (UK Tour) and the UK première of Tennessee Williams’Something Cloudy, Something Clear (Finborough Theatre). Harvey directed the Shakespeare scenes that form an integral part of Anonymous, the feature film by Roland Emmerich; has twice been on the panel of the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright, and is a Trustee of the Peggy Ramsay Foundation and of the National Student Drama Festival.  She was Associate Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre in 2010-11, overseeing the move to the Bush’s new home and directing the first three productions in the new theatre.



By Jim Cartwright

Director: Kate Wasserberg

 Thursday 5 – Saturday 28 October

Press Night: Tuesday 10 October

 In a northern town in the 1980s Little Voice hides in her room with her favourite records, away from the chaos of the world outside, with a secret that could change her life – a voice that could make millions. But will she sing? Little Voice is an award-winning comedy about mothers, daughters and finding a voice of your own.

 Jim Cartwright is an award-winning writer and his plays have been translated into over 35 languages. His plays include Bed (National Theatre), Two (Octagon Theatre/The Young Vic), Eight Miles High (Octagon Theatre) and Rise and Fall of Little Voice (National Theatre/The Aldwych Theatre). He made his directorial debut with Road at The Royal Exchange Theatre and as a director his credits include I licked a Slag’s Deodorant, Hard Fruit (Royal Court Theatre), Prize Night (Royal Exchange Theatre), A Christmas Fair(Milton Rooms), Mobile Phone Show (National Theatre), The Ancient Secret of Youth and The Five Tibetans, Two2 (The Octagon). His television work includes Road, Vroom, Wedded and June.

 Kate Wasserberg is the Artistic Director of The Other Room in Cardiff, where her directing credits for the company include Blasted, The Dying of Today, Play/Silence, Sand and Seanmhair. She returns to Theatr Clwyd where as an Associate Director her credits include Aristocrats, Salt, Root and Roe, Glengarry Glen Ross, Roots, Gaslight, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Glass Menagerie and A History of Falling Things and other credits for the company include All My Sons and Insignificance. Other credits include The Barnbow Canaries (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Ten Weeks (Paines Plough), The Knowledge (Dirty Protest at the Royal Court) and Last Christmas (Edinburgh Festival). As Associate Director of the Finborough Theatre, her credits include Mirror Teeth, The Man (National Tour), Sons of York, Little Madam, The Representative, I Wish to Die Singing and The New Morality.


Behold: Paines Plough 

Paines Plough are one of theatre’s secret weapons. The touring new writing company has  and are continuing their extremely brilliant partnership with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Gate Theatre in fostering talent by staging Hush by Alison Carr.

For the past three years, they have supported emerging writers has penned a short play for the graduating class of the college which is then staged in Cardiff and London for a short run. Previous playwrights who have taken part in the partnership with Paines Plough, RWCMD and Gate Theatre are Elinor Cook and Brad Birch who are both debuting full length new plays at Paines Plough Roundabout later this year.

I caught up with Hush writer Alison Carr and Paines Plough’s Artistic Director James Grieve to chat about new writing, the amazing new season, mainstream criticism and more.

Basically, it’s a really good chat.

Alison Carr

Alison Carr

Hi Alison, Paines Plough have a solid reputation for nurturing young theatre talent – how does it feel to be part of that?
It’s great. I first worked with Paines Plough about seven years ago when I took part in Come To Where I’m From at Live Theatre in Newcastle. I met James and George; I really liked the company and what they were doing. I wanted to be part of it. We’ve kept in touch and when I got the call to write their co-commission with RWCMD I was thrilled. And a bit daunted. A cast of eight, you say?! But they’ve been really supportive and encouraging throughout the process and I’m really proud of the play and excited for people to see it.

Last year you completed The Traverse Fifty – a 6-month attachment with Monkeywood Theatre. How helpful was that experience?
They’re actually two separate things. The Traverse Fifty was a year-long attachment with the Traverse that I was part of in 2013. It was incredible; I’d definitely say one of the most important experiences of my writing career so far. I was actually on the verge of packing-in writing when I entered to be part of it – it was a real make or break moment. The attachment with Manchester’s Monkeywood Theatre a couple of years ago was an opportunity to be supported over a 6-month draft process, culminating in a development day and a reading. It’s always good to have structure and support when you’re writing – I need deadlines and pressure – and then the chance to hear the play read by actors, work with a director, it’s all invaluable with a new work.

What is your play ‘Hush’ about?
There’s a question. There are three strands to the story – a young woman who comes back to the town she grew up in and left under a cloud, her former best friend who has stayed in the town and tried to live a good life, and a young man who waits in limbo for the return of his missing brother. So, broadly speaking, it’s about coming home, leaving vs staying, guilt, identity and loss. There are some jokes in there too, though.


Are there any writing tips that you live by?
It’s not exactly a pithy quote, but ‘just get on with it’ would be the main one. The amount of time I waste on worrying and procrastination, whereas when I just sit down and do something I feel so much better. Also, small achievable goals are key and time off is allowed.


James Grieve

James Grieve

Congratulations on the wonderful Paines Plough season. What are you most excited about?
All of it. But particularly our Roundabout tour because I get to direct three outstanding new plays by Brad Birch, Elinor Cook and Sarah McDonald-Hughes with an ensemble of actors and go on tour in our beautiful pop-up theatre to lots of great places around the UK. We built Roundabout to give people amazing theatre experiences in places where there isn’t usually any theatre and it’s one of the things I’m most passionate about doing.


Paines Plough doesn’t just develop exciting new writing but also cultivate directors and mentor them in producing bigger work. Why is that important to the company?
Great new plays need directors who understand and genuinely love playwrights and possess the particular skills and sensitivity needed to deliver a world premiere production of a new play. Developing directors with those skills and forging relationships between directors and playwrights is very important to us. John Tiffany first worked with Gregory Burke, Enda Walsh and Jack Thorne at PP and those lasting relationships went on to make BLACK WATCH, ONCE and HARRY POTTER. Our former Artistic Directors now run The Royal Court and Birmingham Rep. Our Associate Companies are run by the leading Artistic Directors of the future. New talent is following in the footsteps of Ian Rickson and Katie Mitchell as PP assistant directors. Developing great new writing directors is essential to PP now and vital to the entire theatre industry in the future.

You are continuing your partnership with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Gate Theatre in nurturing young talent. What makes this partnership so special?
The NEW season is the visionary brainchild of RWCMD’s head of acting Dave Bond. With the college we co-commission and co-produce a new play written for and performed by the graduating actors as the final show of their training. It’s a fantastic challenge for playwrights to write big cast, ensemble plays with equally weighted roles. It’s a wonderful opportunity for a playwright and director to develop a relationship. It’s an incredible, unique opportunity for the student actors to bridge training and professional life by originating roles in a world premiere by an outstanding contemporary playwright, working with a professional director and performing in both Cardiff and London. It’s a completely brilliant project. And the plays sometimes go on to have a professional life – Ali McDowell’s POMONA and our own Luke Norris’ GROWTH began life as NEW productions.

With the Guardian cutting the extremely brilliant Lyn Gardner’s theatre blog – the big question is: will all mainstream critics end up on Theatre’s rocks, being eaten by crabs?
No, Lyn is far too vital to be marginalised. She will continue to be an essential read wherever she posts her reviews and analysis. I’m sad at the loss of the Guardian blog, but I’m equally excited by the emergence of new platforms and publications and the vitality of theatre writing and criticism online.

Great initiative by Team Paines Plough: Open auditions in London and Luton

Paines Plough

Monday 03 April, 1-4pm @ The Hat Factory, Luton LU1 2EY
Wednesday 05 April, 10am-5pm @ Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond TW9 2SA

Team Paines Plough have announced the  next round of open auditions in collaboration with  Revoluton Arts and the Orange Tree Theatre.

They’re looking to meet actors previously unknown to Paines Plough with a passion for new writing. You can apply in pairs for one of the dates from now until 10 am on 21 March and then they will randomly select 15 duos to see in Luton and 30 duos for Richmond. This is to ensure that everyone who wants to apply is able to, and that the selection process is fair to everyone.

In Luton, they are  only looking for actors who are originally from – or currently live – in Luton or wider Bedfordshire. If you’re not from Bedfordshire please do not apply for these open auditions.

Anyone is welcome to apply for the open auditions in Richmond.

This is how to apply:

– Find yourself a partner – they’re auditioning people in pairs.
– Pick your venue – they only want to meet Bedfordshire actors on 03 April so make sure you apply for the Orange Tree date if you’re not from or based in the area.
– Register by filling in this form by 10am on Tuesday 21 March. There’s no need to send in anything else in advance.
– If you are selected to audition, they will  get in touch with you by Friday 24 March with an audition time – make sure you let them know if you can make it or not.
– If you’re not selected to audition this time, you will be kept on a waiting list and may be offered an audition if a slot becomes available.
– Once everything’s confirmed, please prepare a three-minute duologue from a play written in the last 15 years.
– On the day, all you need is your Spotlight or CV printout and your partner.

Some things to bear in mind:

– If you have auditioned for Paines Plough before, you won’t be eligible to audition this time round.
– To give everyone a fair shot, agent or not, they will  only accept applications from actors so, if you have an agent, please apply using your own email address.
– Places are all allocated in advance. Due to high demand they normally can’t accommodate requests for a different time, and they will be unable to see people on a walk-up basis.
– If for any reason you can’t make your audition please let us them know  ASAP by emailing [email protected]. If you don’t turn up to your audition without letting them know in advance, you won’t be able to apply for future Paines Plough Open Auditions.
– They can only accept applications made with this form before the deadline.
– Due to the large volume of people they will be seeing, they won’t be able to offer feedback.
– They aren’t casting for a particular show at the moment – they just want to meet some new actors so that they can bear you in mind for future productions. So don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back from them after your audition.
– Check out our FAQs for more information about the application process and what to expect on the day, or ping them an email at [email protected] if you’re not sure about anything.
– Don’t worry if you don’t live in the area –they try to hold as many Open Auditions as they can throughout the year all around the UK. Join their  mailing list or keep an eye on Paines Plough social media for details of the next ones…


You can download our FAQs here: Open Audition FAQs

Paines Plough announces Programme 2017

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Interview: Broken Biscuits Tom Wells: “The other day I was trying to explain something a bit awkward and eat a Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer at the same time and it went a bit wrong”

Tom Wells

Broken Biscuits is part of Paines Plough’s Programme 2016 which has also included Sabrina Mahfouz’s With A Little Bit of Luck, Come To Where I’m From: Ahead of the new coming-of-age comedy world premier of Broken Biscuits.

Tom Wells

Tom Wells © Matt Humphrey

I had a chat with its writer, Tom Wells,  about how he came to be a playwright, being part of Paines Plough 2016 season and getting something stuck in his throat.

Hi Tom! Can you tell us a secret about Broken Biscuits?
Something really good happens at the end.

How did you come to be a playwright?
I did a course at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds – you didn’t need to have written a play before, you just wrote them a letter and had a go. Some things I did in the workshops ended up being my first play, which they put on. And then I just carried on.

When was the last time you got something stuck in your throat?
The other day I was trying to explain something a bit awkward and eat a Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer at the same time and it went a bit wrong.

What emoji best sums up your life at the moment and why?
The biscuit is popping up quite a lot just lately.

Have you ever managed to get a cuddly toy out of those machines with the claw thing?
No. I’ve given up.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done while drunk?
I woke up in a skip once. But my friend Kate got in a bin and weed so it seemed less bad.

What is your favourite biscuit?

Broken Biscuits is part of Paines Plough’s Programme 2016 – that must be exciting! Could you tell us a little about your history with the company?
I first started working there in 2009 – Tessa and Rox, who now work at Birmingham Rep, ran a year-long attachment called Future Perfect, which was brilliant. We put short pieces of work on, talked to lots of different writers, went to see properly good plays and somehow just turned into playwrights. And then James and George took over and commissioned a play called Jumpers For Goalposts, which James directed in 2013. And we had a good time working on it so we’ve had another go, which is Broken Biscuits. I think Paines Plough as a company has got magic in it. It is lovely to be part of this year’s Programme.

Broken Biscuits

Easy question: who do you think is the best living playwright?
Annie Baker.

Following it’s run at Live Theatre in Newcastle, Broken Biscuits will be heading out on a UK tour – are you excited for audiences around the UK to see it?
Really excited.

Broken Biscuits opens at Live Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne from 5 – 22 October before embarking on a UK tour. Click HERE to buy your tickets for Broken Biscuits.