Paines Plough announces full programme for Roundabout @ Summerhall 2017

Co-Artistic Directors of Paines Plough James Grieve and George Perrin today revealed the full programme of new writing filling ROUNDABOUT @ SUMMERHALL, kicking off at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before a UK tour in Autumn 2017.

This year, Paines Plough in co-production with Orange Tree Theatre and Theatr Clwyd will stage three World Premieres from Brad Birch, Elinor Cook and Sarah McDonald-Hughes who will treat audiences to a tense psychological thriller, a thirty-year friendship between two childhood friends and a lesson in how to not grow up. All three productions will star Hasan Dixon, Katie Elin-Salt and Sally Messham.

Joining the three world premieres will be Middle Child and Hull UK City of Culture’s All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Luke Barnes; Monsay Whitney’s new play Box Clever produced by nabokov and The Marlowe; the Royal Court Theatre’s sold-out production of MANWATCHING; Dirty Protest’s Sugar Baby penned by Alan Harris; and Nilaja Sun’s latest show PIKE ST.

Paines Plough will also welcome back Sam Steiner’s Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons following its sell-out run at Roundabout in 2016; Stacey Gregg’s Fringe First winner Scorch; Jonny & the Baptists with a celebration of their silliest and most satirical songs; and Duncan Macmillan’s universally acclaimed Every Brilliant Thing.

James Grieve and George Perrin said today:

“We’re proud to present our ROUNDABOUT @ SUMMERHALL line-up for 2017, packed with outstanding new plays from around the UK.

Our Roundabout rep features three world premieres with Brad Birch’s edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller BLACK MOUNTAIN, Elinor Cook’s sublime story of female friendship OUT OF LOVE and Sarah McDonald-Hughes’ magical, moving HOW TO BE A KID. All three plays will be performed by an ensemble of superb, shapeshifting actors Hasan Dixon, Katie Elin-Salt and Sally Messham.

We’re also welcoming some of the UK’s most innovative and exciting new writing companies and playwrights to Roundabout. Our Associate Company Middle Child present Luke Barnes’ ode to growing up and dancing in Hull ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING, nabokov and The Marlowe present the World Premiere of Monsay Whitney’s BOX CLEVER, the essential MANWATCHING, written by an anonymous woman, joins us direct from it sold-out run at The Royal Court and Cardiff’s Dirty Protest present Alan Harris’ new playSUGAR BABY. From across the Atlantic, we’re proud to present the UK Premiere of PIKE ST. by celebrated New York writer Nilaja Sun.

We’ll be welcoming back old friends Sam Steiner with LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS, Stacey Gregg with last year’s Fringe First winner SCORCH and Jonny & the Baptists with the best of their brilliance. And for one week only our worldwide smash hit EVERY BRILLIANT THING is back in ROUNDABOUT @ SUMMERHALL.

Our LATER programme returns with an eclectic mix of electric new work from the very best companies, comedians, musicians and more throughout the Fringe so keep an eye on our social channels for announcements.”


2017 marks the fourth year of Roundabout, Paines Plough’s award-winning plug-in-and-play theatre. The Roundabout season will preview from 24 June to 22 July at Theatr Clwyd before once again taking up residency at Summerhall during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 4 – 27 August.

Following ROUNDABOUT @ SUMMERHALL, Roundabout will embark on a UK tour with Black Mountain, How To Be A Kid and Out of Love. Visiting Salford, Kendal, Margate, Lincoln, Darlington, Poole, Stoke and Luton in Autumn 2017, the three plays will also run at the Orange Tree in London in Spring 2018.

Paines Plough presents

Black Mountain by Brad Birch. A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production – World Premiere
How To Be A Kid by Sarah McDonald-Hughes. A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production – World Premiere
Out of Love by Elinor Cook. A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production – World Premiere
Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe. A Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company production.

Roundabout 2017 Visiting Companies
All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Luke Barnes. Middle Child and Hull UK City of Culture
Box Clever by Monsay Whitney. nabokov and The Marlowe – World Premiere
Jonny & the Baptists: The Best of 2012 – 2017. Supporting Wall
Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons by Sam Steiner. A Walrus production.
MANWATCHING, written by an anonymous woman. Presented by Royal Court Theatre.
PIKE ST. by Nilaja Sun. Barrow Street Productions – European Premiere
Scorch by Stacey Gregg. Prime Cut Productions.
Sugar Baby by Alan Harris. Presented by Dirty Protest.

Paines Plough presents

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

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. They set themselves rules: they have to be honest, they have to listen and they have to be fair.

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.

Time: 1.25pm (70 mins) Dates: 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26 August.



A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production

By Elinor Cook

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).

Time: 1.25pm (70 mins) Dates: 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27 August.


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

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.

Time: 10.45am (50 mins) Dates: 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 August.


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

The worldwide smash hit is back for one week only.

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.

Time: 12.00pm (60 mins) Dates: 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 August.

*Middle Child and Hull UK City of Culture 2017
By Luke Barnes

Meet Leah and Chris; raised on Harry Potter, New Labour and a belief they would be special. But what happens when dreams don’t become reality? Set over three decades, from Cool Britannia to Brexit Britain, this is gig theatre from the award-winning team behind Weekend Rockstars.

Time: 8.45pm (75 mins) Dates: 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26,27 August.


nabokov and The Marlowe
By Monsay Whitney

“Ever get the feeling you’re going round in one big circle? Ten years. Back and forth between a trio of arseholes and nothing to show for it except a baby, an Argos ring and a busted nose. At the refuge they call that a pattern.”

Moving, truthful and darkly comic, Box Clever by nabokov’s associate-playwright Monsay Whitney, with music performed by Avi Simmons, is a new play about one woman’s experience of a refuge and a mother’s commitment to do the best for her daughter.

Time: 4.40pm (60 mins) Dates: 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26,27 August.

Supporting Wall
By Jonny & the Baptists

Celebrate five years of silly songs and satirical anthems from the multi-award-nominated musical comedy stars. Six performances only – advance booking essential!

Stars of Radio 4’s The Now Show and the BBC’s Live at Television Centre.

★★★★ ‘Wickedly amusing’ (Times).
★★★★ ‘Rallying… broad, daft and punchy’ (Guardian).
★★★★ ‘Uproarious satire… a double-act at the height of their powers’ (Stage)
★★★★ ‘Superbly crafted… very funny’ (Metro).
★★★★ ‘A triumph’ (Chortle).

Time: 19.25pm (55 mins) Dates: 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 August.


Paines Plough and Friends
Paines Plough curates a series of one-off shows from the hottest companies and artists on the Fringe.

Round off your day in Roundabout with exclusive new theatre, comedy, music, spoken word and more. Previous guests include the Royal Court, Josie Long and Torycore.

Roundabout is the place to be. And yes, you can bring drinks in.

Full line up TBA on

Dates: 09-27 August

By Sam Steiner

Walrus’ award-winning show returns to Paines Plough’s Roundabout for two weeks only.

The average person will speak 123,205,750 words in a lifetime. But what if there were a limit? Oliver and Bernadette are about to find out. This two-person show imagines a world where we’re forced to say less. It’s about what we say and how we say it; about the things we can only hear in the silence; about dead cats, activism, eye contact and lemons, lemons, lemons, lemons, lemons.

Time: 12pm (60 mins) Dates: 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 August.

Royal Court Theatre in association with Farnham Maltings
Written by an anonymous woman
Performed by an unprepared man

“So I think it’s fair to say that most women almost definitely do masturbate. We just wait to discuss it until we’re in an oddly anonymous but public situation like this one.”

A funny and frank insight into heterosexual female desire, read out loud by a man. MANWATCHING begins with a male comedian being given a script they have never seen before. They read the script out loud, sight unseen, in front of an audience. This is a show about what one woman thinks about when she thinks about sex with men.

Time: 7.25pm (60 mins) Dates: 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 August.


Paines Plough and tiata fahodzi
By Nathan Bryon

“Playing football. A kid shouts ‘let’s do black v white’. Another yells: ‘Nathan what team will you be on? You’re mixed…” 

Star of Benidorm, writer for Rastamouse, 50% Jamaican, 50% British, 100% reppin’ Shepherd’s Bush. Nathan Bryon is many things. Mixed. Welcome to his world. Part story, part stand-up, a show fusing Afro-Caribbean flair and British awkwardness in a searing, searching exploration of what it means to be mixed-race and mixed-experience today.   If you live in the middle does anywhere feel like home?

Time: 10.30pm (60 mins) Dates: 17, 18, 19 August.

*Barrow Street Productions
By Nilaja Sun

Award-winning Nilaja Sun (No Child…) breathes life into a vibrant mix of Lower East Side residents in her latest solo show.

At the heart of PIKE ST. is Evelyn. She’s balancing welcoming her Navy SEAL brother home, keeping her eccentric father out of trouble and providing electricity for her daughter on life-support. All this before a hurricane hits NYC. Originally produced Off-Broadway by Epic Theatre Ensemble, PIKE ST. is one of 2017’s unmissable shows.

“Nilaja Sun is a conjuror and an athlete, a raucous comedian and a poet of hidden pain, a virtuoso at seemingly every skill the stage requires.” (Hilton Als, The New Yorker).

Time: 3pm (75 mins) Dates: 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 August.


Prime Cut Productions
By Stacey Gregg

For those who don’t feel like they’re in the right life, on-line is a place to be yourself.  Out in the real world though, things can be very different. A story of first love through the eyes of a gender-curious teen Scorch examines how the human story often gets lost amidst the headlines.

Scorch has played to critical acclaim across Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Germany and Adelaide winning the Adelaide Fringe Theatre, Critics Circle Choice Awards (2017), a Fringe First, Holden Street Theatre Award (2016) and Best New Play: Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards.

Time: 10.45am (60 mins) Dates: 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 August.


Dirty Protest
By Alan Harris

Being a small-time drug dealer in Cardiff and living up to your family’s expectations is tough. Marc avoids his mum, disguises his cannabis plants with fake tomatoes at the allotment, and now has to bail his old man out of £6,000 owed to local loan shark Oggy. When he meets Lisa for the first time in years, things get even messier. Oggy wants Lisa. Lisa wants Marc. Marc wants to survive the day.

A one-man comedy from critically-acclaimed writer Alan Harris (Paines Plough, National Theatre Wales) and award-winning Welsh company Dirty Protest.

Time: 6.05pm (55 mins) Dates: 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26,27 August.