Full cast announced for the world premiere of Tom Wells’ Broken Biscuits

Today, Paines Plough and Live Theatre have announced full casting for the world premiere of Tom Wells’ new coming-of-age comedy Broken BiscuitsFaye Christall will play Megan, Grace Hogg-Robinson will play Holly and Andrew Reed will play Ben. Paines Plough held nationwide open auditions and cast Faye and Andrew from their search and Grace will be making her professional stage debut.

Tom Wells, Faye Christall (Megan), Grace Hogg-Robinson (Holly), Andrew Reed (Ben) and James Grieve. Broken Biscuits

Tom Wells, Faye Christall (Megan), Grace Hogg-Robinson (Holly), Andrew Reed (Ben) and James Grieve. Broken Biscuits. © Matt Humphrey 2016

Directed by Co-Artistic Director of Paines Plough James GrieveBroken Biscuits will play at Live Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne from 5 until 22 October with an official press night on 11 OctoberBroken Biscuits will then tour the UK visiting The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Hull Truck Theatre, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, Crucible Studio, Sheffield, The Tobacco Factory, Bristol and The Door, Birmingham Rep.

“The point is: we’re losers. Nobodies. Carry on like this, we’re losers forever. And we don’t have to be. Fresh start, two months to completely one hundred per cent reinvent ourselves. And I know exactly how we can do that.”

Megan, Holly and Ben are definitely not the cool kids. But Megan has a plan. One long summer holiday to change their lives. One sure path to coolness. One amazing transformation, through the power of song.

Holed up in Megan’s garden shed, three friends try to change their fortunes in a beautiful, heart-warming, laugh-out-loud, coming-of-age story for our times. Rock on.

Playwright Tom Wells said: Broken Biscuits is a play about three teenagers starting a band – I wanted to write about the summer you finish your GCSEs, being sixteen, full of big hopes and big worries, figuring things out a bit and trying new stuff. And I wanted to have a go at writing some lyrics, in the DIY spirit of a teenage band, fill the play with music and see what happened. I’m thrilled that Broken Biscuits is being brought to the stage by Live Theatre and Paines Plough and we’ve been really lucky to cast three soulful young actors with funny bones as Megan, Holly and Ben.”

Co-Artistic Directors of Paines Plough, James Grieve and George Perrin, said: Tom first joined Paines Plough as part of our Future Perfect group for emerging playwrights in 2009. We have always adored his writing and following the huge success of Jumpers for Goalposts we are honoured to be co-producing Broken Biscuits with Live Theatre Newcastle. It’s a gorgeous, hilarious, heart-squeezing play that shows why Tom is one of our best loved modern writers. Featuring original songs from Matthew Robins and a supremely talented cast of future stars, we can’t wait to share it with audiences in Newcastle and on tour across the UK.” 

Literary Manager at Live Theatre, Gez Casey, said: “We are delighted to be working once again with partners Paines Plough on the world premiere of a new Tom Wells play. Broken Biscuits is a joyous celebration of teenage friendship, a journey of individual and collective discovery through music. The play is shot through with whip-smart dialogue, vibrant and engaging characters and an infectious generosity of spirit.”

Faye Christall plays Megan. Faye is making her debut with Paines Plough and trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Her theatre credits include Gone Viral (St James Theatre) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Edinburgh Fringe). Faye’s film credits include Cute Little Buggers 3D and Awake and is also part of the Cirque du Soleil Company.

Grace Hogg-Robinson plays Holly. Broken Biscuits marks Grace’s stage debut, her previous credits on television include the regular role of Beth Kennedy in The Coroner: Series 1 & 2 (BBC1 & BBC Worldwide) as well as appearances in Casualty (BBC1), Camping (Sky Atlantic), Diary of a Snob (Nickelodeon), Doctors (BBC1) and Suspects (Channel 5). Grace’s film credits include Edge of Tomorrow (Warner Bros.), Birdhouse (NFTS), Candy Floss (HAUS Pictures) & The Nest (Beyond Fiction).

Andrew Reed plays Ben. Andrew was born in South Tyneside,  he trained with Project A at the Theatre Royal Newcastle and was a member of the Customs House Youth Theatre. Andrew’s previous stage credits include The Fifteen StreetsDrama Baby and Scrapbook, Customs House South Shields, The MachinesTakeaway and 13 (all Theatre Royal Studio Newcastle and on tour).

Tom Wells is a writer from Kilnsea, East Yorkshire. His plays include Folk (UK Tour, 2016), Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith, 2015/16), Symphony (Edinburgh Festival, UK Tour, Soho Theatre 2013/14), Jumpers for Goalposts (Bush Theatre and UK Tour, 2013/14), Jack and the Beanstalk (Lyric Hammersmith, 2013/14), Cosmic (East Yorkshire Tour, 2013),  Jonsey (Lyric Hammersmith, Greenwich Playhouse, Watford Palace Theatre, National Theatre Inside Out, BBC Radio 4, 2012), The Kitchen Sink (Bush Theatre, 2011, winner of the Most Promising Playwright – Critics Circle, 2011 and the 2012 George Devine Award), Fossils (Bush Theatre, 2011), Spacewang (Hull Truck Theatre, 2011), Me, As A Penguin (West Yorkshire Playhouse, 2009 and Arcola Theatre / UK Tour, 2010), Yeti (Bush Theatre, 2010), About A Goth (Paines Plough / Oran Mor, 2009) and Notes For First Time Astronauts (Paines Plough LATER at Soho Theatre, 2009). Ben & Lump, which Tom wrote as part of the Coming Up season was broadcast on Channel 4 in spring of 2012. In 2009 Tom was a member of Paines Plough / Channel 4’s Future Perfect scheme and in 2012 he was Associate Playwright at Hull Truck. Tom is currently under commission to The Drum Plymouth, Northern Broadsides, The Royal Court and the National Theatre. He is developing a new idea for Leftbank Pictures.

Broken Biscuits is part of Paines Plough’s Programme 2016 which has also included Sabrina Mahfouz’s With A Little Bit of LuckCome To Where I’m From: London, the return of Roundabout to Summerhall and subsequent UK tour and Duncan Macmillan’s Every Brilliant Thing which will embark upon a UK tour in September.