Paines Plough announces Programme 2017

Artistic Directors of Paines Plough James Grieve and George Perrin today announced the company’s full Programme 2017.

James Grieve and George Perrin said today: “We’re thrilled to present some of the UK’s most exciting playwrights on tour to more than 60 places across the UK and around the world in Paines Plough’s Programme 2017.

Our pop-up ROUNDABOUT will again tour the UK with three world premieres in partnership with Theatr Clwyd and the Orange Tree. Elinor Cook’s OUT OF LOVE is a very funny, topical, heart-tugging exploration of female friendship spanning 30 years. We’re honoured to be premiering another of Elinor’s plays following TEN WEEKS in Programme 2016. Elinor was on attachment to Paines Plough through The Big Room in 2011 and has since won the George Devine Award and become one of the most vital, distinctive new voices in theatre. ROUNDABOUT will also host the World Premiere of Brad Birch’s new play BLACK MOUNTAIN, a nerve-jangling psychological thriller showcasing the style and comic brio that marks Brad out in the vanguard of Welsh playwrights. HOW TO BE A KID is a vivid new play for young people by Manchester’s Sarah McDonald Hughes which tackles some big subjects with extraordinary lightness of touch and a lot of joyous dancing to Taylor Swift.

We are renewing our partnership with Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to again showcase new talent with the world premiere of Newcastle playwright Alison Carr’s HUSH, directed by Hannah Banister who was previously at Paines Plough as assistant director on THE ANGRY BRIGADE in 2014.

Nathan Bryon was awarded our inaugural Playwright Fellowship in 2015 and we’re delighted to be partnering with tiata fahodzi to present the world premiere of his debut play MIXED BRAIN. Future Paines Plough programmes will feature the work of this year’s Fellowship writer Sam Steiner, and Zia Ahmed who joins us supported by the Channel Four Playwrights Scheme.

We are ceaselessly overwhelmed by the reaction to EVERY BRILLIANT THING as it tours the globe. In Programme 2017 we welcome our new brilliant thing James Rowland to perform the show on a second tour to Australia and New Zealand before returning home to the UK, while Jonny Donahoe continues in the role in North America. Sabrina Mahfouz’s euphoric UK Garage musical WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK returns for one very special night in the Roundhouse main space and Luke Norris’ Fringe First winner GROWTH takes off on a UK Tour. COME TO WHERE I’M FROM continues to celebrate locality with playwrights performing plays about their home towns in Middlesbrough, Glasgow and Gloucester. We’ll also be taking COME TO WHERE I’M FROM to Hull and we’re really excited to hear the stories from the city whilst in its inspiring year as City of Culture. You can continue to listen to plays from across the UK on the COME TO WHERE I’M FROM app.

It’s our mission to take the best new theatre everywhere and with our productions appearing in all four corners of the UK, across the Atlantic, down under and on your smartphone there is something for everyone, everywhere in Programme 2017.”

Paines Plough presents ROUNDABOUT

Following another critically acclaimed season at Summerhall, 2017 sees the return of Roundabout, Paines Plough’s award-winning portable in-the-round auditorium. Now in its fourth year, 2017 will see three World Premieres from Brad Birch, Elinor Cook and Sarah McDonald-Hughes co-produced with the Orange Tree Theatre and Theatr Clwyd and performed in rep, opening at Theatr Clywd and then touring to Salford, Kendal, Margate, Lincoln, Darlington, Poole, Stoke and Luton in Autumn 2017. The plays will run at the Orange Tree in Spring 2018. Orange Tree Theatre dates, Edinburgh dates and casting for Roundabout 2017 will be announced in due course.

Building on the success of 2016’s tour in which 27,017 people attended a performance in the plug-in-and-play theatre across 480 hours and in 10 venues across the country, Roundabout will again host a programme of visiting companies, comedy, music and local community events. The UK tour of Roundabout is part of a strategic audience development project funded by the Arts Council England Strategic Touring Fund.

The World Premieres at Roundabout are:

A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production BLACK MOUNTAIN 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 winner of the Harold Pinter Commission Brad Birch.

Brad’s play The Brink had its world premiere at the Orange Tree in 2016 and in the same year, he was announced the recipient of the Harold Pinter Commission.

A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production OUT OF LOVE 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’s previous work with Paines Plough includes Ten Weeks which was a co-production between Paines Plough, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Gate Theatre in Programme 2016 and LATER in 2007 where it debuted alongside work by Polly Stenham and Alexandra Wood. Elinor also adapted Mac Barnett’s Extra Yarn which premiered in 2016 at the Orange Tree.

A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production HOW TO BE A KID 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.

Warning: Contains dancing, chocolate cake and an epic car chase. For ages 7+.

Sarah McDonald-Hughes is an actor and writer from Manchester; she has previously worked with Paines Plough on Come To Where I’m From.

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

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.

Following their North American tour, Every Brilliant Thing will embark upon a second international tour of Australia and New Zealand beginning on 8 March and fourth UK tour from May 2017. Actor and comedian James Rowland becomes Paines Plough’s brilliant thing for dates in Australia and New Zealand.

James Rowland has previously performed across theatre, radio and television. Most recently he has appeared in immersive theatre productions such as The Crystal Maze, Heist and You Once Said Yes. He has also performed musical comedy under the stage name ‘James Rowland’ and is a member of the cabaret band The Idiot Circus. He performed his debut storytelling show Team Viking in London and Edinburgh and won The Origins Award (Vault Festival, 2016).

A play about depression and the ones we love, international smash hit Every Brilliant Thing was developed by Duncan Macmillan (People Places and Thing, 1984) with Paines Plough over a decade ago. Through the intervening years Every Brilliant Thing has had a number a guises, an exhibition, a Facebook group and an installation, before becoming a theatre production in June 2013. On 26 December 2016, HBO broadcast Every Brilliant Thing to huge acclaim across North America.

A Paines Plough and Latitude Festival production WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK By Sabrina Mahfouz

It’s 2001. Garage is the anthem of the UK. Nadia feels like it’s her time to shine.

A hot summer’s night of love promises endless possibilities. Swept up in drinking, dancing, hope, ambition, lust, greed… Nadia will make decisions that will determine the rest of her life.

Underscored by your favourite UK Garage bangers. This is theatre you can rave to.

Following the first UK tour in 2016, Sabrina Mahfouz’s hugely acclaimed play-come-gig With A Little Bit Of Luck will return for one night only to the main stage at London’s iconic Roundhouse on 9 June as part of The Last Word festival. The line-up includes a DJ set by Mighty Moe and garage set by DJ Luck and MC Neat, where they will perform their big hit single A Little Bit of Luck.

Produced by Paines Plough and Latitude Festival, With A Little Bit of Luck is rhythmically underscored by a live mix of old school UK Garage as award-winning writer Sabrina

Mahfouz explores the legacy of a cultural movement that defined the hopes of a generation.

Originally commissioned for a festival audience, With A Little Bit Of Luck premiered to standing ovations at Latitude Festival in 2015. Directed by Stef O’Driscoll with Seroca Davis as Nadia alongside the vocal talents of Martyna Baker, this is theatre you can rave to.

A Paines Plough production COME TO WHERE I’M FROM

Since 2010, Paines Plough’s nationwide project Come To Where I’m From has seen more than 100 playwrights from across the UK return to their hometown to pen plays about the places they call home.

Each play is performed for one-night only and then becomes part of the free Come To Where I’m From smartphone app which houses all the mini-plays that have been performed since the project began to create a vivid patchwork quilt of accents, experiences and impressions of the UK. In the seven years since the Come To Where I’m From has been running a huge range of playwrights, from Olivier Award winners to first timers have taken part including Zia Ahmed, Mike Bartlett, Alice Birch, James Graham, Vinay Patel, Beth Steel and Alexandra Wood.

In 2017, Paines Plough will continue to add voices to Come To Where I’m From with playwrights returning to their hometowns of Middlesbrough in March, Glasgow in May and Gloucester in July. Come To Where I’m From will also tour to Hull, as part of Hull Truck’s Grow Festival for Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

Further locations and participating playwrights will be announced in due course.

A Paines Plough production GROWTH By Luke Norris

“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.

Growth is a play about growing up and manning up by critically acclaimed writer and actor Luke Norris (So Here We Are, Royal Exchange; Goodbye To All That, Royal Court). The winner of a prestigious Fringe First Award in 2016 when it played in rep at Paines Plough’s ROUNDABOUT, Growth will embark upon a second UK tour in September 2017. Casting will be announced in due course.

A Paines Plough, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and Gate Theatre production HUSH By Alison Carr

A 999 call sets the wheels in motion. Nothing stays a secret forever. Especially in this town.

Sadie returns to the place she hates. Natalie tries to do the right thing. Josh can only hope. Three stories linked by guilt, secrets and a missing boy.

Paines Plough, Royal Welsh College of Music and Dram and the Gate Theatre continue their partnership in nurturing young playwriting talent with Hush by Alison Carr. Hush will play at Bute Theatre in Cardiff from 28 until 31 March and at Gate Theatre in London on April 2017.

Hush is directed by Hannah Banister, who was previously the Assistant Director to James Grieve on The Angry Brigade. She won a Fringe First in 2013 for her show Gardening: For The Unfulfilled and Alienated by Bard Birch.

A Paines Plough and tiata fahodzi production MIXED BRAIN By Nathan Bryon

“One day we were playing football. One kid shouts ‘let’s do black v white’. My heart starts beating hoping someone dusts this dumb idea off. All the white kids go to one side, all the black kids go to the other, I try slip off. Another kid 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.

Full dates for Mixed Brain will be announced in due course.


A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production ROUNDABOUT

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

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

Box 14 – 17 September

Office details will be announced in due Brewery Arts Centre

course. Box Office: 01539 722833

12 – 15 October Lighthouse, Poole 21 – 24 September Theatre Royal Margate

Box Office: 01202 280000 Box Office: 01843 292795

19 – 22 October

28 September – 1 October Lincoln Performing Arts Centre

Appetite Stoke Box Office: 01782 717962

Box Office: 01522 837600

26 – 29 October

5 – 8 October Darlington Theatre Town

Revoluton Arts

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


8 – 11 March Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Australia Box Office: +61 7 3846 4444

14 – 18 March Adelaide Festival Theatre, Australia Box Office: +61 8 8216 4444

21 – 26 March Auckland Arts Festival, New Zealand Box Office: +64 9 3093 824

3 – 5 April Festival of Colour, New Zealand Box Office: 6434434172

8 – 9 April Upsurge Festival, New Zealand


2 May Quarry Theatre Box Office: 01234 362 337

3 May Harrow Arts Centre

Box Office: 0203 773 7161

4 May Lakeside Theatre Box Office: 01206 873 261

5 May Cranleigh Arts Centre Box Office: 01483 278 000

6 May Studio 3 Arts Box office: 0208 5947 136

8 – 13 May Roundabout @ Canary Wharf Enquiries: 020 7001 3016

16 May Aberystwyth Arts Centre Box Office: 01970 623 232

17 May Sheffield Theatres Box Office: 0114 249 6000

19 May The Corn Hall Box Office: 01379 652 241

Box Office: 01539 725 133

20 May

3 June Jersey Opera House

Nottingham Playhouse Box Office: 01534 511 115

Box Office: 0115 9419 419

23 May

6 June Marlowe Theatre

mac Box Office: 0122 778 7787

Box Office: 01214 463232

24 May

7 – 8 June Marine Theatre

Theatr Clwyd Box Office: 01297 442 138

Box Office: 01352 701521

25 May The Spring Box Office: 02392 472 700

10 June Margate Theatre Royal Box Office: 01843 292795

26 – 27 May The Edge

11 – 16 July

Pavilion Theatre, Dublin Box Office: 01612829776 Box Office: + 353 1 231 2929 30 May Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival Box Office: 01387 253 383

31 May – 1 June Dundee Rep Box Office: 01382 223 530

2 June Brewery Arts Centre

A Paines Plough and Latitude Festival production WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK By Sabrina Mahfouz

9 June Roundhouse, London Box Office: 0300 678 9222

A Paines Plough production COME TO WHERE I’M FROM

16 March Middlesbrough Theatre