Pop-up theatre to come to London this summer

Directors and Cast (Black Love)- Nathan Queeley-Dennis, Chinonyerem Odimba, Katie Posner, Kaleya Baxe, Leah St Luce, Eleanor Sutton

Artistic Directors of Paines Plough Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner have today announced the UK tour dates for Roundabout 2021, as part of this year’s programme A Promise to 2021. The pop-up venue, which usually premieres its work at Summerhall as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe, has announced an alternate plan for this year. The venue will premiere its four shows in rep as part of Belgrade Theatre’s Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 from 27 July to 8 August, before touring to Northern Stage in Newcastle and then heading to South London, popping up in Slade Gardens, Brixton from 19 to 29 August. Tickets for Roundabout: Brixton are now on sale via the Paines Plough website. The award-winning, portable, in-the-round auditorium will then tour across the UK to cities including Salford, Ramsgate, Doncaster, Lincoln and Bournemouth throughout the autumn.  

The line-up of four world premieres includes a new musical by Chinonyerem Odimba (Princess & The Hustler, Medea)BLACK LOVE with music by Ben and Max Ringham, which will be co-directed by Chinonyerem Odimba and Katie Posner, in Association with tiata fahodzi. This will play in rep with Chris Bush’s (Steel, The Changing Room) new play HUNGRY, a playabout food, love, class and grief in a world where there’s little left to savour,  and Phoebe Eclair-Powell’s (Fury, Epic Love and Pop Songs) new family show REALLY BIG AND REALLY LOUD, both directed by Katie Posner. Paines Plough’s 2019 Playwright Fellow Frankie Meredith will alsopresent MAY QUEEN – a coming-of-age story about a young woman from Coventry on a quest to find her place in her city and in the world, directed by 2021 Co-Artistic Director of Belgrade Theatre Balisha Karra. Balishawas Paines Plough’s Trainee Director in 2018. The season will be part of Belgrade Theatre’s Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 Programme.

BLACK LOVE, HUNGRY and REALLY BIG AND REALLY LOUD will be performed in rep by Nathan Queeley-Dennis (Doctors BBC), Leah St Luce (Beautiful UK TOUR), Eleanor Sutton (Amadeus NATIONAL THEATRE), with  Yasmin Dawes (Underwater Love FUTURE THEATRE TOUR) joining as the central character in MAY QUEEN.

The 10-day Roundabout:Brixton programme will also include performances from visiting companies and artists including Rashdash, Nouveau Riche, Bonnie and the Bonnettes, Sukh Ojla and Sindhu Vee.  Roundabout lands in Brixton in partnership with Lambeth ELEVATE and will host a series of community events and as well as Paines Plough’s big and loud activity programme for young people in connection with REALLY BIG AND REALLY LOUD 23 – 27 August.

Paines Plough are planning to partner with food banks across the Roundabout tour to support those most affected by the pandemic and, alongside family show REALLY BIG AND REALLY LOUD by Phoebe Eclair-Powell, they plan to work with young people across the country to deliver an engagement programme that encourages them to use their voices after over a year kept away from their friends and peers.

Roundabout is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and has been additionally supported by the Theatre’s Trust. The Brixton Season is supported by the London Borough of Lambeth through #LambethELEVATE.

*

ROUNDABOUT 2021 PROGRAMME

A Paines Plough and Belgrade Theatre production
HUNGRY
by Chris Bush

Directed by Katie Posner
 

“I’d watch you eat. I’d eat you up. You’re not like them, are you? You’re real.” 

Lori is a professional chef. Bex waits tables to make ends meet. One night together in a walk-in fridge and the rest is history.

Lori has big plans, but Bex is struggling. If we are what we eat, then Bex is in real trouble. It’s not her fault though – the system is rigged. No-one on minimum wage and zero hours has the headspace to make their own yoghurt.

HUNGRY is a new play about food, love, class and grief in a world where there’s little left to savour.

Chris is an award-winning playwright, lyricist and theatre-maker. Her past work includes Pericles (National Theatre); The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Theatr Clwyd); Standing At The Sky’s Edge, Steel (both Sheffield Theatres) and The Changing Room (NT Connections). Upcoming work includes Faustus: That Damned Woman (Headlong/Lyric Hammersmith/Birmingham Rep); The Last Noel (Attic Theatre) and a new musical adaptation of The Caucasian Chalk Circle (National Theatre).

*

A Paines Plough and Belgrade Theatre production in Association with tiata fahodzi
Part of Belgrade Theatre’s Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 programme
BLACK LOVE
Book and Lyrics by Chinonyerem Odimba
Music by Ben and Max Ringham
Directed by Chinonyerem Odimba and Katie Posner

Introducing Roundabout’s first ever musical.

Love freely. Love freedom. Love. 
 

Meet Aurora and Orion: Sister and Brother. Constellations in time. More than blood. More than just fam. They look after each other in their small London flat, filled with the memories of their parents’ Black Love.

When that love is threatened, they have to find their way back to each other and to what it means to love whilst Black. Using real-life stories, imagined worlds and new songs inspired by an R&B heritage, they begin a journey to confronting their own worst fears.

BLACK LOVE is an explosion of form-busting storytelling, an ode to Black music, and those real stories we rarely hear.


Chinonyerem is a Nigeria-born, Bristol based playwright, director and poet. Her work for theatre includes The Bird Woman of Lewisham at the Arcola; Rainy Season, and His Name is Ishmael for Bristol Old Vic;  Joanne for Clean Break and Amongst The Reeds for Clean Break andThe Yard; a modern retelling of Twist (Theatre Centre). More recent work ranges from Medea at Bristol Old Vic, We Too, Are Giants for Kiln Theatre, Unknown Rivers at Hampstead Theatre, Prince and the Pauper at Watermill Theatre, and The Seven Ages of Patience at Kiln Theatre, and Princess & The Hustler’ which toured across the UK for Eclipse Theatre’/Bristol Old Vic/HullTruck. Her work has been shortlisted for several awards including the Adrienne Benham and Alfred Fagon awards. In 2015 her unproduced play Wild is De Wind was shortlisted to the final ten for the Bruntwood Playwriting Award. She is the winner for the 2018 Sonia Friedman Award (Channel 4 Playwright Bursary) for a new play ‘How to Walk on the Moon’.

She is currently working on theatre commissions for Young Vic, RSC, and Paines Plough.  She is also Writer-in-Residence at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Chinonyerem is the Artistic Director of tiata fahodzi.

Ben and Max Ringham’s credits include Cyrano De Bergerac (Playhouse Theatre);
When the Crows Visit, The Seven Ages of Patience (Kiln Theatre); The Man in the White Suit (Wyndham’s Theatre); Games For Lovers (Vault Theatre); Anna, Tartuffe (National Theatre); Betrayal, Pinter at the Pinter (Harold Pinter Theatre and Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Broadway); Berberian Sound Studio, Belleville (Donmar Warehouse); Dick Whittington (Lyric Hammersmith); The Wolves (Theatre Royal Stratford East); King Lear (Duke of York’s Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre); Quiz (Noel Coward and Chichester Festival Theatre); Strangers on a Train, Gaslight (ATG); Parliament Square, Our Town, The Mighty Walzer (Manchester Royal Exchange); Apologia, Lunch & The Bow of Ulysses, Doctor Faustus, The Maids (Trafalgar Studios); Twilight Song (Park Theatre); Gloria (Hampstead Theatre); The Importance of Being Earnest (Theatr Clwyd); Pygmalion (Headlong/West Yorkshire Playhouse/Nuffield); The Miser (Garrick Theatre); The Pitchfork Disney (Shoreditch Town Hall); The Dresser, Jeeves and Wooster (Duke of York’s); After Miss Julie (Theatre Royal Bath); Deathtrap (Salisbury Playhouse); The Government Inspector (Birmingham Rep); Raz (Assembly Theatre/Riverside Studios); Queen Anne (RSC/Theatre Royal Haymarket); Ben Hur, A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes, Multitudes (Tricycle Theatre); La Musica, Ah, Wilderness!  (Young Vic); The Mentalists (Wyndham’s Theatre) and many more.

*

A Paines Plough and Belgrade Theatre production

Part of Belgrade Theatre’s Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 programme
REALLY BIG AND REALLY LOUD
by Phoebe Eclair-Powell

Directed by Katie Posner

This is a story. Charli’s story. 

It’s about losing your voice and going on a big adventure to find it again. It features a rageful rhino, a very helpful fly called Stephen and some really good songs about chips.

A show for all the family from award-winning playwright Phoebe Eclair-Powell.

Phoebe is a writer from South East London. Her latest play HARM was produced at the Bush theatre, opening to brilliant reviews (‘triumphant’, The Guardian) and the Telegraph deemed her ‘a blazing theatrical talent’ in May 2021. The play was also filmed by BBC Culture in Quarantine and aired on BBC4. Her episode of Sky / HBO Max’s Two Weeks To Live aired in late 2020 and she is currently writing on DOMINO DAY for BBC. She is the 2019 winner of the Bruntwood Prize for her play SHED: EXPLODED VIEW. In 2015 Phoebe’s debut play WINK at Theatre 503 received rave reviews and four Off West End Nominations including ‘Most Promising New Playwright’. Her play Fury was runner up for the Verity Bargate Award 2015, and subsequently won the Soho Young Writers Award and had its run extended at Soho theatre due to popular demand, it also received an Offie nomination for ‘Best New Play’. She is also currently under commission at Live Theatre Newcastle and writing on a TV show in New Zealand for Taika Watiti’s company, Piki Films.

*

A Paines Plough and Belgrade Theatre production
Part of Belgrade Theatre’s Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 programme
MAY QUEEN
By Frankie Meredith
Directed by Balisha Karra

May Day in Coventry, 2022. Sixteen-year-old Leigh has been chosen as May Queen. She’s buzzin, as is the rest of the city.

The cider is flowing and St George’s flag is flying – but an encounter during the day’s festivities will soon change everything.

As the year moves on in the City of Peace and Reconciliation, Leigh must face up to the events of that hot May Day, and dig deep within herself to ask – how did she get here?

Frankie is a midlands-based playwright and theatre maker. Having gained a place on the Lyric Hammersmith Young Writers Programme she started writing short plays which were performed at various theatres around London.

She wrote her first full-length play Turkey while on the Soho Writers Lab which was produced at The Hope Theatre in 2017 to rave reviews and Off West End nominations. Finding Peter, a play for young audiences, was taken up to Edinburgh and had two subsequent runs in London and her play 17 was produced at Vaults Festival by Wildcard Theatre and is currently being developed for television.

Frankie is currently working on a musical-storytelling-ensemble piece about women from her area, along with Warwick Arts Centre, which will tour Coventry and Warwickshire in 2021.

Her film Clementines recently won ‘Best Short’ at the British International Film Festival and she has recently written and directed her own web-series Becoming Danish.

Frankie was Paines Plough’s Playwright Fellow in 19-20 during which time she had some of her work translated into Catalan and performed in Barcelona.

LISTINGS

ROUNDABOUT 2021 PROGRAMME
painesplough.com/productions/roundaboutbrixton

BLACK LOVE

In Association with tiata fahodzi

Book and lyrics by Chinonyerem Odimba with music by Ben and Max Ringham
Age Guidance: 12+ 

Running time: 80 minutes 

Content warning: strong language, scenes of a sexual nature
Trigger warning: references to and themes around racism, death of a parent  

HUNGRY

By Chris Bush
Age Guidance: 12+

Running time: 70 minutes 

Content warning: Strong language 

Trigger warning: References to eating disorders, death of a parent

MAY QUEEN

By Frankie Meredith
Age Guidance: 12+

Running time: 70 minutes 

Content warning: Strong language, sexual assault 

Trigger warning: Description of sexual assault 

REALLY BIG AND REALLY LOUD

By Phoebe Eclair-Powell 
Age guidance: 5+ 

Running time: 60 minutes 

CREATIVE TEAM

Director – BLACK LOVE, HUNGRY, REALLY BIG AND REALLY LOUD – KATIE POSNER

Co-Director – BLACK LOVE – CHINONYEREM ODIMBA

Director – MAY QUEEN – BALISHA KARRA

Musical Supervisor – BLACK LOVE – CANDIDA CALDICOT

Composer – BLACK LOVE – BEN and MAX RINGHAM

Designer – LYDIA DENNO

Lighting Designer – HUNGRY and MAY QUEEN – RICHARD HOWELL

Lighting and Video Designer – REALLY BIG AND REALLY LOUD and BLACK LOVE – GILLIAN TAN

Sound Designer – KIERAN LUCASMovement Director – KLOE DEAN

Casting Director – JACOB SPARROW

Trainee Director – KALEYA BAXE

Dramaturg -BLACK LOVE – CAMPBELL X

Dramaturg – HUNGRY, MAY QUEEN and REALLY BIG AND REALLY LOUD – SARAH DICKENSON

Dramatherapist – WABRIYA KING

Lighting Programmer – SAM OHLSSON

Company Stage Manager – AIME NEEME

Technical Stage Manager – BENJAMIN SMITH

Stage Manager MAY QUEEN Rehearsals- ELLA STEWART

TOUR DATES

Co-Produced with Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
 

27 July – 07 August: Moathouse, Wood End, Coventry

www.belgrade.co.uk/roundabout-2021/

12 – 15 August: Northern Stage, Newcastle

www.northernstage.co.uk/Event/roundabout

19 – 29 August: Slade Gardens, Brixton, London*

ticketing.painesplough.com/


9 – 12 September: The Lowry, Salford

thelowry.com/whats-on/

16 – 19 September: Creative Civic Change Newington, Ramsgate

https://www.renewington.com/

30 September – 03 October: Cast,Doncaster

castindoncaster.com/about/venue-hire/our-spaces/roundabout-doncaster-market-place/

07 – 11 October: LPAC, Lincoln

lpac.co.uk

14 – 17 October: Lighthouse Poole, Bournemouth and Poole

www.lighthousepoole.co.uk

*Venue subject to final licenses permissions