Paines Plough digital projects, 2020, press release
26th April 2020
PAINES PLOUGH LAUNCHES SERIES OF NEW DIGITAL PROJECTS CONNECTING PLAYWRIGHTS AND AUDIENCES ACROSS THE UK AND THE WORLD, INCLUDING A SPECIAL ‘CALLER SERVICE’ FROM CELEBRATED ACTORS; press release by Cornershop PR
• 30 BRAND NEW COMMISSIONS WITH 7 NATIONAL PARTNERS TO FORM ‘COME TO WHERE I AM’ A SPIN-OFF SERIES OF THE COMPANY’S EXISTING APP BASED AUDIO PLAY LIBRARY, ‘COME TO WHERE I’M FROM’
• ACTORS INCLUDING DAVID BRADLEY, JULIE HESMONDHALGH, LISA HAMMOND AND SALLY DYNEVOR TO READ THESE BRAND NEW ‘COME TO WHERE I AM’ PLAYS OVER THE PHONE IN A UNIQUE CALLER SERVICE FOR ISOLATED AUDIENCES WITH NO ACCESS TO DIGITAL AND ON-DEMAND CULTURE
• THE EXISTING ‘COME TO WHERE I’M FROM’ LIBRARY CURRENTLY HOLDS OVER 160 SHORTS ON THE PLACES WE CALL HOME FEATURING WORK FROM CELEBRATED PLAYWRIGHTS INCLUDING ALICE BIRCH, MIKE BARTLETT AND JAMES GRAHAM
• A CROSS-EUROPEAN COLLABORATION WHICH TRANSCENDS BORDERS AND BARRIERS, ASKING WRITERS TO PEN SHORT BILLINGUAL PLAYS TOGETHER – ‘THE PLACE I CALL HOME’
• PAINES PLOUGH WILL WORK IN COLLABORATION WITH BRITISH DRAMA SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO HAVE HAD PROJECTS POSTPONED TO PROVIDE ALTERNATIVE PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH THIS EUROPEAN DIGITAL PROJECT
• PAINES PLOUGH ANNOUNCE THE APPOINTMENT OF THEIR 2020/2021 TRAINEE DIRECTOR, THEIR BIG ROOM FELLOWSHIP PLAYWRIGHT AND A NEW EMERGING PLAYWRIGHT’S BURSARY
Paines Plough, one of the most celebrated new writing theatre companies in the UK who put the playwright at the centre of their work, is launching a series of new digital projects to connect national and international playwrights and audiences in response to the current global crisis. With freedom of travel currently restricted, the organisation which is known for touring the whole nation, and building local ties wherever it goes, will explore how we can continue to experience the different places people call home, across counties and countries in isolation.
The company will use their wide-ranging and expansive app-based audio play library, COME TO WHERE I’M FROM, as a launching point for the new projects. Set up 11 years ago COME TO WHERE I’M FROM has seen over 160 playwrights from across the country write about the places they call home. Each play is performed by the writer for one-night only and then becomes part of the free app creating a vivid patchwork quilt of accents, experiences and impressions of the UK. Some of the nation’s most celebrated playwrights can be found on there, performing their own plays about the places that have shaped them. Recent additions include Alice Birch, Mike Bartlett, James Graham, Roy Williams, Vinay Patel, Lizzie Nunnery and Simon Stephens.
In response to a rapidly changing world, where all touring and live performance is currently on hiatus, Paines Plough will now launch COME TO WHERE I AM. In partnership with theatres across the UK they will co-commission 30 new short plays from writers about the places they call home and their relationship to home at this time. In a reversal of previous plays these will be recorded first and released as visual-audio pieces and then performed in partnering theatres when they reopen. Partner theatres include Derby Theatre, Eastern Angles, Open Clasp Theatre Company Newcastle, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Reading Rep Theatre, Sheffield Theatres and Theatre by the Lake Keswick.
All of these new plays will be made available online and, for certain groups who may find it more difficult or even impossible to access digital content, Paines Plough will create a unique live readings of the plays over the phone, allowing isolated audience groups to access ondemand culture. Paines Plough are working in collaboration with celebrated actors to provide this caller service including David Bradley, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Lisa Hammond and Sally Dynevor – with more still to be announced. To deliver the service Paines Plough will work with the partner theatres to identify potential user groups within their communities.
In a further extension of the original idea and in association with European project ‘Play On’ funded by Creative Europe, the company’s second digital initiative to be launched today is THE PLACE I CALL HOME, a brand-new programme connecting international writers to create new work together, in isolation, across borders. Presented in collaboration with theatres across Europe, two writers will be paired up to co-author a new bilingual play about home that will be realised with digital artist collaborators and shared across digital platforms. The plays will be performed by British and international actors including working in collaboration with British Drama school students who have had projects postponed to provide alternative performance opportunities through these digital productions. Partnerships include Theatre Dortmund, with writers Calle Fuhr (INTO THE STARS) from Germany and UK playwright Dipo Baruwa-Etti (AN UNFINISHED MAN), Theatr Ludowy in Krakow with Polish writer Magda Węgrzyn (THE LAST 300 METRES) and UK writer Travis Alabanza (BURGERZ), Elsinor Theatre Milan, with writers Giuditta Mingucci (I WISH) from Italy and UK playwright Rosie MacPherson (WHERE WE BEGAN), working in partnership with Yorkshire-based company Stand and Be Counted (the UK’s first Theatre Company of Sanctuary).
Paines Plough have also announced the appointment of their 2020/2021 Trainee Director, their Big Room Fellowship Playwright and a new emerging playwright’s bursary.
Kaleya Baxe will be the 2020/1 Trainee Director for Paines Plough. Her directorial debut PATRICIA GETS READY (FOR A DATE WITH THE MAN THAT USED TO HIT HER) had a sold out run at The White Bear and won the VAULT Festival Show of the Week Award. As well as working on outreach projects with the Young Vic, Kiln and Arcola Theatre, she has directed short pieces at leading fringe venues. Her most recent project was WRITTEN by Alex Cooke, a new play that toured to schools, pupil referral units and other youth settings.
The Big Room Playwright Fellow this year will be Vickie Donoghue whose debut play MUDLARKS garnered critical acclaim in 2012. She has since collaborated with Theatre Royal Portsmouth, the Mercury Theatre and the Royal Court. The Big Room Playwright Fellowship is awarded annually to a writer of exceptional promise and invites the writer to spend nine months on attachment to Paines Plough. Playwrights are provided with a bespoke programme tailored to their specific needs, ambitions and circumstances. Previous fellows have included: Frankie Meredith, Charley Miles, Nathan Bryon and Sam Steiner.
For 2020 Paines Plough are also introducing the Playwright Bursary, which will be given for the first time this year to Ric Renton. Most recently Ric finished his debut play NOTHING IN A BUTTERFLY, which had been planned to premiere this summer. He will use the bursary to write a play about his time inside prisons in the North-East and an intimate friendship he struck up with a prison guard over two years, through his cell door. The bursary will allow for paid time to work with the Paines Plough team to develop the project and provide a budget for Ric to further his own writing.
Artistic Directors of Paines Plough Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner said: ‘We are delighted to share our new digital plans which expand on our existing app and project COME TO WHERE I’M FROM and see a brand new International project – THE PLACE I CALL HOME. We recognise that these are challenging times and we hope that this new programme which celebrates homes and places will enable audiences to be momentarily transported somewhere else – whether that be spending ten minutes in Derby or half an hour in Milan. Collaborating with our excellent national and international partners we are pleased to be providing employment for artists to still create thrilling new theatre for audiences.
We are also excited to announce our ongoing commitment to developing extraordinary artists through the appointment of our playwright fellow and trainee director and to also introduce our new playwrighting bursary. These three artists are incredibly gifted and we look forward to supporting them over the next year to develop and thrive.’
Calle Fuhr lives in Düsseldorf. He is a German theatre director and author. He worked as Assistant Director for theatres in Germany and Austria before creating his own shows in 2015. His works have been shown in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Czech Republic. His first play INTO THE STARS, a monologue about a woman who tries to find strength after unimaginable loss, was shown at Deutsches Theater Berlin and adapted into a radio drama by WDR. Calle lives in Düsseldorf.
Dipo Baruwa-Etti is a playwright, poet, and filmmaker. Currently Channel 4 playwright on attachment with Almeida Theatre, his debut play AN UNFINISHED MAN is due to premiere at The Yard Theatre in August 2020. For screen, he is developing several projects, including a short film as writer-director with BBC Drama/BFI and a TV pilot with Duck Soup Films as part of BBC’s TV Drama Writers Programme. As a poet, Dipo has been published in The Good Journal, Ink Sweat & Tears, and Amaryllis.
Magda Zarębska-Węgrzyn recently won an award for best film script in Script Wars, a competition organized by Mazovia Film Commission. Whilst working in the education and literary department in The Ludowy Theatre, Magda co-authored the play THE LAST 300 METRES, directed by Bartek Kulas and is currently working on a new piece.
Travis Alabanza’s writing has appeared across forms and spaces, including their column in The
Metro, work for The BBC, Dazed, Guardian and Independent. Their recent theatre show BURGERZ won the Edinburgh Fringe Total Theatre Award, and toured in venues such as Southbank Centre, Bristol old Vic, HAU Berlin & MTSP Sau Paolo to rave reviews. In 2019 Alabanza’s work also placed them on the Dazed100 List, honoured them with the Gay Times Future Award and had the Evening Standard list them as one of the 25 most influential Londoners 25 and under.
Giuditta Mingucci is from Rimini. In 2000 she joined Elsinor Teatro, as an actress and a playwright. Her plays have been translated into German for Theaterstückverlag München and Theaterverlag Hofmann-Paul. In 2013 she conceived of and coordinated the transnational mobility project for the development of cultural and creative enterprises “Io non so ballare” (“I Can’t Dance”). Since 2012 she has been Artistic Director of the Teatro Testori, in Forlì, and Artistic Co-Director of Elsinor. Since 2016 she has been Artistic Co-Director of Segnali, one of the most important festivals of theatre for young audiences in Italy organised in partnership by Elsinor and Teatro del Buratto.
Rosie MacPherson is from Liverpool. She is currently developing F.E.A.R. (Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab, Sheffield Theatres) for television. Previous theatre work includes: WHERE WE BEGAN (UK tour & HighTide Festival), ’TANJA’ (2 x UK tours, Houses of Parliament), AN ACT OF CARE (HOME, Manchester), CENTURY (Sheffield Theatres), INSIDE (UK Tour & Edinburgh Fringe) and THE NEST (Manchester Science Festival). Rosie is Artistic Director of Stand & Be Counted; the UK’s first Theatre Company of Sanctuary and Resident Company at Theatre in the Mill, Bradford.
Kaleya Baxe’s directorial debut PATRICIA GETS READY (FOR A DATE WITH THE MAN THAT USED TO HIT HER) had a sold out run at The White Bear and won the VAULT Festival Show of the Week Award. As well as working on outreach projects with the Young Vic, Kiln and Arcola Theatre, she has directed short pieces at leading fringe venues. Her most recent project was WRITTEN by Alex Cooke, a new play that toured to schools, pupil referral units and other youth settings.
Vickie Donoghue’s debut play MUDLARKS garnered critical acclaim in 2012. She has since collaborated with Theatre Royal Portsmouth, the Mercury Theatre and the Royal Court. The Big Room Playwright Fellowship is awarded annually to a writer of exceptional promise and invites the writer to spend nine months on attachment to Paines Plough. Playwrights are provided with a bespoke programme tailored to their specific needs, ambitions and circumstances.
Ric Renton most recently finished his debut play NOTHING IN A BUTTERFLY, which had been planned to premiere this summer. He will use the Paines Plough bursary to write a play about his time inside prisons in the North-East and an intimate friendship he struck up with a prison guard over two years, through his cell door.
NOTES TO EDITORS
ABOUT PAINES PLOUGH
Paines Plough is the UK’s national theatre of new plays. The company commissions and produces the best playwrights and tours their plays far and wide. Whether you’re in Liverpool or Lyme Regis, Scarborough or Southampton, a Paines Plough show is coming to a theatre near you soon.
Paines Plough was formed in 1974 over a pint of Paines bitter in the Plough pub. Since then they’ve produced more than 150 new productions by world renowned playwrights like Stephen Jeffreys, Abi Morgan, Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill, Dennis Kelly, Mike Bartlett, Kate Tempest and Vinay Patel.