Ahead of launching their 10th annual programme of new plays on tour, George Perrin and James Grieve have announced that they are stepping down as Artistic Directors of Paines Plough. Since 2010, the pair have produced 45 World Premieres by writers such as Mike Bartlett, Penelope Skinner, James Graham, Sabrina Mahfouz and Vinay Patel, touring them to hundreds of villages, towns and cities across the UK and around the world.
Their playwright development initiative THE BIG ROOM, has launched the careers of a new generation of playwrights including Tom Wells, Kate Tempest and Zia Ahmed.
The pair revitalised small-scale touring whilst at the organisation and launched celebrated initiatives like Open Auditions to ensure that Paines Plough meets actors from all backgrounds across the whole of the UK.
In 2014, Perrin and Grieve built their own pop-up theatre ROUNDABOUT for Paines Plough to reach those communities least engaged with the arts, a pop-up space which is now recognised as a fixture of touring theatre across the country.
George Perrin and James Grieve said: “We are honoured to have been the custodians of this essential organisation and are proud to now pass it on to a new generation of artists and producers. It’s been a joy to travel the country and traverse the globe bringing the best new British plays to the doorsteps of our audiences. We’ll leave as we arrived: die-hard fans of the best new writing touring company in the world.”
Kim Grant, Chair of the Paines Plough Board of Trustees, said: “George and James have led Paines Plough through nine years of outstanding achievement, unrelenting progress and unforgettable theatre experiences for audiences across the UK. Throughout their stewardship the company has remained true to its roots as the leading national touring theatre company for new plays and with ROUNDABOUT now firmly established as a unique and sophisticated flexible pop-up theatre space, they leave us and their successors a wonderful legacy.”
Programme 2019 will be announced later this week. James and George will leave Paines Plough in the summer to pursue new projects.
The board of Paines Plough will begin their search for new artistic leadership in February.