News: Paines Plough announces productions, tour dates and casting for Roundabout 2019

Artistic Directors of Paines Plough James Grieve and George Perrin today announced casting, creative team and tour for their final Roundabout season. Paines Plough’s award-winning portable in-the-round auditorium, Roundabout was conceived by Grieve and Perrin and launched in 2014. Roundabout will showcase three world premieres, On the Other Hand, We’re Happy by Daf James, Dexter and Winter’s Detective Agency by Nathan Bryon and Daughterhood by Charley Miles across the country.

This year all three productions will be directed by Stef O’Driscoll. Stef is the Artistic Director of nabokov and previously the Associate Director at Paines Plough and Lyric Hammersmith. For Paines Plough she directed the Roundabout 2018 rep: Island Town by Simon Longman, Sticks and Stones by Vinay Patel and How to Spot an Alien by Georgia Christou. Also for Paines Plough: With a Little Bit of Luck by Sabrina Mahfouz, Hopelessly Devoted by Kate Tempest, Blister by Laura Lomas, and as Assistant Director: Wasted by Kate Tempest. Other director credits include Last Night (nabokov/Roundhouse); Storytelling Army (nabokov/Brighton Festival); Slug (nabokov/Latitude); Box Clever (Bunker); Yard Gal (Ovalhouse); The Unmaster, A Tale from the Bedsit (& Bestival), Finding Home (Roundhouse); A Guide to Second Date Sex, When Women Wee (Underbelly/Soho); A Midsummer Night’s Dream [co-director] (Lyric, Hammersmith). As associate director, theatre includes: Mogadishu (Lyric, Hammersmith/Royal Exchange, Manchester). As assistant director, theatre includes: Henry IV (Donmar/St Anne’s Warehouse, Brooklyn); Blasted (Lyric, Hammersmith). Upcoming projects include: A History of Water in the Middle East (Royal Court Theatre), LIT (Nottingham Playhouse & High Tide)

The 2019 programme will be performed in rep by Charlotte Bate (Blackthorn, Insite and Leeds Playhouse; The Rivals, The Watermill; King Lear, Orange Tree Theatre; Watership Down, The Watermill; Romeo & Juliet, Sheffield Crucible), Charlotte O’Leary (Island Town, Sticks and Stones, How to Spot an Alien), Paines Pough; Under Milk Wood, The Watermill; Hush, Paines Plough; Three Days in the Country, Richard Burton Theatre Company) and Toyin Omari-Kinch (War Horse, National Theatre; Eric the Archer, National Theatre Scotland; Circles, Birmingham Repertory Theatre; Empty, Belgrade Theatre).

James Grieve and George Perrin said: “For our final Roundabout season we are privileged to premiere three extraordinary new plays by three of Britain’s boldest, wittiest and most distinctive playwrights. Presented alongside our long-term co-producers Theatr Clwyd, this trio of plays will take you on adventures, teeter you on cliffhangers, transport you to other worlds, make you howl with laughter then rip out your heart. Both Charley and Nathan are former recipients of the Paines Plough Playwright Fellowship so we are particularly thrilled to now be premiering their full-length plays. Along with Daf we think they are amongst the most entertaining and exciting new writing talent and we can’t wait to share their stories across the country in our beautiful ROUNDABOUT.”

Tamara Harvey, Theatr Clwyd’s Artistic Director said: “Working in partnership with Paines Plough and particularly with James and George during their brilliant tenure has been a joy. Together our two companies have created theatre that has thrilled audiences at our home in Wales and across the nation. This year’s three extraordinary new plays yet again prove the incredible strength of new writing talent that Wales and the wider UK has to offer.”

Stef O’Driscoll said: “It is an honour to be back with Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd directing this year’s Roundabout season. I believe completely in the grass roots mission of theatre for all and the need to deliver high quality new writing to underserved communities across the UK. Roundabout actively breaks down the barriers that exists that prevent people from accessing the arts. It is local, it celebrates what it means to be human, inspires hope and brings communities together and I can’t wait to share these gifts of plays made by this almighty team to audiences across the UK and see how each community we go into responds to these stories and makes Roundabout their local.”

Plans for Roundabout this summer will be announced on 17 May.

A Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd production
On the Other Hand, We’re Happy
By Daf James

A single Dad meets his adopted daughter for the first time. Then he agrees to meet her birth mother. When their two worlds collide, will what they have in common outweigh their differences?

A one-off meeting. But three lives will be changed forever.

On the Other Hand, We’re Happy is a tender, funny, hopeful play about being a mum when your name is Dad.

Daf James is an award-winning writer, composer and performer working across theatre, radio television and film in English and Welsh. Having trained in the Lecoq pedagogy at the London International School of Performing Arts he went on to earn a doctorate in Theatre Studies from the University of Warwick. His first full-length play Llwyth [Tribe] was described in Contemporary Welsh Plays as ‘a water-shed play that changed the landscape of Welsh language theatre forever.’

A Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd production
Dexter and Winter’s Detective Agency
By Nathan Bryon

When Dexter’s mum is sent to jail for getting mixed up in a jewellery robbery, it’s up to Dexter and Winter to get her out. On their journey to uncover the truth and free mum, their detective work leads them to some surprising discoveries.

A mad-cap adventure story for all the family from one of the writers behind CBeebies hits Rastamouse, Apple Tree House and Swashbuckle.

Nathan is a writer and actor, who grew up eating as much Uxbridge Road Caribbean food as his bank balance would allow. He is best known to viewers for his role as regular character Jamie in Some Girls and Benidorm’s sunniest holiday maker, Joey Ellis. Nathan has written for critically acclaimed CBeebies’ animation Rastamouse, BAFTA award winning Swashbuckle and on all three series of BAFTA nominated Apple Tree House (CBeebies) alongside BAFTA winning Gigglebiz. Last Year Nathan’s one-man show Mixed Brain about his mixed heritage premiered in Roundabout at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Nathan has secured a 3 picture book deal with Penguin Random House. His first book Look Up! will hit shelves in the US and UK in June 2019.

A Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd production
By Charley Miles

One sister stayed at home to care for Dad, the other set out to ‘make a difference’,

Reunited under their childhood roof, Pauline and Rachel unearth more than the 10 years between them.

It’s a huge gap. Almost insurmountable.

And each is determined to let the other know exactly who has done things right.

Daughterhood is a beautiful, ferocious play about the bonds that tie us, and how we sometimes need to break them.

Charley is a playwright from rural North Yorkshire. She has written plays for the Royal Court, Leeds Playhouse, and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She has been attached to Paines Plough as their Playwright Fellow in 2018 and Leeds Playhouse as their Channel 4 Playwright in Residence in 2017. Her debut play, Blackthorn, was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn prize in New York in 2017. Her new play, There Are No Beginnings, will premiere at Leeds Playhouse in Autumn 2019. She has original television dramas in development with Buccaneer Media, Mam Tor Productions and Entertainment One.

Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

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