Theatre News

Paines Plough announces new work for 2021

The artistic directors said ‘the world has changed and so have we’

Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner
Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner
© Left: Richard Davenport, right: Robert Day

Artistic directors Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner have announced plans for Paines
Plough's work in 2021.

This year's programme will see the new writing company stage work from the likes of Chris Bush, Vickie Donoghue, Phoebe Eclair-Powell, Ifeyinwa Frederick, Chinonyerem Odimba, Frankie Meredith and Amy Trigg.

Productions include Trigg's Women's Prize for Playwriting-winning Reasons You Should(n't) Love Me, and a season in the Roundabout venue as part of Belgrade Theatre's Coventry City of Culture 2021 programme.

Chinonyerem Odimba's new show Black Love explores love and relationships with music by Ben and Max Ringham, in association with tiata fahodzi following Odimba's new role as artistic director of the company.

This will play in rep in the Roundabout with Chris Bush's new play Hungry, investigating food and our dysfunctional relationships with our bodies, and Phoebe Eclair-Powell's new family show Really Big and Really Loud. Frankie Meredith also joins the line-up with her new coming-of-age play May Queen, directed by Balisha Karra.

Originally planned for last season, Ifeyinwa Frederick's Sessions, exploring the complexities of mental health in young men, will tour the UK from September before playing at Soho Theatre.

Vickie Donoghue's new play The Electric will be performed by the Richard Burton Company, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama's in-house theatre company, as part of its new writing festival New '21, and receive a digital release on 21 May.

Meanwhile Paines Plough has added two theatre companies to its initiative Re: Build. Nouveau Riche and Bonnie and The Bonnettes join the programme, created to "support companies in building their resilience and strengthening their strategic plans during this challenging period".

And the company will also be trialling a new Open Submissions programme, whereby during certain windows throughout the year writers can submit their scripts via the Paines Plough website.

Joint artistic directors Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner said: "If anything, 2020 has taught us there are no definites but that there is always hope. We are artists, we are activists and 2021 is about discovering how best we can reconnect and serve our national communities after the year we have all been through.

"Our Promise to 2021 is a promise of hope. A hope to make some plays, a hope to make them with some people and a hope to share them with our national audiences."

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