Theatre News

Paines Plough new season to include Jade Anouka and Chinonyerem Odimba

New co-artistic directors Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner present their inaugural 2020 programme

Jade Anouka and Chinonyerem Odimba
Jade Anouka and Chinonyerem Odimba
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The new artistic directors of Paines Plough – Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner – have announced their inaugural 2020 programme for the company.

The Live Out Loud season has commissioned writers including Chris Bush, Chinonyerem Odimba, Phoebe Eclair-Powell, Charlotte Keatley, Chloë Moss, Ifeyinwa Frederick, Charlotte Josephine and Jade Anouka.

As previously announced, Paines Plough will co-produce a new play with Soho Theatre and Sheffield Theatres by award-winning playwright Moss. Run Sister Run explores the lives of two sisters and the different directions life takes them in as they try to hold onto their sibling bond. The show will play at Sheffield Theatres from 27 February to 21 March.

For the first time, Roundabout will host a musical as one of the company's lead productions. Odimba's Black Love explores love and relationships, with music by Ben and Max Ringham. It plays in rep with Bush's Hungry – which investigates food and our relationships with our bodies – and Eclair-Powell's new family show Really Big and Really Loud, about a girl who loses her voice and has an adventure to find it again. Roundabout will return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2020 and bring mini-festivals on each stop in its nationwide tour.

New plays from Frederick and Josephine complete the Paines Plough touring season. Frederick's new play Sessions is a co-production with Soho Theatre and will play in autumn 2020. Josephine's work Moon Licks will be created in collaboration with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. It will be directed by Hannah Hauer-King and will open in Cardiff on 17 March before a run at the Gate Theatre, London in April.

As well as the new work, Paines Plough have have also launched two new initiatives, LAMDA Live Lab and The Women's Prize for Playwriting. Live Lab will collectively explore new ways of working in the Roundabout by experimenting with early-career playwrights alongside some of the most pioneering female playwrights from the last 30 years. Jade Anouka is the playwright under commission for 2020.

The Women's Prize for Playwriting – in partnership with Ellie Keel Productions and sponsored by PER – will support UK and Ireland-based playwrights who identify as female. The winning playwright will receive £12,000 in respect of an exclusive option for EKP and Paines Plough to co-produce the winning play. The judging panel will be chaired by Mel Kenyon and include Monica Dolan, Sarah Frankcom, Tanika Gupta, Kate Pakenham, Ella Hickson, Indhu Rubasingham and Maxine Peake. Submission for the prize open on 11 November and close on 2 March.

Bennett and Posner commented: "We are honoured to be working with such a wealth of talent and experience in our first season. We are also delighted to be working with partners across the country including Sheffield Theatres, Oldham Coliseum Theatre, York Theatre Royal, Soho Theatre, Ellie Keel Productions, LAMDA and also celebrating an existing partnership with Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. These are stories that celebrate what it is to live life out loud, own who you are and speak your truth. They are ready to be heard."