Paines Plough, one of the most celebrated new writing theatre companies in the UK has launched new digital projects to connect playwrights and audiences in response to the current global crisis.
The organisation which has been known since the 70s for touring 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 its 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 more than 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 patchwork quilt of accents, experiences and impressions of the UK.
Some of the nation’s most celebrated playwrights can be found in the app library performing their own plays about the places that have shaped them.
Paines Plough is working in partnership with theatres across the UK on Come to Where I Am – 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.
All of the 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 on-demand 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 to be announced.
Paines Plough will work with the partner theatres to identify potential user groups in 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 is The Place I Call Home, a 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 to co-author a new bilingual play about home that will be realised with digital artist collaborators and shared across digital platforms.