What did a train journey, a beach holiday and a job interview have in common?
They were all life changing.
The story goes that JK Rowling was on a long train journey with nothing to do. So she used the time to ponder over an idea she had for a book…
Lin-Manuel Miranda was off on holiday and wanted a book to read on the beach. He picked one up at the airport – the biography of Alexander Hamilton…
I went to a job interview and was asked to report to Stage Door. Going through that door changed my life…I have worked for theatre charities ever since. Over 20 years later it is a privilege to be a Trustee of The National Campaign For The Arts.
I recently became Chair of Paines Plough, a theatre company committed to new writing and developing playwrights.
In 2010 we asked a group of writers to return to their home towns to pen short plays about the places that shaped them. COME TO WHERE I’M FROM is a national project that invites playwrights to write and perform mini plays about their home towns.
Since then we’ve commissioned over 160 writers from Olivier Award winners to first time writers. Together these plays make up a theatrical tapestry of the nation – a playwrights’ guide to Great Britain. We’ve recorded each playwright performing their own play and created a smartphone app to house all the recordings.
You can explore Leeds with Zodwa Nyoni, walk the streets of Liverpool with Helen Blakeman, hear James Graham’s tales of Mansfield, Mike Bartlett and Alice Birch on Oxford, Zia Ahmed on Cricklewood and lots, lots more. Perfect to listen to on a long train journey, a relaxing beach holiday or to enjoy on the way to a job interview!
Paines Plough and The Criterion are hosting a special one-off event to celebrate 10 years of Paines Plough’s flagship nationwide project, COME TO WHERE I’M FROM, starring some of the nation’s leading playwrights performing their own short plays about the places they call home.
Join us at the Criterion Theatre on 18 November for an evening of short plays, and help raise funds to support the next generation of exceptional playwrights. You will see new work written and performed by long-established, award-winning playwrights – James Graham, Simon Stephens, April De Angelis and Dennis Kelly, along with work from exciting new voices Zia Ahmed and Chloë Moss, in a celebration of Paines Plough’s history of discovering and developing talented writers from across the country.
Tickets start at only £10 and are available here.