Paines Plough and Birmingham Repertory Theatre have today announced the full cast and UK tour dates for POP MUSIC, a World Premiere from Bruntwood Award-winner Anna Jordan (Yen). The new play, which promises to be a night at the theatre like no other, charts two wedding guests’ rollercoaster journey through thirty epic years of pop. The production will play two dates at Latitude Festival, ahead of its opening at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 12th – 22nd September 2018 (press night 17th September), before embarking on a UK tour to Liverpool, Peterborough, Bracknell, Brighton, St Albans, Norwich, Doncaster, Havant, Manchester, Derby, Selby, Preston, Washington, Lincoln, Beverly, Canterbury, Bordon, Lyme Regis, Guildford, Halifax, Banbury, Barking, Maidenhead, Bromsgrove, Berwick Upon Tweed and Whitehaven. Pop Music will star Katherine Kotz, Rakesh Boury and Ciaran Alexander Stewart.
For anyone that’s ever been a dick on the dance floor.
A wedding. A free bar. A blast from the past.
G and Kayla’s lives are a mess but tonight they’re determined to Have It Large. As their veins course with adrenaline and cheap prosecco we follow them on an epic journey through thirty years of Pop.
Can the DJ save them as they become Dancing Queens, reliving their Teenage Dream, Staying Out For The Summer and Spicing Up Their Lives? Pop makes promises it can’t keep, and soon they’ll discover they have more in common than their taste in tunes.
James Grieve said: “I’ve been a huge fan of Anna’s work for many years and I am thrilled to be taking her joyous, riotous pop party to audiences the length and breadth of the UK. I am excited to be working with the remarkable actor Ciaran Stewart Alexander to put BSL at the heart of the production, and with Backlight Productions on creative captioning. With a hilarious, heart-string tugging story and a soundtrack of cast iron pop classics, this is theatre you can dance in the aisles to.”
Anna Jordan said “Pop Music is a celebration of my love of – well – pop music! For years I felt the need to hide just how low brow some of my music choices were, covertly dancing in the kitchen to Kiss FM for hours on end and lingering longer in shops to scribble down lyrics of songs so I could find out what they were. But no more! Pop has been a huge part of my life, and part of my work too. I’ve become fascinated by the role music plays throughout our lives and how that role changes as we get older, and I became particularly interested in exploring the statement “Pop music makes promises it can’t keep”. I’m hugely excited that we get to tour Pop Music around the country and I’m thrilled to be working with Paines Plough and Birmingham Rep. I’m especially pleased that James is directing after admiring his work for many years.”
Anna won the 2013 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting for Yen (Royal Court) after having been twice longlisted for her plays MARIANNE and CHICKEN SHOP. YEN has had productions at Manchester Royal Exchange, the Royal Court and MCC New York as well as several international productions. It was also shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2015-2016. Other theatre writing includes WE ANCHOR IN HOPE (Royal Court Theatre - Beyond the Court), CHICKEN SHOP (Park Theatre) and FREAK (Theatre503 / Assembly Studios).
James is Joint Artistic Director of Paines Plough, the UK’s national theatre of new plays. For Paines Plough he has directed OUT OF LOVE by Elinor Cook, BLACK MOUNTAIN by Brad Birch, HOW TO BE A KID by Sarah McDonald Hughes, BROKEN BISCUITS and JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS by Tom Wells, HAPPINESS by Nick Payne (BBC Radio 3), THE ANGRY BRIGADE by James Graham, AN INTERVENTION and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE by Mike Bartlett, HOPELESSLY DEVOTED and WASTED by Kate Tempest, THE SOUND OF HEAVY RAIN by Penelope Skinner, YOU CANNOT GO FORWARD FROM WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW by David Watson, TINY VOLCANOES by Laurence Wilson and FLY ME TO THE MOON by Marie Jones. His freelance work includes the new musical THE ASSASSINATION OF KATIE HOPKINS for Theatr Clywd, a new production of LES MISERABLES for Wermland Opera in Sweden and Brian Friel's TRANSLATIONS which won Best Production at the UK Theatre Awards 2014. James was formerly founder and Joint Artistic Director of nabokov with George Perrin, and Associate Director at the Bush Theatre.
Katherine (Kayla) trained at East 15 Acting School. Her Theatre credits include Happy To Help (Park Theatre); A Progress (Beggars Belief/Yard Theatre); Twelfth Night (RBL Theatre Company); Vesta (Figuetta); Playhouse Creatures (Otherplace Productions); Cabaret Brecht (Otherplace Productions).
Rakesh (G) is originally from Hull and trained at the Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama. Previous theatre credits include: The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Theatr Clwyd); We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre); Bend It Like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre); Rock Of Ages (Original UK Tour); Dj Lovely, Britains Got Bhangra (Original UK Cast).
Ciaran (Remix / British Sign Language Interpreter) Theatre credits include: Tribes (Sheffield Theatres), Junkyard (Headlong/Bristol Old Vic/Theatr Clwyd/Rose Theatre), Dr Johnson Goes to Scotland (Oran Mor/Traverse Theatre), Dream On! (BBC Arts), Tales from the Croft (Solar Bear).
Pop Music will have integrated British Sign Language and Captioning at Latitude Festival, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Derby Theatre, The Garage (Norwich) and Phoenix Arts (Bordon).
Pop Music is a new play by Anna Jordan directed by James Grieve with lighting design by Tanya Stephenson, movement by Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster and sound design by Dominic Kennedy. Ben Smith is the Associate Sound Designer and Elin Schofield is the Assistant Director.
Pop Music will tour with support from Esmée Fairbairn and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. It is a Paines Plough and Birmingham Repertory Theatre co-production. Alongside the national tour, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, with support from the Barry Jackson Trust, will tour Pop Music to local community venues in areas of low cultural engagement across the city, free of charge, as part of The REP's ongoing commitment to great art for all.
Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster (Movement Director) is a contemporary dance theatre choreographer, maker and movement director and is a co-founding member of award winning company, C-12 Dance Theatre. Recent Theatre Credits Include: These Bridges by Phoebe Éclair-Powell (WCYT as part of National Theatre Connections at The Bush) The Little Match Girl and Other Happier Tales by Joel Horwood and Emma Rice (UK tour); The Dark Room by Angela Betzien (Theatre 503); i know all the secrets of my world by Natalie Ibu (UK tour). Recent Dance Credits Include: Force (UK tour); Shhh! (UK tour); The Van Man (UK tour). Annie-Lunnette most recently worked with Clean Break on Artichokes’ Processions 2018.
Dominic Kennedy (Sound) is a Sound Designer and Music Producer for performance and live events, his work often fuses found sound, field recordings, music composition and synthesis. Recent design credits include; Ramona Tells Jim (Bush Theatre); And The Rest Of Me Floats (Outbox); I Am A Tree (Jamie Wood); Box Clever (nabokov); Skate Hard Turn Left (Battersea Arts Centre); Roundabout Season 2017 (Paines Plough); Gap In The Light (Engineer); Broken Biscuits (Paines Plough); Roundabout Season 2016 (Paines Plough); With A Little Bit Of Luck (Paines Plough); The Human Ear (Paines Plough); The Devil Speaks True (Goat and Monkey); Run (Engineer); Ono (Jamie Wood).
Elin Schofield (Assistant Director) is a director, movement director and facilitator. She is also the director of northern company Footprint Theatre. Her Directing work includes: Signals (New Diorama, HOME, Pleasance); Losing It (Sheffield Theatres); Daniel (UK tour). As an Assistant Director: A Dream by Chris Bush (Sheffield Theatres). As Movement Director: The Changing Room (Sheffield Theatres); The Snow Queen and The Nutcracker (Theatr Clwyd).
Ben Smith (Associate Sound Designer) recently finished training at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in Theatre Sound. Sound Design Work includes: Why Even Bother (Edinburgh Fringe); How To Make Me Happy (Old Vic Workrooms); Tomorrow I’ll Be Twenty for Complicite (West Yorkshire Tour, Pleasance Theatre).
Tanya Stephenson (Lighting) won the Francis Reid Lighting Design award in 2010 and has since worked on national and international tours with companies such as Fuel, Theatre Rites, Gecko, BBC, Punchdrunk, Little Bulb, Wardrobe Ensemble, The Invisible Dot, Spymonkey, Polka Theatre and Stomp. Her solo work also extends outside of TV and theatre - from designing installations at the British Library and at festivals, to artistic workshops with ex-offenders and prisoners to working alongside fashion photographers and VM designers, such as Rhea Thierstein.
Paines Plough and Birmingham Repertory Theatre , in association with Latitude Festival, present
Direction by James Grieve
First performance: 12 September 2018
Opening Night: 17 September 2018
12th – 22nd September 2018
Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham
0121 236 4455
30th October 2018
Unity Theatre, Liverpool
0151 709 4988
31st October 2018
Key Theatre, Peterborough
1st November 2018
South Hill Park, Bracknell
2nd November 2018
The Old Market, Brighton
3rd November 2018
Trestle Arts Base, St Albans
6th November 2018
The Garage, Norwich
7th November 2018
8th November 2018
The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, Havant
023 9247 2700
9th November 2018
The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre, Manchester
0161 282 9776
10th November 2018
Derby Theatre, Derby
01332 59 39 39
13th November 2018
Selby Town Hall, Selby
14th November 2018
The Continental, Preston
15th November 2018
Arts Centre Washington, Washington
0191 561 3455
16th November 2018
Lincoln Performing Arts Centre in association with Home, Lincoln
17th November 2018
East Riding Theatre, Beverly
22nd – 23rd November 2018
Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
24th November 2018
Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre, Bordon
27th November 2018
Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis
28th November 2018
Electric Theatre, Guildford
29th November 2018
Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax
30th November 2018
Mill Arts Centre, Banbury
1st December 2018
Studio 3 Arts, Barking
020 8594 7136
4th December 2018
Norden Farm, Maidenhead
5th December 2018
7th December 2018
The Maltings Theatre, Berwick Upon Tweed
8th December 2018
Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven