Credit: Plaines Plough

Preview: The Place I Call Home theatre festival

By Ananya Venkatesan

 Paines Plough’s plans to quench our thirst for theatre.

All of us theatre enthusiasts have been starved of the joys of live performance. But theatre companies across the country have been striving to provide digital content to satisfy our appetites and a new theatre festival plans to do the same. Joint artistic directors of Paines Plough, Charlotte Bennet and Katie Posner, announced a two-week theatre festival, The Place I Call Home, from Monday 19 October to Saturday 31 October 2020. Paines Plough, a company dedicated to commissioning and producing new plays and developing new playwrights, has planned to run the festival over a plethora of platforms including Whatsapp, Instagram, Zoom, and even the beloved postal service. The festival seems to be shaping up as a unique, cross-medium experience. 

The festival itinerary includes three bilingual international collaborations as its headline shows:

A Brief History of Struggle

A piece spanning 1928 to 2020 across the UK and Germany, with six short stories of hope and endurance in both English and German. Audiences can sign up with their phone number and receive links over six days via WhatsApp inviting them into five-minute snapshots of imagined conversations between people in both London and Dortmund.

By: Dipo Baruwa-Etti (London, UK), Calle Fuhr (Dortmund, Germany)

Cast: UK – Bella Maclean, Daniel Adeosun, Martyn Hodge, Phia Saban, and Sophie Doyle; Germany – Cosima Shaw, Jan Pohl, Kristin Atherton, Markus Von Lingen, Nenda Neururer, and Peter Stark

Ticket price: £1/-

In Tandem

This piece invites audiences to witness couples in lockdown, spoken in both English and in Polish. In London we’ll see online Drag Queen Zumba classes, a drastic lack of PPE, and family relationships maintained via video calls, meanwhile in Poland the focus is on a couple stuck in the same home trying to find a way through lockdown together. Audiences will be invited to sign up via email to receive personal invites to gain an insight into these two couples’ lives over the course of a week. 

By: Travis Alabanza (London, UK), Magdalena Zarębska-Wegrzyn (Krakow, Poland)

Cast: Sharon D. Clarke, Patrycja Durska, Leanne Henlon, and Paweł Kumięga

Ticket price: £3/-

Posta Aerea

Audiences will receive their own bespoke package delivered through the letterbox, created by the two teenagers that the story follows, Aisha and Tania. After meeting on an Italian beach as teenagers, we find them a year later living in Sheffield and Riccione reconnecting as pen pals. The stories are told in both English and Italian.

By: Giuditta Mingucci (Milan, Italy), Rosie MacPherson (UK)

Ticket price: £5/-

Along with its three headline performances, the festival will include free open access Q&As with playwrights, free workshops for actors, directors, playwrights, producers, and an online Open Auditions project. Applications for auditions will open on Tuesday 6 October 2020 and close on Tuesday 13 October 2020.

Tickets to all events can be bought here and visit to learn more.


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