Award-winning theatre tent set to pitch up in the heart of the Lake District

Published on 4th September 2018

A state-of-the-art pop-up theatre dome will be appearing on Grasmere village green for a special festival of theatre, comedy and live music next month.

Published 4 September 2018

Award-winning theatre company Paines Plough will be pitching its Roundabout tent on Moss Parrock in the heart of the village for four days of exciting entertainment from 13-16 September.

Roundabout is a self-contained 168-seat auditorium which tours the country showcasing the work of Paines Plough, who have been described as the UK’s “national theatre” of new writing. During August, it was based at Edinburgh’s prestigious Summerhall venue for the Fringe Festival where it earned rave reviews and sell-out audiences for the shows that will be featured at Grasmere including:

  • Sticks and Stones (13 and 15 Sept, 7pm; 16 Sept 5pm) – A razor-sharp satire about a middle-manager’s meltdown after she makes an inappropriate joke in a team meeting written by BAFTA nominated Vinay Patel.
  • Island Town (14 Sept 7.30pm and 16 Sept, 3pm) – A play about a group of friends trapped in a dead-end town from award-winning writer Simon Longman
  • How to Spot an Alien (14 Sept schools show 1.30pm; 15 Sept, 1pm) – A fun children’s show about a brother and sister who suspect their Aunt Leina is hiding something Extra-Terrestrial.

In addition to the Paines Plough shows there will also be performances from:

  • Comedian Justin Moorhouse (13 Sept, 9pm) – Popular TV comic and star of Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights performs his new show Northern Joker.
  • Barbara Nice, Does Grasmere (14 Sept, 5.30 and 9.15pm) – Britain’s funniest housewife leads a comedy ramble round Grasmere before a special stand up show in the Roundabout theatre.
  • Fat Roland (15 Sept, 3pm) – Manchester’s award-winning performance poet performs a brand new show.
  • Drip: Boundless Theatre & Script Club (15 Sept, 5pm) – One-man musical comedy about a boy who joins a synchronized swimming club to help his best friend, despite not being able to swim.
  • Whiskey Moon Face (15 Sept, 9pm) – Alternative folk band who combine Eastern European folk, klezmer and New Orleans jazz into an original and entertaining sound

The auditorium is also a flexible space in which to hold other events and is being made available for schools and community groups to use for their own events, meetings, rehearsals etc.

The event is being organised by Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre.

Brewery Chief Executive Richard Foster said:  “We took Roundabout to Grasmere for the first time last year after two years in Kendal, as part of our commitment to programme more cultural events in the Lake District.

“We are looking forward to building on the positive response we got from businesses, local people and visitors in 2018 and attract even bigger audiences to the shows.”

Paines Plough director Stef O’Driscoll said: “It’s an incredible honour to be taking the best of the best in new writing around the UK to areas that new plays wouldn’t normally be able to reach. To develop and engage new audiences we need to take stories to people in their communities on their doorsteps.

“I am hyped to be working with such an incredible team including some of the nation’s greatest playwrights. The plays are joyous, funny and heart breaking. I can’t wait to share these beautiful stories and see how audiences in Grasmere vibe with them.”

Roundabout will take place on the village green opposite Heaton Cooper Studio, Broadgate, Grasmere 13-16 September 2018.

For details or to book tickets visit or call box office on 01539 725133.  Tickets will also be available from Sam Read’s Bookshop during the festival.

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