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Pentabus Theatre

   
pentabus logo

www.pentabus.co.uk
t : 01584 - 856 564
Ludlow, Shropshire
England

  Pentabus is a contemporary theatre company, producing original plays about the rural world for local and national audiences.

Based on a farm in Shropshire, we make a real commitment to the creative health of the countryside, encouraging artists to draw from it and urging communities to participate in it.

We make theatre that digs deep into the psyche of the English countryside. Our shows are playful, political and compassionate, offering rural audiences work that is made especially for, and speaks directly to, them. We then take these plays on the road, touring around the country, telling stories that are born locally, but resonate nationally. Our productions turn up at festivals, in fields and in theatres, reaching our audience wherever they may be.

 
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Productions and Projects

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In This Place
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2013
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In this Place by Lydia Adetunji and Frances Brett is an audio theatre experience in the Shropshire Hills landscape.

Working with a playwright, an archivist, a sound designer and an installation artist, Pentabus have come up with a visionary piece about land and legacy. The production uses the real stories of women who work on the land, alongside a specially created installation trail.

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in this place
In This Place

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Stand Up Diggers All
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2012
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'The common people of England will arise.'

A new play for Pentabus by Phil Porter, performed at the Latitude Festival July 12th-15th 2012

Occupy met the English Civil War in this show about the roots of radical thinking. A mixture of protest and performance, music and song, Pentabus staged a meeting of minds across the generations. Made exclusively for Latitude, the production featured guerrilla gardening, a Digger encampment and a specially-formed folk band.

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stand up diggers
Stand Up Diggers All

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Tales of the Country
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2011
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Tales of the Country told the story of Brian Viner and his family as they move from a terrace in north London to a rambling grange in rural Herefordshire. The production was based on the book of the same name, inspired by Viner's weekly dispatches from the country in The Independent.

Adapted for Pentabus by Nick Warburton, Tales of the Country looked at the pleasures and pitfalls that await a family from the city chasing a rural idyll.

The production had two sell out national tours, playing in village halls, theatres and arts centres across the UK and Wales.

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tales of the country
Tales of the Country

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Origins
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2009
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Origins, a comedy by Steven Canny and John Nicholson, tells the story of the young Charles Darwin, from his birth until he joined the crew of the Beagle. In a visual spectacular with physical theatre, animation and puppetry, it considers the burning questions of bugs, big bangs and body-snatchers.
    Can you spot a genius at the age of nine? What makes a young boy ask the biggest questions about life and where we come from? How did a Shropshire lad become one of the most incredible minds in the history of the world?
The performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, directed by Orla O'Laughlin, was selected as a British Council 'Plat du Jour' and 'Pick of the Fringe'.

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pentabus origins
Origins

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Pigs
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2009
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Inspired by the Slow Food Movement, Pentabus invited six writers to spend a week in the country finding out where the food on their plates comes from.

Nicola Jones, Debbie McAndrew, Tim Price, Alan Pollock and Abbie Spallen produced new, ten-minute plays, a feast of the surprising, the political and the absurd.

Rehearsed readings of plays received their first airing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2009.

This work-in-progress continues to be developed.

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pentabus pigs
Pigs

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The Hunting Season
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2007
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Three years on from the hunting ban and this countryside tradition still battles for survival.

Few issues divide the British public as passionately as the Hunt. Everyone has an opinion. But just what is it about the 'pursuit of the inedible by the unspeakable' that continues to elicit such strong responses and drive a wedge between the town and the country?

Following Pentabus' writers' week in 2006, with unprecedented access to the local Hunt, they are developing a number of ideas for future projects.

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pentabus hunting season
The Hunting Season

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Strawberry Fields
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2006
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Strawberry Fields is a political verbatim drama, dealing with the issues surrounding the use of migrant labour on industrial scale strawberry farms. Is eating strawberries out of season worth the price of a scarred countryside?

Using first hand testimonies from a variety of local people including councilors, farm managers, consumers and the workers themselves, Pentabus explored the effects of this big business on the local ecology and population.

The production is a collaboration with Alecky Blythe.

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pentabus strawberry
Strawberry Fields

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White Open Spaces
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2006 - 2007
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"Everyone turned round and stared like I'm from Mars or something."

Nine writers. Nine monologues. The heart of the countryside

When, in 2004, Trevor Phillips, then Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, asked if there was a 'passive apartheid' in the countryside, Pentabus Theatre in association with BBC Radio Drama invited nine writers to the John Osborne Arvon Centre to investigate this.

Seven of the scripts, by Francesca Beard, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Ian Marchant, Kara Miller, Richard Rai O'Neill, Courttia Newland and Rommi Smith, form the play produced for the 2006 Edinburgh Festival season.

    “That’s what I think about the country – it’s a place where stuff goes on that you wouldn’t want to know about, stuff that’s hidden away in all this open space, these fields of earth and dark, dark nights with no sulphur glow and no neighbours around to hear. Mind you, it’s pretty.”

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pentabus - white open spaces
White Open Spaces

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Magic Sky. Magic Earth
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2000
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Magical stories from around the world - a show for kids of 4 - 8 years to bring their parents to.

Magic Sky. Magic Earth is written by Lorna Laidlow.

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On the Slate
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2000
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A macabre comedy of jeans, genetics and serial murder set in the heart of line dancing country - for adults.

On the Slate is written by Janice Connolly.

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More About  
Artistic Director: Elizabeth Freestone
Administrator: Sarah Hughes
Development Director: John Moreton
  Pentabus Theatre
www.pentabus.co.uk
t: 01584 - 856 564

Bromfield
Ludlow, Shropshire
SY8 2JU
England

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