Thirteen people who work at or use the Bromley by Bow Centre have been working hard together with over one hundred others as part of a community theatre company with the National Theatre’s Public Arts team and a professional cast. The result will be a beautifully moving and inspirational adaptation of Shakespeare’s Pericles on the National Theatre’s Olivier stage at the end of the month.

People of all ages who use the Bromley by Bow Centre are among the National Theatre company. Their musical version of the classic story goes on stage at the end of August to launch the National Theatre’s Public Acts programme – their new initiative to create extraordinary acts of theatre with the community.

The performance marks the mid-point of a two-year partnership with the Bromley by Bow centre and seven other organisations that work with communities including Body and Soul, Coram, DABD, Faith and Belief Forum, Havering Asian Social Welfare Association, Open Age, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Thames Reach. Workshops, trips and exchanges have been arranged to form part of the community theatre company.

“Working with ‘the National’ has been one of the best things we’ve done. Everything about it underpins our belief in the importance of taking part in the arts for all people, regardless of backgrounds.” Rob Trimble

The National Theatre commissioned writer Chris Bush to adapt Shakespeare’s Pericles which is directed by Emily Lim and choreographed by Robby Graham with music by James Fortune.

“The ‘Public Acts’ programme is founded on the belief that theatre can be a force for change, bringing communities together with the power of collective purpose and imagination. We are celebrating our first year of these partnerships with our first production under the National Theatre.” Emily Lim

Pericles is the story of a prince who has everything but understands little. He flees home when a reckless act threatens his safety. He takes to sea and is driven from shore to shore. Only by reaching the ends of the earth does he finally understand what it means to come home.

The production runs from August 26 to 28 at the National Theatre’s Olivier Stage. Find out more on the National Theatre website.