Shropshire’s rural theatre company turns 50

Pentabus is marking its 50th anniversary year with a move to a new home at the recently refurbished Ludlow Assembly Rooms, placing the organisation in the centre of the rural market town.

After 40 years on the farm estate at the Old School House in Bromfield, the move will give Pentabus a long-term home, make the organisation more accessible to artists and audiences alike with good public transport links, and provide a dedicated library and hang-out space specially designed by the award-nominated designer Charlie Cridlan, who collaborated with Pentabus on Jacaranda.

Pentabus will work alongside a team at the Assembly Rooms and be part of building a thriving creative community in Shropshire, allowing the organisation to remain rooted in the local rural community even as its work speaks to the nation.

Commenting on the move, Verity Overs-Morrell, Executive Director, Pentabus said: “The entire Pentabus team are thrilled to make Ludlow Assembly Rooms Pentabus’ new home, deepening our existing close ties. The warmth received during our recent production of Driftwood and our Young Writers showcases was truly heartening. As we take this exciting step into our 50th Anniversary, we eagerly look forward to having more of you be a part of Pentabus.”

Steve Catanach, Interim Business Manager, Ludlow Assembly Rooms added: “Everyone at Ludlow Assembly Rooms is delighted to welcome Pentabus to our building. Whilst we will continue to maintain and broaden our own programme of cinema, live events, and workshops, it’s fitting for us to now be home to one of the most esteemed national theatrical production companies.

“We look forward to enjoying the mutual benefits that come from sharing our resources and knowledge. Together we will be able to provide high quality, theatrical productions that will be accessible to Ludlow’s residents and visitors alike.”

As part of the birthday celebrations, Pentabus is on a mission to sign up 50 new ‘friends’. From £3.50 per month, friends of Pentabus can support the charity on their mission to showcase new talent in the theatre world. Perks include getting advance notice of new productions and exclusive event invitations.

Artistic Director, Elle While, took her post during the pandemic and has been championing the ambition of Pentabus to produce outstanding contemporary productions with sector-leading creative teams, directly to isolated rural communities, as well as platforming rural stories in urban settings.

“I feel privileged to be leading Pentabus through its 50th year, with its extraordinary history of taking theatre to some of the hardest to reach places and elevating voices that are so often unheard. We’ve embarked on our 50th off the back of one of our most successful years and I can’t wait to share our upcoming programme. It feels fitting to mark our 50th with a move to be the resident theatre company of the Ludlow Assembly Rooms.”

CAPTION: The Pentabus team, Andrew Sterry, Head of Engagement; Amber Knipe, Producer; Cerin Mills, Fundraising Manager; Verity Overs-Morrell, Executive Director and Elle While, Artistic Director.

To find out more about becoming a ‘friend’ of Pentabus visit www.pentabus.co.uk.

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