Rural theatre company Pentabus Theatre has announced their 2023 Spring/Summers season.
The new season features one new commission, two new Digital theatre premieres, two new Writers-in-Residence and the return of Pentabus Young Writers live production with eight brilliant new plays.
First up is hybrid theatre/film piece The Silence and the Noise written by Pentabus CRF Writer in Residence 2020 Tom Powell co-produced with Rural Media. The film premieres at the Vaults Festival, in the Cavern on Sunday 19 February. This new digital play, exploring where film and theatre meet, follows two teenagers, one a drug runner and the other the daughter of an addict, as they navigate a dangerous adult world.
One of Them Ones written by Charlie Josephine (I, Joan) opens March 2023 touring the UK including London dates at Brixton House 13 & 14 May 2023. The piece is a dazzling new play about two siblings living in a rural community trying to get their heads around gender identity.
The second digital theatre piece, DESTINY by Pentabus CRF Writer in Residence 2021 Florence Espeut-Nickless, co-produced with Rural Media, premieres at Borderlines Film Festival on 8 March and is a filmed re-imagination of the hit play from Edinburgh Festival 2022. The piece looks at the lived experience of growing up in rural Wiltshire in the 00’s
Where Do We Go From Here? Written by Pentabus Young Writers, a showcase of 8 new short plays written by young writers aged 16-25 from across the West Midlands. It runs at Ludlow Assembly Rooms on 6 & 7 July 2023.P
Pentabus has also announced two new Writers-In-Residence; Henry Maddicott through the Peggy Ramsay Foundation/Film 4 Awards Scheme and Laura Waldren through the Clive Richards Foundation award will be with Pentabus for one year.
Henry will now embark upon one-year attachment with Pentabus as their Writer In Residence. He will write at least one new play as well as support the new cohort of Pentabus Young Writers in January 2023 to write their first short plays, which will be produced in July 2023.
Henry Maddicott said: ‘I can’t believe this is actually happening! This residency is an opportunity beyond anything I could have hoped for. It will provide me with crucial space, time, support and financial aid to develop my career. More importantly however, the very act of being accepted onto it has given me a huge confidence boost, validating my belief in the importance of writing rural stories. To return to my hometown, the town that raised me, in a creative capacity, to develop new ideas and support young local writers is the epitome of everything I want to achieve as a writer. (Also, very excited to take advantage of Pentabus’ location to go on lots of walks whilst looking broodingly out over the landscape, pretending to think deep thoughts and not just about how many sausages I’m going to buy from the Ludlow Farm Shop).’
Laura said: ‘I am absolutely chuffed — and very honoured and shocked! — to have been chosen as the fourth CRF Writer in Residence for Pentabus. Having grown up in an area with limited opportunities in theatre, I’m so inspired Pentabus’ mission to bring theatre to communities who might not otherwise have access to it. I can’t wait to get stuck into working with the company, and feel like my time there going to really push me as a writer and an artist. To have the guidance and expertise of such a brilliant team — as well as the time and space to hone my craft — will be invaluable to me at this point in my career. I’m also so excited to work with the Young Writers, and to learn from them and help bring their stories to life.’
The Clive Richards Foundation said: ‘We are delighted to sponsor the ‘Writer in Residence’ for the fourth year. From the many applications Laura Waldren has been selected for this great opportunity and we are very much looking forward to her creative year at Pentabus.’
Elle While, Pentabus Artistic Director said: ‘Pentabus is celebrating and elevating rural stories with three premieres of astonishing new plays by playwrights that ask urgent questions and tell big stories with thrilling imagination, compassion and wit. We are also thrilled to be welcoming two new Writers in Residence and sixteen Young Writers whose work will be premiered this summer.’
Pentabus is the nation’s rural theatre company. They are the only professional theatre company in the UK whose vision is singularly rural. They tour new plays about the contemporary rural world to new audiences in village halls, fields, festivals and theatres, telling stories with local relevance, plus national and international impact.