skip to main content

Public Acts

Pericles company on stage as part of Public Acts

Public Acts is the National Theatre’s nationwide initiative to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community. 

The programme creates ambitious new works of participatory theatre and is built on sustained partnerships with theatres and community organisations across the UK who share our vision of theatre as a force for change. 

The first Public Acts production was Pericles in August 2018, at the National Theatre, in the Olivier Theatre. The second production was As You Like It performed in August 2019 at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch.  

Since 2019 Public Acts has been working on our third production in Doncaster in partnership with Cast and six local community partners. Our new adaptation of The Caucasian Chalk Circle was originally planned for 2020 but has been postponed, due to Covid-19.  

Throughout the pandemic we have continued to connect with our community members through online workshops, reunions, postal activities, a storytelling project called Stories To Get Us Through, screenings of our previous shows and the creation of a new musical film, We Begin Again, created in partnership with The Guardian. The film marks the first time our Doncaster and London communities have collaborated to create a piece of work together.  

Show your support

If would like to support the National Theatre's work in and with communities around the UK, including projects like Public Acts, contact the Development Team by email at [email protected] or make a donation below. 

Click here to make a donation

Our Community Partners

We work in partnership with organisations delivering visionary work in their communities across the country.  

As part of our company, members take part in bespoke programmes designed in collaboration with each community partner, including weekly workshops, theatre trips and opportunities for socialising and creating together. At the end of each year, everyone is invited to come together to perform in our flagship productions. 

Throughout the next year we will continue to work with our six Doncaster partners on remote projects until we are able to meet in person again and begin preparations for our 2022 production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle.  

Stories To Get Us Through

A new podcast series featuring stories written and performed by the people of Doncaster.

Listen now

Stories To Get Us Through

“We Begin Again”:

A new online musical from the National Theatre and the Guardian

 

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

Following advice from Government and Public Health England about the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have unfortunately had to take the decision to postpone our Public Acts production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

We are continuing to work with our brilliant community partners and creative team over the coming months, and hope to reschedule as soon as possible.

Find out more

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

As You Like It

In August 2019, the second Public Acts production, a musical adaptation of As You Like It, played at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch.

Forced from their homes, Orlando, Duke Senior, his daughter Rosalind, and niece Ceila escape to the Forest of Arden, a fantastical place where all are welcomed and embraced. Lost amidst the trees, they find community and acceptance under the stars…
 

Explore the production

As You Like It at Hornchurch

Pericles

Our first Public Acts production was a new musical adaptation of Pericles performed on the Olivier stage by a company of over 200 people of all ages.

Prince Pericles has everything but understands little. When a reckless act threatens his safety, he must flee his home and take to sea. Only by reaching the ends of the earth may he finally understand what it means to come home.

Explore the production

Pericles - Graphic of a sailboat tossed upon waves made of the outline of hands

Public Acts | Pericles

Find out about creating the first Public Acts production, Pericles, in 2018.

More info

The Public Acts Team

Director - Emily Lim
Senior Producer - Ros Terry
Engagement Producer - Lara Taylor
Associate Director - James Blakey
Project Coordinator - Brigitte Adela

Public Acts is inspired by Public Works, the Public Theater’s ground-breaking programme of participatory theatre in New York.

 

         Arts Council & National Lottery logo  

 

 

 

Supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Mr & Mrs A Mosawi and Simon & Sue Ruddick.