Public Acts is the National Theatre’s new 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 NT in the Olivier Theatre. The second production was As You Like It in August 2019 at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch. In 2020, the NT will partner with Cast in Doncaster for a third Public Acts production, working with community partners from the local area.
Our Community Partners
For our foundation cycle, between 2017 and 2019, we are working with the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch and eight community organisations across Greater London, who deliver visionary work in their communities.
As part of our company, members take part in bespoke programmes designed in collaboration with each 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.
The Caucasian Chalk Circle
In August 2020, the third Public Acts production, a musical adaptation of The Caucasian Chalk Circle, will play at Cast in Doncaster.
In a divided community, our reluctant hero, Grusha, risks everything to rescue an abandoned baby and raise him as her own. This new version of Brecht's classic, is a heartrending and gripping tale of the families we choose, filled with passion, hope, and plenty of Yorkshire grit and humour.
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.
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…
The Public Acts Team
Director - Emily Lim
Senior Producer - Ros Terry
Community Producer - Flo Paul
Assistant Community Producer - Alice Linnane
Public Acts is inspired by Public Works, the Public Theater’s ground-breaking programme of participatory theatre in New York.
Supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Mr & Mrs A Mosawi and Simon & Sue Ruddick.