♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪ Oh, Pericles… ♪ Public Acts is a very exciting new project at the National Theatre, which is all about creating extraordinary acts of theatre and community. (COMPANY SINGS) RUFUS NORRIS: If our mantra
is this theatre is for everyone, it’s about everyone being able to
come to the theatre, but it’s also about everyone being able to participate in theatre, telling stories, working as a community. EMILY LIM: The project began with a series of bespoke workshop programmes
that were all designed in collaboration with
our community partners. Everyone who had taken part
in our regular workshops was invited to come and be part
of the company of Pericles,which was our first Public Acts production. This voyage of one man’s understanding of what home means
and what it is to belong somewhere and to feel connected to people
couldn’t have felt more resonant with all of us
and with our company members. There’s been so much genuine love and support. It’s been great. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. My holidays can wait! The experience I’ve had with these guys here… Nothing better. RUFUS NORRIS: It felt like there
were literally hundreds of people who felt like this was their organisation. This is their space, this is for them.
This is a community centre. EMILY LIM: A huge part of that is about making one another feel good
and laughing together and sharing food together and dancing together
in a way that feels united and honest. NEW SPEAKER: I’ve never liked theatre, but this is really proving to me that there is something inside of me. NEW SPEAKER: I’m taking away
the people that I’ve met when we were warming up and talking at the margins of lunch times and break times. It’s hard. It’s so many things, and everything! EMILY LIM: The best thing
about Pericles is it isn’t the end – it’s actually the beginning.
It’s the beginning of our second year. We’re so thrilled
that we will be doing another show led by Doug Rintoul, the artistic director of Queen’s Theatre,
Hornchurch, at the Queen’s. And beyond that,
we hope that Public Acts as an idea, as a movement, as a programme, can roll out nationally. It should feel different
everywhere it goes, but we hope that the National
can have a long-lasting relationship with the idea of civically engaged theatre and be a force of connectivity
between different theatres and community organisations
and individuals across the country.