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Trowbridge Town Hall Partners With National Theatre For Community-led Performance Of THE ODYSSEY

The performance is set for April 2023.

Trowbridge Town Hall Partners With National Theatre For Community-led Performance Of THE ODYSSEY

Trowbridge Town Hall has partnered with The National Theatre to invite the town's residents to participate in a community-led performance of the classical Greek theatre epic, The Odyssey in April 2023.

In celebration of the fifth anniversary of The National Theatre's nationwide programme, Public Acts, Trowbridge Town Hall has partnered up with The National Theatre to give the local community a voice. Residents, many of whom may have never done so before, will be offered the opportunity to engage in performative theatre to celebrate the place they call home - Wiltshire's county-town of Trowbridge.

A series of workshops taking place this September will invite members of the local Trowbridge community to get involved in the landmark project. The backstage crew and actors chosen during cast selection will work with local artists selected by The National Theatre. This includes Florence Espeut-Nickless, a Trowbridge-educated writer and performer who has been commissioned to write the third episode of The Odyssey, entitled The Four Winds, for Trowbridge's performers.

The Odyssey will be told through four interlinking performances taking place throughout the country, with Trowbridge Town Hall set to host the third episode in April 2023. Uniting disparate local communities across the UK, the performances will illuminate each area as regional hubs of creativity.

Other host locations include Restoke in Stoke-on-Trent, Cast in Doncaster, and Sunderland Culture, in partnership with Sunderland Empire. The project will culminate with a final production of The Odyssey that will incorporate elements from each regional performance, featuring the selected community performers from each of the four nationwide hubs. Trowbridge's performers will take the the revered Olivier stage on 27-29 August 2023.

The performance will feature a total of 140 people including six professional actors, six live musicians and three cameo performance groups from across the UK.

The Odyssey has been carefully selected as a story open to interpretation by each local community across the UK involved in the Public Acts programme. Its uniting themes of hope, loss and resilience allow participants to forge contemporary resonance with both this classic tale of an epic journey, and their very own hometown, including Trowbridge.

The Town Hall is involved in re-imagining the story of The Odyssey, an epic journey, at a time when it is just about to embark on its own voyage of discovery.

In approximately a year's time, work will begin on the transformation of the interior of the Town Hall, reinstating the stunning Great Hall to house a music venue with a capacity for five-hundred people. The project will increase the size of the existing foyer, convert the basement into seven recording studios, turn the old Court Room into a performance area for spoken word, and create a beautiful rehearsal and activity space on the first floor.

All this is to honour the wishes of Sir Roger Brown who paid for the original construction of the Town Hall in order for it to 'be for the inhabitants of Trowbridge, forever'.

Alan Wright, Director of Trowbridge Town Hall, said: "It is such an honour to be working with The National Theatre and our collaborative partners in Sunderland, Doncaster and Stoke-On-Trent. Even more thrilling is working with community groups in Trowbridge over the next twelve months, giving so many of our residents the opportunity to get involved.

"To think there are between fifteen and twenty Trowbridge residents going about their daily routine at the moment with no idea that they might end up performing on the Olivier stage at The National Theatre in August 2023...It is a dream for us all, and a very proud moment for the town."

Emily Lim, Director of Public Acts, said, "We are so excited to be bringing The Odysseyto life with such an inspiring group of theatre-makers. In light of everything that's happened over the past two years it feels incredibly special, and right, to be coming together from all corners of the country to tell a story about how we heal and move forwards after a period of profound loss and change.

"We hope the project will create an unforgettable gesture of unity, creativity and radical joy which everyone can feel a part of."

For further information, please visit the National Theatre website.

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