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Public Acts

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 next production will be 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. 


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

As You Like It

In August 2019, the next Public Acts production, a musical adaptation of As You Like It, heads to 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…

More information and to book

As You Like It at Hornchurch

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.


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Supported by Mr & Mrs A Mosawi