Shropshire's rural theatre touring company is marking its 50th anniversary year with a move to a new home to the recently refurbished Ludlow Assembly Rooms.

After 40 years on the farm estate at the Old School House in Bromfield, the move will give Pentabus a long-term home, make the organisation more accessible to artists and audiences alike with good public transport links, and provide a dedicated library and hang-out space specially designed by the award-nominated designer Charlie Cridlan, who collaborated with Pentabus on Jacaranda.

Pentabus will work alongside a team at the Assembly Rooms and be part of building a thriving creative community in Shropshire, allowing the organisation to remain rooted in the local rural community even as its work speaks to the nation.

Commenting on the move, Verity Overs-Morrell, Executive Director, Pentabus said: “The entire team are thrilled to make Ludlow Assembly Rooms Pentabus' new home, deepening our existing close ties. The warmth received during our recent production of Driftwood and our Young Writers showcases was truly heartening.”

Steve Catanach, interim business manager at Ludlow Assembly Rooms added: “Everyone at Ludlow Assembly Rooms is delighted to welcome Pentabus. Whilst we will continue to maintain and broaden our own programme of cinema, live events, and workshops, it’s fitting for us to now be home to one of the most esteemed national theatrical production companies.

"Together we will be able to provide high quality, theatrical productions that will be accessible to Ludlow’s residents and visitors alike.”

As part of the birthday celebrations, Pentabus is on a mission to sign up 50 new ‘friends’, who will enjoy perks including getting advance notice of new productions and exclusive event invitations.

Artistic director Elle While took her post during the pandemic and has been championing the ambition of Pentabus to produce outstanding contemporary productions directly to isolated rural communities, as well as platforming rural stories in urban settings.

“I feel privileged to be leading Pentabus through its 50th year, with its extraordinary history of taking theatre to some of the hardest to reach places and elevating voices that are so often unheard."