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More Information - Our History

We have showcased our work at a variety of events and meetings across the UK and Europe, including the International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam.

We work in partnership with communities and cultural organisations to engage people in the creative expression of their own lives and histories. Parrabbola’s unique method of working ensures that projects are bespoke, evolving from their local environment, responsive to and driven by local needs and aspirations, and supported by local partners. Work is based on embedded background research alongside observations, conversations and detailed information gathering within the community. These discoveries influence


artistic and stylistic choices, but also ensure that local people are able to contribute at many levels, that the activity belongs to them, is enjoyable and engaging, develops skills and builds a creative legacy.

We’ve been producing original, large-scale, outdoor community plays across the UK and Europe for over 20 years, always with community performers and local heritage at the heart. Our community play structure enables community members to uncover and tell their own stories, and to develop strong community relationships. Every community play is different – because every community is different.

A group of kids and two adults are colouring on a sheet of paper stretched on a table outdoors

The majority of our work takes place outside regular theatre spaces – usually looking to inhabit a space which has relevance to the community where we’re working. All of this work is intergenerational and productions are suitable for family audiences, who often have little experience of theatre going.

As well as community plays – we explore productions of Shakespeare and other theatre which has a social and interactive component, always working within the framework of a specific community – thinking of community in a wide range of settings. We produce the annual York International Shakespeare Festival (, and are able to harness those international connections to elevate our Shakespeare and Community work outside of the festival. We also produce smaller scale theatre and performance – usually in collaboration with others – recent projects include FEAST: a play in one cooking (which appeared at the Verona Shakespeare Festival this summer), and Wheeze, an outdoor arts project featuring a spectacular organ made from found materials.

We have developed our working method of community consultation, to create a range of  engagement projects. In Hertfordshire, we established and ran the World Arts Platform, a networking and mentoring programme for multicultural artists - funded by Arts Council England. In Hastings we devised and delivered eight foot square, a community arts outreach project for disengaged communities. For the London Borough of Newham, we established the Newham Alleyways Festival – taking unloved and abused public spaces and rethinking them as arts and cultural locations.

Utilising our community arts expertise, we work in partnership with small to large-scale organisations to develop and deliver a wide range of creative community building projects and workshops. Previous partners include Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Solihull CEP, Everything to Everybody, Creative BasildON, Newham Unlocked, Applecart Arts, Discover Children’s Story Centre, York St. John University, and many more.

An image from an outdoor community play - lots of people in tie dyed dresses and shirts stand on a balcony overlooking three couples dancing

Donate to Parrabbola

We are a small team working to make a big impact. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated! 

£5 could buy us a coffee, £50 could provide new props for a show, £150 covers a workshop for our community members!

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.


Thank you so much, your donation is greatly appreciated.

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