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Shropshire Archives is open in a phased way from 21 April 2021.

The Pentabus Collection

June 3, 20206:02 pmLeave a Comment

If there is anyone who knows how to re-imagine and re-create it’s Pentabus, Shropshire’s own nationally acclaimed theatre company based in Bromfield near Ludlow. Senior Archivist, Sal Mager, tells us more..

The Charlie Chaplain Show (Side Show) 8872/2/2/3
Side Show: photograph 8872/2/2/3
The Biker King poster 8872/2/70/7
Biker King 8872/2/70/7

Pentabus has always been keen to work closely with local communities and in the past has gathered stories through oral and photographic history projects such as ‘Once in a Lifetime’, ‘Footfalls’ and ‘Bucknell in View’ which have fed into their creative writing and performances.

I had the fortune to be tasked with creating a company archive for them when they secured funding from the Business Archive Council for their 40th anniversary in 2014.  With a wide selection of material being digitised and made available online, the collection contains a wonderful insight into the creation and evolution of this innovative company.

One of the biggest challenges was to use the mass of leaflets, posters, photographs and other paperwork, along with a fair amount of detective work, to re-create a comprehensive timeline of all the shows they had created over the forty years’ of their existence.

Bloomers 8872/2/2/1
Bloomers 8872/2/2/1

The resulting catalogue for The Pentabus Collection (8872) can be seen at

Select “Browse this collection” and open up section 2 “Show Records” to find a list of all their shows spanning from 1974-2012.

Or you can simply search for “Pentabus” and filter to images only to get a taster of the collection.  

The range of material gives a colourful insight into the world of creative theatre, from the formative years of community shows through to critically acclaimed national tours.

The full collection is available to be viewed at Shropshire Archives once we re-open to the public.

Written by Sal - Modified by sarahd

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