Thank you everybody. Our campaign is now over.
The Tale of the Pig- theatre with a conscience
£11,005 raised
110% of £10k goal
50 contributors
0 days left
Ended Jul 14, 2014
Pericles Theatre Company was set up in 1999 to offer people who don't have access to a theatre group the possibility to perform. We work with actors with disabilities, professional artists and volunteers. We use the medium of theatre ...

The Pericles Theatre Company was set up in 1999 to offer people who didn't have access to a theatre group the possibility to perform. We work with actors with disabilities, professional artists and volunteers. Our next project is a gregarious, funny and touching Romanian Folk-Tale called The Tale of the Pig. It is a play about transformation, about shedding the outer skin to reveal the beauty inside, it's about the true joy that can only come as the fruit of great suffering.

We need to raise £10,000 if we are to get the production on its feet. This money will pay for rehearsals and make it possible to put the show on at local theatres. It will also enable us to tour the show to theatres further afield. Even more importantly, it will make it possible for us to tour the UKs Village Halls and so share our work more widely with people who might not usually go to the theatre. Donations of any amount are most welcome but perks start at £15.

About Pericles Theatre Company: We use the medium of theatre consciously as an effective learning tool:

1. To communicate, educate and provoke reactions to the inequalities in our society- inequality in relation to difference as well as to disability. We firmly believe that it is our society that must change to adapt to the people within it- not the people to the society.

2. For the participants to learn that they can express themselves, that people will listen and that they and their work have an intrinsic value to others.

We create beautiful and powerful productions which bring people of all ages and abilities and all walks of life together- locally, nationally and internationally.

Together we can create a society we all want to be a part of.

If you are interested in volunteering your time please contact

For more information about us go to: Pericles Theatre Company

For a short clip about the Pericles Theatre Company click here: Being Yourself  

A Brief History of previous productions

Bench (2005) was commissioned by The Music of the Heart Conference at Cambridge University (during which world famous heart surgeons and artists came together to share their work and inspiration as part of a SciArt project. Amongst others involved were the author Brian Keenan, the composers Nigel Osborne and John Tavener and the Hilliard Ensemble. Refugees from Gatwick detention Centre did our artwork under the expert guidance of Marianne Patterson, a well-known and respected Art Therapist and Artist based in the South of England and working widely in UK and abroad).

Shakespeare’s Pericles (2008) was commissioned by the International Carer’s conference in Switzerland. In a most extraordinary way this production brought together people with high professional standards, promising young musicians and gifted artists with a learning disability.

The Flying Ship (2012-13) was our latest production. As with all our shows, the costumes, instruments, props and set were designed and made by people with disabilities, artisans and volunteers in the Pericles Workshops. To see a snippet of the show go to The Flying Ship.


'Deeply moving, beautifully and sensitively performed production.. Bring some tissues..there wasn’t a dry eye in the house..' Nori Rhodes

'We really enjoyed the performance and found it inspiring.. Thank you for your fabulous show!' Children at Estcots Primary School.

One example of how our production made a real difference to someone with learning disabilities and their family:

An autistic actor, who could not really converse at all, was able to express himself on stage. His father rang after the premiere and said that he had had the first ever proper conversation with his son. He attributed this entirely to his son’s involvement in the play.

Below is a bit about Pericles- the mother project of Pericles Theatre Company:

Pericles is a pioneering and original training, work and residential project for young people and adults with special learning needs and/or mental health problems.

Here is a short clip about our work at Pericles: Heart of Pericles

The project offers practical and artistic activities within small groups that are introduced according to both need and capability, complemented by specialist therapeutic activities. The approach to individual development, training and work at Pericles has been developed out of the work of Rudolf Steiner and John Ruskin, placing a strong emphasis on ecological ways of working with the Earth’s resources and a holistic view of development.

Pericles provides opportunities to:

  • Gain self-confidence and skills through experiencing achievement in a wide variety of practical and artistic activities.
  • Learn to respect self, others and the environment through working on the land and in craft production using sustainable resources and methods.
  • Benefit from small group activities and from individually timetabled programmes.
  • Develop the social and interpersonal skills needed to live and work alongside others.
  • Gain strength and reassurance through individual therapies that are integrated into the daily work schedule.
  • Acquire and increase independence and integration through small scale shared supported housing.

Pericles Garden & Estate

Our tasks are threefold. Firstly, we supply the Sharpthorne Organic Café with soft fruit and apples mostly grown by us in the Hoathly Hill garden. Currently we grow a lot of raspberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries, much of which is made into jam or juice, with the involvement of the students. We also supply small quantities of seasonal vegetables to the Café and to the Pericles households.

Secondly we mow the grass and maintain the paths around the Pericles workshop and office area, as well as the car park and some other areas of Hoathly Hill.

Thirdly we make biodynamic compost for the whole of Hoathly Hill, caring for the composting process and for the compost and burning heap area.


Pericles has outreach projects at two local organic and Biodynamic farms, where the teams learn a number of woodland crafts, as well as managing a small woodland and helping on the farms.

It is our aim to develop and expand the project in collaboration with Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch Farms, with the following objectives:

Educational: To create an ongoing programme of activities based on woodland management and to train participants in related skills with help from visiting experts in the field. This will include activities such as coppicing, charcoal burning and woodland crafts, in addition to taught input on natural heritage, local history and traditions.

Production based activities: To supply logs and charcoal locally. This will involve developing and expanding a small network of customers who we already supply.
To supply Pericles with coppice and other wood products for use in the craft workshops.
To develop the capacity to produce other woodland related products.

Farm support: To assist with and learn skills from participation in farm related activities such as harvesting, hedge laying and animal husbandry.

Environmental: To initiate and maintain ecologically sustainable activities and resources such as rural craft skills and products, tool recycling, environmentally aware work and storage structures using on site materials, and a wood fired pottery kiln.

Community: To integrate project participants into the local community through their participation in community oriented activities.To support the local community through the provision of useful services. To provide employment for local woodcraft and forestry experts. To encourage and support the continuation of rural skills and knowledge.

The Craft Workshop

In our workshop, students work closely with the workshop master to create a wide range of quality handmade products. Students are encouraged to participate in all stages of the different activities and they will do this according to their ability and needs. Each person expresses their own creativity through a wide choice of processes and activities, e.g. colour, fabric etc

As each craft activity requires concentration and patience we try to create a warm and peaceful atmosphere for everyone to work in.

Activities include:

  • Felt making
  • Handwork (Sewing, knitting, weaving)
  • Mosaic
  • Paper crafts (card making, paper mache etc)
  • Furniture restoration
  • Wood carving
  • Tool maintenance

In the workshops students have the chance to explore different materials, learn craft specific techniques and skills and work with different colours, smells and textures. A unique and creative opportunity is provided which enables them to become familiar with a wide variety of experiences and activities.

Felt Making as an example of our craft work

This workshop offers students the opportunity to experience a craft activity, which is fairly easy to learn. It involves creating textile articles—a process which starts with raw fleece and/or naturally and commercially coloured wool.

For felt making the students are taught to prepare a raw fleece, which involves sorting it, removing dirt, and then washing and drying it. After teasing, (loosening and separating the wool fibres), the wool can be carded. Once the wool has been carded, it is ready to be felted, spun or dyed. In the workshop the wool is used for felting two or three-dimensional items.

Using warm, soapy water and rhythmical movement of the hands, the wool fibres are reduced to a flat piece. The felted pieces are then sewn together, decorated, and made into many beautiful items such as wall-hangings, bags, cushions, dolls, slippers etc.

The students are encouraged to participate in all stages of the process, but will do so according to their ability and needs. There are many possibilities in this craft for expressing individual creativity, for example, by choosing a shape or item or by creating colourful patterns or pictures.

Felt working requires in students an ability to concentrate on the task in hand and to direct the application of their will. At the same time the process has a soothing effect and can engender warmth and a peaceful working atmosphere. Whilst it is an activity which is stimulating to the senses, it also lends itself readily to group work and the development of social skills.


Pericles, theatre is, first of all, about us.

It is another opportunity to meet each other and to better discover who we really are.

As the art of dialogue and fine observation, theatre is a chance to open us up to the miracle of life.

Through games and simple exercises which stimulate our attention and improve our coordination, we make the first steps on a long and joyful journey.

And we are not abashed by our modest tasks: to be on your feet, to see with your own eyes, to hear with your own ears … These are modest but basic tasks in any theatre school in the world.

Each term, we like to show our work, performing in a front of a friendly audience, and… most of all, we like to bow in a front of them, which means:

It was for you!

And… best of us… we may one day work in the Pericles Theatre Company!

Art Therapy and Education

In the weekly art sessions I work with exercises in painting, drawing and clay with the students, rotating these three different art mediums in blocks of several weeks.


We work with therapeutic and educational exercises to develop an awareness and understanding of the colours within the rainbow spectrum (seven colours), learning to distinguish the different qualities that each colour, tone and shade conveys.

We learn to create the secondary colours (purple, orange and green) by mixing the primary colours (blue, red and yellow) together and the tertiary colours by mixing the secondary colours together.

We explore contrast between light and dark, colour harmony and colour composition in exercises inspired by ‘nature changes’ through the seasons.

Dynamic Drawing

We work with therapeutic and educational drawing exercises that stimulate concentration, coordination and integration, while strengthening a sense of symmetry, order and structure.


We work with therapeutic and educational exercises with clay that encourage a sense of centeredness, spatial awareness, 3-dimentionality and form.

Eurythmy- Restoring health through Movement and Balance

Through movement we perceive balance, structure, rhythm, development and even time. The forces and principles of movement in the world are inherent within the human organism. They permeate our bodies. It is through exploring the essence of movement itself that we discover its healing properties. Through eurythmy we are guided to transform our habits, our attitudes and our bodies. Eurythmy is a therapy where theparticipants take an active, conscious step in transforming their condition.

Initiated in the early Twentieth Century by Rudolf Steiner, eurythmy is concerned with the development and expression of the whole human-being and through movement, language and music aims to restore inner balance through the creative use of rhythm, harmony and proportion. 
In eurythmy the creative forces of the imagination are reawakened in order to explore the dynamics of thoughts, feelings and intentions.
Eurythmy forms part of the activities at Pericles both as group work and as individual therapy. It is an activity which provides a supportive therapeutic basis through-which the individual can consciously develop, both personally and as part of a group.
This activity has something to offer to everyone, its emphasis being on what is created between people, rather than on individual virtuosity; and in consequence, helps the individual to develop a sense of self within a group environment.
In individual therapeutic work the therapist will create a specifically developed personalized programme of exercises in concentration, in rhythms, and working with particular elements of music. The challenge lies in restoring inner balance by tackling root causes rather than just symptoms.

The Sharp Thorne Organic Café

This is a unique venture combining a café, which produces fresh locally grown organic food, with an educational facility and training centre. It also provides a space to exhibit arts and crafts and has regular live music and storytelling events.

The Cafe: As well as making delicious organic food and drink, the Cafe displays the work of local artists. It also promotes Pericles and sells the beautiful things made in the woodland and craft workshops. 

The Café also provides a community hub for the villages of Sharpthorne and West Hoathly. It promotes good organic food and gives people with disabilities both a training and work opportunity.

Catering: The Sharpthorne Organic Café provides the setting for the catering workshop at Pericles. Students learn important skills that are not only essential in the Café environment, but also in their home life. Training is provided in the following areas:

  • Food preparation (cakes, light lunches etc)
  • Professional coffee making
  • Food Safety and Hygiene
  • Customer care (waitressing, using the till)
  • Health and Safety

Our students are fully integrated into Café life; each one is a valued member of our team.

Each student has a tailored learning plan that enables them to learn in their own way and at their own pace ensuring that they achieve their highest potential.

These skills are used and practiced in a real working environment, giving the students opportunities to progress in ways that may not be so easy to find elsewhere.

Our students are proud of what they achieve in the Café and we are glad to help them achieve their goals.

Houses- Living at Pericles

The Pericles houses are situated in Hoathly Hill and Sharpthorne Villages in beautiful country side, with good local connections to East Grinstead, Crawley and Tunbridge Wells.  The houses are run under the West Sussex Shared Lives Scheme and people live together as an extended family.

Everyone shares in the running and the responsibility of the house and all sit together for meals, which are an important part of the life at Pericles, lighting a candle and thanking for the meal before starting.

Meals are freshly cooked, using organic ingredients with a choice of seasonal vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, various grains, potatoes or pasta.

A healthy and beautiful environment is important for us and attention to detail, such as fresh flowers in the living and dining room areas.

We like to follow the cycle of the year with its different seasons and festivals, such as Candlemas, Easter, Pentecost, St. John’s, Michaelmas and Christmas, as well as any other festivals which are important to any of the residents. We talk about the origin of these days, decorate the houses and join with others from the workshops and colleagues to share special events and birthdays.

On Saturday mornings all take part in looking after the house together. Everybody has a task and everyone supports each other.

After lunch there may be an outing: for instance to a National Trust place, to a play, to the cinema or for a shopping trip.

Every few weeks the houses come together for a supper where we chat about our life, activities, achievements, plans, holidays etc.

On Sunday morning those who wish, attend a church service and some residents visit their families or friends.

Each house has a weekly house meeting where everyone is involved and plans, routines and problems etc. are discussed.

During the week day, residents may attend college, Pericles day activities, such as the craft workshops, work on the estate or in the gardens, on outreach for instance in the woodland areas at both the local community farms or at the Sharpthorne Organic Café and Community Centre or join Pericles Theatre Co.

Contact Us


18 Hoathly Hill

West Hoathly

East Grinstead

West Sussex

RH19 4SJ

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1 Complimentary ticket to the show
  • 5 claimed
2 Complimentary tickets to the show
  • 5 claimed
The above + a thank you in the programme
  • 4 claimed
All the above + DVD of the show
  • 2 claimed
The above + a hand-crafted Piggy Candle-holder
  • 2 claimed
Candle-holder hand made in the Woodland by Pericles students
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The above + Big Issue T-Shirt from the play
  • 0 claimed
The above + Piggy mask used in the show
  • 0 claimed
All the above + Giant wool mask used in show
  • 0 claimed
Gnome and pig hand-made by the founder of Pericles- Paulamaria Blaxland-de Lange
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all the above + the Tale of the Pig painting
  • 0 claimed
The ORIGINAL Tale of the Pig painting!
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