Parrabbola tells stories and makes plays. From tiny rural communities to major international festivals, they work with people within their own localities using creativity to help them engage with, learn about and celebrate the places where they live. It is both reflective and celebratory. Parrabbola have made work about miners in Yorkshire and female pirates in Essex. They’ve carried Juliet’s body through the streets of a Romanian city, and burnt a Viking longboat on a village beach. They have made projects that ask people to explore and question their place in the world and how they can change it. Parrabbola are nomadic, going where invited to make theatre with and for a particular community. With a very successful track record of working in a range of communities across the UK and internationally, they are always pleased to work with new communities, in new places and to bring fresh eyes and a fresh approach to any local collaboration.
For Parrabbola a community is any group of people who are brought together through a shared context or experience. It might be geographic, social, professional or like-minded; large or small; focussed or dispersed. Parrabbola works in partnership with communities and cultural organisations to engage people in the creative expression of their lives and histories. Work is based on background research alongside observations, conversations and detailed information gathering within the community. These discoveries influence artistic and stylistic choices and ensure that local people are able to contribute at many levels, and that the activity belongs to them, is enjoyable, engaging, develops skills and builds creative legacy.
Parrabbola have successfully translated their artistic work into cultural producing, collaborating with local authorities to create programmes such as 8 Foot Square in Hastings – working with disengaged communities, World Arts Platform in Hertfordshire – a capacity building network for multicultural artists, Newham Alleyways Festival – exploring community artistic use of public space. For London Borough of Camden, they undertook community consultation for their most recent Cultural Strategy. For 2022, they were selected as Creative Producers for Solihull, where their role was to better engage the cultural sector with the council and to embed culture across the council’s operations as well as leading the Commonwealth Games Celebration events of 2022. Since embarking on this project, Parrabbola, spearheaded by Skylar Mabry, engaged with a wide range of communities: from young people living in social housing to local business owners, and produced a series of cultural projects designed to engage these communities and encourage them to build lasting relationships, so that work like this can have a long-lasting legacy of action.
Parrabbola has a small management and creative team that brings together independent freelance arts and cultural practitioners to work co-operatively. They build each project team to best fit the work that we’ve been asked to develop, and particularly like to build relationships with locally based artists.