About us

Rooftop Theatre Company brings theatre to life. Based in Ludlow, Shropshire, we offer compelling and entertaining productions that communicate the story and the drama and revel in the comedy. We love performing in alternative and unusual venues with dramatic opportunities and use professionally trained and quality amateur actors who are versatile, engaging and clear.

Company history

Our Ludlow debut was in the 2014 Ludlow Fringe Festival with The Comedy of Errors at Ludlow Brewery. In 2015 we produced Henry V and The Tempest, followed by Hamlet in June 2016, and The Country Wife in 2017, all at Ludlow Brewery, with our Theatre Severn Shrewsbury debut in 2017.

In December 2016 we put on our first community panto, Robin Hood, for Ludlow Assembly Rooms, and a year later Cinderella.

In 2018, with Arts Council England funding, we collaborated with Ludlow Amateur Boxing Club and co-directed with Jules Woodman for a devised, community theatre production, Boxing Club Rules.

LABC coaches Adam and Stuart with Rooftop directors Jules, Paul & Simon

Above: LABC coaches Adam and Stuart with Rooftop directors Jules, Paul & Simon.

Our name comes from our very first productions which took place on the rooftop space of the old City Literary Institute building in Stukeley Street, London from 2000 to 2002. Written and directed by teacher George Pensotti he inspired our lively and physical approach. We embraced Shakespeare in 2003 with an exuberant open-air production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Old Paddling Pool, Queen's Wood, Highgate, followed by The Comedy of Errors.

Prior to Ludlow we were based St Albans and put on a series of acclaimed open-air productions at Inn on the Park in Verulamium Park starting with Love's Labour's Lost in 2007 and The Taming of the Shrew in 2008. We moved indoors for a winter production of Twelfth Night at the Town Hall and returned to the open-air for The Winter's Tale in July 2010 and with Much Ado About Nothing in 2011 and The Merry Wives of Windsor in 2012.

Fringe Report awards night

In 2012 we were named Best Shakespeare Producers at the Fringe Report Award for “delivering his plays with freshness, originality and eclat”. The photograph shows us with members of our St Albans ensemble at the awards night – from left to right, Philippa Tatham, Simon Boughey, Bob Reitemeier, Paul Sayers, Simon Bolton, Chris Paddon and Lisa Castle.

George Pensotti 1937 to 2010

George Pensotti 1937 to 2010

A very special man who inspired numerous people and encouraged and supported our journey into Shakespeare. He was much loved for his humour and honesty!

Who we are

Artistic Directors - Paul Sayers & Simon Bolton

Paul Sayers & Simon Bolton

Paul and Simon met at Birmingham School of Speech & Drama (now Birmingham School of Acting) in 1995. After training a few years of fringe acting roles in London and the regions followed. They took classes with George Pensotti at the City Literary Institute, whose inspiration and support led them to taking on Shakespeare.

After giving the Bard a good shaking in unusual and inspirational venues in London, St Albans and Ludlow, they co-directed with Jules Woodman on their first Arts Council funded community theatre project Boxing Club Rules.

Next Production

The Memory Garden

A tender and raucous trip back into Ludlow's recent past.

In the Secret Garden behind the Castle Bookshop, 5 Castle Street, Ludlow, SY8 1AS

Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July at 7.00pm.

Tickets £10 — reserve them by calling at the bookshop, phoning them on 01584 872562, or emailing castlebookshop@btconnect.com

The Memory Garden

“The most real, most human and comprehensible Hamlet I've ever seen”

Mark Topping, actor and voice on Hamlet

“Another Rooftop gem”

Ludlow Ledger on The Tempest

“An extremely polished, thought-provoking and entirely enjoyable production”

Ludlow Ledger on Henry V

“Energetic, captivating and above all funny... it roars into life”

Herts Advertiser on 2011's Much Ado About Nothing

“Innovative direction, good acting and an unusual (and magnificent) setting... a delight”

Candy Whittome of St Albans Arts on Twelfth Night

“Extraordinarily compelling...Rooftop have lifted open-air Shakespeare in St Albans to a new dimension”

Herts Advertiser on Love's Labour's Lost

“Rooftop Theatre's inspired interpretation makes for a fascinating production”

LondonNet on A Midsummer Night's Dream

“There is no doubt Rooftop do these bawdy comedies well”

Enfield Gazette on The Comedy of Errors