SIXTY years of village life, community spirit and shifting rural landscapes, all told over a slice of cake, feature in the new national tour by Shropshire-based theatre company Pentabus, opening at Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury, on Wednesday night, March 7.

‘Here I Belong’, written by Matt Hartley, was first staged in 2016 and has been brought back by popular demand, commissioned by Pentabus Theatre Company, and directed by Sophie Motley for their eight week tour of village halls and studios.

‘Here I Belong’ celebrates village life, companionship and community while highlighting the challenges faced by people in rural areas. Over six decades from 1953 to 2016 Elsie’s life, relationships and the right to grow old in her own home will be played out on stage.

“Working on this magical story and these wonderful characters is made only more special by the brilliance of thePentabus team - audiences will be in for a treat when ‘Here I Belong’ hits the road,” said Melanie McHugh who plays Elsie.

She is joined by Nathalie Barclay who returns to play four different characters in Elsie’s life. She said: “I’m thrilled to be back at Pentabus again. It’s an incredibly special place and very close to my heart. It’s a privilege to be working on Matt’s remarkable play, a love letter to village halls.”

Other tour dates will include Ludlow Assembly Rooms on Saturday, March 10; Lingen Village Hall, near Presteigne, on Friday, March 23 and Clun Memorial Hall on Saturday, March 24. Booking information for all tour dates can be found at