Bristol Old Vic retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice with cast of 140

Shelena Artman and Jake Rayner Blair
Jake Rayner Blair and Shelena Artman play the lead characters in the city production

A cast of 140 people are taking part in a Bristolian retelling of a tragic love story, in one of the city's biggest community stage projects.

The ancient legend of Orpheus and Eurydice is being performed by a host of non-professional acting groups from across the city at the Bristol Old Vic.

It has been a decade in development and the script has been adapted to make the language used Bristolian.

The first showing at the Bristol Old Vic is being staged later.

Orpheus and Eurydice involves seven Bristol community acting groups, with cast members from areas including Bedminster, Hartcliffe, Lockleaze, Patchway and Southmead.

Among them are three generations of the Fowler family from Southmead, Pam, Sher and Andie, of the Meadows to Meaders theatre group.

Andie, Sher and Pam Fowler
Andie, Sher and Pam Fowler are all taking part in the play

At 87, Pam is the oldest member of the production, which also has children as young as seven.

"I love it because all the little children are in it as well," she said.

"The groups are from all over Bristol so it's lovely really. It's very diverse," she added.

As well as treading the boards in the latest production, they have also had a hand in the development of the script.

Sher said: "They've adapted it to be more up to date which is brilliant, but it's nice because we're acting and we're speaking our own language.

"We're talking our talk, if you know what I mean. We haven't got to watch our Ps and Qs and things like that."

Lisa Gregan
Lisa Gregan is the director of the Bristol Old Vic production

The production is a Bristol-based reimagining of the tragic Greek myth, with the love story unfolding under the suspension bridge, with the underworld represented as a city pub.

Some members of the choirs and theatre groups involved have members who have struggled with homelessness and addiction.

Shelena Artman, who plays the lead role of Eurydice, said the show was "special".

"So many people from different backgrounds, from different walks of life, have come together to create this show," she said.

Co-lead, Jake Rayner Blair, who is performing the role of Orpheus, said it was an incredible project to be involved in.

"No one has done this before, to this level at least.

"Everyone is just sort of giving it their all and treating it like a professional production because I suppose it is," he added.

The show's director, Lisa Gregan, said it was nice to have a large range of ages involved.

"We do choreography, and it's really simple choreography.

"It's so great watching the little ones and the older ones [dancing] together," she added.

Orpheus and Eurydice runs until 2 September.

Follow BBC West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: