the sea


Written by: Nicky Baylis

Music composed by: Stefan Defilet


Touring 2018 – 2019


And the winds howled to the wailing of the seals. A voice whispered from the gloom, “Some say they are the souls of drowned men…”

The Sea is a haunting yarn set in the wilds of the Western Isles. Beautiful music, grotesque puppetry, mask theatre, poetic verse and evocative soundscapes interact to create an eerie lament of love, brutality and loss.

A lone islander who speaks to the waves, the unearthly melodies of seal folk, the rum riddled ruthlessness of ‘Tam the Teeth’, and an old, barnacled, singing whale are some of the strange imaginings that roam amidst mists, sea caves and cruel storms in this dark and atmospheric coastal tale.


About The Sea

This performance is a celebration of the oceans and explores the human relationship with the sea.

At a time when it is so critical to protect our oceans – what marine scientist Sylvia Earle describes as ‘the blue heart of the planet’ – and at a time when there IS still time (but not a lot) to turn things around on a global scale, we visit a small remote corner of the planet, the isles of the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland.

It is here that we find the ancient tales of people who have lived generation after generation in a close relationship with the ocean. And, as sure as the ebb and flow of the tides, have told and retold the stories of the ‘Selkies’ – the seal folk that can be seen to be the spiritual personifications of nature and the hidden aspects of the workings of the sea.

Some of the traditions view the Selkies as the faerie folk of the ocean. They are, as artist Brian Froud said, ‘the keepers of natural wisdom. And we dismiss them at our own peril.’