The Becoming: Stories and songs of the sea

The Becoming: Stories and songs of the sea

Sunday 10 October 2021
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Ashburton Arts Centre


Book tickets here £13 or £10 or £6 (pay what you can)

All new music, an extraordinary percussive soundscape and poetic storytelling are woven with strange sea creatures and mythological oceanic journeys. Selkies sing of love, mermaids swim vast distances to ‘become’ who they truly are, while crabs dance and starfish sing of outer space. Full of evocative sounds, sensations, moods. Longing, joy and tremendous destructive power – AND – the chance to join the shanty choruses and DANCING at the end of the show.

Directed by author, poet and singer Nicola Harrison, this show features selkies, mermaids, pirate girls, seahorses. Crabs dance and starfish sing of outer space. The Becoming band creates the music of the sea with intriguing percussion by folk musician Jo May and virtuoso guitar playing by Gerard Cousins. This oceanic music weaves around poetic words and singing by its creator, Nicola Harrison and the extraordinary sea odyssey that is the centrepiece of this show is shaped by Pete Watson’s accordion soundscape.

Shanty singing at the beginning, middle and end of the show, is made doubly exciting by the accompanying accordion and drums, while audiences are invited to join in with the shanties. Special guests,  Brixham’s shanty group Missin’ Tackle lead the singing.

“We almost had sand between our toes after last night’s performance at the Three Choirs Festival. Four of us in the car talked about your programme from beginning to end. We are STILL talking about it! You gave us much pleasure, much to think about, and so many wonderful acoustic effects.” Eunice McGuire, Three Choirs Festival, July 2021

sea shanty tour poster

Pandemic policies. This information will be updated as things change.

Update: April 2022

  • Face masks: In the Main Hall, on the ground floor, these are recommended at all times, but are optional. Anyone who sits upstairs in the balcony MUST wear a face mask – with NO exceptions (not even those who are exempt). This is to allow people who are clinically vulnerable to have a place to sit where seats are naturally separated, so: (a) to provide a place for people who want to be as distanced as possible from others, and with anyone nearby wearing a mask; (b) as virus particles when airborne are generally heavier than air, this helps to mitigate the risk of transmission from people sitting in the balcony to audience members below.
  • The windows and doors of the venue will be open, allowing fresh air to be constantly moving through. Although we have heating, this might mean that the ambient temperature is a little cooler than some might like, and audience members should dress accordingly.
  • Please, if you can, take a Lateral Flow test before coming to the Arts Centre, and if this is positive, don’t come. These tests aim to pick up anyone who is infectious at the moment of testing, so please take the test as late as possible on the same day before coming to the Arts Centre. If you test positive, a refund or transfer of your ticket to another event can be arranged, if you let us know before the start of the event, by emailing