The Seafarers

Siobhan in The Seafarers.

[Image Description: Siobhan, a white woman, stands looking pensively outward. Ship masts and rigging criss-cross the background behind her. She wears a dark grey boiler suit, belted at the waist and with short rolled sleeves. Her brown hair tied in a bun with a grey headband.]

The Seafarers celebrates our relationship with the sea and the journeys we make across it. Part gig, part spectacle, the 50-strong cast travel to and from distant lands with a seafront as the backdrop.

The Seafarers is a large-scale outdoor dance production, involving Stopgap dancers and members of the local community, to bring to life the vivid music of acclaimed contemporary-folk band Moulettes. It was first staged in Portsmouth as a part of the Festivities in 2015 and then in Great Yarmouth in 2018 as a part of Norfolk & Norwich Festival.


  • A lyrical ode to the ocean ★★★★

  • So many people have commented on how fantastic, inclusive and accommodating the company is for all ages, abilities and disabilities. The performance was a joy to watch and a cultural extravaganza

Your reactions


Lucy Bennett
Artistic Director & Choreographer

Siobhan Hayes
Assistant Choreographer

Kat Ball, Helen Bendell, Amy Butler, Christian Brinklow, Amelia Clark, Laura Dajao, Siobhan Hayes, Laura Jones, Chris Pavia, Nadenh Poan, Hannah Sampson, David Willdridge and Tomos Young
Stopgap Dancers

Abstract Dance Academy and Inclusive Performing Arts Group at Highbury College
Community Dancers (Portsmouth)

Caister Academy; Dancing Dimensions; The Garage D4Dance Group; John Grant School and Parkside School
Community Groups (Great Yarmouth)

Caroline Acres, Katy Dunne, Xenoula Eleftheriades, Alysha Hudson, Tommy Norris, Abby Page and Anna Rowe
Community Dance Teachers (Great Yarmouth)

Anna Jones (Curious Space)
Production Design

Original Music

Sho Shibata
Executive Producer

Dougie Evans, Callum Graham and Charlotte Mackie

Supported by

Originally commissioned by Portsmouth Festivities in 2015 with support from Arts Council England and Surrey Arts

Reproduced in 2018 with funding from Spirit of 2012 and Norfolk & Norwich Festival

Making an impact

The impact this project had on communities of Great Yarmouth were independently evaluated.

Self-assessed wellbeing score of our participants improved from 84% to 90% and the perception change of disability in participants and audiences saw 16% improvement from 51% to 67%. In addition to this, the local practitioners, who we trained and supported to work inclusively with the groups, gained new teaching and creative skills.