A magical watery adventure for children with Profound & Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) & their families

SING ME TO THE SEA – the ‘at-home’ version


Due to tour to hydropools this July and September, this magical watery adventure is now scheduled to tour in August in collaboration with Mermaid Arts Centre, The Civic and Riverbank Arts Centre. Rather than cancel the tour, Anna Newell Theatre Adventures and ourselves were determined to bring high quality live art experiences to this very particular audience and so the ‘dry land’ ‘at-home’ version was invented. The “at-home” version is specifically for children/young people with PMLD.

Taking the responsiveness of the show to a whole new level, this re-imagined 'dry land' version will be performed in the gardens/drives/outside the windows of homes of families of children with complex needs. Still full of ethereal live harmony singing and gorgeous costumes (created by award-winning composer David Goodall and renowned costume designer Susan Scott), reflective silver balls, rainbow fish and water moving through colanders like waterfalls will all happen at an appropriate distance from our audience members, with their accompanying adults mirroring the action to add the up-close sensory element.

A process of a virtual pre-visit will take place to ensure that each different private 'at-home' adventure is magical, calm and, of course, safe.

Anna Newell is a Bray-based theatremaker who has been making theatre adventures for many different audiences since 1989. She was the first Irish-based theatremaker to create theatre designed especially for children and young people with PMLD and her work for Early Years audiences has been seen on 6 continents and off-Broadway.

SING ME TO THE SEA is co-produced by The Civic, Tallaght and funded by the venues, Wicklow County Council and Sunbeam Trust with additional funding from Arts Council of Ireland

‘SING ME TO THE SEA was such a success last year - we did over 100 shows across the country in partnership with theatre venues, with schools and with disability organisations. When everything shut down due to Covid19, our 2020 tour looked impossible. I feel so passionately about the right of every child to live arts experiences and, as lockdown continued, it became clear that the families who this show is for were some of the hardest hit by the restrictions. I just couldn’t let it go. The very heart of my work for these audiences is that it’s responsive, that it’s bespoke for every child and that it’s utterly flexible in order to create a situation where every child makes their own way through this particular theatre adventure. I realised that what I needed to do was to take this flexibility, this responsiveness and this insistence on the live experience to a whole new level. And so SING ME TO THE SEA (the at-home dry-land version) was born. I’m so excited to connect with my audience again and to go on this brand new adventure with them.’

Anna Newell