© Robert Workman

Shackleton's Cat

Shackleton’s Cat returns in 2018, as part of ETO’s award-winning strand of operas for young people

A compelling and accurate hour-long distillation of perhaps the greatest battle for survival of modern times.

★★★★ THE TIMES

An outstanding piece, which will remain etched in the memories of all the children lucky enough to see it.

★★★★★ OPERA NOW

Shackleton’s Cat returns in 2018, as part of ETO’s award-winning strand of operas for young people. The opera features nine performers, including singers and players, and tells the story of the voyage and destruction of the Endurance 100 years ago, and the subsequent tale of survival against all odds. The opera features an ingenious set, with maps and images from the expedition, interactive songs, a puppet cat, and comprehensive resources for teachers, compiled in partnership with the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. Curriculum topics include music, drama, geography, science, literacy and maths.

The story itself begins in 2015, when scientists measuring the alarming changes in the levels of the polar sea-ice make an astonishing discovery: The bones of a cat. They belong to Mrs Chippy, the carpenter’s cat on the Endurance, and best friend to the young Welsh stowaway Perce Blackborow. At the heart of the opera is Shackleton himself, perhaps the greatest expedition leader of all time. The opera follows the crew as they set sail from Buenos Aires to the incredible rescue after months of hardship.

The opera lasts just over an hour and is created for children aged 7-11 and their families. Two months ahead of ETO’s visit schools are sent a CD and sheet music of three songs the children join in with, as well as a comprehensive teacher’s pack, which includes information about the piece and the story, and its curriculum links. The pack contains activities for classes.

Shackleton’s Cat is created by composer Russell Hepplewhite and director Tim Yealland and is designed by Jude Munden – the team behind ETO’s recent children’s operas Silver Electra, Laika the Spacedog and Borka.

We visit schools, libraries and smaller theatre venues, so if you’d like to book a performance, please contact Daniel Coelho or call 020 7833 2555.

Showing At

  1. St Luke's Primary School
    22nd Mar 2018 - 12:00 pm
  2. Thameside Theatre
    18th Jun 2018 - 1:00 pm
  1. St Luke's Primary School — 22nd Mar 2018 - 12:00 pm

    SK13 7BS

  2. Thameside Theatre — 18th Jun 2018 - 1:00 pm

    Orsett Rd, Grays, Essex, RM17 5DX

A compelling and accurate hour-long distillation of perhaps the greatest battle for survival of modern times.

★★★★ THE TIMES

An outstanding piece, which will remain etched in the memories of all the children lucky enough to see it.

★★★★★ OPERA NOW

Excellent! You had our students hooked from the beginning. I have never heard them applaud so long and so loudly as they did at the end of your performance! [You provided] a very good pack that is suitable for all levels of achievement and gives excellent ideas for follow-up work. My students are now embarking on Shackleton’s voyage with him and writing diaries on the way. They can now use the ideas from the opera, along with drama in class, photographs and props to make this work more meaningful. Indeed the students themselves are excited about the work too! Thank you for such an outstanding performance.

MARYON SHADDOCK, TEACHER, WOODSIDE SCHOOL, BELVEDERE, KENT

Showing At

  1. St Luke's Primary School
    22nd Mar 2018 - 12:00 pm
  2. Thameside Theatre
    18th Jun 2018 - 1:00 pm

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