Touring Again from April 2019 MARY ANNING’S FOSSIL DEPOT

“Can I just say how blown away I was by the event. I have to say I went with little expectation and was well…. totally amazed. The children were totally drawn into the event and the life of Mary. There was so much information on Mary’s life and what she achieved in such a short space of time. The audience interaction along with the story telling was a perfect match. I would not hesitate to recommend a performance by your company. Well done to both Jane and EltJo a truly amazing show. Thank you.”

bookings considered for an extended tour in libraries, schools, and arts centres

Call 01305 835541

Mary Anning’s Fossil Depot

It is said that Mary Anning, born in Lyme Regis in 1799, was a placid baby; then struck by lightning she became bright and talkative. Not only did little Mary survive, but at 11 years old she & her brother Joseph found the first complete Ichthyosaur fossil. Self-taught, Mary went on to be an inspiration, shaking the 19th Century world of science. ‘Mary Anning Fossil Depot’ is an, entertaining performance, packed-full of interactive fun, facts, & adventure on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. Mary, aided & abetted by her brother Joseph, looks back at an inspiring life led with a passion for hunting & understanding fossils; struggles with poverty & self-education. This special story is interwoven by a string of ‘Curios’ – small fossils which Mary & Joseph introduce for the children to handle: ‘Snakestones’, ‘Devil’s Toenails’, ‘Ladies Fingers’ – each sold for a penny by the Anning’s to put food on the table. Mary Anning went on to prove with desire and determination, whoever you are, you can achieve great things.

Libraries & Schools Live Tour – Free Theatre for all Children

What Schools Say

The children in my class loved the visit from AsOne Theatre.  They had the workshop before seeing the performance which prepared them for the performance.  I feel they got more from the performance having done the workshop before it.  The workshop was fantastic – it really encouraged the children to be creative and work together, I was very impressed with what my class achieved in the time.  My class also loved the performance – they were really in awe of some of the effects used and understood everything in the play, even the bits that I thought were a bit less obvious.  We had great discussions after the play about the acting and effects.”  Burton Bradstock Primary School (Tinderbox 2015)

“In the Autumn term, KS2 were lucky to be visited by As One Theatre and their production of Tinderbox. The children and staff were blown away with how the company transformed the school hall. Visually, the performance was stunning. The children really appreciated the attention to detail, from the costumes and props to the way each character/dog had its own physicality and style of movement. The live, original music and song was captivating; the tunes stuck with the children (and adults!) for days. KS2 worked with some of the songs and lyrics in music lessons to inspire their own compostions and lyrics.” St Michael’s C of E Primary School, Lyme Regis, West Dorset (Tinderbox 2015)

AsOne Theatre Company presents

‘The Fisherman’s Daughter’

October/November 2016 & February/March 2017

Commissioned by The Weymouth Leviathan Maritime Literary Festival
 touring Dorset’s libraries, primary schools, village halls and festivals

Play by:  Peter John Cooper; Song and Music by Joe Butcher

 Fisherman's Daughter sq image no text

Click on the image to access link to our school’s brochure. You can book the play with or without workshops

 ‘Waiting for her fisherman father‘s return one stormy night, young Jess faces her fears dreaming of ship-wrecks,  sea-monsters, treasure,& survival. Through a chance meeting with retired librarian, Moira & a hilarious one-legged seagull, Harold – Jess discovers the healing magic of books; heart-warming, intimate, family theatre with a creative dusting of AsOne magic.’

Along- side our autumn tour we are offering schools, and colleges  the opportunity to take part in our corresponding workshops. We are offering two workshops 0f  45/50 mins duration depending on scheduling and schools or colleges requirements. The play can be hired in on its own or with workshops or workshops alone. College students will be putting themselves in the position of primary school children and begin to experience facilitation – or tailor made workshops can be made to suit students needs) 

The Fisherman’s Daughter springboard or stand-alone workshops:

1. Playing Physical Theatre Key stage 2/3 – This workshop is aimed at participants, ages 7 – 11. 

In this workshop: we look briefly at the history of storytelling – inviting children to recognise new ways of bringing stories and characters to life, and the magical power of the performer/or ensemble using nothing but their bodies, voices and basic props to tell a story. If you want a tailor made workshop to suit your curriculum we are more than willing to discuss this with you, and create a workshop just for you. The workshop begins with a warm up of voice and body; progressing through games  appropriate to the workshop theme; works on group and solo physical ensemble work adding soundscapes to create within a small group a short, self-devised group using the skills, structures and ideas experienced and discussed. The class will show and review each others pieces to end.

COST: £100 

The  performance of ‘The Fisherman’s Daughter’ AND a workshop is on offer as a package

COST:  £375

The performance alone:

COST: £275


web page or email TB

AsOne presents AsCend  School Workshops with a Performance of Tinderbox

Play by Jacqueline Avery; music by singer songwriter, Joe Butcher. A magical mix of ensemble physical storytelling, original songs, puppetry, animated, and shadow imagery. Tinderbox recounts the story of a war torn soldier and a rather obstinate young princess who together learn lessons of hope and true love…with a little help from three shadowy dogs and a magic tinderbox of course! A bewitching yarn from beginning to end, this is a family treasure not to be missed!’

Along- side our autumn tour we are offering schools and colleges the opportunity to take part in our corresponding workshops. We are offering two workshops 0f  1.5-2 hours duration depending on scheduling and schools or colleges requirements. The play can be hired in on its own or with workshops or workshops alone. Prices below.

1. Playing with shadow Key stage 2/3 – This workshop is aimed at younger participants, ages 7 – 12. In this workshop we look briefly at the history of shadow puppetry in storytelling – inviting the children to recognise new ways of make believe and bringing stories and characters to life.

2. Mask Key stage 3/4 or BTEC or Foundation Degree  –This workshop is aimed at our older participants, Key stage 4 ages 13 to college years; a more in depth lesson looking at the technique of playing the Mask.

Key Stage 2/ early 3

1. Playing with shadow

In this workshop we look briefly at the history of shadow puppetry in storytelling – inviting the children to recognise new ways of make believe and bringing stories and characters to life.

The company will supply their simple shadow screen as well as some of the shadow puppets from our touring production of ‘tinderbox’ – after a short performance excerpt from the play we allow the participants to create their own stories with the puppets along- side some of their own simple shadow puppet creations.
We close by discussing each other’s work and new ways we can explore our imaginations. 

Workshop duration up to up to 1.5 hours  

COST: £125 

The  performance of ‘tinderbox’ AND a workshop is on offer as a package

COST:  £550

 …a wonderful opportunity to see live professional theatre and learn at the same time!

Key Stage 3 and 4

2. Mask

Our Mask workshops introduce participants to the exciting versatility of mask. We explore how mask training can unlock the door to a more focused physicality in all performance.
Looking at the masks we use in tinderbox along-side some simpler examples this workshop provides an in-depth introduction to mask technique. Participants will understand the principles of effective mask performance through physicality and core techniques.
Techniques explored include:

  • Clocking
  • Counter mask
  • Giving focus
  • Moments of stillness
  • Moments of isolation
  • Keeping the mask alive
  • Clarity of thought and intention

Workshop duration: 1.5  – 2 hours

ONE Workshop COST: £150

or for TWO workshop sessions or a Mask and Shadow play workshop special deal 

COST: £225 

The Full performance of ‘tinderbox’ including one workshop is being offered at the fantastic price of £575…a wonderful opportunity to see live theatre in action and learn at the same time! We are open to possibility of tailoring the workshop to your group’s needs/ current unit of study

AsOne Theatre Company has been touring new plays out of Weymouth since 2004. A String of Pearls, Let’s Do It!,  Hey Baby, She Opened the Door and The Cabinet Maker’s Daughter, 100, and PASSION – Line of Departure have all been successfully received, giving pleasure to thousands. AsOne’s AsCend Company’s latest project, Tinderbox is touring a mix of experienced and new graduate professional performers to nine counties from Mid October- early December 2015. We always tour schools with workshops adapted in parallel with the themes of the plays. Well known in secondary and primary schools; they have all praised AsOne Theatre Company’s educational work.

100 was our offering in 2013 –

Edinburgh Fringe First Award Winning – ‘100’ by Diene Petterle, Neil Monaghan and Christopher Heimann – first performed by The Imaginary Body in 2002

Front page
That you must choose one single memory from your life – all else will be erased forever;

That choosing this memory is your only way of passing through to eternity;That you have one hour to choose…Choose now: from your whole life, from all you’ve ever done, felt or thought… what is the one thing you treasure most?

 The characters in 100 are forced to choose, and re-enact their memories, using only their bodies and bamboo sticks in fluidly transforming ‘sets’. We are magically transported to a dramatic French motorbike race, a South American rainforest and a London tube train as each character in turn tries to capture their memory for eternity.

 100 won a Fringe First Award for ‘innovation in theatre and outstanding new production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it enjoyed a total sell-out run.

‘… this breathtaking piece of theatre. I do believe I will remember it, in both my head and my heart, all of my life. It is a tiny, huge, simple, complex play that touched me in places I didn’t even know I had. (…) This play moved me more profoundly than anything I can remember seeing in theatre…’
The Scotsman, Edinburgh

CALL: 01305 835541 or email: for a 100 information pack

Schools  Project 2012 – present:

Watch out for details of an all inclusive AsCend Easter Drama workshop For 7 to 11 year olds and 12 to 16 year olds.

Jurassic Creatures/Mary Anning’s Fossil depot


We were proud to be a part of the Big Jurassic Classroom and inspired by the Olympic/ and Paralympic values of: Respect, Excellence, Friendship/Courage, Determination, Inspiration and Equality.

Jurassic Creatures – with AsOne Theatre and Fossil Fun for Kids

We toured schools and museums from March 2012 now booking into next School’s academic year from Sept 2012 and into 2013: Tel: 01305 835541 or email:

Dorset and E Devon Primary, First and Middle schools are invited into Mary Anning’s Fossil Depot; Mary will introduce her fossil curios with exciting stories of 19th century discovery and achievement; then the children will paint fossil moulds, find out more about past giant marine creatures and enjoy a drama workshop. Schools – first come first served!

Please express interest as this will help our application for further funding.

We already have been funded by the WDDC with a subsidy for West Dorset Schools of £150 making our project just £350 for Jurassic Creatures or £100 for the Mary Anning’s Fossil Depot performance; with two workshops.

Comments from the schools:

The Prince of Wales First School, Dorchester
“My name is Gary Spracklen and I am Acting Assistant Headteacher at The Prince of Wales First School, Dorchester. I am writing to inform you of the wonderful and creative experience my pupils benefited from this week. On Wednesday (21st March, 2012), two of our classes were visited by Mary Anning and were treated to a fabulous hour-long performance all about her life and work. The performance led by Jane McKell and the AsOne Theatre Company was professional, captivating and taught the pupils so much about this significant local historical figure who many see as a heroine. All the children were able to engage and participate in the performance handling real fossils and exploring different historical sources (pictures, texts, etc) as well as having the opportunity to ask Mary questions. The performance was truly a memorable and captivating experience for the pupils – with one pupil commenting, ‘This is amazing! I wish Mary Anning could come to our school everyday!”
The performance was followed by two workshops led expertly by Jane McKell and her colleagues from the AsOne Theatre Company. This built on the work from the performance and developed the pupil’s performance skills, self-confidence and teamwork. Both sessions were well led and took account of the large range of abilities in the room, including pupils with severe physical disabilities. I cannot speak highly enough of the experience and I will look forward to welcoming Jane McKell and the AsOne Theatre Company back to our school again in the future.”[/quote]

Prince of Wales First School Yr 2 said:
‘I really liked the fossil lady because everything was so real!’
‘10/10 – I thought the drama games were excellent!’
‘I think it was really really brilliant because she passed around the fossils and we got to hold them – they were real!’
‘I liked the fossils because they were real, I don’t normally get to hold real fossils’
‘I liked the ammonites’
‘I liked doing the drama, especially making the sounds – it was fun!’
‘It was fun because we got to see fossils and meet Mary Anning!’
‘I liked this because we got to see Mary Anning’s clothing – I really liked her dress’
‘I like it when we played the drama games, when she said to become a dinosaur we had to make funny shapes!’

Swanage Middle School said
”AsOne Theatre gave our pupils an inspirational start to the day, with Jane McKell’s thought-provoking performance as Mary Anning, the Cabinet Maker’s daughter from Lyme Regis. It was a compelling tale of persistence despite poverty, of the triumph of curiosity over convention and of one woman’s success despite mockery and male domination. Peter John Cooper’s script cleverly combined elements of tragedy, comedy and history with an enjoyable dose of geology, citizenship and women’s rights (or lack of them). Our Year 7 pupils were hooked!
The follow-up Drama workshops allowed the students the opportunity to explore the some of the play’s themes practically, in groups, whilst the Fossil Fun hands-on art workshop with Phil was a huge hit; not only did the pupils enjoy making their own models of fossils, but they learned a tremendous amount of fossil facts from a knowledgeable expert. I would recommend this valuable cross-curricular day to all primary and middle school pupils – particularly those who live within striking distance of our wonderful Jurassic coastline. Thank you to Jane, Peter, Phil and all the team.[/quote]

Hey Baby Baby!

The AsOne Theatre teenage pregnancy awareness project, ‘Hey Baby! Baby!’ includes this awe inspiring aerial performance, that aims to creatively intepret the baby in the womb. Performance by Frances Aitken and Music by Annalie Wilson.

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