“This play is a refreshing opportunity to share what is a current and vital conservation message. Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world, and thousands are taken from the wild each year for their meat and scales. Despite this, many people are unaware of these amazing animals.” Born Free
Pangolin is a new play for families by Ships in the Night theatre company, supported by Born Free.
With rhymes and characters that remind you of the best of Roald Dahl, this is a playful and enticing performance for family audiences. Pangolin has a strong, accessible message designed to inspire young people to understand the role we all have to play in protecting our planet and the creatures that live in it.
Pangolins are the world's most trafficked mammal, with all eight species ranging from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered. As classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Theatre company Ships in the Night has created a new play that will tour venues in England in Autumn 2019, delighting and educating audiences. Created and directed by Sheryl Hill and written by Jon Boustead, together they developed and first performed Pangolin with a community cast at The College of Richard Collyer, Horsham.
How can you take part?
By supporting this Crowdfunder you are enabling artists in the UK and, more crucially, educating audiences – young, old and in between - about this remarkable, threatened animal.
We will use your money to, quite literally, build this production. When you come to see Pangolin you will be able to see the fruits of your generosity before your eyes. We will build a set for the production, which can be cleverly taken between theatres while metaphorically transporting you across the world. We search after the most environmentally-sensitive options by reducing waste and our carbon footprint wherever we can – so we will opt to re-use items, reduce plastic and make the greenest choices. But we won't compromise on the magic! There will be shadow puppetry, fantastic costumes and a few surprises in store. See the video for an example of some of the beautiful shadow puppetry created by skilled designer May Jennifer Davies - but these are just a rough start!
Any additional funding (beyond this target) will just help us to do more and do it better. Your support through the Crowdfunder could go towards costs of:
- the set, costume and design costs for Pangolin, including a beautifully bespoke set designed by May Jennifer Davies. As with all good theatre, the setting and the atmosphere will help to tell a story and to transport us to another world.
- memorable experiences for audiences, like a ‘meet and greet’ with a puppet and the cast after most performances.
- resources, talks and workshops which will help to spread the word about the threats facing pangolins including educational handouts, a school’s pack and engaging talks for audiences about the plight of the pangolin. These will be created in partnership with Born Free.
What is a pangolin?
We don't want to give everything away before you come to see the play! But seeing as you asked so nicely...
There are eight species of pangolin, found across two continents. Devastatingly, the four Asian species are all classified as Critically Endangered by IUCN whilst the four African species are classified as Vulnerable. They are remarkable creatures: the only mammal to be covered in scales and virtually impenetrable to predators when they curl up in a ball.
We think they look positively pre-historic, and they're definitely magical*! (*We have no science to prove this part.)
For more information about these amazing creatures checkout our website and follow us on social media which we're filling with pangolin love and pangolin facts. They really are amazing!
Why are pangolins in danger?
These amazing mammals are often cited as the world's most trafficked mammal with estimates of over one million pangolins taken from the wild over a ten year period. Sadly, the pangolin’s body is sought after for a variety of reasons: its scales are used in traditional Asian ‘medicines’, the meat is considered a delicacy on some menus and the skins can be used for leather. Crucially, in 2016 pangolins were given the highest protection status through CITES which means a total ban on international trade of wild-caught pangolins for commercial purposes globally (TRAFFIC report, 2017).
The poaching, trafficking and illegal trading of thousands of pangolins continues every year.
Why are we making this play?
These gentle creatures are cheeky characters. We have no end of creative stimulus from watching endless videos and reading inspiring research.
Moreover, we've been deeply moved by their plight. Pangolins could be extinct within our lifetime, but in comparison to animals like the elephant they don’t have the same iconic status within the public imagination. Even some of the creative team didn't even know they existed until we started working on the play.
There are many more people who need to hear about these animals, and need to be given the chance to be part of altering their trajectory. Before it really is too late.
Who is the team behind Pangolin?
Pangolin is a Ships in the Night Theatre production. Sheryl Hill, the founder of Ships in the Night and director of Pangolin has credits including Gleam (Soho Theatre and Pleasance Theatre) and Night Call (Southwark Playhouse) and, as assistant director, Peter Pan (Richmond Theatre) and Othello (Rose Theatre Kingston/Watermill Theatre).
The writer is Jon Boustead, an accomplished writer for young audiences who has worked in the education department of Chichester Festival Theatre. His play Wilde at Heart was highly commended in the Play for the Nation's Youth (Salisbury Playhouse and Nick Hern Books).
We've also got a great breadth of experience in the rest of the team with designer May Jennifer Davies, choreographer Lily Howkins and composer/musician Peter Wilson and producer Christine Lee. Find out more about everyone on our website sitntheatre.com.
We are delighted to be partnering with the amazing team at Born Free who work tirelessly to protect threatened species in the wild.
Who else is in the team behind Pangolin?
You, too, have a role to help save the pangolin. Please donate what you can to support this production and the education about pangolins that will surround everything we do.
And our message goes beyond just saving the pangolin we want to inspire a younger generation to love nature and to protect our most threatened creatures, to be prepared to make a stand now and be ready to do things differently in the future.
In return, you will receive a gift of our appreciation (see details above), a 'thank you' on Ships in the Night social media (if you want it and if you provide your details)... and the knowledge that you are supporting worldwide conservation in an engaging and creative way.
Pangolin is a Ships in the Night production, written by Jon Boustead based on an idea by Sheryl Hill. Presented in association with Born Free.