she sells sea shells


AUGUST 1ST-25th (NOT 12th)
13:30 (1 hr)
underbelly cowgate (VENUE 61)

Press Release / IMAGES


Famed writer/director Dr Helen Eastman's new play, to which Scandal and Gallows Theatre bring their unique blend of movement and storytelling, brings the untold story of genius, gender and dinosaurs to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Mary Anning was a working class woman from Lyme Regis who made many of the earliest fossil discoveries. Because she was a woman, she was never admitted to the Geological Society. Because she had to sell what she found to survive, her name never appeared on any of the studies written on her finds. This play aims to get Mary the attention she deserves, and show that this 200-year-old story illustrates very current issues around gender and recognition, particularly in the sciences; 23% of the STEM workforce were women in 2017 according to WISE (Women Into Science and Engineering). In 2018 the Natural History Museum named their new supporters’ lounge ‘The Anning Rooms’, and production recently began on Ammonite, a film starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.

Scandal and Gallows Theatre are a young company of recent Cambridge graduates founded in 2015. They use innovative and intimate storytelling – inspired by Kneehigh and Complicité – to tell classic stories, including two critically acclaimed adaptations of canonical texts. Scandal and Gallows’ first show, a one-man version of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, premiered at The Arcola before a month run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015 and a transfer to The Omnibus Theatre. The second, a gender-swapped staging of Gogol’s The Overcoat, premiered at The Omnibus’ Perception Festival before being invited back for a full run in January 2018.

Writer Dr. Helen Eastman is an internationally acclaimed writer, librettist, director and dramaturg. She studied English and Classics at Oxford before training on the LAMDA Directing MA, and wrote her PhD on contemporary adaptations of Ancient Greek Theatre. She is also Artistic Director of Live Canon, an organization dedicated to publishing and performing new & classic poets, and Barefaced Greek, a production company shooting new versions of classical drama in the original Ancient Greek.

She Sells Sea Shells was developed with the support of the Blue Elephant Theatre Artist Residency scheme, and is being produced with the support of the ETT Forge Programme and The Greenwich Theatre.