It was an ordinary week on the usually sleepy Isle of Sheppey… until the shadows appeared.

Empowering young people to tell the stories that matter to them, Icon Theatre and Applied Stories worked with Sheppey young people to discover local histories and reimagine them with elements of magic and fantasy. Together they co-created an audio drama that blurs the lines between true events and imagination.

The stories were brought to life through a series of storytelling workshops led by Applied Stories founder and Artistic Director, Fin Kennedy. An award-winning playwright and former Artistic Director of touring theatre company Tamasha, Fin brings 20 years’ experience across professional and participatory theatre, BBC Radio and independent podcasts.

Sheppey Shadows was a unique opportunity for young people to create with an acclaimed playwright. Guided by Fin, students from Minster-In-Sheppey Primary, Queenborough School and Nursery, and Theatre31 Youth Theatre (Sheppey), were introduced to the world of scriptwriting, and learned how to create plot, characters and dialogue.

The young people created the ideas and crafted the story together with Fin. As well as voices, they used ambient sounds recorded around the island. Once the script was complete, the young people worked with Applied Stories alongside a professional director and voice actors to record the play.

The project was celebrated at a free listening party in Sheerness on Sunday 26 June 2022.

The young people’s audio-drama is available now as a podcast on the Icon Theatre website.


Sheppey Shadows has been made possible thanks to funding awarded by Kent Community Foundation from the Arts Council’s Let’s Create Jubilee Fund.

Sheppey Shadows is an Applied Stories project.
Co-created with Queenborough School and Nursery, Minster-In-Sheppey Primary School and Theatre31 Youth Theatre. Commissioned by Icon Theatre.

Funded by the Let’s Create Jubilee Fund, made possible thanks to National Lottery players and administered by UK Community Foundations on behalf of the Arts Council.


The Sheppey Shadows audio drama is available to listen and download as a free podcast.

Listen Now

Digital Programme

Read the script and learn more about the creative team behind Sheppey Shadows. Download the free digital programme.

Download Now

★★★★ ‘A sharp, impeccably performed and blazingly impassioned piece of theatre…simply terrific.’
— The Times
'It helps you learn, it helps you grow and become more of what you want to become.'
— Ruby - Icon Youth Theatre (Medway)
‘Icon Theatre has given me new friends, taught me new skills and challenged my lack of self-belief’
— Community Performer
'It was the first time I got to see drama as something for myself and something I could actively participate in and enjoy.'
— Tef - Icon Youth Theatre (Medway)
'Theatre31 did a great job of making the children feel comfortable and you could see their confidence grow within the session!'
— Year 5 teacher, Queenborough School and Nursery, Sheppey
'Icon has been ahead of the curve in understanding that the arts have a role to play in bringing people together, helping them be heard by telling their own stories in their own way, and in the process creating a sense of pride in place and space.'
— Lyn Gardner, Theatre Journalist

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