This major immersive theatre event recharts the history of Chatham Dockyard, asking who owns our history and what stories should we tell? 

Featuring explosive Hip Hop dance from Olivier Award winners ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company and powerful Kathak from Amina Khayyam Dance Company, original live music, and the choral power of a monumental community ensemble, Ghost Shipsilluminates true and untold stories of the extraordinary people who built and sailed the ships of Chatham Dockyard around the world.  

Ghost Ships explores the waters that connect past with present, borders with belonging, and people with place, looking at the impact of the Dockyard from its involvement in slavery and abolition to the loss and legacy of its 1984 closure and beyond. 

Inspired by newly uncovered research from people working at the Dockyard in its final days, Ghost Shipshas been made with the communities of Chatham and features an ensemble of over 150 young people, residents and professional dancers performing together live on stage. 

Performed in the fortieth anniversary year of the Dockyard’s closure, this brand-new production has startling contemporary relevance. 

Quotes from Icon’s previous shows
★★★★ “Icon has achieved something remarkable…this is a theatrical treat” The Stage. 
★★★★ “A sharp, impeccably performed piece of theatre…simply terrific.” The Times 
Fringe First Award Winners 

Quotes from ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company’s previous shows  
★★★★★ “Every aspect of this production harmonises perfectly. It is a triumph”. The Express
★★★★A storm of a show” The Guardian
Olivier Award Winners  

Quotes from Amina Khayyam Dance Company previous shows
★★★★ “Powerful and Captivating” The Scotsman
★★★★ “Powerful, poignant kathak dance… sharply stylized… dramatically alert, thematically rich and ultimately moving.” The List
National Dance Awards 2022 Nominees 

Ages Guidance 
Age Guidance 10+ (parental guidance advised). 

Running Time
90 Minutes (Approx.) 

Trigger Warning
Themes of famine and slavery are explored in this show.

An Icon Theatre, ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company and Amina Khayyam Dance Company Co-Production, supported by The Historic Dockyard Chatham.

Icon Theatre is supported by Medway Council and using public funding from Arts Council England. 

Creative Team & Cast

Creator and Co-Director Nancy Hirst
Co-Director and Choreographer Kloé Dean
Choreography ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company led by Dannielle ‘Rhimes’ Lecointe and Kloé Dean, and Amina Khayyam Dance Company led by Amina Khayyam.
Associate Choreographer Amina Khayyam
Associate Choreographer Cherilyn Albert
Composer and Sound Designer Serge Sainte Rose
Music Director Tania Holland Williams
Set and Costume Designer Sarah Jane Booth
Lighting Designer Callum Macdonald
Projection Designer Matt Powell
Sound System Design Matt Pearson and Simon Foster
Dramaturg Hardial Rai
Costume Supervisor Evelien Coleman
Assistant Choreographer Will Pascua
Assistant Composer Sarah Victoria
Historian Suchitra Chatterjee
Dramatherapist Wabriya King

Company of Dancers: Jane Chan (R&D Dancer), Robert Dunkley-Gyimah, Abirami Eswar, Jackie Kibuka, Rab McColl, D’jon McTernan, Shaq Shadare, Mohika Shankar, Jalpa Vala, Kyle Ralph-Walker.

Cast Performed by our Community Cast, Community Choir, Icon Young Company, Participating Schools and Company of Dancers.  

Ghost Ships was developed through a collaborative process with local Medway-based communities and groups including Sahara Foundation and Medway African and Caribbean Association.  

Post Show Discussion – Friday 27 September

Learn more about the production, its history and how it was made in this 20-minute discussion straight after the show, with the company’s cast and creative team.  Free to ticket holders.  

Ticket Information

£15 – Full Price
£12 – Child (15 and under)
£12 – Student Concession (with valid student ID)
£11 – Standard Group Rate (Groups of 8+, 1 free ticket with every 10 booked)
Access tickets available, carer is free. 

Please Note: although under the cover and seated, the performance is site specific and outdoors. Please dress for the weather and be mindful of bringing extra layers. The site can get very cold, especially in the evening. 

Get Involved - Join the Community Company & Community Choir

Icon is looking for local people to join Ghost Ships Community Company and Community Choir. Be involved as a cast member, a singer or backstage. There are no auditions, no experience is necessary and it’s free to take part 

Telephone 01634 813179

Get Involved - Schools Workshops

Free theatre workshops for Year 6 and upwards, with free and subsidised tickets available. Workshops are tailored to the curriculum and will focus on Brechtian theatre making techniques for those studying GCSE and A-Level. These are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Telephone 01634 813179

Photos (c) Manuel Vason, Roswitha Chesher

'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
'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)
'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
★★★★ ‘It is easy to take for granted the acting skills of a top theatre company. But when actors embody characters as superbly as this, you can’t help but notice.’
— The New Statesman
★★★★ ‘A sharp, impeccably performed and blazingly impassioned piece of theatre…simply terrific.’
— The Times
78% of the participating young people said they were more confident and had more friends as a result of the project
— Six Ways To Wellbeing, young people's wellbeing project

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