There's a special place in director Nicola Pollard's heart for the latest stop on her mammoth new theatre tour.

That's because Brightlingsea Shipyard is where her father, Simon, used to work.

He was a naval architect, and his first job was at the James & Stone shipyard in the town when he graduated from Southampton University in 1975.

In the course of his two years he was responsible at various levels of autonomy for design and production of three RAF launches, an Army launch, a private yacht, a double-ended passenger ferry and various mooring launches.

Now you may think the Pioneer Sailing Trust at the shipyard is an odd place to stage a theatre show but when you discover Peril at Sea's subject matter, it's obviously entirely appropriate.

Nicola says: "With my dad's past and living so close to the sea, it's always been there and once we got into the subject matter it threw up some really exciting stories.

"It’s been fantastic learning about the history of our coastal communities. Take the map of Goodwin Sands and all the shipwrecks marked on it, there's a whole history down there."

Nicola has had a long association with East Anglia, having been born in Maldon, before moving to Kent when she was little, and then coming back later in life to work with Eastern Angles.

"I've worked with them a few times," she tells me, "assisting the director and then co-directing Palm Oil and Stout, so I'm looking forward to coming back there."

Peril at Sea is the company’s second production is performed by three actors, Andrew Forbes, Káitlin A Feeney and Alex Scott Fairley, weaving together seafaring and maritime stories. Tales and myths of shipwrecks, smuggling, sea rescues and survival.

For the past year, the company have been visiting sites and museums all over the country, gathering material to be used in the creation of the play: characters, anecdotes, events, songs and images. The stories have also come from those who live by the sea, and their memories of life on the coast.

After opening in Portsmouth, the company will tour throughout March taking in the Isle of Wight, Cornwall, and the north-west before finishing in East Anglia.

Peril at Sea is at the Pioneer Sailing Trust, Brightlingsea Shipyard, on Wednesday, March 27, at 7.30pm. For more information, or to buy tickets go to or call 01206 303373.