DESIGNER WANTED for Smugglers, Seafarers, Shantymen (and a lost cow)


Show title: (working title) ‘Smugglers, Seafarers, Shantymen (and a lost cow)’

Performance dates: Weekend of May 28th/29th 2022

Venue: Watchet, Somerset

Fee: to be negotiated, but starting at £4000


Deadline for applications: 5pm on Thursday 11th November 2021

You will be contacted (whatever the outcome) by Tuesday 16th November 2021

Interview dates (in person, Watchet): Friday 19th November 2021


Applicants invited to interview will be given an attendance fee of £25 plus a contribution to travel costs.


How to apply: Apply below!  Submit an expression of interest highlighting your relevant skills/experience, and provide a link to previous work and your CV by 5pm on Thursday 11th November.



‘Smugglers, Seafarers, Shantymen (and a lost cow)’ is a new heritage project being led by Contains Art in Watchet, in association with Wassail Theatre and Onion Collective, alongside a host of community partners and creative practitioners. It’s a celebration of Watchet’s maritime history, and the work will culminate in a performance extravaganza over the weekend of 28th/29th May 2022 in which professional actors will perform alongside community groups and members of the public.


This project is made possible with the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund. 


We invite submissions from creative practitioners from varying ‘design for performance’ backgrounds to take part in this project. Who you are, and what you do, will help us shape this project - so if you’re interested, we’d love to hear from you!


You don’t have to live or work in Somerset, or have a strong local connection to be considered but having, or being willing to gain an understanding of the socio-economic context of the town and the role of the sea within it will be imperative.


You will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the visual design of the project. We largely imagine this being through costume but it may also include puppetry and other large or small-scale visual design elements. The extravaganza will be taking place during the day, so we don’t expect any lighting design will be necessary. We’ve created a structure/outline story through which the extravaganza could be framed, which you can read here.


You will be working with Lead Artists Selina Keedwell and Jac Husebo from November 2021 until May 2022. Selina & Jac have written a little about what they are looking for, which can be found below:



You will provide a cohesive and visually compelling element to the production. Drawing on Watchet's maritime heritage, spanning 706AD to the 21st Century, you will utilise the natural landscapes of Watchet, including the Marina, harbour, side streets and East Quay. With both small-scale scenes and large-scale happenings, you collaborate with the rest of the creative & production team, and local professional and non-professional artists to create set pieces around the story of St Decuman's quest to find his lost cow. Ideally, you will also have experience working with and drawing from the community, leading to a true sense of collaboration and a sense of ownership and familiarity for the participants and our Watchet audience. 



It would be great to work with someone really collaborative so Selina, myself, our Composer and you can work as a team to inspire and drive each other forward in the creative process.  To work with someone whose style is like no one else’s, someone who can create a uniform world that brings all the various stories together with an original and personal spin.


Due to the nature of the story, decay, erosion and falling apart jumps out at me, juxtaposed by beautiful rich colours and then golds, silvers. Miss Havisham and the work of Eva Hesse jumps out at me.


Further to this, allowing Watchet and the surrounding area to inspire the design is of the utmost importance, how can it be reimagined and reflect back the architecture, community and history, whilst also feeling fresh, creative and experimental. Someone who would be as interested in historic clothing and buildings as well driftwood, seaweed and boats. Someone who wants to find weird and wonderful angles on everything. 




Thank you for your interest in working with us - we look forward to receiving your application!