Shipwreck: An online musical for kids!

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Poplar Union and the East London Children’s Choir have launched a new online programme to get you singing over lockdown! Jonathan Pease runs our weekly children’s choir every Tuesday, and wanted to come up with a way to keep kids singing over this time of change. This online programme gives children from Year 3 to 6 the chance to learn an exciting new musical, Shipwreck, while stuck at home, with Jonathan and singer David Jones.

What’s the story of Shipwreck?

If you’re bored of the lockdown and missing your friends, imagine how bad being locked-down on a Roman prison ship must have been!

Shipwreck was written in 2016 by east London-born composer Jonathan Pease. Originally written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of St. Luke’s School on the Isle of Dogs, the musical is about a group of prisoners stuck on a ship during a storm. Everybody can see it isn’t safe to sail, but a wealthy captain who wants the business insists that the journey goes ahead. After weeks at sea, the ship eventually crash lands in Malta, and the crew and prisoners are safe at last. It’s a story of captivity, hope and escape – a good fit with current events!

How it works

All you need to do is watch the videos below and learn the songs! We will post new videos from Jonathan and David twice a week, until you’ve learned the whole show. All the videos will be available below so you can go at your own pace. This is a great activity to do with the whole family but the idea is to engage children from Years 3 to 6 who are currently stuck at home and wanting a musical outlet!

Join us for a performance!

Once the lockdown is over, Poplar Union will host a free two-day workshop on the musical, ending in a performance with a live, professional band. Children who’ve learned the songs at home are invited to come together to take part in this.

We’d love to know who’s taking part at home so we can send out updates, including details of the live workshop. To register, just email Jonathan at

To get started, simply click on any of the links below. Have fun!

1) Introduction

A short introduction to the project from composer Jonathan Pease

2) Warm-up

A fun musical warm-up (with lots of silly noises!) with David Jones

3) Somebody’s Listening

A song of hope for prisoners stuck at sea

4) The Storm Song

The ship’s crew realise that a terrible storm is on its way

5) Emperor Caesar’s Prison Ship

The prisoners set off on their dreadful journey

6) The Storm Song Part 2

Caesar’s ship is struck by gale force winds

7) Emperor Caesar’s Prison Ship Part 2

The horrible journey continues…