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Shaky Isles Theatre and Ovalhouse


Written and devised by the Company. Directed by Stella Duffy.

The acclaimed novelist and playwright Stella Duffy directs this new piece by Shaky Isles, about a mysterious creature beneath the Thames.

  • Audio loop
  • British Sign Language
  • Wheelchair Access
  • Tue 15 Nov – Sat 3 Dec, 7:45pm

Previews 15 & 16 Nov. BSL 1 Dec. Audio-described 2 Dec.

Venue: Downstairs

The acclaimed novelist and playwright Stella Duffy directs this new piece by Shaky Isles, about a mysterious creature beneath the Thames.

A story for anyone who calls London home. Sometimes.

There is a Taniwha (tah’ni’fa) in the Thames. A sea-monster, and shape shifter, like, yet not quite like, the Maori water spirit of legend. It does not need us, but it likes our attention, feeds on our interest. And its intentions are not always good.

The Taniwha swims the Effra, the Peck, the Fleet. It knows the mysteries of the city and the secrets of your heart. It is the feeling in the dark places and quiet corridors, of knowing that someone - something - ­is just ... over ... there.

A visceral tale that stretches across time and space to ask what it means to belong, wherever you make your home.


"haunted and haunting... it seeps into your bones"
* * *  Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

"...collapses pages of history into imaginative and often strikingly beautiful scenes."
Tom Wicker, Time Out

"There's magic and mystery in the telling"
The Londonist

"Potent and.... appealing"
Matt Trueman, Carousel of Fantasies


  • Tue 15 Nov – Sat 3 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Wed 16 Nov – Sun 4 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Thu 17 Nov – Mon 5 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Fri 18 Nov – Tue 6 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Sat 19 Nov – Wed 7 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Sun 20 Nov – Thu 8 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Tue 22 Nov – Sat 10 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Wed 23 Nov – Sun 11 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Thu 24 Nov – Mon 12 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Fri 25 Nov – Tue 13 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Sat 26 Nov – Wed 14 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Tue 29 Nov – Sat 17 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Wed 30 Nov – Sun 18 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Thu 1 Dec – Mon 19 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Fri 2 Dec – Tue 20 Dec, 7:45pm
  • Sat 3 Dec – Wed 21 Dec, 7:45pm

Additional information

Post-show discussion 16 Nov: Making things happen with Open Space Technology
Special event 23 Nov: The Charmed and The Curious (see Gallery)


Director Stella Duffy was on Robert Elms Show with Dotun Adebayo recently. Here are her answers to his Londony questions.

Click an image to view a larger version.

Lady-Led: unexpected experiences by exceptional female theatre practitioners:

Tomboy Blues - The Theory of Disappointment

Tue 1 Nov – Sat 19 Nov, 8:00pm

This funny, powerful and disarmingly honest show is a joyful mosaic of stories of otherness.


Sat 26 Nov, 4:00pm

This event follows a PechaKucha or 'Lightning Talk' format. How can we continue making art with no money? You trade your 'thing' with someone else for something you need. No money changes hands.

The Charmed and The Curious

Wed 23 Nov, 6:00pm

A unique chance to come view and handle some of the Polynesian collections held in the Cumings Museum in south London: we will also have some charms and curios from the Lovett collection of London Superstitions