Little Ships artwork. Background: (Watercolour) Yellow sky above a navy sea. Two pillars of smoke rise on the horizon. Foreground: Three illustrated white outlines of ships sailing towards the horizon. Text reads: (Top right) ‘United Musicals. Original musicals’; (Bottom left) ‘Little Ships. A new musical by Daniel McAvoy’.

Unity Musicals & Purrple Cat CIC present

Little Ships

  • Show Information

Set in 1940, Little Ships is about a West Country family at the start of World War II. The father, who was brought up in England, is of mixed Irish and French parentage and joins the French army. He is part of the 1st Army that holds Lille for a short time, enabling the British army to retreat to Dunkirk.

The four children of the family, who have spent all their lives in, on and under the sea, join with some friends who together set out in their small boats to rescue their father and bring him home.

Little Ships is about our history, it’s an adventure about growing up, facing challenges and taking risks, and about family love and fidelity. It is suitable for the whole family, except maybe very little ones.

Our sparkling cast of 18 consists of seasoned stage and film actors/singers, performing arts students and local performers, creating a community of new and established talent.

Little Ships with 22 songs, was written and composed by Danny McAvoy, whose organisation Unity Musicals/Purrple Cat CIC brings new and original musical theatre stories to engage and immerse audiences.

During 2020/21, our serialised radio version of Little Ships was broadcast by radio stations in the UK and elsewhere to on average 250,000 listeners for each of the five episodes.


Listen to some musical snippets from the show.

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