A spectacular dragon hatched in Plymouth City Centre on 14 August 2021, growing to the size of a double-decker bus.

The Hatchling is a ground-breaking outdoor theatrical performance that unfolded over a weekend of events and reached an extraordinary finale over the coast of Plymouth, on 14 and 15 August 2021.

The beautiful visitor hatched in the city, building herself a nest and then took to the skies in a bid for her freedom.

Along the way, she explored the city, and as she roamed, she encountered a series of events from intimate interactions to city-wide performances, prepared especially for her majestic visit.

The Hatchling walking (Landscape). Credit - Carl Robertshaw-min


Apples and Snakes commissioned three poets – Rebecca Tantony, Chris White and Shagufta K Iqbal, to create pieces based around dragon mythology, which will be performed during the event.

At the end of her journey, the Hatchling underwent an incredible metamorphosis, unfurling her wings, and soared over the sea at sunset! With a wingspan of over 20 metres, our hatchling is the world’s largest human-operated puppet to attempt flight.

The Hatchling brought together artists, community groups and city partners to create a public artwork of ground-breaking ambition – a cultural icon that will unite people from all walks of life. She will return again for the Jubilee in 2022…

Listen to the Poems

Chris White – ‘Cadmus’

Rebecca Tantony – ‘Medea and the Burnt Sky’

Shagufta K Iqbal – ‘The Calling’

Creative Team

The Hatchling is produced by Trigger – an organisation creating and producing surprising live and digital events that interrupt daily life, reimagine and revive public spaces, and put audiences at the centre of the action. Trigger’s programme aims to create accessible, inclusive and boundary pushing work which is often sited outdoors and/or digital.

Conceived by Angie Bual, Artistic Director and producer at Trigger
Directed by Mervyn Millar, Puppetry Director (War Horse, Significant Object)
Designed by Carl Robertshaw, Production Designer (Ellie Goulding, Bjork)

Shagufta K Iqbal
Rebecca Tantony
Chris White

Associate Creative Team
Sound Designer – Daniel Balfour
Lighting Designer – Matt Daw
Composer – Ruth Chan
The People’s Assembly Director – Mark Maughan
Live Music – Dom Coyote

Cameron Balloons
Russell Beck Studio
Adrian Snell
Scenic Artists – Charcoal Scenic Ltd

Production Team
Production Manager – Dock Street Events
Costume Maker – Joey A Frenette
Flight Director – Stephen Hoath
Assistant Director – Nicole Redfern
Costume Supervisor & Design Assistant – Jane Ripley

Stage Management
Senior Stage Manager – Richard Herrick
Stage Manager & Show Caller – Charlotte Hall
Assistant Stage Manager – Chloe Walker