Animals of the Ancient Ocean

A New Education Workshop

Developed by Making Faces Theatre

A new series of STEAM workshops combining drama & science to learn about early evolution have been funded by Arts Council England. The planned workshop series has been postponed due to the pandemic, and will resume

In collaboration with the Lapworth Museum of Geology in Birmingham, 3D printed replicas of fossils from their collection will give children direct experience of the fossil finds, as we explore how the species lived through movement.

Led by mask-maker & scientist Vicky Wright, from Making Faces Theatre, the workshops use movement, animal costume and play to bring a physical element to learning about this underwater world. 

The 1-hour workshops journey through development of the early senses and study species present in the ancient oceans. This includes evolution of the gut, eyes, muscles for movement and predator-prey armouring. In the workshop, we will see how species evolve and adapt in response to their habitat, with the trilobites & their adaptation of eye position being one key example.

This is a unique inter-disciplinary workshop bringing together drama, crafts and costume to study animals present in the sea before life on land.

Life in the early oceans

Life in the early oceans, 540 million years ago, was a time when the creative design of evolution ran wild. Known as the “Cambrian Explosion”, we see species creating unusual and imaginative forms, as early sensory movement develops.

There is evidence of a huge range of animals evolving from:

  • creatures which absorb food through their skin
  • beetle-like animals with no eyes
  • spine-defending crawlers
  • swimmers with 5 eyes

Workshop Information

The workshop tour has been postponed due to the pandemic and will resume when the situation has stabilised.

  • Where: The workshops will be touring primary schools in Birmingham.
  • Class size: 20 – 30 pupils per workshop
  • Length: The workshop is 1-hour in length.
  • Room requirements: A school hall or a classroom with desks moved to one side. This is a movement workshop and so does require open space.
  • Other requirements: A projector for slides & powerpoint on the species.

To find out more information and to book a workshop, please email