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The Seas of Organillo

A man and a woman cross the seas of Organillo in a boat. Gradually the two people become three….

"From generation to generation life renews itself in the encounter between male and female. Billions of years ago this meeting took place in the sea, where creatures of both sexes shed their reproductive cells into the surrounding water. Eventually terrestrial animals were able to range far over the earth because they carried the salty ocean environment within themselves, whether inside the female body or inside a protective eggshell."

Lennart Nilsson, "A Child is Born"

The ancient seas of Organillo are also a human womb. Mysterious and warm, they are inhabited by two people who swim freely with the fishes and bubbles. As they play together in the fertile waters, new life develops all around them.

Rowing boat In the work, fishes are male. Spheres of one sort or another symbolise femaleness and eggs. A prehistoric octopus is a bit like a Fallopian tube and so on. This oldest of all stories is beautifully told within a magical watery world conjured up by puppeteer Stephen Mottram. Inspired jointly by Elaine Morgan’s book “The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis” and Lennart Nilsson’s “A Child is Born”, his puppets swim and wriggle their way through our warmest Freudian oceans…

The astonishing music, by the Argentine composer Sebastian Castagna, contains treatments of multiple recordings of a miniature street organ - an ‘Organillo’ - made by Stephen himself.


Technical – The Seas of Organillo needs a darkened space, ideally with raked seating. The minimum stage area is 6m width X 4m depth X 3m height. Get-in time 3 hours+, get-out 1 hour.

Fish “Stephen Mottram is a magician who enchants his audience with the uncanny."

La Repubblica

“Imagine the paintings of Max Ernst and the sexual interpretations of Freud, submerged into an aqueous realm where life bubbles through a miniature organ. Draw a pair of peepshow curtains around this intimate vision, and you’re beginning to get the measure of Organillo. A richly suggestive encounter, ‘Organillo’ promises to hypnotise audiences through the nooks and crannies of their unconscious.”

Time Out