Christmas opening times

Over the Christmas period the Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum, Cutty Sark and Queen's House will be open as usual. We are closed to the public from 24-26 December. Plan your next visit

Essential information

Date and time: 
Thurs 1 Feb | Doors open 7pm | Show starts 7.30pm
Cutty Sark, Michael Edwards Studio Theatre
Cutty Sark Theatre
Evenings and Lates

Kings of the South Seas returns to Cutty Sark's Michael Edwards Studio Theatre with the launch of their new album, "Franklin".

Join us for an evening of brand new, exciting music that pays homage to traditional song and hymns, performed inside the hull of the world's last surviving tea clipper.

Evening Programme

19.00 - 19.30 Cutty Sark Cafe and Bar is open

19.30-20.00 A talk about sailing at the time of Franklin's Fateful Expedition

20.0-20.45 Kings of the South Seas (First half)

20.45-21.15 Interval

21.15-22.00 Kings of the South Seas (Second half)

About Kings of the South Seas

“I am loving this!” – Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio2 Folk Show

Inspired by epic whaling expeditions of the early 19th Century from Britain to the South Pacific, round the South Sea Islands, the eponymous debut ‘Kings of the South Seas’ iss a mesmerising and brave new album delving into the lives of the ‘whale men’ and their culture, expressed through a contemporary take on traditional song, broadsides and hymns.

These tales of great voyages and brutal experiences on the sea are given visceral new life by musicians; Ben Nicholls (The Full English, Seth Lakeman Band) Richard Warren (Spiritualized, Mark Lanegan Soulsavers) and Evan Jenkins (Neil Cowley Trio). ‘Kings of the South Seas’ was produced and mixed by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Eels, Tracy Chapman).

“dark, driven and turbulent” – The Independent

Together, these stellar musicians merge folk, jazz, music hall and rock, with concertina, electric guitar and drums (punctuated by Nicholls’ baritone) and the result is a recording that was completed after an intense three days during the Summer of 2014 at Cecil Sharp House in North-West London. The material was researched by Ben Nicholls during his Creative Residency there, supported by the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

The band performances are accompanied by a projected film of found footage created by Bafta nominated documentary maker Adam Clitheroe.

Often four years long, these voyages pushed the boundaries of the known World, spreading European culture, both good and bad, and returning with the tallest tales ever heard as they landed to trade, supply and repair their ships, all a by-product of the doomed commercial venture undertaken. The album conveys all this, transfigured with the lore of the whales and the call of the sea.

“a brooding and mysterious triumph” – Louder Than War

“uproariously rousing and darkly disturbing” – The Guardian