Caught in the Net – a joyful show of mackerel music and dance

Caught in the net follows a successful book tour of Seining Along Chesil (published by Little Toller 2022) and popular community conversations with author, Sarah Acton, and local fishermen earlier this year.

At the heart of the story are mackerel shoals, Chesil beach and its people.

Mackerel seasons are part of ancient Dorset tradition along Chesil Beach, and the performance celebrates sustainable local food sources, fish and coastal ecology, and reimagines new and old traditions for everyone.

This August a new creative team are developing a show on site in Chickerell, on to Portland in October, and then touring next year through Artsreach.

Supported by project partners Artsreach, Dorset Food & Drink, Fingerprint Dance and Common Ground, Caught in the Net, is a new outdoor performance and community project presented in collaboration with Anna Golding (co-director, choreographer and performer), Sarah Deerejones (harpist and composer), Phil Smith (co-director, /theatre artist and performer) and Sarah Acton (storyteller, lyrics and words), and are delighted to be working with the Grace and Growl dance community who are also part of the piece.

The show is kindly made possible through funding from Dorset Performing Arts Fund and Dorset AONB, plus the generous goodwill of Weymouth St Paul and Fleet churches, landowners and local community.




Outreach events include:

A taster performance workshop with music and dance on Saturday 19th August at Holy Trinity Church in Fleet and the show itself Saturday 19th 6pm-7.15pm.

Everyone who attends the art and taster sessions will be invited to take part in the show with the theatre procession performers, group singers or chorus, but if anyone would like to get more involved or volunteer to help steward – please contact Sarah Acton. e:

Tickets in advance with a minimum donation £10 please, it is outdoor so you may like to bring shoes, clothes for the weather and Fleet, and a lightweight chair! Book your ticket here.


FREE Mackerel art-making for families – An intergenerational activity with Darrell Wakelam (ages 6-100)

Wyke Regis Library –  Sat 12th Aug 10.30am-12.30pm: Portland Road Wyke Regis DT4 9BE

Book here for your FREE space!

Portland Library – Thurs 17th Aug 2-4pm: The Straits Easton Portland DT5 1HG

Book here for your FREE space!


Movement and Making workshop with Anna Golding 10am-4pm Bridport Town Hall Friday 28th July all ages welcome/ £40 bookings:

Get Involved

For updates  please join the Facebook community for up to date news updates, photos and community conversation. Or contact:


Dorset Seiners Song

Mackerel Mackerel! Fresh from Chesil

Mackerel Mackerel! Taste of the sea.

Mackerel Mackerel! Fresh from Chesil

Fresh fish local, buy fish from me.


We go fishing in our seine boat,

We go seining just off the beach.


[CHORUS after each verse]


Fish stray shallow, hunting mackerel,

We shoot our nets all-round the shoal.


Mackerel swim fast we row oars clasped,

Fishermen watch that rudd o’vr sea.


Little tern, mackerel bird, salt-deep wisdom,

Hag stone, bow of boat, we ride waves.


Bless sea harvests with our garlands,

Seasons come around, fishes for all.


We go fishing in our seine boat,

Eat our mackerel fried, salted, soused.


Seining frees us, crew shares feed us,

Delicious, oily, all summer long.


Open fishing, sea chase thrilling,

Hard work hauling, packing the catch.


We know mackerel like our kinfolk,

With our crew we know when to launch.


With a seine boat, nets, gear, knowledge,

We make our way, fish for your plate.


By hand daily, sustainable bounty,

Harvest seasons, healthy seas.


We work all day covered in scales,

Fish the seasons, we carry on.


Sarah Acton 2023


Purchase a copy of Seining Along Chesil by Sarah Acton here.


Mackerel header painting is by artist Rab Stone from Portland, Dorset.

Share This Post:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Other News & Updates

Our Sponsors

The work of Dorset Food and Drink is kindly supported and sponsored by a number of businesses based in the local area. You can find out more about their work by clicking on their logo.

Sign up for offers and news

We’ll never bombard you with emails – only great offers and news

© 2022 Dorset Food and Drink | All Rights Reserved | Website By MiHi

© 2022 Dorset Food and Drink.
All Rights Reserved. Website By MiHi