THE county's nuclear heritage will be explored in a theatre production - using puppets.

ATOM: A Tale of Matter will be staged at Rosehill Theatre on February 27 and March 6 at 1.30pm.

The production explores the life of John Dalton (1766-1844), who was born in Eaglesfield and became a renowned scientist after his early work on atom theory.

It begins with Dalton's death and seas him arrive in a surreal place where birds gather and reflect on his life and achievements, culminating in the building of Sellafield.

It is the result of an 18-month project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which saw Prism Arts Studio Theatre West Coast work with pupils of Distington Primary School and Seascale Primary School to learn about Cumbria's nuclear heritage.

Studio Theatre West and Distington school worked together to create the story for the show.

They used drawing to develop their ideas through which the theme of birds evolved, each bird representing an aspect of Dalton’s life.

The show uses puppets made by costume students from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, along with animation, acting and live music to tell a thought-provoking and humorous tale.

The stop motion animations were created by members of Studio Theatre West, working with Haltwistle Film Project.

The music in the production was created by musician Mark Newport with two Studio Theatre West members, who all play during the show.

For tickets, costing £6 each, call Rosehill Theatre on 01946 692422 or visit

The Beacon Museum in Whitehaven is currently hosting an exhibition of the research drawings, animations and designs of the puppets for the live show.

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Prism Arts has worked with the Beacon Museum, Sellafield Ltd, Whitehaven Archives, National Nuclear Laboratory and other project partners who have been instrumental to the project research and project delivery.