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'Height Lines', performed by William Barker at the Stiles and Drewe Best New Song Final 2023 at The Other Palace. Video by Ian Bowkett

The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair

Written and composed by Jordan Li-Smith
Based on the novel by Lara Williamson
Becket Rumsey is all at sea.

He and his brother Billy are awoken in the middle of the night by their Dad, told that he’s packed their bags and they are running away together, leaving everything behind, including their almost-mum Pearl. Becket can’t comprehend what’s happening, especially as they didn’t even say goodbye to her - it’s all a total mystery.


Whilst coming to terms with the fact that his real mum died before he had a chance to say goodbye to her too, he arms himself with an armchair of stories and one thousand paper cranes, determined to bring his family back together again.


★★★★"The real star of this musical is Jordan Li-Smith who has created a fantastic musical here which oodles of potential. There is gorgeous music, beautiful lyrics and some real witty elements to the book. Li-Smith‘s vision and ability cements himself as one to watch for future new musicals." All Things Theatre

★★★★★"A triumph from beginning to end... the musical score is superb" Theatre and Tonic

★★★★"This musical’s world premiere, penned by Jordan Li-Smith, is phenomenally successful for its first fully-staged presentation... it is a divine new musical full of warmth, showcasing that home isn’t a place, but a feeling of belonging." East Midlands Theatre

Photos by Robert Day and Tom Wren, from the first fully-staged production at Leicester Curve in 2023, produced by the National Youth Music Theatre

The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair recently had its first public showing on 16-19 August 2023 at the Leicester Curve. It was nominated for 12 BroadwayWorld UK Awards.

The show continues to be developed ahead of its professional premiere. 

Follow Jordan on Instagram to keep updated with the show's developments!
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