World Premiere of WHALE by Fleur Kilpatrick this May

World Premiere of WHALE by Fleur Kilpatrick this May

A new work of participatory theatre, which takes its audience on an epic journey from Town Hall meeting into the belly of a whale, can be seen at the Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre from 1 - 11 May as a feature of the 2019 Speakeasy season.

Can you imagine a world where political inaction and climate change has brought the earth to the point of catastrophe? How did we let it get this bad? Could anything have been done about it? Or was it inevitable? Whale is a participatory new work where the personal must become the political. The scientists and politicians can't save us but don't worry: we are the ones we've been waiting for. We can save the world, provided we are ready to make the sacrifice.

These days, after decades of declaring the world's impending doom, even those who believe in the reality of climate change have become habitualised to both its inevitability and their own helplessness. This is where Whale comes in: with an urgent message specific to Australian audiences, that awakens us to our responsibility to our Islander neighbours and empowering grass-roots change.

The performance is also unique because of the participatory nature - audience members each represent an island in peril. Three will be chosen to advocate for the continued survival of their island and one will fail to convince.

Whale was the 2018 winner of Playwriting Australia's $30,000 Max Afford Playwrights' Award with judges describing Kilpatrick's script as "having a fascinating voice and being thematically gorgeous" as well as "beautiful ingenuity and is a wonderful example of why and how theatre can bring people together for urgent global experiences".

"Theatre can play such an important role in facilitating and encouraging debate and action regarding key issues facing our society, such as issues of climate change and environmental responsibilities as seen in Whale. I am delighted Darebin Council can play our part in encouraging these important conversations and I look forward to seeing the resulting performance in May," said City of Darebin Mayor Susan Rennie.

"My biggest goal is that audiences leave with a clear, actionable way to help. I think we are powerful. I want people to feel powerful. I think Whale gives us a chance to rehearse being powerful and to rehearse winning an argument that many people feel they have been losing for more than 30 years," explained Kilpatrick.

Join writer Fleur Kilpatrick and others, for a post-show panel discussion on Friday 3 May. Panellists include Pacific Climate Warrior Jacynta Fuamatu, Director of Environmental Film Festival, Brooke Daly, and HIV activist Nic Holas, who will lead a robust discussion on the role of the arts in bringing awareness and ultimately action to the climate emergency.

Celebrating its sixth birthday in 2019, Darebin Arts Speakeasy season features contemporary and challenging performances by leading creatives including Fleur Kilpatrick, Jessica Wilson, David Woods, Lemony S Puppet Theatre and Joseph O'Farrell.


Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre

1 - 11 May, 2019

$25 Preview (1 May), $28 Concession, $34 Full

Post Show Panel Discussion - Friday 3 May

Auslan Interpreted Performance - Thursday 9 May at 8pm.

Relaxed Performance - Saturday 11 May at 2pm.


Playwright - Fleur Kilpatrick

Director - Katrina Cornwell

Producer - Claire Portek

Dramaturge - Roslyn Oades

Sound Design - Raya Slavin

Set and Costume Design - Emily Collett

Lighting Design - Lisa Mibus

AV Design - Sarah Walker

Performers - Chanella Macri, Sonya Suares and Sarah Walker

Warnings: Haze, Mild Language

Pricing: $25 Preview, $28 Concession, $34 Full

Whale was developed with Playwriting Australia through the Max Afford Playwrights' Award, by Perpetual as Trustee.


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