In the Belly of the Whale
White Whale Theatre is an independent Melbourne company captained by a passionate core of young thespian Ahabs. Whale is devoted to salt-encrusted, brine-soaked theatre — stories squeegeed from the scungy mizzen-masts of myth, wrung from the sperm-oil lamps of literature and strained from the barnacled hulls of history.
In creating theatre we fetishise process, people and intertextuality; we seek to illuminate local spaces and modern Australian visions; and draw on diversity and unbounded creativity. White Whale's medium is text-based theatre and our goal is to prioritise the development of new Australian works.
Born in 2004 at the University of Melbourne, the Whale soon abandoned safe waters for the foaming vortex of the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe. Accompanied by 24 young Australian theatre-makers, the company presented David Mence's Shakespearean zombie epic Macbeth Re-Arisen which quickly became a cult hit of the Festival. In 2007 the Whale staged Mence's Convict 002 in the Melbourne Fringe, as well as the critically acclaimed Melburnalia — five specially commissioned shorts by Alice Pung, Lally Katz, Ross Mueller, Tee O'Neill and Kate Holden. In 2008 the Whale commissioned and developed the companion piece,Melburnalia No. 2, featuring five new writers — Andrea James, Danny Katz, Aidan Fennessy, Kit Lazaroo and Hoa Pham. In 2008 the company staged a massive blood-spattered return season of Macbeth Re-Arisen at Trades Hall. This ambitious project was rewarded with critical acclaim and two Green Room Award nominations for Best Production (independent theatre) and Best New Writing. 2009 sees White Whale premiering Melburnalia No. 2 at fortyfivedownstairs in a three-week season beginning May 20, and continuing to develop David Mence's new work Convincing Ground.
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