what is it? Who is it for How was it made How do I book What do audiences say

What is it?

What happens inside? As the mouth of the Whale closes, you discover yourself inside a submarine. Opening a red velvet curtain reveals a submariner named Jonah. He has a dilemma - how to communicate a message of great importance to his loved one on shore, using the regulation 40 words prescribed by the Operations Manual for Submariners. The sailor sings you his message, which you are asked to pass on in the form of a small, paper whale, which he has made for you during the course of the performance. ‘Never liked the name Jonah anyway. Bit of liability tell you the truth. Specially down here, causes me no end of grief.’

What do bookers say about The Whale? “another hugely successful visit to Theatre Square. As ever, a joy to work with” (Emily Thomas, National Theatre Watch This Space Festival Assistant). “It is always a pleasure to have the Whale in Theatre Square – and to see all the happy faces on the way out!” (Angus MacKechnie, National Theatre Watch This Space Festival Producer).

Who is it for?

The performance is engaging and accessible for all ages 6 to 100. It is not specifically a children’s show, though it appeals to family audiences. The story is resonant and thought provoking on a number of levels and is guaranteed to disarm even the most hardened of festival/theatre-goers.

The Whale is accessible for wheelchair users and is fitted with an induction loop. Our actors are highly skilled at tailoring performances to individual audience members and can take specific access needs into account.

How was it made?
How do audiences react?

Our performers put audience members – who are sometimes a little nervous to begin with - entirely at their ease. Surprise, delight and disbelief are the common characteristics of people on their way out! Comments have included: 

"I loved being swallowed by a whale."
"It was very beautiful and funny."
"Unexpected and fabulous."
"Like nothing I have experienced before."
"A Musical Poetic Whale - absolutely fantastic."
"I couldn't stop laughing.
"You leave feeling lifted, warm...and with a small gift."
"I was transfixed, amused, and highly entertained."
"I really really really loved it."

The Whale

The Whale is an utterly unique, visually stunning aluminium structure on wheels which can be sited outdoors near water, offsetting a building, or on a festival site. Audiences enter through the Whale’s opening mouth one at a time or in small family groups to experience a witty and charming 3 minute theatre show, performed by a solo actor just for them.

As well as being ideal for events involving water or environmental themes, the performance can respond to its location and context where appropriate, and can be translated into different languages, with local performers being used.

The Whale can also be found on Facebook and YouTube.