Whale Fall

17 - 27 February

Written by Ian Sinclair
Produced by The Kabuki Drop
Commissioned by PICA and co-presented with Perth Festival


Submerge yourself in a poetic reimagining of the classic Australian seaside drama for our cataclysmic times.

Nadine returns to her beachside home, and the family she abandoned, to reconnect with her daughter. Now oceans apart, she must navigate her ex-husband’s anger at her departure and learn to accept and support her now son Caleb, with his desire to begin medically affirming his gender.

A deeply personal and poetic story, Whale Fall is a slow-burning family drama about second chances and unconditional love, charting transition across generations, family dynamics, the human body and our ecological future.

Central to the work is the story of a dying whale as it slowly descends to the sea floor and forms a new biodiverse ecosystem known as a ‘whale fall’.

Inspired by environmental writer Rebecca Giggs’ essay of the same name, Whale Fall features rich visual language, intimate performances and immersive design to conjure the familiarity of the Australian coast. Created by an exceptional team of WA theatre makers, this new work brings together people from different backgrounds that identify with and support the trans, gender diverse and queer communities.



The Kabuki Drop is an emergent, multiplatform arts company creating work within a variety of spaces and across art forms. They are storytellers who reinterpret theatre forms and present ideas and aesthetics for adventurous audiences. They play with and within their environments, championing artists who create immersive experiences which provoke thought, challenge norms and encourage conversation. Formed by Melissa Cantwell in 2017, the company has presented The Average Joe (Fringeworld, 2017); Blink (Commissioned by The City of Perth Winter Arts Festival, 2017); Slap and Tickle (Fringeworld, 2018; Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2019) and The Elders Project (Fremantle Festival 2019).



Community Resources
 To find more info about the trans and gender diverse community please read here.
Parenting a Transgender Child
A guide from TransFolk of WA please read here.



Trans Folk of WA
TransFolk of WA is a support service for all transgender people and their loved ones in Western Australia. https://www.transfolkofwa.org/

Living Proud
Living Proud provides support, information and resources to the Western Australian gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and intersex community.

  • Director
    Melissa Cantwell (She/Her)

    Assistant Director
    Mossy Johnson (She/Her)

    Ian Sinclar (He/Him)

    Ashton Brady (He/Him), Caitlin Beresford-Ord (She/Her), Luke Hewitt (He/Him) & Alexandria Steffensen (She/Her)

    Set and Costume Designer
    Bruce McKinven (He/Him)

    Design Associate (Set & Costume)
    Amalia Lambert (She/Her)

    Lighting Designer 
    Matthew Marshall (He/Him)

    Sound Designer & Composer
    Rebecca Riggs-Bennett (She/Her)

    Sound Mentor
    Kingsley Reeve (He/Him)

    Jesse Oliver (He/Him)

    Alexandre Egloff (He/Him) for The Kabuki Drop,
    Tim Carter (He/Him) & Brittany Green (She/Her) for PICA

    Stage Manager
    Stas Julien-Martial (They/Them)

    Community Consultants
    Teddy Loveny (They/Them), Emery Wishart (He/Him) & Brooke Bennett (She/Her) from TransFolk of WA


    Season | Wednesday 17 – Saturday 27 February, 7.30pm

    Preview | Wednesday 17 February

    Matinee | Saturday 27 February, 2pm


    80- 90 minutes. No interval.
    This is a new work. The running time is to be confirmed closer to the season.

    PICA Performance Space


    Standard $45
    Concession/Full time student $25
    Preview $35
    PICA Donors $35
    Schools (bookings of 10+) $25



    Ages 12+

    This work contains adult themes, partial nudity and coarse language.

  • COVID-19 Safety Policies

    PICA has a comprehensive COVID-19 Safety Plan in place, which oversees our daily operations and has allowed us to confidently resume in-house programming, including live performance. To read more about this please click here.


    Auslan performance and post-show Q&A | Tuesday 23 February, 7.30pm

    Open captioned performance | Thursday 25 February, 7.30pm

    Audio-described performance & pre-show tactile tour | Friday 26 February

    PICA seeks to be inclusive and meet the needs of our audiences. Should you have any particular requirements please contact our reception on 9228 6300.