Scroll down to view details of the productions featured in the Showcase Victoria 2018 program. Click on an individual profile to view full details.
The Whale's Tale
Born in a Taxi
“The ingenuity of this manifestation must be acknowledged. It spurts water, ups a periscope; its eye – the one we can see – closes, opens and rolls; its huge mouth opens, its tongue lifts; its pectoral fin moves, its tail lifts ... It is even able to poop out people! The unseen puppeteer does a wonderful job of animating this creature and making us believe.” John Smythe 2011 NZ Arts Review
A whale is curiously beached in a park and discovered by a child. The spirit of the Whale embodied as the Navigator emerges from the mouth of her trusty friend to discover they are in the wrong place and Manilayo the whale is definitely out of sorts. A desperate call for a doctor, heralds the arrival of Dr Walrus, the oversized doctor of questionable ability. No stone is unturned as a series of diagnosis ensues. Slapstick routines, dances, feeding the audience as krill, and a ridiculous auction from the evil shark still bring them no closer to a solution. Until a small child (from audience) tickles Manilayo in a desperate attempt to cheer him up and he coughs up a huge ball of plastic. Metres of plastic are pulled from the whale's mouth to discover that it is encasing his heart...actually only half his heart. Time is running out, the other half must be found or all is lost. After a desperate search it is found with the help of the audience in the sand pit and both halves are brought together. The child from the audience returns the heart to the whale and with a mighty blast of water from his spout the whale is well enough to head back to sea. Commissioned by Arts Centre Melb & Windmill
History & background
BORN IN A TAXI (BIAT) mix dance with humour, the profound with the profane and the familiar with the unlikely. Established in 1989, BIAT is recognised for producing highly original, physically driven and participatory works. Combining diverse performance backgrounds to create a cross disciplinary style that lives in between the cracks of theatre and dance. Immediacy, responsiveness and play are at the centre of everything they do. Touring is an integral part of the company’s financial and artistic vision. Performing to diverse audience demographics is artistically satisfying for these artists.
Marketing selling points
- The Whale itself. A giant 9 metre inflatable puppet whose eyes move, flippers flip, tale lurches and it even has a water spout that works! -The content of the show . An environmental tale to warm the heart, with reflections about the consequences of our actions. The Whale’s Tale is a rollicking journey that will leave an audience and their children wanting to make a difference. - Contextual fit around calendar events like school holiday programs etc.. World Environment Day etc... Use as opportunity to evaluate venues own recycling/rubbish output.
Key audience and marketing notes
Audiences - parents with their children - teachers and school groups Why did they come? - relate to the show’s content. - want to see the Whale - trusted company and commissioning partners - great promo - presented well contextually (aligned to school programs, holidays or events ie World Whale Day) give’s the work greater meaning and allow’s an audience to go deeper into the environmental themes of the show - visually intriguing free outdoor work to draw new young audiences into venue
Community Engagement activities
We can offer workshops based both upon performance and/or environmental issues. We are currently working on material to accompany this show that gives audiences places to go and activities to do that use the show as a spring board into greater engagement with the themes of minimising waste and keeping our oceans clean. We plan to do a run of canvass tote bags to sell after the show as a practical outcome to replace plastic shopping bags, with a web address printed on the bag that leads to more information and simple ways individuals can minimize waste.
What is this?
|Technical specifications||Download Now|
|Theatre formats||Flat floor, Hall, Studio without seating, Outdoors,|
|Bump in (hours)||3.5|
|Bump out (hours)||2.5|
The show is mostly performed during the day. Any lighting (for night shows etc) and associated power requirements for the performance would be subject to the site and supplementary requirements.
A Sound system large enough to project into and fill the performance space An operator to set up three radio head mics and mix during the performance A mixing desk to accommodate 3 x radio head mics and a stereo feed from the musician's laptop Shaded trestle table with adjustable stool required for the musician if outdoors.* *The table needs to be set up away from the show and preferably angled to see the area near the Whale’s mouth where most of the action takes place.
The set is a hybrid inflatable and rigid structure in the shape of a humpback whale, with a mouth that opens to expose baleen (bristles in the upper jaw) and allows performers and selected audience members to push through into the ‘belly’. Once inside, they will discover oarlocks row the flippers; a handle is pulled to make the tail flip up and down; the eyes can be used as periscopes, to swivel and peer through at the audience outside; and a blowhole in the head allows for jets of water to be spouted. The whale’s vent is a stretchy exit point. Performance will take place in and around the Whale. A Stage Manager will be present inside the Whale throughout the performance operating it as a giant puppet as well as overseeing and instructing the audience members.
Stage dimensions (meters)
|Width: 13||Height: 3|
|Depth: 4||Wing space: 0|
Yes the set freight can travel by plane or road. 2 x vehicles and one purpose made trailer. Freight Crate 1 - 1.9m (W) x 1.9m (L) x 1.8m (H) Weight: 348 Kg, Crate 2 - 1.25m (W) x 2.45m (L) x .87m (H) Weight: 322 Kg Gross Weight: 670kg Measurement: 9.24 Meters Cubed