Katrina Cornwell and Fleur Kilpatrick

Theatre & Performance

Whale – a new play by Fleur Kilpatrick

Whale is an award-winning participatory play, which takes its audience on a journey from Town Hall meeting into the belly of a whale. Whale makes the global issues of climate change local and immediate.

Days Left

This is what you should know:
1. The ocean is rising.
2. We caused it.
3. We’ll fix it.
4. Someone has to die.

Whale is a new participatory performance about climate change. In this world, the scientists couldn’t save us, the politicians couldn’t save us, so we have to solve climate change through participatory theatre.

We are thrilled to partner with Darebin Speakeasy and MLIVE to present Whale in May this year at Northcote Town Hall (1 – 11 May) and Monash University (16 – 18 May).

It is a work of scale and ambition that, through its immersive nature, forces audiences to grapple with the enormity and immediacy of climate change. Whale uses carefully crafted audience participation to create a work of radical empathy, highlighting the impact of individual choice on climate crisis. The vulnerability of the onstage ‘audience-performers’ demands those in the room confront their accountability to each other, Australia’s island neighbours and the world.


Whale brings together a team of extraordinary, experienced female artists from diverse backgrounds. Each artist has committed to this project because they believe in the cause and in the play.

As is often the case with independent theatre, we are creating the work on a small budget.

Whilst both our presenting partners have committed funds to the project, it is not nearly enough to create a show of this calibre, with all of its technical requirements and pay our artists a living wage. The costs of rehearsing, designing, producing, lighting and advertising a successful theatre production are surprisingly large.

We are aiming to raise $8000 by May 1st.

This money will enable the Whale team to hire the necessary equipment for the production AND pay our artists a fee.

We appreciate any donation that you are able to make – big or small – it will all make a difference.


Climate change is the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time. Yet our politicians continue to deny clear scientific evidence in favour of benefitting their economic investors. The time to act is now.

Whale grew out of hearing Pacific Islander leaders appeal for their homes and lives. Whale makes these global neighbours our actual neighbours by asking audience members to step into the shoes of delegates, representing an entire island under threat by climate change. Whale makes the global and far away, personal and relatable and asks: what if it was happening to you? To us? Because it is.

Our audience will leave the theatre with a clear call to action.

Your donation will help stage this world premiere that puts climate change centre stage, where it belongs.

Live Projects


Fleur Kilpatrick – playwright
Fleur is an award-winning playwright, a director and arts commentator. She holds a postgraduate diploma of directing and a Masters in playwriting from the VCAM. She is the Artistic Director of Monash Academy of Performing Arts and the co-founder of Lonely Company, working to support emerging playwrights create sustainable careers. Fleur’s plays have won the 2018 Max Afford Playwrights Award (Whale), 2016 Jill Blewett Award (Blessed, Poppy Seed Festival) and 2015 Melbourne Fringe’s Emerging Playwright Award (The City They Burned, Melbourne Fringe, Brisbane Festival).

Katrina Cornwell – director
Katrina Cornwell is a theatre director, actor and performance maker. She has a Bachelor of Creative Industries from QUT, a Graduate Diploma in Arts and Community Practice from the Victorian College of Arts. She has trained and performed extensively in the style of physical / visual theatre, collaborating and touring with companies such as Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre, The Danger Ensemble, Red Moon Rising and Motherboard Productions. She has worked throughout Australia (Brisbane, regional Queensland, Melbourne and Adelaide) and toured internationally (Europe, America, Korea, Hong Kong.)


Rosamund Palmer


Bali Padda


Clifton hill / north Fitzroy community bank


Em and Phil Choy-Evans


Nancy Rogers


Miriam Slavin


Courtney Rothall


Nesceda Blake