Ishmael — Dead Puppet Society

See 'Moby-Dick' reimagined as a space saga — with puppets.
Sarah Ward
March 06, 2023


Some stories are so ubiquitous in popular culture that we all know what they're about, even if we haven't read them, seen the movie or experienced every adaptation that's ever been made. Herman Melville's Moby-Dick is one such tale. It even plays a hefty part in 2023 Oscar-nominee The Whale.

Moby-Dick might've popped up everywhere since it was first penned in 1851, but that doesn't mean that it can't be given a new twist. Indeed, seeing what talented folks do with them next is part of the fun of these enduring narratives.

Dead Puppet Society first unveiled its big plans for Melville's whale tale back in 2021, and it's bringing it back to Brisbane again. Don't expect the usual story to play out in Ishmael, however. Instead, this show reimagines its inspiration as a space saga, subbing in earth's oceans for everything that sprawls on forever above our heads — with puppets, naturally.

Taking over QPAC's Cremorne Theatre from Friday, May 19–Saturday, May 27, the result combines onstage puppetry and miniature sets with live filmmaking, plus music by Bec Sandridge. And, if you love it, we have the perfect quote for you: "ye've shipped, have ye?"

Giulia McGauran

Top image: Dean Hanson.


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