Dead Puppet Society Ishmael

Now Playing
Cremorne Theatre, QPAC
1 hour 25 minutes
(no interval, subject to change without notice)
$59 *
* A transaction fee of $7.20 applies.

Available Discounts


Written by David Morton

A dead earth. A climate refugee. A voyage to the outer solar system.

On the resource-depleted earth of a not-so-distant future, a young climate refugee named Ishmael is given the chance to build a new life, provided she can survive a voyage to the outer solar system aboard the MV Pequod under the command of the obsessive Captain Ahab.

After wowing audiences during its Brisbane Festival 2021 world premiere and hailed by critics as ‘a new kind of storytelling’ (Limelight), Ishmael returns to Brisbane with a unique, visually compelling theatre experience reimagining the timeless novel, Moby Dick.

Set on a futuristic version of earth which has suffered a catastrophic environmental collapse, the story follows Ishmael (Ellen Bailey), a climate refugee who has been living in a corporation sanctioned camp on the darkened surface of earth. She’s offered a chance of a new life above the clouds, but quickly discovers that this means a perilous voyage to the outer solar system aboard the MV Pequod – a mining ship under the control of the notorious Captain Ahab (Barb Lowing). Once aboard, Ishmael befriends Queequeg (Karl Richmond) – the only other crew member and an escaped experiment in artificially intelligent droids. Ishmael eventually falls into the groove of life on board until the crew are confronted by a ruined mining ship and with the trauma of the loss of her brother fresh in her mind, Ahab leads the crew into uncharted space on a quest to either find him alive or avenge him.

The creative vision of the internationally acclaimed Dead Puppet Society (Holding AchillesThe Wider EarthLaser Beak Man), Ishmael melds captivating storytelling with live action, live filmmaking, miniature sets, puppetry, an incredible original score by indie pop musician Bec Sandridge, and boundary-pushing visual theatre.

Don’t miss this strictly limited season.

Click here to see the Ishmael Education Notes.

Presented by Dead Puppet Society in association with Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Additional support has been provided by Glass Half Full Productions.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.
The Creative Sparks Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council to support local arts and culture in Brisbane.
Supported by a Queensland University of Technology Innovation Grant.

Cast and Creatives

  • Cast Ellen Bailey
  • Cast Karl Richmond
  • Cast Barb Lowing
  • Cast Anthony Standish (voiceover)
  • Co-Director and Designer David Morton
  • Co-Director Matt Seery
  • Creative Producer Nicholas Paine
  • Composer Bec Sandridge
  • Projection Designer Justin Harrison
  • Sound Designer and Music Supervisor Tony Brumpton
  • Lighting Designer Christine Felmingham
  • Co-Designer (props and locations) Jennifer Livingstone
  • Costume Designer Nathalie Ryner
  • Dramaturg Louise Gough
  • Technical Director Scott Barton
  • Wardrobe and Props Supervisor Savannah Mojidi
  • Stage Manager Nicole Neil
  • Head of Video and Audio Caitlyn Kidney
  • Head of Lighting Christopher Conway
  • Technical Consultant Benn Sargood
  • The Ishmael script was commissioned by Dead Puppet Society
  • Hero artwork and production photography by Dean Hanson
  • All songs are written and recorded by Bec Sandridge, except Supernatural Lies written by Bec Sandridge and Xavier Dunn and Claustrophobia written by Bec Sandridge and Dave Jenkins Jnr. All songs produced by Dave Jenkins Jnr.

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