A Dead Puppet Society production
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.

Moby Dick reimagined as a contemporary space saga, Ishmael recasts earth’s no-longer-vast oceans with the immensity of the universe, and the endless possibilities and terrors it holds. In weaving the story to life, this boundary pushing production melds live film making with live action, miniature sets, puppetry and an original score by indie pop musician Bec Sandridge to tell a captivating story about individual hope and collective redemption.

Don’t miss the world premiere season of Ishmael as part of Brisbane Festival.

Ishmael is the latest work by the internationally acclaimed Dead Puppet Society (Laser Beak Man, The Wider Earth) who lend their trademark magic to Herman Melville’s beloved classic Moby Dick.

“The company’s strength is their ability to create an entire realm for their audience to inhabit ... they are nothing short of amazing.” Time Off Magazine

Director and Designer David Morton
Creative Producer Nicholas Paine
Associate Director Matt Seery
Composer Bec Sandridge*
Projection Designer Justin Harrison
Sound Designer Tony Brumpton
Lighting Designer Christine Felmingham
Co-Designer (props and locations) Jennifer Livingstone
Costume Designer Nathalie Ryner
Dramaturg Louise Gough
Cast List Ellen Bailey, Patrick Jhanur and Barb Lowing

The Ishmael script was commissioned by Dead Puppet Society. The production has been commissioned by Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Dead Puppet Society, and Brisbane Festival.

*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.

Hero artwork by Dean Hanson.



    Recommended for ages 12+.

  • Connecting safely at QPAC

    QPAC is currently operating at 100% capacityi under a COVID Safe Plan approved by Queensland Health. As social distancing is not always possible in our theatres and foyers, masks are strongly recommended for all patrons in our foyers and theatres. Please bring your own mask with you. For contact tracing purposes we are using the Check In Qld app and encourage all patrons to download the app and fill out their details prior to attending performances at QPAC. Find out more.

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    QTIX is the official ticketing service for QPAC and Ishmael. Selected packages are sold through authorised resellers only. Any tickets purchased through unauthorised sales channels may be seized or cancelled without refund or exchange and the bearer of the ticket may be denied admission. Unauthorised sales channels include Viagogo, eBay and Gumtree. Read more about purchasing tickets online.

Presented by QPAC, Dead Puppet Society, and Brisbane Festival in association with Screen Queensland

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.

Pricing Guide


^Concession: pension, senior card holders and full-time students

A transaction fee of $7.20 applies per transaction. Selected ticket delivery methods may incur an additional charge. The minimum price listed may be available for selected performances only. Please see the event calendar when booking for the available date(s) and time(s) of this performance.