62 Sperm Whales A hole in the Universe. Dead Whales. And an "experienced" drug dealer.
Photo of whales

62 Sperm Whales

Bristol Arts Channel

Key Information
  • Dates Sat 20 Jun 2020 - Sat 27 Jun 2020
  • Location Bristol Arts Channel
  • Live shows

    Sat 20th June at 7pm

    Mon 22nd June at 2.30pm

  • Available

    20th-27th June

  • Running time

    2h plus a 15 min interval

A hole in the Universe. Dead Whales. And an "experienced" drug dealer.

By Skot Wilson

Directed by Evan Lordan

A hole in the Universe. Dead Whales. And an “experienced” drug dealer.


Marie’s morning routine is going to the beach and smoking a pack of cigarettes. But today is different. 62 Sperm Whales have beached and that’s not all. 

As the world’s press and biologists from the Natural History Museum descend upon her small town, the arrival of strangers dredges old  conversations and histories to the surface. 

One arrival in particular turns Marie’s world inside out. And she’s running out of cigarettes.

From the writer of Kingdom (Or, the Anthropocene), a climate-crisis play performed as part of our 2019 New Plays in Rep season, we’re excited to produce Wilson’s new play. 


Age 14+

Contains scenes which some may find upsetting – see trigger warnings below for more information

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Skot Wilson, writer on attachment to Bristol Old Vic via the Open Session. Images of whale strandings have been provided by the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP), courtesy of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL)

Image credit: Dmitry Kokh


Watch now!

Please be aware that you’ll need to be signed into YouTube to watch as the play has an age restriction.

Join the conversation on social media by tagging us and using #62SpermWhales.







If you enjoyed this piece and would like to support our work, please consider donating to the Peter O’Toole Prize. This is an annual award given to two graduating actors from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School which includes a professional contract at Bristol Old Vic Theatre where Peter O’Toole launched his career.


Donate to the Peter O’Toole Prize


Arthur Burgess Rory Alexander

Mr Epworth Michael Dodds

Marie Charlotte East

Isaac Al Maxwell

Eva Sarah McCormack

Joe Jake Simmance

Ash Ashley Woodhouse


Creative Team

Director Evan Lordan

Assistant Director Laura Hensley

Production Designer Bea Wilson

Digital Coordinator Dave Taylor

Director of Photography Maya Barker

Sound Designer and Operator Kaija Brunyate

Dialect Coach Kat Hicks

Production Manager Jon Sherwood

Production Supervisor Alix Abram

Production Assistant Frederick MacLeod

Stage Manager Ella Jackson

Deputy Stage Manager Victoria Rose

Assistant Stage Managers Alastair Barrows, Lily Baron and Rosie Maynard

Technical Consultant Harriet Hollinshead-Lee

Costume Supervisors Summer-Maria York and Albert Taylor

Vision Mixer Lily Baron

Video Playback Operator Alastair Barrows

Scenic Artist Meriel Pym

Camera Operator Rosie Maynard


Thanks to:

CSIP/ZL for use of images, Frank Bradley, Joe Stathers and Dave Taylor


Image Credits

Show image – Dmitry Kokh, Adobe Stock

Whale images – CSIP/ZSL

  • Long-finned pilot whale mass stranding, Durness, Scotland in 2011, credit BDMLR
  • Stranded harbour porpoise, Wales – credit Kathy James and the Seawatch Foundation
  • Sperm whale stranded at Sandy Bay, Northumberland (SW2019/567), credit CSIP-ZSL

Ella Jackson, Stage Manager

What has been the biggest challenge of creating this piece?

Creating 62 Sperm Whales has been a real challenge for everyone involved. Zoom is not designed to be used to showcase digital performance, so we’ve had a lot of time experimenting with what works and what doesn’t, both artistically and technically. As Stage Manager, my role is all about communication, which has been especially challenging during lockdown. The separation has forced us to approach this piece with full collaboration between creatives, technical and the cast, as much of everyone’s traditional roles and responsibilities have been turned on their heads.

Why should people tune in to watch 62 Sperm Whales?

People should tune in to watch 62 Sperm Whales as it is a piece of theatre that has been created entirely in lockdown. Many theatres are re-running performances that have been previously recorded, but this show will be completely live. This is also the first theatre school piece that I am able to invite all of my friends and family to see, so I’d say that this is also the most accessible piece of live theatre that I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. I would invite everyone that has a free evening to enjoy a piece of new writing, created by the theatre industry’s newest graduates.

I've worked with visiting professionals this year that I never would have even dreamed of working with. It's been an amazing experience. Thomas Donnan, BA Professional Acting Student