The sculpture of a beached sperm whale.
Real or not? This sculpture of a beached sperm whale is drawing crowds to Adelaide's Glenelg Beach. Image by HANDOUT/ADELAIDE FRINGE FESTIVAL
  • arts, culture and entertainment

Beached whale theatre draws crowds at Adelaide Festival

Liz Hobday March 9, 2024

A giant lifelike art installation of a beached sperm whale is drawing crowds to Adelaide’s Glenelg Beach.

From early Saturday, actors playing scientists have been inspecting the animal, leaving hundreds of spectators trying to discern whether it is real or not.

It’s actually a theatre piece from the Belgium-based group The Captain Boomer Collective, intended as a statement about environmental destruction and climate change.

The sculpture by The Captain Boomer Collective.
 The sculpture by The Captain Boomer Collective is a commentary on environmental destruction. Image by HANDOUT/ADELAIDE FRINGE FESTIVAL 

“The beaching of a whale has always been a solemn event, serving as a gigantic metaphor for the disruption of our ecological system,” said Captain Boomer Collective’s artistic director Bart van Peel.

Whale has previously been set up in cities including London, Paris, Warsaw and Madrid, and this is its first appearance in Australia.

Whale is at Glenelg Beach until Monday as part of the Adelaide Festival.

AAP travelled to the Adelaide Festival with the assistance of the organisers.