Moby-Dick | Arcola Theatre

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by Sebastian Armesto

Directed by Sebastian Armesto
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A new play adapted from Herman Melville’s novel

From the company that created The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Nominated for a Peter Brook Empty Space/Equity Ensemble Award

Nantucket.1851. Centre of a whaling industry that transformed blubber into the oils and candles that lit the world. It’s there that a schoolmaster called Ishmael arrives to ship on a whale-boat. He enrols under Ahab, Captain of the Pequod – a man bent on destroying the white whale that lost him his leg. Certain the destruction of his nemesis will slake his thirst; Ahab’s single-minded pursuit of Moby-Dick consumes Ishmael, the crew and the Pequod itself.

“It’s true. It’s all true for Moby-Dick. He’s a killer, he’s a fury, he’s an angel of hell. Why if the white whale could talk he’d talk like Ahab.”

The spirit and atmosphere of Herman Melville’s masterpiece – romantic, ambiguous, characterful and rich with allegory – is captured on stage by simple8, following their critically acclaimed and sell-out run of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

“A company possessing the skills, dedication and intelligence to create wonder”
★★★★★ The Times

All music and sound is performed live by the ensemble.

[Click here for to view and download the leaflet for this production](

All photographs by Idil Sukan at Draw HQ.

simple8 Season

12 February – 4 May 2013

SPECIAL EVENT – Monday 22nd April

After the performance of Moby-Dick, Dr. Cindy Lawford will talk about Melville’s wandering days at sea and how his yarn about a whale transmogrified into his great experiment to produce the American epic novel. There will then be a short Q&A with some of the cast.

Moby-Dick will feature the same ensemble as the critically acclaimed Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

“A transporting experience”

“A taut and ripping sea yarn”
★★★★ METRO

“This production should put simple8 in the front rank of companies working in the country today”

“A spectacular victory…the techniques of ‘poor theatre’ have rarely proved so vivid or evocative”

simple8 has a strong commitment to environmental issues and continues to work alongside Arcola Theatre to develop policies based on the principles of ecological sustainability.


“Listen to some of the wonderful sea shanties from Moby-Dick through the videos below.”

Monday – Saturdays at 7:30pm – £18 (£14 concessions)
Saturday matinees at 2:30pm (06, 13, 20, 27 April & 4 May) – £16 (£14 concessions)

Opening performances (27 – 30 March, 1, 3, 4 April) – all tickets £14

Pay What You Can Tuesdays (limited and subject to availability) – from 6:30pm in person on the day.

Valid for use with [Arcola Passport](


Nicholas Bishop
Oliver Birch
David Brett
Christopher Doyle
Joseph Kloska
Leroy Osei-Bonsu
Mat Wandless
Sargon Yelda


Sebastian Armesto


Sebastian Armesto

Creative Producer

Kirsty Hinton

Lighting Design

Sherry Coenen

Set Design

Simon Allison

Musical Arrangement

David Brett


Sands Films


Jane Hamilton

Lighting Technician

Ben Cowens
Suitable for
24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL
020 7503 1646

© 2017 Arcola Theatre.
Arcola Theatre Production Company is a registered charity no.1108613. Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England no.5242988. Registered Office: 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL.

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