The year is 1965. Aboard the Kingston Jet docked in Hull, England, a new teenage sailor Daz receives shocking information about his lineage from a legendary deckhand. Flash forward to 1972. A violent storm off the Icelandic coast thrashes the James Joyce and its crew of merchant fishermen, including Daz, with fatal consequences. Flash forward again to 2002. Daz is now 54, a father, and the curator of the Arctic Kestrel museum ship. A mysterious stranger unexpectedly enters after hours, making furious accusations and playing a dangerous game. Connecting three riveting snapshots of time with stunning twists, Under the Whaleback depicts one of the most dangerous occupations in the world with maritime theatricality, larger-than-life heroics, and unrestrained dark comedy.
American audiences were recently introduced to British playwright Richard Bean when his West End comic phenomenon, One Man, Two Guvnors, moved to Broadway. The Wilma’s North American Premiere of Under the Whaleback – reminiscent of Eugene O’Neill’s great sea plays – shows the wide range of his talent which is quickly becoming internationally recognized.