The fabulous toxic dreams present:


Moby Dick – The Quest for the Austrian Whale


20 years ago we started a journey, on board of the toxic dreams. We wanted to have a name that sounds more like an indie band than a performance group, in the same vein as Sonic Youth or Radiohead. We regretted it later when in every interview we gave the same question came: Why toxic dreams?

20 years later we decided that it is time to go on the road, with Moby-Dick as our text/road map. Partly because it is time to live the indie band life for once at least, and partly because we are coming to the end of our The New-Old cycle and it is time to go back to the 60s, to pretend for 3 weeks that we are a traveling hippie performance group. After all, Grotowski and Barba are as old news as Shakespeare.

When we started, 20 years ago, the common reaction was: you are doing too much. The ‘dramaturgy police’ didn’t like the chaos we put on stage. Too much text, too many props, too much music, too many styles and forms for a single show. But this was our raison d’être, the too much. This was and still is our Pynchonian theatre.

20 years later and we chose to celebrate with Herman Melville, the king of too much. Moby-Dick is a book about everything. God. Love. Hate. Identity. Race. Sex. Humour. Obsession. History. Work. Capitalism. Environment. Every aspect of life reflected in the bizarre mosaic of this book. Melville opened his heart to Nathaniel Hawthorne, in letters, about what he was going through, what he was working on with Moby Dick, and, like a great artistic friend and mentor should, Hawthorne never said, “Don’t you think you need to scale it down a bit?” or “Who will want to read 20 consecutive chapters about the etymology of blubber?” No. Hawthorne basically just kept saying to his friend, “Keep going. It’s brilliant. Keep going.”

It’s not too much!

The basic story Melville was working on was quite simple. It was based on real events, as they like to say in Hollywood. He could have written 150 pages about the Essex, an old whaler ship. A sperm whale attacked and sank her. The sinking stranded the 20-man crew in the southern Pacific Ocean with little food and water. During the 95 days the survivors were at sea, they ate the bodies of five crewmen who had died. When that was insufficient, members of the crew drew lots to determine whom they would sacrifice so that the others could live. A total of seven crew members were cannibalised before the eight survivors were rescued. A perfect story that would have cemented Melville’s reputation as an adventure novelist, the J. K. Rowling of the 19th century. But he decided that the story is too simple, too thin.

It was time to write too much. It was time to write the mother of all books.

And it is time for us to do another of our ‘too much’ projects. On the road with Moby-Dick…

(Last week of August/first two weeks of September 2017, showing in late 2017 and early 2018.) 

Home of the not so brave is part of The New  Old Cycle