The Kabuki Drop

Germinate. Cultivate. Collaborate.



A Kabuki Drop is a theatre technique of revealing a new scene or hidden element on stage through the swift and surprising removal of a fabric. The Kabuki Drop creates drama, focus and anticipation in the spectator.

/ka•bu•ku/. Japanese verb meaning ‘out of the ordinary’

Whale Fall

By Ian Sinclair

A poetic reimagining of the classic Australian seaside drama for our cataclysmic times.

Nadine returns to her beachside home, and the family she abandoned, to reconnect with her daughter. Now oceans apart, she must navigate her ex-husband’s anger at her departure and learn to accept and support her now son Caleb, with his desire to begin medically affirming his gender. Whale Fall charts the tidal force of change as bodies, species and environments face the brink of adaptation and transition.

This evocative new work brings together a multifaceted WA creative team from different backgrounds that identify with and support the trans and queer communities.

Commissioned by PICA and co-presented with Perth Festival. Showing 17-27 Feb.

The Kabuki Drop - Whalefall Logos

Image Credit: Emma McEvoy.
Whale Fall is commissioned by the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) and co-presented with Perth Festival. This project is supported by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, the City of Perth and PICA’s Art Commissioners.

The Elders Project

The Elders Project is an online museum, exhibition and live storytelling encounter featuring a diverse cast of seniors. Told through multiple artforms, this intimate and exploratory work opens up a broad range of perspectives on our shared histories. Inviting audiences to experience a big-hearted insight into the world of our seniors, it deepens our relationship to the past, to truth and to one another. The Elders Project was created by a team of artists in collaboration with a cast of elders whose wisdom, wit and honesty remind us that every life is extraordinary.

First presented with Art on The Move for Fremantle Festival.


Slap and Tickle

Slap is a clown and Tickle is his gimp. When they take to the stage to perform, it is something they have done a thousand times before. Neither of them expects this will be their last show together.

iOTA stars as Slap, while Tickle – the hard working, troubleshooting Gimp – rolls with the punches and dreams of a better life. Backed by a 12-piece orchestra, Slap and Tickle is a hilarious and unexpectedly moving exploration of the variety genre and the ties that bind.

‘Everything about Slap and Tickle is fun. There wasn’t a moment I can remember where I wasn’t smiling.’ Isolated Nation

‘It is all heart and soul and beauty and menace…a dance of exquisite delicacy, poise and dynamic energy, like a butterfly emerging from its leather cocoon.’ *****The Advertiser



Past Production

Sophie is worried she’s disappearing. Jonah is very good at keeping watch. She lives upstairs, and he lives downstairs. With the help of a baby monitor, their lonely worlds collide in the most unconventional ways and a delicately moving and hilarious story unfolds. Blink is a touching play about love and outsiders, presented by the City of Perth Winter Arts Festival.

Writer – Phil Porter | Director – Melissa Cantwell | Production Manager– Liz Newell | Production Design – Bruce McKinven | Lighting Design – Matthew Marshall | Sound Design: Nathan Jamieson

‘If you are looking for an uplifting experience, look no further than Blink. Whatever you do, don’t miss this beautiful and funny piece of Perth theatre.’ – Fourth Wall Media

‘For anyone looking for a true winter warmer for the soul, do not miss this one.’ –  Isolated Nation

‘Andrea and Sean are quite simply perfect in this genuinely quirky, charming play.’ –  The Post

The Average Joe

Touring Production

Extraordinary Australian star of stage and screen iOTA takes a candid and hilarious look at his past and present selves in this intimate exploration of identity and sexuality. A riotous ride through the camp, the confessional and the confrontational.

‘This irreverent and disarming solo show is a rare opportunity to see an extraordinary Australian performer at the height of his powers.’ – Australian Arts Review

‘He’s furiously fabulous and on fire…thought provoking, dramatic and elegant.’ – Out in Perth

‘Seamlessly cradles the audience through an intimate journey that’s far from average.’ – The Music

‘A touching and intimate journey through the life of iOTA and a rare insight into the world of the celebrated artist.’ – WA Today


About Us

The Kabuki Drop is an evolving, multi-platform company creating works in a variety of spaces and across art forms. We are storytellers who reinterpret theatre forms and present ideas and aesthetics for adventurous audiences.

Showcasing the works of principal creative Melissa Cantwell, we champion artists who seek to redefine the nature of the theatrical experience.