Whelping Box

A snide commentary of the follies and foibles of human existence and activity and the seriousness with which we, ironically, take ourselves. Along the way, you’re quite liable to be shocked, unsettled and apprehensive. You might even have puppies.

– Lloyd Bradford Syke, Crikey,

Whelping Box is a place to test the body, the performer, and the spectator. It is a place of permission, of what we allow of each other. A breeding ground for wild things, for dogs and gods.

Two performers chain themselves to stakes, to test their limits and strip themselves of civility. With ritual, endurance, dancing and fighting they construct a self-made mythology. They are your guides, guinea pigs and preachers. They feed on your energy in a series of tasks that form a darkly humorous attempt to transcend the confines of normality.

With the spectators seated around the action inside a 9 x 9 metre wooden box, nothing escapes the eye. Glorified acts of machismo, strange rituals and power games put on display our most primal desires. An absurd spectacle, carried off with absolute conviction.

…immediate, risky, physical, visceral and challenging, Whelping Box ticks all the boxes.

– Lloyd Bradford Syke, Crikey,

Lee Wilson
Matt Prest

Clare Britton
Mirabelle Wouters

sound artist
Jack Prest

opening season produced by
Viv Rosman
Katy Green

further seasons produced by
Harley Stumm
for Intimate Spectacle

In its celebration of masculine physicality, Whelping Box breathtakingly delineates the pleasures, pain and contradictions of play, initiation, bonding, competition, risk and self­mythologising. Within a carefully choreographed framework, Wilson and Prest repeatedly push themselves to the limit, testing their bodies in sustained acts of endurance, living out the very condition they have committed to celebrate and critique.


– Keith Galash, RealTime Arts, issue 112


Tour Dates

Liveworks Sexes Festival, Performance Space

Meat Market, Arts House Melbourne

Australian Performing Arts Market, Brisbane Powerhouse

Whelping Box was developed with the support of the Australia Council, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body, Performance Space and the HotHouse Month In The Country residency program.