Writer & Performer – Hazel Darwin-Clements
Director & Dramaturg – Lewis Hetherington
Associate Director – Rosalind Sydney
Live Musician – Nik Paget-Tomlinson
Costume Support – Katy Wilson

Maya and The Whale is the story of a young climate activist on the run, grappling for hope amid unfolding global disasters.

Maya finds herself face to face with a dying whale and is confronted with the enormity of the task ahead. Her dad works in the oil industry and her mum just wants her to enjoy a childhood free of worry, but how can she go about business as usual when there’s a Climate Emergency?

The audience plays the part of the dying whale in this darkly comic and provocative one woman show for a generation faced with unprecedented challenges. 

Maya and the Whale will tour Scotland’s schools between 20 February & 31 March 2023 as part of the Theatre in Schools Scotland (TISS) project supported by Imaginate and National Theatre of Scotland (NTS).

“This show is about smallness facing up to hugeness. Specifically, individual young people facing the enormity of our Climate Crisis. What would it take for things to change?”   

Hazel Darwin-clements


Hazel Darwin-Clements (Writer & Performer) is a writer and performer from Edinburgh who also creates podcasts and puppets. She’s currently looking for ways to create a more sustainable practice and consider the Climate Crisis as a central theme to her work. 

Hazel was co-creator of Hup (Starcatchers & RSNO). Other credits include School of the (Im)Possible (Necessary Space & Platô Cultural, Brazil) Sense & Blush (Frozen Charlotte) & The Attic (Starcatchers/Imaginate) Too Many Cooks, Round in Circles, Shake n’ Bake &the Elf Experiment (all with Starcatchers) & We Have Won the Land (Rural Nation). 

Hazel has produced and presented several podcasts including People to People (co-produced with Malawian Chimzy Dorey about the unique Scotland- Malawi partnership), CliMates (100 conversations about the climate) and Small Small Rainbows (5 min kids stories supported by Imaginate). She’s also involved in community climate action and runs a cargo bike library, a community fridge and a peer-to-peer car sharing network in her local area. 

More: hazeldarwinclements.co.uk

Lewis Hetherington (Director & Dramaturg) is an award-winning playwright, director and performance maker. His work is rooted in collaboration and storytelling and he is passionate about using the arts to create space for positive change. 

He is co founder of fieldwork performance. He was creative lead on QWERK, a mini festival of writing for performance by queer writers from all over the world, and also on Dear Green Place, an extensive programme of creative activity across North East Glasgow responding to the climate crisis including dance, music, writing, foraging, and community action. He is an Associate of The PappyShow and worked on both BOYS and THANKS FOR NOTHING. He is a passionate advocate of their work which celebrates marginalised voices through a process of kindness, inclusion and radical joy. 

Other work includes The Coming Back Out Ball (National Theatre of Scotland), Rocket Post!, The Secret Life of Suitcases and Cloud Man (Constellation Points), friends electric (Visible Fictions), Leaving Planet Earth (Grid Iron/EIF) and six Christmas shows at Platform. 

His work has been performed in countries all over the world including China, Japan, Germany, Canada, USA, Australia amongst others. He has created, presented and developed work with communities across the world, from Stornoway to Singapore to Saudi Arabia. 

Nik Paget-Tomlinson (Live Musician) is a musician, composer and sound designer, creating work for theatre, dance and film. Nik has worked with a range of theatre and dance companies including Grid Iron, National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Lyceum, Curious Seed, Imaginate, Starcatchers and TAG Citizens Theatre. He is an associate artist with Platform Theatre and a regular live accompanist at Dancebase, Scotland’s National Centre for Dance. 

Credits include: Wickies: The Vanishing Men of Eilean Mor (Park Theatre), Rocket Post (Constellation Points), Doppler (Grid Iron), Niqabi Ninja (Independent Arts Projects), Revolution Days (Bijli Productions), Mixed Up(Imaginate & Starcatchers), Vent (SYT National Ensemble), Chronicles (National Theatre of Scotland/Project X/Thulani Rachia), and Drift (Vision Mechanics). 

More: www.nikpt.com

Ros Sydney (Associate Director) has worked extensively as an actor, and most recently as a director and theatre maker, since graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 1998. She is passionate about work for children and families and is an experienced performer and director of audio drama. 

Recent Directing credits include Kissing Winford Christie for Vickie Beasley/Catherine Wheels (Co-Director), The Secret Garden for Red Bridge Arts (Creator and Co-Director), Lost Lending Library and Small Wonders for Punchdrunk/Imaginate (Associate Director), Remember December for the Tron (Director), Low Pay? Don’t Pay! for Glasgow Life (Director), If These Walls… an audio tour for Perth Theatre (Creator, Performer, Director), How To Sing It for Isobel McArthur/Tron and Up to Speed for Imaginate/TISS (Co-creator, Co-Director).

Photo credit: Andrew Parry