It starts with a father, who is a sailor about to head off on another voyage at sea, telling his little girl a bedtime story to get her to fall asleep. He is not able to finish it, but makes up for it by sending her a CD recording of him reading the tale so that she’ll be reminded of their fun memories together despite the geographical distance between them.
The play addresses the themes of familial love, separation, friendship and courage through the adventurous journey the characters in the father’s story, a snail and a humpback whale, embark on. The snail lives on a rock by the docks and has always been fascinated with the wider world around her, though she doesn’t have a means of travel, a disposition the daughter shares. So she copes with the loneliness and sadness by acting out the tale. Transforming the bed and surrounding furniture into a whale, she imagines herself as the snail hitching a lift on the tail of her marine mammalian friend, both off to see the globe. Together, the pair encounters many new sights and experiences along their way, until a tragic disaster strikes one day, when the whale is beached on a bay.
Adapted from the picture book of the same title by Julia Donaldson, the play is narrated by the grown-up daughter, reminiscing the times she shared with her father.