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Oil Babies (VIC, Australia)


1 Jan - 31 Dec 2020

Short Synopsis


A high-octane exploration of our relationship to climate change and the female body.

OIL BABIES repositions our lives as one on the precipice of a planet dramatically changing… perhaps even the moment before our own extinction.

Blending lyrical, rapid-fire text with poetic imagery and domestic drama, OIL BABIES weighs up our continued “hope-investment” in procreation against our feelings of helplessness at the state of the planet – and our role in its demise.

Throughout this piece, the body – in particular women’s bodies – are used as a metaphor to explore our world: our need to control it, our desire to want it to look and be a certain way and ultimately, our lack of respect for it.

An exciting contemporary work blending narrative, durational exertion, science and technology, OIL BABIES follows the story of three women as they explore the complexities of our relationship to climate change and the female body.

Written and directed by Petra Kalive and featuring an all-female cast, OIL BABIES blends lyrical, rapid-fire text with poetic imagery and domestic drama to present a dangerous, pithy and at times darkly comedic work that speaks directly to the concerns we hold now.


ESTIMATED WEEKLY FEE: $11.9k (royalties @ 13.5%)



SHORTLISTED: 2019 NSW Premier's Literary Awards: The Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting

NOMINATED: 2019 Green Room Awards for Sound Design and Compositions

NOMINATED: 2019 Green Room Awards for Lighting Design

Reviews Feature

"[An] anguished, polished and unmissable piece of theatre. Oil Babies is one of the most perfectly wrought theatrical miniatures you are likely to encounter." - The Australian

★★★★★ "Oil Babies is intimately confronting and leaves you feeling devastatingly exposed. This exhilarating production and its messages will be swirling around my mind for months to come." - Theatre People

★★★★1/2 "Intelligent, gentle, horrific, terrifying, and a work of great love and humanity. Oil Babies is the hit show of this winter." - What Did She Think?

★★★★ "Harrowing. An impactful, confronting performance. A fast-moving, relatable and hard-hitting genre, wrapped up in a highly-entertaining package. Definitely worth seeing." - We Know Melbourne

★★★1/2 "Kalive’s intellectual curiosity, humour and soul-baring emotion invigorate this production. Covering everything from reproductive rights to human extinction, it’s provocative and searching theatre, smartly designed and performed with an infectious sense of mischief." - The Age

Written By
Petra Kalive
Composed By
Darius Kedros
Directed By
Petra Kalive
Xanthe Beesley
Designed By
Andrew Bailey
Kali Hulme, Jodie Le Vesconte and Fiona Macleod
Availability Status
Available at short notice


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