Q&A with Dorsetborn’s Rohan Gotobed


Can you imagine spending your holiday in Antarctica? Or becoming best friends with a penguin? 

A brrr-iliant adventure filled with puppetry, jokes, and a heart warming original story, Georgia and the Iceberg is new company Dorsetborn's brand-new play for ages 7 and up, supported by National Youth Theatre and Lighthouse.

Here, Dorsetborn’s Artistic Director Rohan Gotobed answers a few of our questions...

Tell us a bit about Georgia and the Iceberg – what can our young audiences expect to see? 

Georgia and the Iceberg is Dorsetborn’s first ever production! What is it about?  

Well, it’s definitely an epic adventure. Georgia has gone to Antarctica to visit her big sister Helena. When she discovers a giant Iceberg (the biggest ever!) is about to collide with a nearby penguin colony, she has to team up with a runaway (and very cheeky) penguin to try and save the day. 

We’ve got a magical and empowering original story perfect for young audiences (7+) who’ve grown up on Disney, Harry Potter, and Studio Ghibli. Two amazing actors, Flossie and Zoë, will transport you to Antarctica and we’ve also got stunning puppetry, onstage games, and an enchanting soundtrack which means Georgia and the Iceberg will be utterly unforgettable!  

It’s also worth saying that the play will be fully captioned with specific BSL-Interpreted performances (including our shows at Lighthouse). 

How did the idea for the show come about? 

It’s actually inspired by a true story. Okay, maybe not about a girl called Georgia, but a real-life iceberg that nearly caused an environmental crisis on the South Georgia Islands in 2020. I was really enraptured by this awesome natural phenomenon and the existential threat it caused to wildlife. I wondered: ‘how does the human world and natural world co-exist in the 21st century?’  

At the time I was training at the Unicorn Theatre in London, who make fantastic new plays that resonate with young audiences. I naturally imagined a young character who could be caught in a similar situation. What could she be called? I re-read the news story and the rest is history! 

How do you think young audiences will respond to a message about the climate crisis? 

The climate crisis is a serious subject, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and encourage our audiences to be hopeful about the future. Our play shows how young people can become agents of change and respect the natural world.  

Georgia and the Iceberg has been workshopped with schoolchildren around Dorset so it’s been a joy to see their reactions and ensure the play not only has something to say about the climate crisis, but also how we can work together to positively change the world. 

What part has Lighthouse played in supporting the development of this piece? 

Lighthouse has been hugely supportive of Dorsetborn as a company, and of Georgia and the Iceberg as a play. Priya Patel Appleby and I originally developed this play during an R&D process last year (a week at Lighthouse and a week at the Lyric Theatre in Bridport – we really are Made in Dorset!) Then, when we decided we wanted to make the full production, I couldn’t think of anywhere better to premiere than Lighthouse. The Sherling is such a wonderful space, it’s been wonderful to rehearse here and we can’t wait to welcome audiences to see the full show for the first time. 



Is it fair to see this as campaigning theatre; and is that part of Dorsetborn’s ethos? 


More than anything, Dorsetborn want to tell great stories that reflect our modern world. We’re not interested in agitprop but are always determined to ask big questions about how we got here. My favourite plays help me to see other points of view and better understand peoples’ lived experiences. Everyone who comes to see a Dorsetborn production will always have a thrilling time and we’re excited to chat to our audiences after the show. 

Rohan Gotobed, Artistic Director, Dorsetborn