Acknowledgment of country

Polyglot acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and create, and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. For more than 65,000 years, children and families have created and played here, and we are grateful to make our art on this country too.


When the World Turns

A fantastical experience for young people with complex disability and their educators, leading a participatory audience into a sensory state of mind and body.

A When the World Turns production photo. A child holds up a cardboard tube, using it to make sounds. An adult leans towards the tube, listening. They sit at a small table in a darkened space, surrounded by plants. They are illuminated by a lamp on the table. Photographer: Theresa Harrison

Disability inclusive theatre in schools

A collaboration between Polyglot Theatre (AUS) and Oily Cart (UK), commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne

When we are still we can feel the world turning.

This is an invitation for students and educators to come on an adventure that will take you into the heart of a wondrous landscape, to become part of a wild place of the senses. Your school community can see, hear, touch and smell this strange, rustling, breathing world as it reveals itself. Starting in your own classrooms, this adventure will be one you remember, full of surprise and wonder.

In a landscape of living foliage, through sound, light, scents and shadows, When the World Turns playfully explores our connection with each other and with the world. In this place humans are equal parts of a new, inclusive ecology.

For 2024-2025 enquiries, please contact Arts Centre Melbourne.

Logos: Polyglot Theatre, with tagline 'theatre is child's play'; Oily Cart (UK)
  • When the World Turns is an interactive theatrical production created specifically for children with complex disability (who often face the most barriers to access) and their educators.
  • It asks audiences to be participants in the work and this means adults as well as children. In the show, the audience won’t be in a traditional ‘audience’ seating arrangement. Instead, they will be surrounded by the world we have created and right in the middle of action and atmosphere.
  • When the World Turns contains very low theatrical lighting, light and shadow, amplified music and sound effects, a variety of plants and foliage, and use of naturally scented sprays.

When the World Turns: disability inclusive theatre in schools is a collaboration between Polyglot Theatre (AUS) and Oily Cart (UK), commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne and generously supported by the Cassandra Gantner Foundation. The 2024 schools tour is further supported by Arts Centre Melbourne and the Victorian Department of Education Strategic Partnerships Program, a Bank of Melbourne Foundation Community Grant, Dr John Leaper OAM, Mrs Jenny Leaper OAM, Mr Mark Robertson OAM and Mrs Anne Robertson. Polyglot thanks our ongoing plant sponsor ecoDynamics, and SÜK Workwear.

Development and Premiere Season

When the World Turns, a collaboration between Polyglot Theatre (AUS) and Oily Cart (UK), was originally commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne for major arts and disability festival Alter State 2022. The development and premiere was supported by the UK/Australia Season Patrons Board, the British Council and the Australian Government as part of the UK/Australia Season, with further support from the Cassandra Gantner Foundation, State Trustees Australia Foundation, the Jennifer Prescott Family Foundation, the Marian and E.H. Flack Trust, ArtPlay, Arts Council England and ecoDynamics.

Logos: When the World Turns supporters

Watch the trailer

  • We are extremely grateful to be able to be included in an experience and performance that is made to be so accessible for our students.


  • It is very important for [our] students to feel part of the experience when they can just be themselves, exploring the sounds, textures and to be comfortable... with no expectations.


  • It can be more difficult for students in these settings to access mainstream creative arts experiences... so it's important for these kind of experiences to be made available.


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