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James has written 34 articles on AussieTheatre

Cirque du Soleil: Kooza

Cirque du Soleil. Kooza

There are two things that will survive the apocalypse: cockroaches and Cirque du Soleil. Such is its enduring legacy and its prevalence as a flagship for all things circus. The Grand Chapiteau is currently in Melbourne with Kooza, the company’s most recent work. There’s no denying the skill and finesse of the performers from the… Read more.

Poppy Seed Festival: What’s Yours is Mine

What's Yours is Mine. Photo by Theresa Harrison

Hotel Now is quite a daring ensemble. Since 2013 the company has been making political performance that can only really be given the appellation of “wild.” They dance along the boundaries of theatre; they frolic in slow motion into the borderlands, the wilderness, no, the bush of our shared cultural identity. And if you’re ready… Read more.



Fluorophone is a configuration of light and sound. It is a marrying of percussion and unusual, non-traditional mediums. Strictly speaking, Fluorophone involves a percussion ensemble (Speak Percussion) performing five original compositions. Each composition is built around its own peculiar medium, material or central concept. “But!” you say, eyes open mouth agape, “Is not all music… Read more.

Theatre Works: Animal

Animal. Photo by Pier Carthew

Witness me performing acrobatics (back and forth, back and forth) as I try to come to terms with Animal created by Susie Dee, Kate Sherman and Nicci Wilks. Animal began its development six years ago. It started with an interest in the topic of domestic violence and grew into an exploration about women ‘on the… Read more.

LadyCake – Three Birds Theatre

LadyCake. Photo by Sarah Walker.

There’s something exquisite about entering the Trades Hall to see LadyCake. It’s the slight vertigo that derives from crossing the threshold of time: walking up that darkly lit stairwell with flaking paint stuck yellowish to the wall and stairs buffeted smooth by thousands of trampling feet. Then you enter The New Ballroom and you’re transported… Read more.

Red Stitch: Middletown

Middletown. Gareth Reeves, Christina O’Neill. Photo by  Jodie Hutchinson

There’s an extraordinary depth to Will Eno’s Middletown, from the work’s ability to transcend the mundane aspects of everyday life and reach the lofty heights of our galaxy to its disarming charm and Carroll-esque humour. Red Stitch Theatre has pulled off a remarkable feat in this production, which left the audience in tears of laugher…. Read more.

Review: Give Me Your Love

Give Me Your Love. Arts House. Photo by Sarah Walker

Positioned somewhere between the existential philosophy of Samuel Beckett and the comedic tropes of Monty Python, Give Me Your Love is an uncanny exploration of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a putrid room with stained walls and a muddy floor sits Zach (David Woods), a traumatised war veteran from Iraq who has retreated into… Read more.

Arts House: Piece for Pearson and Ghetto Blaster

Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster. Photo by Sarah Walker

Sometimes there is a work that is so refreshingly provoking that is leaves you in a state of euphoria. This is precisely what happened with Nicola Gunn/SANS HOTEL’s latest work, Piece for Pearson and Ghetto Blaster, which is based around a knotty philosophical conundrum involving a woman seeing a man throwing stones at a duck… Read more.

Melbourne Fringe: Sad Digger Mad Mary

Sad Digger Mad Mary. Melbourne Fringe

Sad Digger Mad Mary is a hilarious piece that treads the fine line between comedy and tragedy. Performed by superstar Tom Halls, it has you laughing one minute and seriously re-thinking your perception of context and history the next. The work revolves around WW1 veteran The Digger, his (red) dog Bluey and the memories of… Read more.

TBC: Tender Napalm

Tender Napalm

Tender Napalm, written by Philip Ridley, is a surreal story about a couple trapped in a fictional cosmos that they themselves have created. It’s a twisted battle of the sexes, played out through bizarre battles involving serpents, monkeys and aliens. But beneath these seemingly benign arguments appears a very real need to deal with the… Read more.