Tag Archives: Legs on the Wall


A visually spectacular and aural feast as the combined talents of the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra (WSO) and Legs on the Wall ( Legs ) unite to bring us NEXT CHAPTERS ABOVE/BELOW .It was performed and filmed at the Concourse , Chatswood as part of the Chatswood Bites season and streamed by the Australian Digital Concert Hall. 

Musically we hear contemporary classical works, mostly by Australian composers but also Arvo Part. Included are Elena Kats-Chernin’s Wild Swans Suite (which accentuates the use of harp, piano and celeste) and Graeme Koehne’s Just Walk Beside Me. Not forgetting Matthew Hindson’s The Stars Above Us All

They are joined by soprano Susannah Lawergren,.  in a rich, multi-layered, highly accomplished performance energetically, enthusiastically led by Willoughby Symphony conductor Dr. Sarah Penicka-Smith.

There are great sequences showing the Orchestra.  The three performers from Legs on the Wall, Isabel Estrella , Anna McCulla and Romain Hassanin, perform on the thrust stage at the front of the Orchestra. Sometimes, very briefly, Lawergren also ‘flies‘ while singing. Continue reading NEXT CHAPTERS ABOVE/BELOW : A WONDROUS EXPERIENCE


As part of CHATSWOOD CULTURE BITES, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra is proud to join forces once again with powerhouse aerialists LEGS ON THE WALL to present one show only on Saturday 19 March at The Concourse Chatswood – the cultural heart of the North Shore.

LEGS ON THE WALL is renowned as the thriving heart of physical theatre in Australia and is known nationally and internationally for its exuberant synergy of circus, theatre and dance.  Established in 1984 by a group of young artists busking on the streets of Sydney, ‘Legs’ has gone on to become a mature global cultural export that has performed around the world reaching audiences in their thousands through its outdoor work (and millions via television viewers).  

Audiences will be uplifted by the sweeping sounds of the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra as renowned soprano Susannah Lawergren joins three aerialists from LEGS ON THE WALL to float high above combining a sea of sound with aerial beauty. Continue reading NEW CHAPTERS II : ABOVE BELOW @ THE CONCOURSE


Photography by Marcos Dos Santos

A story of love, loss and flight from playwright Joanna Erskine and circus artist Missy McKinnon. Lenka and Sam decide to make a new life together, but a devastating loss drives them apart. When a doctor diagnoses Lenka with “gravity”, she sets out to discover how she can be free. A playful and poignant physical exploration of the taboos in love, loss, conception and family.

So is the brief outline for the physical theatre production. Part of the tenth anniversary Sydney Fringe festival, this production was a many years dream for the director Missy. A personally resonant story of her own miscarriage, this narrative is recognition of so many more women’s lives. Captured here in a beautiful and heartfelt story of family and personal journey. 

The dynamic cast are built from the mould of circus and clown. The musician deliberately joins a parade of the developing characters. Her music adds to the path of the characters along with the audience response. Mama and Papa deliver the purpose of the narrative as any clown can in the circus ring. The parents’ dialogue in grummelot/gibberish that speaks to every member of this audience. They are our own families, or the neighbours over the back fence of the inner west, they are the invasive parents nosying into their child’s life in both a provocative and yet ultimately powerful way. They only want the best for their child. 

Pressure and encouragement from Mama and Papa lifts Lenka with a positive push and yet becomes a real part of the conundrum into which she finds herself falling. There is so much within this gently told visual, physical tale that every member of the audience can relate to. Beautifully filled with metaphor for new love and lifted spirits. For the romance and the loss each as sudden. Each knocks the young lovers from their feet. How can they get through this? 

The hour travelled seamlessly as the story unfolded. The lifts and love through trapeze, the loss through an almost magicians juggling toss of the apple ‘ball’ seed. The narrative is at once so gently resonant. We all hold our breath as Sam and Lenka are lifted by each other’s strength. They will survive is the message left with me. The circus, clowning, physical theatre is a perfect vehicle for a subject of so much nuance. Performances of all the talent no less remarkable than that of the initial storytellers, Joanna and Missy. Bravo!

DIAGNOSIS : GRAVITY was performed on the 1st & 4th September at the Legs On The Wall Hub, 91 Canal Street, Lilyfield.

Diagnosis: Gravity

Written by Joanna Erskine

Directed by Danielle McKinnon

Lenka by Catherine Wait

Sam by Sam Plummer

The Musician  – Kate Reid

Mama by Debra Batton

Papa by Ira Seidenstein

Photography by Marcos dos Santos



Production Images: Victor Frankowski

Treading gently with ancient feet or eagerly wandering on a day trip to the Blue Mountains, Australians all, we know that sound.  Memory calls as the audio and projected images take us into bush outside the town.  The ghost gums tower and the senses twitch with the recalled smell of eucalypts and the shimmer of heat on the skin.  Thus begins the bonding, empathetic and emotional journey into the pain and generational despair of our First Nations brothers and sisters.  A sharing in performance, a production resonating with resilience and love in the face of loss.

MAN WITH THE IRON NECK is an obsession for Ash who has suffered a loss far too common.  The former was a stuntman who risked, for the entertainment of others, leaping with a rope around his neck and Ash is working at survival just as The Great Peters laboured to endure each trick. We meet his girlfriend Evelyn and her twin brother Bear who are living on the edge of town with aspirations and abilities to get them away from there despite their evident strength in family, personified in Mum Rose. Continue reading MAN WITH THE IRON NECK. A COMMUNING OF SADNESS AND RESILIENCE


Production images: Brett Boardman

Playing as part of Sydney Festival 2019, THE MAN WITH THE IRON NECK, a powerful new work by leading physical theatre company Legs on the Wall and Ursula Yovich, is about a family embracing life after trauma.  Weaving together a story written by Yovich, with aerial performance and innovative video design, this bold and tender story addresses the issue of suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths.

In one of our favourite interviews this year, The Guide had the chance to speak with the deeply humanist and completely captivating writer and performer, Ursula Yovich.

SAG:                      This is a very exciting project.  I gather it began with Josh Bond’s original concept and work some ten years ago. (Bond is co-director with Gavin Robins) Then you came on as an actor before you started to work on the text?

URSULA:              Yes.  I wasn’t available for the initial workshops but I had committed to joining as an actor and I think at that time they were having some discussions around the writing and that’s when they asked if I’d be involved as a writer. Continue reading SUNDAY SERIES: URSULA YOVICH IN INTERVIEW ABOUT THE MAN WITH THE IRON NECK


This image: Cat’s Cradle
Featured Image: Soft Prosthetics and Metal Gods
Production photography: Heidrun Lohr

ABOVE GROUND played recently at Riverside Theatres and what a stunning evening of dance it was.  The two pieces presented took to the air and, despite their differences, each experience caught the breath as aerial practice deepened our corporeal understandings.

SOFT PROSTHETICS AND METAL GODS from Kathryn Puie and Lux Eterna began as we entered the theatre.  Continue reading ABOVE GROUND – DANCE LIFTED ABOVE THE BODY


Lux_Eterna_©2017_KP_Stilts_Postquam Terrae

From 21st to 23rd June, FORM Dance Projects and Riverside Theatres will present the exciting double bill, ABOVE GROUND, exploring the subtleties of above ground movement with apparatus.

The double bill will feature the new work, CAT’S CRADLE, from Australia’s celebrated physical theatre company, Legs On The Wall. Expertly utilising a commanding apparatus that looms over the space, like a curtain of tentacles, CAT’S CRADLE will explore the depths of what is private and what is public. It will tantalisingly coerce the audience to look at their own desires, where reality and fantasy collide. Continue reading ABOVE GROUND: DANCE WORKS OF AIR FOR RIVERSIDE


Image Above: CHAMPIONS
Banner Image: VALLEY

FORM Dance Projects based in Parramatta have announced shows for 2018.  FORM had a runaway success this year with CHAMPIONS (http://www.sydneyartsguide.com.au/form-dance-projects-presents-champions-carriageworks/)

The company is heading into the new year with a program curated by Miranda Wheen and new Program Manager, Agnès Michelet.  Some of the highlights include. Continue reading FORM DANCE PROJECTS ANNOUNCES FOR 2018

Arts Fundraising Event to announce new Brett Whiteley theatre production

Painting by Brett Whiteley, one of the donated paintings for the Auction Event

A fundraiser event has been announced to help support an upcoming production about Brett Whiteley’s life and art.

Some last days tickets are still available!
$90 pp / Dress: smart casual

A fab night for art lovers, with special performance by acrobatics troupe, Dauntless Movement Crew. 

Two of Australia’s leading theatre companies, Legs On The Wall and Theatre Of Image, have announced a new project on which they’ll collaborate, bringing the life of artist Brett Whiteley to the stage in a new Kim Carpenter directed production called Brett And Wendy – A Love Story Bound By Art.

To accompany this is the announcement of a one-off Fundraising Event, wherein a fully endorsing Wendy Whiteley will be the Special Guest for a night of cocktails, canapés, and a silent auction.

The artworks of 20 artists include Brett Whiteley, Arthur Boyd, Lloyd Rees, Joanna Logue, Del Kathryn Barton, Tom Carment and more, have been donated for the auction, with luxury accommodation packages, tickets to Belvoir St Theatre, signed art books, and more available to help raise funds for the stage production.

The fundraiser is to be held this Wednesday May 11 in The Treasury Room at the Intercontinental Sydney, with tickets at $90. The stage production itself is still in development, with more details to be announced soon.

Some last days tickets are still available. Please visit the website to purchase, or call Neil Hunt at Theatre of Image on 02 9518 8458.

Wednesday 11 May from 6.30pm

For more about Arts Fundraising Event to announce new Brett Whiteley theatre production, visit http://www.theatreofimage.com.au
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