Aug
9
2021

Melbourne-based Circus Artist Ciara Thorburn recently birthed a lockdown baby of a different kind. A 50-minute voyeuristic glimpse into the life of an eccentric polymath, this August The Thesis takes centre stage at the Alex Theatre in St Kilda – superbly highlighting that there are no limits to what can be achieved when you are supposed to be doing something else.

Driven by silent comedy and theatrical circus, this ambitious Australian premiere season is a peculiar reflection of the creative process as an academic navigates writers block, procrastination, and perfectionism, while writing their hallowed thesis.

“After the completion of my third degree (a Bachelor of Circus Arts), I graduated into a pandemic.”, explains writer/performer Ciara Thorburn. “So, I decided to con my way into my ninth year of study – rather than writing my thesis I wrote a show – about writing a show, about writing a thesis, during a pandemic.

Through Expression Australia, the Sustaining Creative Workersprogram also made me keenly aware of the need for more accessibility within the arts once theatres were able to open our doors again. I created the work with that at the fore. The most enjoyable thing about the show is that most nights I don’t know what’s going to happen. The performance is rooted in moments of improvisation and my ability to react to what’s going on with any given audience. My work doesn’t really fit into any boxes. If I had to label it, I’d call it ‘Cult Clown Cinema’.”

A progressive and creative mid-career Melbourne-based circus artist, Ciara Thorburn is a graduate of Australia’s National Institute of Circus Arts. She has also trained under theatre master Philippe Gaulier and toured extensively throughout Australia, Europe, New Zealand and Japan. Her various show credits include Shuffle Club Royale, Circus Rio, Wonderland Spiegeltent, Awaji Art Circus in Japan, Edinburgh Fringe’s Late Night Lip Service and Cheeky Cabaretat the Brunswick Picture House.

Embracing the mundane and making it remarkable, The Thesis is a subtle yet intelligent exploration of the human condition; both inspiring… and incredibly frustrating.