Tale of Two Harpies

Presented by Hothouse Theatre

After a couple of crazy years, it’s a celebration of 3 companies working together and putting on a show!

As part of HotHouse Theatre’s Celsius program, former Fruit Fly Nicci Wilkes of Bloom & Wilkes, will work with their Albury Wodonga creative team to bring a World Premiere to the Butter Factory Theatre as part the Borderville Circus Festival in December.


Tale of Two Harpies is a wicked yarn, a dark fantastical comedy about two displaced characters who are on the run from an evil doing they have done. Eerie and freakish with lashings of hilarity, it’s like someone poured black paint over a Dr Seuss book.

As you watch in horror you’ll try not to laugh – this is dark clowning at its finest.

These two vagabonds will charm you with their stupidity and keep you enthralled with a parade of sight gags and circus tropes underpinned by a foundation of an intelligent examination of the human condition.



$30 Full | $25 for Cube & AEC member/ Concession/Child/Family 4+

Tickets available at: www.hothousetheatre.com.au

Production Credits:

  • Performer & Co-Creator – Emilie Bloom
  • Performer & Co-Creator – Nicci Wilks
  • Director & Co-Creator – Susie Dee
  • Lighting Designer – Kofi Isaacs
  • Assistant to the Director – Meg Shiels
  • Slapstick Consultants – Phil Witt and Per Westman
  • Original music – Jethro Woodward
  • Set and Costume Design – Bloom & Wilks


Nicci Wilks – performer, co-creator

Nicci Wilks is a freelance artist continually creating and performing works of various art forms. She has been touring her work around the world for over 35 years, performing in 14 languages, from the Pitjantjatjara lands to 42nd St. Various companies Nicci has worked with include: Circus Oz, Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, KAGE, CIRCA, Melbourne Workers Theatre, Hothouse Theatre, Legs On The Wall, Company 2, The Flying Fruit Fly Circus and NORPA. Her one-woman intimate show The Teensy Top (she wears the venue!) has been presented at The Victorian Arts Centre, The Adelaide Festival Centre and at festivals around Australia. She directed the award-winning dark comic circus show Party Ghost and was assistant director and performer in the award-winning show Taxi. Nicci is a performer and co-creator of the highly acclaimed shows The Long Pigs and Caravan. She is a performer in the critically acclaimed stage production and feature film SHIT by Patricia Cornelius and was a co-creator and performer of the multi award winning production ANIMAL. In 2020/21 she performed in Fuck Fabulous Cabaret, THIS for Rising Festival Melbourne, co-hosted the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and co-created and performed two sell-out seasons of RUNT.

Emilie Bloom – performer, co-creator

Emilie is a regional based performer who practices clown, improvisation and physical comedy. She has a Theatre Arts and Creative Industries Diplomas and has trained at Theatre School of Philippe Gaulier, France (2008-2010). Emilie is pursuing a Costume Design Diploma at Melbourne Polytechnic and a Bachelor of Psychological Science at Swinburne University. Most recently Emilie has developed her performance and making skills working with Theatre Director Giovanni Fusetti, Mask Maker Matteo Deastro and The Snuff Puppets. She currently works freelance for theatre, circus and festivals a performer, designer and maker. She is a company member of Melbourne based ensemble Bunk Puppets and works as a Clown Doctor for The Humour Foundation.

Susie Dee – director, co-creator

Susie has worked extensively in the theatre as a performer, devisor and director in Australia and overseas for the past thirty years. She has been the Artistic Director of three theatre companies: Melbourne Workers Theatre (MWT), Union House Theatre (UHT) and Institute Of Complex Entertainment (ICE) She has directed works for MTC, Malthouse Theatre and many independent theatre companies and has been nominated for and won numerous awards. She directed Patricia Cornelius’ plays, SHIT and Love, both touring to the 2019 Venice Biennale Theatre Festival. Susie most recently directed Anthem (Playhouse, Arts Centre) for the 2019 Melbourne International Arts Festival and 2020 Sydney and Perth Festivals. She has just completed co-directing SHIT into a feature film. Susie was awarded the Melbourne Fringe ‘Living Legend’ Award in 2018 for her body of work. Her first outing for 2021 was RUNT with Nicci Wilks and Patricia Cornelius.

Kofi Isaacs – Lighting Designer

Kofi is an independent artist and technician based regionally in Albury-Wodonga, he completed his certificate IV in Live Production and Technical Services in early 2021 before designing the lighting for HotHouse Theatre’s production of Those Who Fall in Love Like Anchors Dropped Upon the Ocean Floor by Finegan Kruckemeyer. Kofi’s lighting design credits also include December by Jake Silvestro, Edlmayr by the Reginas, the 2020 Flying Fruit Fly Circus Grad Show and HotHouse Theatre’s 2019 Galah Bars. He is currently working as a venue technician and freelance in many areas, including production management; Neighbour, stage management; The Last Boy on Earth, Hidden Cinema, Borderville Circus Festival, Those Who Fall in Love Like Anchors Dropped Upon The Ocean Floor, and livestream production; Cube Collective, Winter Solstice and various events

Meg Shiels – Assistant Director

Meg began training full time with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus in 2013 at age 11 and spent 7 years training and performing with the company. During her time as a student, she performed at various venues in the local Albury-Wodonga area as well as nationally, and was privileged to experience working in theatres, Big Tops, comedy lounges, corporate events and street performing as a result. She performed her final Flying Fruit Fly Circus show at the January 2020 Sydney Festival. Since graduating Meg has enjoyed performing gigs as an independent artist. She loves to make an audience laugh, she loves to make them think, and she sometimes loves to make them just that little bit uncomfortable.

Phil Witt – Slapstick Consultant

Phil joined the Flying Fruit Fly Circus as a youngster in 1990. Having run his own company, Evolution Acrobats, Phil has travelled widely in Australia and abroad to perform and direct shows. In 2008 he worked with Circus Oz choreographing table-slides for their 2009 show. Phil currently works as a full-time trainer and creative director for Flying Fruit Fly Circus. His signature skills are mini tramp, teeterboard and comedy.

Per Westman – Slapstick Consultant

Per is a founding member of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, having joined the circus as a child and training through his teenage years. He has toured Australia and the world extensively with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Circus Oz and many other companies. He now lives in Albury and is a senior trainer at the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, as well as a freelance artist who travels the country performing for young people in schools. Per’s skills include physical comedy/clowning, juggling, plate spinning, tumbling, unicycling, stilt-walking and balancing.

Jethro Woodward – Original Music

Jethro Woodward is a Melbourne-based composer, musical director, arranger, musician and sound designer recognised for his expansive and highly layered film, theatre and dance scores. A multi Green Room Award winner and Helpmann nominee, he has worked with some of Australia’s leading major and independent companies including; Malthouse Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company. Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Opera Victoria, Chamber Made Opera, Back to Back, Chunky Move, Lucy Guerin, Australian Dance Theatre, Aphids, Stuck Pigs Squealing, Rawcus, KAGE and more.

A composition graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts, Jethro draws upon his detailed understanding of contemporary music and its uses in live performance, including innovative uses of technology, combining live instrumentation with prerecorded, electronic, musical and sound elements into a seamless flexible and responsive score.

Jethro regularly tours his work internationally and has won Green Room Awards for his work on; The Bloody Chamber (Malthouse Theatre), Moth (Malthouse Theatre / Arena Theatre), Goodbye Vaudeville Charlie Mudd (Malthouse Theatre / Arena Theatre) and Irony Is Not Enough (Fragment 31). As a guitarist and singer he regularly performs with Meow Meow, and has been a member of the band Cordarzine over the past 15 years.

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