Synopsis // Creative Team // Video


Phillip Adams BalletLab invites participants to take part in Thumb, A Performance in Progress, a cross-disciplinary performance work that explores the psychology of scale from the gigantic to the miniature.

Thumb is inspired by size changing themes employed in films of the 1950s and 60s such as The Incredible Shrinking Man and Fantastic Voyage and also references the cult Scandinavian movie Troll Hunters (2010). As part of the performance, participants are invited to take part in a live hypnosis and sound relaxation experience allowing the sub-conscious mind to fill with exaggerated scale shifting imagery.

“While the miniature works tend to create a map (also a miniature) or model universe that can be contained, the gigantic unleashes a vast, natural, and uncontrolled creativity that bears within it the fear of self-destruction.”

Thumb marks a definitive shift in approach to the making of live performance by Phillip Adams. The cross-disciplinary nature of Adams’ previous works is being pushed to the forefront, in this significant first-time solo work, which integrates experimental theatre, and visual art practises. 

“I’m preoccupied of late with the possibilities of shrinking, dare I say to a micro universe akin to that of my childhood and adolescence when the perspective of things often appeared gigantic. I think how small we are in comparison to the ever expanding world … my journey north bound towards the epic mountainous landscape of Banff drew me closer to the possibilities of shrinking in its vastness.“

Thumb is being made in association with the Malthouse Theatre. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, Arts Victoria, Malthouse Theatre and Phillip Adams BalletLab.

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