Sanctum Theatre | About Sanctum
Sanctum Theatre is a Melbourne-based visual performance ensemble presenting folk theatre in everyday spaces since 2006.
Sanctum Theatre, Lachlan Plain, puppets, performance, theatre, theater, Melbourne, Australia, visual, site specific, roving acts, Magic Lantern
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About Sanctum

"Theatre is a space in which the waking mind can address its illness; where paradox isn't hypocrisy and mortality isn't ignored; it is a sanctuary where monstrous apparitions can be viewed at arms length and laughed at; it is the shared pretense of momentary madness..." --Henrietta Kuscht (1929)

Sanctum Theatre is a Melbourne-based, visual performance ensemble presenting live art in everyday spaces since 2006.

lament: candles & compost (2006)


Sanctum Theatre was launched in 2006 with lament: candles & compost at the Abbotsford Convent. Since then Sanctum Theatre has produced various plays, theatrical events, exhibitions and the short film, the ferryman and his wife, (Melbourne Underground Film Festival, American Independent Film Festival, ACMI Mediatheque.)

Sanctum Theatre’s current productions include two collaborations with Magic Lantern Studio, The Man Who Cannot Sleep ( and Life is a Carousel (winner 2017 Green Room Award for Puppetry).

Click here to view photos and videos of Sanctum Theatre’s past works.

Mister Dolphin

Puppet Shows & Roving Acts

Since 2014 Sanctum Theatre has developed two puppet shows for festivals in partnership with Magic Lantern Studio: Otto Learns to Fly and Pearly Whites.

Sanctum Theatre also has several giant body puppets that cause havoc at festivals and events, Giant Bugs, Mister Dolphin, The Ferryman and his Wife, Pigsy and Ol’ Pete.

Montsalvat Solstice


Sanctum Theatre has toured puppet shows and roving acts to Moomba, Castlemaine State Festival, Melbourne International Festival of Puppetry, Ballarat Heritage Weekend, The Docklands Winter Festival, So Frenchy So Chic Festival, The Village Festival, Darebin Homestead Open Day, Tarrengower Puppet Festival, The Yellow Sunshine Festival (CERES), Practically Green Festival, Banyule Kid’s Arty Farty Festival, Rancho Relaxo and The Renaissance Festival.

Zero Projects & Puppet Classes

Sanctum Theatre works with community groups to make ‘something from nothing’ in their Zero Projects, creating sculptural lanterns, exhibitions and performances. Sanctum Theatre was awarded an honourary mention at the Victorian Government Live Local Awards for their Enchanted Ark family fun day at Hawhtorn Community House in 2010.

Sanctum Theatre also presents fun-filled puppet classes at festivals and events.

The Man Who Cannot Sleep

“And The Man Who Cannot Sleep…forged a dark and surreal dystopia, packed with visual surprises, from a fusion of soundscape, sculpture and full-body puppetry.” Cameron Woodhead, The Age.

lament: candles & compost

“…full of striking images…shadowplay and puppetry were absorbingly innovative…” The Age

“…startling work that is at once confronting and yet comforting…” Inpress

Puppet Shows & Roving Acts

“I have programmed Sanctum’s Puppets into all Manner of situations – daytime with families and nighttime with a party crowd – and they never fail to entertain and titillate. They manage to stir up trouble in all the right ways.” Ian Pidd, Artistic Director, The Village

 Puppet Classes

“Sanctum Theatre’s puppet and mask-making worskhops at Art Melbourne were a colourful, messy, fun-filled hit with kids and parents alike. These workshops helped children unleash their creativity, and encouraged them to get their hands dirty and break a few rules at the same time.” Mark Lowrey, Program Co-ordinator, The Song Room