Sanctum Studio | Sanctum Studio Productions
Sanctum Theatre is a Melbourne-based visual performance ensemble presenting folk theatre in everyday spaces since 2006.
Lachlan Plain, puppets, performance, theatre, theater, Melbourne, Australia, visual, site specific, roving acts, puppetry, public art, community, design, illustration, painting, drawing, art, studio, street art, mural, murals, installation, projection, light, lantern, sculpture, sculptural, artist, exhibition
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``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 Studio is a lens through which monstrous apparitions are made manifest, tearing fissures in the fabric of monotony. Its work has been described as, ‘forg[ing] a dark and surreal dystopia, packed with visual surprises,’ (The Age 2018).

Sanctum Studio is managed by husband-and-wife team, Lachlan Plain ( and Jasmine Powell ( Their art is inspired by their experience of madness, bringing knowledge from the shadows into the light of day.

SANCTUM STUDIO productions

Sanctum Studio Productions’ most recent works include two collaborations with Little Projector Company, LANIMALS ( 2020) and TRAIL OF LIGHTS light and lantern festival (2019); two collaborations with Magic Lantern Studio, THE MAN WHO CANNOT SLEEP (White Night 2018) and LIFE IS A CAROUSEL (Green Room Award 2017); as well as a collaboration with Fusion Theatre, THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING (2019).

Sanctum Studio began as Sanctum Theatre. Its inaugural production, LAMENT: CANDLES & COMPOST (2006), was described as, ‘…full of striking images…shadowplay and puppetry were absorbingly innovative…’ (The Age) and ‘…startling work that is at once confronting and yet comforting…’ (Inpress).

Sanctum Theatre’s other productions include SANCTUM THEATRE’S CABINET OF ANTIQUATED RECORDING DEVICES (2012), THE FERRYMAN AND HIS WIFE (American Independent Film Festival, Melbourne Underground Film Festival 2010), WEALTH OF NATIONS (2009), THE PLAINS: A PLAY (2008) and SILENT REVOLUTION (2007). Sanctum Theatre has toured roving acts to festivals around Victoria since 2012.

lament: candles & compost (Abbotsford Convent 2006)
lament: candles & compost (Abbotsford Convent 2006)

Sanctum Studio Commissions

Sanctum Studio creates public art, street art and giant puppets for clients like Moomba, Melbourne Museum and local councils.


Sanctum Community Projects

It also facilitates Sanctum Community Projects alongside community groups and schools, creating public art, sculptural lanterns, giant puppets and picture storybooks.


Puppet Shows & Roaming Acts

Sanctum Studio has toured puppet shows and roaming acts to festivals such as Moomba, Tanglewood Festival, Kris Kringle Night Market (Darebin), SoFrenchy So Chic, Ballarat Heritage Weekend, Rainbow Serpent, Rock Above the Falls, Rancho Relaxo, Castlemaine State Festival, The Practically Green Festival (Edendale Farm), Kid’s Arty Farty Fest (Banyule), Maldon Puppet Festival, The Village Festival and CERES.


Sanctum Studio Artists Space

Sanctum Studio Artists Space is a dynamic arts space in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It provides local artists with workstations, and hosts exhibitions and events.

The Man Who Cannot Sleep
The Man Who Cannot Sleep (White Night 2018) photo by Ana Lorite and Sergio Aguilar

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


 Pearly Whites

“The crowd that was absolutely glued to each show of the Pearly Whites installation. I’ve never seen a crowd so locked in to a performance at a festival!” Roland Fraval, City of Whittlesea

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