Sanctum Studio | Sanctum Theatre
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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``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 company, presenting live art in everyday spaces since 2006. It is a lens through which monstrous apparitions are made manifest, tearing fissures in the fabric of monotony.

Sanctum Theatre has produced various plays and theatrical events, including two collaborations with Magic Lantern Studio (, The Man Who Cannot Sleep (White Night Melbourne & Ballarat, 2018) and Life is a Carousel (winner 2017 Green Room Award for Puppetry). In 2010 it produced the short film, the ferryman and his wife, (Melbourne Underground Film Festival, American Independent Film Festival, ACMI Mediatheque.)

Sanctum Theatre tours puppet shows and roving acts to festivals around Australia. It creates giant puppets on commission for clients such as Melbourne Museum and Moomba Festival.

It also facilitates collaborative arts projects alongside community groups and schools, creating public art, sculptural lanterns, giant puppets and picture storybooks. In 2019 it co-produced Trail of Lights with Little Projector Company, (, a community-led light and lantern festival in Truganina, Melbourne.

Sanctum Theatre is based in Sanctum Studio (, a dynamic new arts space in the North Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The artistic director of Sanctum Theatre is Lachlan Plain (

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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