Produced by The Farm in association with NORPA & Performing Lines
The Office mashed with a cage fight.
A dangerously comic physical performance.
An emotive generational showdown.
Two blokes in an office: One older, one younger.
A cross between The Office and a cage fight, Cockfight is a game of comical one-upmanship that builds to moments of emotive impact, where generational truths are exposed and unpacked. A flash of bared teeth, territorial pissing contests, the desperation of needing to prove yourself versus the need to hold on to what you’ve got.
Cockfight explores the power play between men, the frailty of the ageing body and questions our culture’s desperate struggle for achievement.
Skilfully depicting a full-throttle mashup of extreme physical risk-taking, graceful movement and slow-mo fight sequences, this darkly humorous and surprisingly tender piece of dance theatre by newly formed Gold Coast/Berlin company The Farm, sees long-time creative collaborators Joshua Thomson and Gavin Webber reassess who is in charge.
Two performers on a stage: one older, one younger.
At The Farm, work is made in a collaborative process where everyone brings their expertise without being confined to it. All animals are equal.
“…the work is physical theatre at its most extreme: bodies slam into walls and office furniture, and perilous interlocking rolls, tackles and lunges fling performers through space.”
“Its physicality is masterful and its comedy biting”
“And it is sidesplittingly hilarious and beautifully athletic and graceful.”
“A fun-filled romp combining humour and impressive physicality, sure to please comedy and dance fans alike.”
“At times broadly comedic, with a Buster Keaton-esque physicality on show, Cockfight switches effortlessly to moments of beauty and poignancy”
Creative team and cast
Cockfight was developed by members of THE FARM with guest artist Julian Louis. At THE FARM work is made in collaboration; everyone involved brings something to the creative process that shapes the piece. All animals are equal.
Directors Kate Harman, Julian Louis, Joshua Thomson & Gavin Webber for The Farm
Performers Joshua Thomson and Gavin Webber
Lighting Design Mark Howett
Lighting Realiser Chloe Ogilvie
Sound Design Luke Smiles
Set Design Joey Ruigrok & Joshua Thomson
Producers The Farm in association with NORPA and Performing Lines
Gavin Webber is co-Artistic Director of The Farm, a company based on the Gold Coast, Queensland. Throughout his career Gavin has worked between Australia and Europe and directed theatre, dance, circus, film and installation. He spent the majority of his early performance career with Meryl Tankard ADT and Belgian company Ultima Vez. As Artistic Director of Dancenorth he took the company from regional Australia to national and international touring and his work has received many awards including six Greenroom awards in a single year. He was co-founder of Collaborative ensemble Splintergroup and Animal Farm Collective, early incarnations of The Farm, whose work has been seen across four continents. He has been a regular guest choreographer with CO:3 in Perth since the company’s launch in 2015. The Farm currently has two shows ready to tour: Cockfightand Frank Enstein, and two in the making, The Last Blast& Quarantine. In 2017 he was awarded the Sidney Meyer Individual Performing Arts Award.
Photo: Darcy Grant
Joshua Thomson is a dancer, choreographer, director and maker. The current co-artistic director of Sydney physical theatre company Legs On The Wall, Joshua has worked nationally and internationally for the past 11 years with groups such as Tasdance, Dancenorth, Perth Theatre Company, The Farm, Stalker Stilt Theatre, Shaun Parker & Company, Marrugeku and Germany's PVC – Physical Virus Collective. His work as director and dancer spans dynamic physical innovation, live theatre and even a continuous 48-hour performance staged semi-submerged atop a coastal sandbank.He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) from Queensland University of Technology.
Photo: Darcy Grant
Kate Harman is a contemporary dancer, performer, choreographer and collaborator who has been working for 10 years between Australia and Europe. She has created and performed in works within the realms of dance, theatre, circus, performative installation and in projects created with amateurs and young people. She most commonly works with The Farm, a collaborative group working for utopian ideals, whose works varies in style from traditional theatre spaces, to site specific and interactive works.After completing her dance training in 2004 at the Queensland University of Technology, Kate spent four years at Dancenorth under the Artistic Direction of Gavin Webber. In 2009, she moved to Germany initially working for PVC (Physical Virus Collective) at the Stadt Theater Freiburg. In Germany, Kate created a number of her own works and collaborations.Since 2013, Kate has once again been working out of Australia and focusing her energy on projects with The Farm and developing her solo choreographic practice. With The Farm she has created 2016 Helpmann nominated works Cockfight and Last Blast, as well a core creator behind their 48 durational work Tide. She is currently questioning the notion of performance and the idea of authenticity within a performance context and has always been interested in an honest exchange between the performer and audience.
Photo: Darcy Grant
Julian is a theatre maker and Artistic Director of NORPA (Northern Rivers Performing Arts) based in Lismore. Julian has directed theatre, opera and circus as well as large-scale site-specific works. For NORPA Julian has created and been the Artistic Director on a number of productions including Railway Wonderland (2012/2015), My Radio Heart (a co-production with Urban Theatre Projects), Open House (2011) a circus work performed in a residential house in Lismore. Julian has also directed Engine (2010), The Bloody Bride (2010) and Not Like Beckett (2007). Julian’s made works for Perth International Arts Festival and Sydney Festival. He is a graduate of Charles Sturt University BA Theatre/ Media, NIDA’s Directors course and trained as a performer in London with Philippe Gaulier.
Photo: Kate Holmes
Luke Smiles has developed a unique rapport among choreographers & directors in the development of soundtracks for dance & theatre. He was nominated for a Helpmann Award (2013) for Best Sound Design (Windmill Theatre – School Dance). Working under his business name motion laboratories Luke has composed and produced soundtracks for many Australian and International artists & companies. Various credits include: G(Australian Dance Theatre), Double Think (Byron Perry), Glow (Chunky Move), Underground (Dancenorth), I left my shoes on warm concrete and stood in the rain (Gabrielle Nankivell), P.O.V. (Lee Serle), Infinity(Rambert Dance Company), Roadkill (Splintergroup), The Maids (Sydney Theatre Company), PUBLIC (Tamara Saulwick), Fugitive & School Dance & Girl Asleep (Windmill Theatre Company).
Mark Howett studied Theatre Design 1981, at Yale University. The Rakes Progress1983 for Opera Australia was his first significant production. He has worked as a lighting Designer, Video and Set designer for international productions and as a Director for film and theatre. West End Lighting Credits: Evita 2014, Cabaret 2012, A Country Girl 2010, Three Days In May 2011, Dreamboats and Petticoats 2009 & 2013, A Daughter is a Daughter 2009 Awards: Helpmann Award – Cloudstreet, 2002, Lighting Design. Helpman Award – Best Presented Concert for Kura Tunga, Australian Arts Orchestra, 2005. Green Room Award 2006 Best Lighting Design for The Love of three Oranges (Opera Australia), 2004. Green Room Award 2009 for Roadkill (Splintergroup), Lighting Design. Mark was Coordinator of Lighting Course at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University from 1996 to 2000.
Chloe Ogilvie is an Indigenous lighting designer originally from Tom Price, who graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2015. While at the academy Chloe worked on over 40 productions including the Hugh Jackman Foundation Launch, and Reefer Madness. In her final year she was the Assistant Designer on Legally Blonde the musical and the designer for Macbeth. Since graduating Chloe has worked with companies such as, Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, Ochre Contemporary Dance and Co3. Her designs include Fever and The Fret (2015), HOBO (2016), MoveMe festival (2016) and TOAST (2017).
Empire Theatre Toowoomba, QLD
Darwin Entertainment Centre Darwin, NT
Theatre Royal Hobart, TAS
Frankston Arts Centre Frankston, VIC
Gasworks Arts Park Melbourne, VIC
Mandurah Performing Arts Centre Mandurah, WA
Arts Margaret River Margaret River, WA
State Theatre Centre of WA Perth, WA
Canberra Theatre Centre Canberra, ACT
WINNER: Tour of the Year, 2019 Drover Awards
Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral Santiago, Chile
Home of the Arts Gold Coast, QLD
Laban Theatre London, UK
Storyhouse Chester, UK
Gulbenkian Canterbury, UK
Lighthouse Poole, UK
CAST Doncaster, UK
Oxford Playhouse, Pegasus Theatre Oxford, UK
Nottingham Playhouse Nottingham, UK
Jerwood Dancehouse Ipswich, UK
Dance Massive, Arts House Melbourne, VIC
APAM at QPAC Brisbane, QLD
Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns, QLD
Dance North Townsville, QLD
NORPA Lismore, NSW
Cockfight is produced by The Farm in association with NORPA and Performing Lines, tour produced by Performing Lines in association with Arts on Tour, and originally commissioned by NORPA. The national tour has been supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. Originally supported by Centre for Contemporary Arts, Cairns (COCA); DanceNorth, Townsville; NORPA, Lismore; Arts Queensland, the Australia Council for the Arts and Performing Lines. The Farm is supported by the Gold Coast City Council.
Performing Lines produces new and transformative Australian performing arts.
For enquiries regarding Cockfight please contact:
Narelle Lewis | Producer
office +61 2 9319 0066
Photos | Darcy Grant