Sunday September 4, 2016
Sydney Opera House
Language/ Cultural Consultant
Speaker: Sarah Houbolt
What is the place on our stages and in public life for performers who don’t fit the conventional view of what an artist should be? In the past, ‘natural born freaks’ were the stars of sideshow performances, but this is now buried as the embarrassing past. Why should we ignore this history of performers with disability? And if we do, how can we celebrate the unique artistry of those who are different, who are ‘freaks like me’? Sarah Houbolt is an accomplished international circus and physical theatre performer, trained in aerials, acrobatics and hula hoop. By day she works at Accessible Arts in Sydney, and by night she is KooKoo the Birdgirl. Her show reel consists of everything from Cirque du Soleil to corporate aerials to starring as Hairy Maclary in children’s theatre. Sarah loves bed of nails, angle grinding and blockhead. Sarah worked with Sideshow Wonderland at Adelaide Fringe 2015, and has created a one-woman show based on KooKoo the Birdgirl, a character from the controversial film Freaks (1932).
(The eighth Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) is a compelling weekend of challenging, inspirational and robust discussion with powerful speakers from around the world).