Company History

  show director venue
2010 The Concert Merophie Carr The BlackBox, The Arts Centre (Melbourne)
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
2008 Big Business Ian Pidd The Fairfax Studio, The Arts Centre (Melbourne)
2007 The Concert Merophie Carr The North Melbourne Town Hall (Melbourne)
2004 The Concert Merophie Carr The Academy Concert Chamber, Academy Playhouse (New Zealand)
The Fuel Festival
2003 The Concert Merophie Carr The Assembly Rooms (Edinburgh)
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
2003 The Concert Merophie Carr The Store Room (VIC)
Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Winner British Council Arts Oz Export Award 2003
Barry Award Nominees 2003 Melbourne International Comedy Festival

2002 The Concert Merophie Carr The Store Room (VIC)
Melbourne Fringe Festival
2002 One Man’s Business John Bolton The Store Room (VIC)
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
2002 One Man’s Business John Bolton Traverse Theatre (Edinburgh)
Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Winner of 2002 Foreign Exchange Award - Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Moosehead Comedy Award recipient 2001
Green Room Award Nomination 2003 for Female Performance

2001 The Business …as Usual John Bolton Belvoir St (NSW)
1999 The Business …as Usual John Bolton La Mama (VIC)
Melbourne Fringe Festival

Winner Best Comedy Award – Melbourne Fringe Festival

1998 The Business

Barry Laing

Carlton Courthouse (VIC)


Formed in 1997, The Business is a highly innovative theatre company of four women who play four flawed and lovable male characters, Paul, Barry, Ray and Pierre.

Renowned for their impressive non-verbal theatre and inventive complex characterisations, The Business has a thirteen year track record of presenting shrewd, beautifully crafted performance works. Their performance style combines physical comedy, tight ensemble timing, and is largely non-verbal. Their award-winning shows have toured both nationally and internationally. The Business explore humanity by focusing on the relationships between the four characters and how they operate together in different, often absurd, situations. The results are great humour, deep pathos and shrewd social commentary.

“There's Paul (Kate Kantor), slightly coy, somewhat fussy and occasionally bossy, Barry (Penny Baron), slick, funky and a wild dancer, Ray (Glynis Angell), short-sighted and a little past it, and the portly Pierre (Clare Bartholomew) who puts comfort first but takes his music and his flute very seriously.”
The Age, 2007

“The four eccentrics come from the heritage of French clowns and The Marx Brothers. They create an idiosyncratic world full of pratfalls and sight gags.”
Herald Sun 2008

“Instantly drawing the audience into their world, small ambitions, petty grievances and pleasures are played out in a brilliant display of physical comedy.”
The Metro 2003

“The Business uses spot-on characterization to arouse the kind of audience empathy that cannot fail to make you guffaw with laughter while identifying with the protagonists.”
The Age 2007

Big Business shines a light into the culture of work, capitalism and the impact of ‘wanting more’ has upon the fragile eco-system that is the relationships between the four men. They live, play and work together in a fine balance but when the role of work asserts a greater demand upon their lives and each other, drastic consequences follow.

The Concert explores the desire for professional recognition, self-delusion and striving (and exposes the idiosyncrasies of concert performers along the way).

The Business…. As Usual looks at the insular world of government played as a game, far removed from the horrendous consequences of its actions.

The work generates strong visual images – for example hundreds of letters falling like rain upon the hapless government officials, or the painting of ultimate disappointment spread across the faces of the concert members who have the wrong instruments to play on the Night of All Concert Nights. There is mad dancing and competitive play for the secret wine bottle and its forbidden contents; there is ballet of office chairs and farcical elections. Eating breakfast becomes a musical ritual; the mundane workplace becomes a mad scientist’s laboratory.

The Business shows have enjoyed successful seasons in The Arts Centre, Melbourne, The Melbourne Fringe and Comedy Festivals, and Belvoir St, Sydney. The company has toured to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The New Zealand Fuel Festival, Salamanca Arts Centre Hobart, and also regional tours to Victoria and Tasmania.

Image of The Business Masters



Big Business reviews from seasons

@ Full Tilt 2008.


The Concert reviews from seasons

@ North Melbourne Town Hall Arts House, May 2007.
@ Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2003.
@ Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2003

  various quotes below:  
  “The clowning is first class… The Concert is at the high-quality end of the Comedy Festival – a real treat.”
The Age
  “What a brilliant slapstick adventure… I’ve not seen better.”
  “Like the Marx Brothers – except that they are women in bad suits and moustaches”
Herald Sun
  “The tradition of clowning is re-interpreted in such a clever way, that every audience member is willingly taken on a fabulous and hilarious journey of hope, despair, trouble and strife and even a little bit of disco-dancing.”
Melbourne Fringe Festival Director 2002
  “The visual gags are complex but made to look effortless…excellent comic timing.”
Melbourne Times
  “If you like physical comedy and visual humour, The Business really has the goods.”
Herald Sun
  “Constantly surprising, brilliantly absurd and mostly wordless show. Don’t miss it.”
Herald Sun