Come Down Under to a sunburnt country where cars rule, hitchhiking kills and dingoes eat babies.

Terror Australis is a grindhouse cabaret edgier than a serial killer’s machete. Performed by psycho-siren Leah Shelton (Polytoxic, La Clique, Little Death Club), this f**ked-up outback Contiki tour is a frothing hot mess of black comedy, anti-burlesque, live art and Hills-Hoist-pole-dance.

Trapped inside a sweltering pulp film mash-up, Shelton trawls through the roadkill of the Australian national identity to reveal a litany of brutality and paranoia, drenched in sweat and beer.

Australian performance artist Leah Shelton’s work sits in the sweet spot between cabaret, anti-burlesque and live art. She creates wild, stylised, visually striking works, soaked in cult references and wicked humour.

Terror Australis is a blood-splattered, lip-synched, utterly beautiful nightmare, packed full of urban myth, cultural tropes and goon. Be amazed, horrified and electrified by Shelton’s award-winning, boundary-smashing show. It hacks Australia to pieces.

WINNER: John Chataway Innovation Award, Adelaide Fringe 2016. WINNER: Matilda Awards, Best Set Design 2016. WINNER: Darwin Fringe Gold Croc Award, Best Cabaret 2017. NOMINEE: Performance Award, Melbourne Fringe 2016. NOMINEE: Matilda Awards, Best Cabaret, Best Costume Design, Best AV Design. NOMINEE: Green Room Awards, Best Contemporary and Experimental Performer.

“reveals the blood in the dirt of the Australian outback ... energetic, exciting, gruesome, beautiful” (★★★★½, Rip It Up)

Venue Format
Theatre, Black Box Venue
Technical Rating
A, B, C
Touring Party
  • Requires full blackout in venue & high quality data projector.
  • Show contains: Adult themes, Haze / smoke machine, Occasional Coarse language, Sexual references, Strobe effects, Loud music, Alcohol consumption.

Psycho-siren Leah Shelton creates stylized, guttural, renegade feminist work soaked in cult references and dark humour. Her work has taken her from the glamour of Las Vegas to the back streets of Kings Cross, from rigorous training in Japan to live art festivals in New York.

She is Co-Director of artist collective Polytoxic, one of the most prominent contemporary Pacific theatre companies in Australia. With Polytoxic, Leah has presented work at PS122’s COIL Festival NYC, Harbourfront Centre Canada, WanSmolbag Vanuatu, Sydney Opera House, Darwin Festival, Brisbane Festival, APAM, Bleach* Festival, Enlighten, ArtsHouse Melbourne, Ten Days on the Island, BPH, QPAC.

As a solo artist, she has graced the cabaret stages of La Clique, Club Briefs, Little Death Club, Vegas Nocturne. Leah’s premiere solo work ‘Terror Australis’ has received numerous awards and in 2019 will tour throughout France to Festival d’Automne ? Paris; FAB Festival, Bordeaux; Theatre Garonne, Toulouse; and Festival ActOral, Aix-en-Provence.

Leah’s most recent work, ‘Bitch On Heat’, directed by UK Performance Art luminary Ursula Martinez, premiered to critical acclaim. The Age, in a rare 4.5 star review, said of the work: “doesn’t waste a single moment - a transfixing combination of fierce intellect, intense presence and bold physical comedy.”

Unique Selling Point

Terror Australis uses accessible forms such as comedy, cabaret and burlesque to re-enact and re-present cliches and stereotypes, inviting audiences to laugh at iconic cultural tropes while also questioning why we are laughing and why such cliches are celebrated. While the work explores Australian culture, I believe it can speak to many of the issues we are facing globally as we attempt to write new narratives and encourage audiences to rethink their own personal cultural assumptions.

Marketing Materials

This work has toured throughout Australia and internationally, and therefore a wide range of quality marketing resources are available to help sell the show. These include:

  • marketing copy, quotes, and review links
  • high resolution hero images (2 options)
  • high resolution live images
  • title treatment
  • promo footage trailer

Community Engagement

  • post-show Q&A
  • performance-making / devising workshops for local theatre artists