The Bluebird Mechanicals, is an interdisciplinary solo work about our collective loss of feeling on the cusp of climate change. It weaves a series of seemingly disparate elements together into a devastating climax: Kostya’s ghost in the aftermath of Chekov’s The Seagull, the final fiery flight of the Hindenburg, and the omniscience of birds. The experience unfolds inside a natural history museum diorama playing space enveloped by intricate, immersive visual and sound design. The work blurs the line between the real and the imagined, the animate and the inanimate, and employs the uncanny and automata, using taxidermy animals, wind-up toys and live-filmed miniature worlds.

In the show, Konstantin from Chekov’s The Seagull returns to haunt Nina after he has shot himself. Woven alongside their story, the audience is taken on a journey aboard the Hindenburg with an uncanny airship host who talks to them about their perilous fate.

“A portent of disaster” is at the centre of The Bluebird Mechanicals with the Hindenburg as a symbol for the excess of our contemporary times. Throughout, the performer sits with objects until they begin to speak. Cumulatively, the fragments point towards the potential disaster we are heading towards: climate change.

Venue Format
Theatre, Black Box Venue
Technical Rating
Touring Party

There is a bit of rigging required in the show:

  • A large fish puppet (lightweight) gets rigged from the grid
  • Piping for a large painted backdrop is hung that allows it to roll up and down
  • Piping and wood box for a large piece of white cloth that falls across the stage towards the end in a kabuki effect
  • One very safe fire effect using flash paper has been extensively tested and approved by a theatre previously. Nick is trained in use of a fire extinguisher and has done the necessary fire safety course.
  • All components can be supplied by the touring team and knowledge of how to execute these elements resides with the company.

Too Close to the Sun is a contemporary performance-making company creating and touring solo work in both Australia and Canada. They have been described by The Huffington Post as “a company known for installation theatre works that combine intense performances with stunning aesthetics.”

They use multi-layered storytelling, incorporating projection, live film and installation, to create worlds that are inescapable, unsettling and dream-like. The work is characterised by transformation and immersion and seeks to directly question the nature of performance and examine darkness with unnerving humour and intensity.

Too Close to the Sun has toured work nationally to Performance Space, Arts House, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane Festival, Metro Arts and Adelaide Fringe produced by Vitalstatistix. Internationally their work has been presented at Summerworks (Toronto), Uno Fest (Victoria, BC), Wildside Festival and Theatre La Chapelle (Montreal).

The company combines the skills of husband and wife team, Talya Rubin (devisor/performer) and Nick James (co-devisor/director), collaborating with some of Australia’s most respected contemporary sound, video and lighting designers. Together, they create original installation theatre work designed to draw audiences into an intense, compelling experience through visual invention and rich text.

Company Website

Unique Selling Point

The show gives audiences a unique experience in witnessing an alternative form of performance and storytelling. It is an immersive and unusual journey that is truly captivating for audiences as they are made to feel implicated and included in the intensity of the drama unfolding. The visuals are truly unique and made people gasp in the premiere season as there were several visual surprises as the story unfolds. It is a one-of-a-kind performance and audiences were left mesmerised and fascinated.

Marketing Materials

  • Marketing copy available in both long and short form
  • Full length footage of show available
  • Promo of show available and alternate promos can be edited together to suit the venue/audience
  • Education pack can be written as Talya is a trained drama/theatre studies teacher and knowledgeable about curriculum and teacher's needs
  • Images available
  • Reviews available

Community Engagement

  • Talya and Nick are able to offer workshops to young adults and adults studying drama. They can teach the form of devising and visual theatre creation that they use in their own work and give students a way in to making work that is coming from a similar vein of experimentation. Talya has taught at NIDA and AFTRS and Sydney University and they have taught together.

  • The company are interested in organising a series of talks around climate change and could tailor these talks to engage with particular local communities and their interests and concerns. A talk by indigenous leaders, a talk on "what is the role of the artist in the time of climate change" and a talk by a leading climate scientist are all possibilities.