“I was shaken as I left the theatre. A masterfully human performance..” – Theatrepeople

In September 2019 The Director tours to Finland and the United Kingdom, following a successful season at the Sydney Opera House.

The Director is a bold new performance starring charismatic ex-funeral director of 21 years, Scott Turnbull, and artist Lara Thoms. Taking up a universal experience and taboo topic, Turnbull and Thoms demystify, expose and expand elements of the death industry, using humour and first-hand knowledge to dig a little deeper on what happens after we go. Nothing is off limits, including the smell of a crematorium, the tools of the mortuary, and driving tractors into a funeral chapel. At a time when dying costs an average of $10,000 and funerals happen within a week, death can seem like a very expensive drive-thru meal.

Blurring the roles of funeral director and theatre director, Thoms and Turnbull ask each other to perform tasks, share knowledge and give feedback on each other’s actions. Balancing macabre reality, playfulness and the tragic elements of death, the result is a spiky, funny and invigorating performance.


Creators – Lara Thoms, with Scott Turnbull, Aaron Orzech and Lz Dunn
Performers – Lara Thoms, Scott Turnbull

Designer – Katie Sfetkidis
Sound – Kenneth Pennington

The Director is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; the City of Melbourne through Arts House and through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts. 

Sick! Festival
Manchester, UK
25–26 September

ANTI Contemporary Art Festival
Kuopio, Finland
10–15 September

Sydney Opera House
Sydney, Australia
15–19 May

Images Clare Hawley, from Sydney Opera House season

APHIDS acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Boon wurrung peoples on whose lands we live and work. Sovereignty was never ceded and we pay our respect to past, present, and future Aboriginal elders and community, and to their long and rich history of artmaking on this Country.