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In Conversation with Maddison Sullivan | FRINGE HUB 2022

We chat with director Maddison Sullivan about 'On the Rise', premiering at Theatre Works as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival.

“Crabs in a bucket will pull each other down, rather than let another escape.”

This was the fundamental idea that drove the themes and narrative of ‘On the Rise’. In developing the show, we aimed to explore what gets in the way of societal changes, despite a seemingly positive consensus.

We are extremely proud and excited to share not only the dynamic music by Oscar Jenkin and Julian Smith-Gard, but the incredible performances of our cast. They have truly developed the characters within our show further than we could have imagined. Whilst we often refer to the ‘crab bucket’ theory of pulling each other down, this team has done anything but. Every person who has been a part of this production, whether that be on the Production Team, the Cast, Band or even our friends who helped proofread the script, wholeheartedly believes in our story, and it shows.

On the Rise’ has been two years in the making, which has contributed to its large scale and polished material. The costumes and set that have brought this show to life, have mostly been repurposed or upcycled, fulfilling our desire to create sustainable theatre.

If I can give you any reason to come see our show, it’s that not only will you laugh and cry and potentially question the world around you, but proudly as their Director, Oscar and Julian have written a piece of theatre unlike anything else I have consumed before. For myself personally, ‘On the Rise’ reignited my love for theatre after two tough years for the Arts and Entertainment industry and having the honour of sharing the magic of our show with others is beyond exciting.


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