Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.
The Toad Knew © Richard Haughton 9

Get to know James Thierrée


Learn a little more about the mesmerising James Thierrée ahead of his Edinburgh International Festival performance of The Toad Knew.

James Thierrée made his theatrical debut as a walking suitcase.

Surprising? Not really. He was four years old, with an artistic lineage including Victoria Chaplin (his mother), Charlie Chaplin (his grandfather) and Eugene O’Neill (his great grandfather). 'Walking suitcase' was at the mild end of the scale. Before long, the teenage James was working with the likes of Peter Greenaway and Robert Wilson.   

Acrobat, poet, clown, magician; James Thierrée is a captivating performer with a unique theatrical vision.

…a theatrical magician who has always skipped nimbly along the tightrope between circus, dance and theatre.

The Guardian

In his twenties, Thierrée founded his own theatre company, La Compagnie du Hanneton, with which he has created five full-scale productions to date. La Veillée des AbyssesAu revoir parapluie, Raoul, Tabac rouge and La grenouille avait raison all have in common a kind of surreal whimsy. All call on the extraordinarily physical skill of the performers to tell shadowy stories and draw out complex themes.

Thierrée’s latest creation, La grenouille avait raison (The Toad Knew – not a direct translation) brings together dancers, contortionists, high-wire artists and Thierrée’s own physical prowess in an exploration of family.

This is the first time James Thierrée has visited the Edinburgh International Festival, and we look forward to welcoming his profound and inventive form of physical theatre to our city!

Image Credit:

The Toad Knew © Mihaela Bodlovic

Other news


2018 Playlist #01

Our weekly playlist is back! Press play to get a taste of what to expect in concert halls this August.


Edinburgh International Festival Announce residency in Leith Academy

The International Festival are delighted to announce a new partnership with Edinburgh secondary school Leith Academy, after the success of its residency with Castlebrae Community High School.