Grace's Top Picks from The Sydney Fringe- Theoretica

by Grace Cooper

Image sourced from Theoretica, Sydney Fringe Festival website.

Last month I went and watched lots of Sydney Fringe Festival shows, these are my recommended picks. This is not a conclusive list as there are other great Fringe shows but I didn’t get to watch them all. 

Theoretica (31 Aug- 3 Sept)

Raw. Glittery. Brave.

These are the three words I would describe the Sydney Fringe Festival depression fantasia- Theoretica. Which is not only written but produced and performed by Caitlin A. Kearney. 

Theoretica was performed at last year's Sydney Fringe Festival and is back for another year. Last year it received the Sydney Fringe Festival 2022 NIDA Emerging Writer award and was short-listed for Best Emerging Director. The show took place at Sideshow- Bay 43, at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Sydney Harbour (Gadigal Country) and was performed for four nights, 31st of August to the 3rd of September. The theatre was unique, rustic, and intimate, allowing the audience to be fully immersed in the performance.  

Not only is this show incredibly relatable in more ways than one but it tackles major life issues from grief to depression and the process of Caitlin untangling herself. This is a memoir of her own life in 90 minutes, a longer show for the Sydney Fringe Festival. Even though every word was meaningful the show was quite long.


Caitlin appears as herself for most of the performance but has a goddess-like alter ego who speaks in verse, she is Theoretica. Theoretica is “not something but everything in theory”. Through expressing her own life story, Caitlin jumps between herself and Theoretica.

The climax of the show was when Caitlin was shirtless with her breasts and chest covered in gold glitter, explaining her experiences as a HSC supervisor and then singing classical music the next second. This is the most clear and vivid contrast between Caitlin and Theoretica. The show expresses that life isn’t always butterflies and rainbows but a journey. 

Her courage and bravery to tell her story is to be commended, sharing with the audience her painfully raw personal grief and struggles relating to the death of her mother. It reflects on the past 10 years of her own life and the fact she hasn’t been able to say that she is good and mean it, which has been a consistent battle for her. Her story made me reflect on my own life, my struggles and how brutally important it is to see raw truthful theatre. I believe theatre should provoke thought and that is precisely what Theoretica did.


This show was truly authentic and painfully honest addressing parts of life that we feel we shouldn’t speak about. It shows that life is a journey and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, of course, covered in glitter.

Grace Cooper is a third-year Media (Comms and Journalism) and Arts (Theatre and Performance Studies) student. She loves all things theatre and performing, hoping to pursue both television journalism and acting. Another love of hers is coffee, it has become a necessary part of her university life. Grace went to Basser College and is involved in many shows with NUTS (New South Wales University Theatrical Society).

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