There was a time when the Tivoli Circuit reigned supreme. This was the home of variety theatre and vaudeville – where dancers, acrobats, comedians and ventriloquists trod the boards and where unclad beauties stood immobile. From the 1890s until the last show in 1966, Tivoli theatres around Australia vibrated with theatrical magic.

In commemoration of Australia’s Centenary of Federation in 2001, The Sydney Dance Company and The Australian Ballet joined forces for the first time to present an unforgettable celebration of the Tivoli Circuit. TIVOLI is Graeme Murphy’s homage to this extraordinary period of variety theatre. Featuring 35 dancers from two of Australia’s most celebrated companies, guest artists and singers and a 10-piece band, Tivoli is a large-scale production which toured nationally in 2001 and, due to the overwhelming audience response, Sydney Dance Company presented a return season in 2003 at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney.

Interweaving backstage scenes with onstage acts, Graeme Murphy’s TIVOLI captures the essence of ‘a night at the Tiv’ whilst also telling the story of the era. The story opens in 1906, when the main character, a starry-eyed Jack, lands a job as a stagehand. This marks the beginning of a life-long love affair with the theatre, and we watch as he works his way to the top in the midst of great change – two World Wars, the roaring 20s and the depression years, the topless follies of the 50s and finally the disastrous advent of television. Drawing upon authentic music and authentic acts from Tivoli productions, TIVOLI reveals the humour, glamour and magic of the era to a whole new generation.

TIVOLI received four Australian Dance Awards, for outstanding achievement in choreography – won by Graeme Murphy, outstanding performance by a company, outstanding performance by an individual – won by guest artist Harry Haythorne, and outstanding performance in a stage musical – won by Tracey Carrodus.

Review           Program           Frank van Straten interview

The stage performance was filmed a number of times in Melbourne and Sydney and has now been edited in full, 176 min of it!

The making of this musical was also filmed as a documentary.

Featured video: 13 min Promo

Videos tab above:
Excerpt from Swan Silver (6 min)
Celebrating the late Harry Haythorne


  • TIVOLI Swan Silver (Katherine Arnold-Lindley)
  • TIVOLI Poster
  • TIVOLI - Tango del Fuego (Katherine Arnold-Lindley and Xue-Jun Wang)
  • TIVOLI - Swan Silver
  • TIVOLI - Daddy and Baby Doll (ventriloquist act - Tracey Carrodus and Tim Tyler)
  • TIVOLI - Costume Drawings (by Kristian Fredrikson)
  • TIVOLI Bill of Fare
  • TIVOLI - Swan Silver (Josef Brown and Rachael Read)
  • The original Tivoli Capers
  • TIVOLI - Gloom and Glitz (Joshua Horner as Jack, original cast)
  • TIVOLI - The story
  • Original Tivoli poster

TIVOLI (2001 season credits)

Choreography & Concept
Graeme Murphy AO

Creative Associate
Janet Vernon AM

Graeme Murphy
Kristian Fredrikson

Graeme Koehne

Set Design
Brian Thomson

Costume Design
Kristian Fredrikson

Lighting Design
Damien Cooper

Musical Supervisor
Max Lambert

Musical Director
Michael Tyack

Original Songs and Lyrics
Graeme Koehne
Max Lambert
Linda Nagle

Paul Chubb
Linda Nagle

Sound Design
Adam Iuston

Frank Van Straten

Rehearsal Directors
Brett Morgan (SDC)
Danilo Radojevic (AB)

The Dancers

Sydney Dance Company
Katherine Arnold-Lindley
Wakako Asano
Andrea Briody
Josef Brown
Tracey Carrodus
Bradley Chatfield
Chylie Cooper
Katherine Griffiths
Gavin Mitford
Carl Plaisted
Simone Sault
Christopher Sheriff
Matthew Shilling
Simon Turner
Xue-Jun Wang
Nobuo Fujino

The Australian Ballet
Adrian Burnett
Craig Cathcart
Rachel Dougherty
Lucinda Dunn
Madeleine Eastoe
Timothy Farrar
Kristie-Ann Ferguson
Joshua Horner
Danielle Hunt
Gennadi Koutchin
Sarah McCarthy
Sakis Michelis
Renee Moon
Felicia Palanca
Rachael Read
Katie Ripley
Leanne Stojmoenov
Simon Vaughan
Camilla Vergotis
Steven Woodgate

Guest Artists
Linda Nagle
Michael Cormick
Harry Haythorne
Tim Tyler

10-piece Tivoli Band
Michael Tyack - piano
Duncan Salton – piano & piano accordeon
Philip Rex – acoustic bass & tuba
John Barret – clarinet, alto sax, flute
Dean Cooper - drums
George Brodbeck – Tivoli Band arranger
Peter Mapleson – Tivoli Band copyist

The Orchestral Score
was recorded by the Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra;
Acting Concertmaster Bogdan Bobocea
Conducted by Mark Summerbell


Philippe Charluet
Paul Ree
Erika Addis

Mark Cornish

Producer/ Director/ Editor
Philippe Charluet