High Performance Packing Tape

This is quintessential “poor theatre” using an absolute economy of means to create tension. The effectiveness of the set-up is hidden in plain sight until the very end, when the tension is finally released and the audience erupts in applause. Highly satisfying.


-Jana Perkovic, The Age, October 3, 2019

In High Performance Packing Tape, celebrated Australian company Branch Nebula employs readymade materials—stationery and disposable hardware items—to place performer Lee Wilson in a series of mind-bending planes and predicaments.

Climbing towers made out of items that will inevitably collapse, suspending the body in the air from materials that stretch and then snap, and balancing precariously on structures made out of things designed to decorate a party, High Performance Packing Tape invites the viewer to experience edge of the seat madness.

The tension of cheap materials pushed to breaking point, inevitable equipment failure, and imminent physical demise lead to horrific scenarios. Safety and wellbeing are de-prioritised in new and liberating ways.

High Performance Packing Tape faces fear, self preservation and risk management to create enthralling new possibilities for physical performance.

The show was absolutely AMAZING – CAPS lock shouting totally necessary. Really – you and Mirabelle and collaborators have made something truly astonishing, terrifying and profound! And Phil’s sound was everything sound in performance should be, perfectly magnifying moments and utterly essential!

Gail Priest, Audience member

collaborating artists
Lee Wilson
Mickie Quick
Mirabelle Wouters
Phil Downing

sound design
Phil Downing

alternate performer
Skye Gellmann

Antek Marciniec

production managers
Neil Simpson
Aaron Clark
Nicole Hector

Jennifer Greer Holmes

originally produced by
Harley Stumm

commissioned by
Performance Space

For a company committed to explorations of the nature of work and of play as art, High Performance Packing Tape represents a superb synthesis of these preoccupations and the apotheosis to date of Branch Nebula’s creativity.

Keith Gallasch, Realtime


Tour Dates

Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art, Performance Space Sydney
24-27 October 2018, 7pm.
Carriageworks, Track 8

PAX Performing Arts Exchange, Sunshine Coast
27 August 2019, 4.50pm.
The Events Centre, Caloundra

Homo Novus Festival, Riga (Latvia)
9-12 September 2019, 7pm.
Space H2O6

Sydney Opera House
18-22 September 2019, 7pm.
The Studio

Melbourne Festival,
2-6 October 2019, 7pm.
The Meat Market

Adelaide Festival
5-8 March 2020, 6pm.
Main Theatre, AC Arts

Cambridge Junction (UK)
12-13 October 2022

High Performance Packing Tape was commissioned by Performance Space for the Liveworks 2018 festival and originally Produced by Harley Stumm for Intimate Spectacle.