Howie the rookie

Blistering words and beats collide for break-neck physical theatre​

“They’re both a shambles, but their eyes’re black an’ smokin’. They’re still goin’, still tradin’ damage back an’ forth, a percussion of skin on skin sounds…”

Howie the Rookie is a white-knuckle ride through the mean streets of Dublin, fuelled by a molotov cocktail of vivid characters, pitch-black humour and comic-book violence that makes Tarantino look tame. The story begins with the ready foot-soldier of random vendettas, The Howie Lee, roped into a manhunt over a scabies-infested mattress. His prey and namesake, The Rookie Lee, then picks up the tale: as one aggrieved psychopath after another circles around him, he has to rely on his teflon charm and the help of an unexpected brother-in-arms to keep his kneecaps intact.

Fresh from his star turn as Malvolio in Shakespeare by the Lakes’ Twelfth Night, and his acclaimed physical odyssey Icarus, at The Street Theatre and The Blue Room, Perth (Overall Winner, Dance & Physical Theatre Award, Fringe World 2019), “the master of the solo performance” Christopher Samuel Carroll makes another expectation-defying swerve with his latest one-man show, playing both roles in an acting masterclass that returns to his Irish roots.

The ricocheting lyricism of Mark O’Rowe’s award-winning modern classic (Best New Play, Irish Times Theatre Awards 1999) is driven by live accompaniment from drummer Steve Fitzgerald (Brass Knuckle Brass Band, Bella Groove, Victor Rufus Reverberation), in a pulsating piece of theatre with all the brutal beauty of a bare-knuckle brawl.

20 & 21 June, 7pm
Smith's Alternative
Tickets $20 at


By Arrangement with

the Licensor, Mark O’ Rowe, c/- Curtis Brown (Aust) Pty Ltd


Bare Witness Theatre Company is an artistic vehicle led by Christopher Samuel Carroll. We produce work in Canberra and beyond, with a commitment to theatre that is physically rigorous and bristles with life. We're interested in work which exploits the immediacy of the live experience, and in particular, the performer at the threshold of their limits - in other words, 'in the mouth of the wolf'.

We've put on plays in Ireland, the U.K., Australia, and on occasion, someone's living-room. We draw from a wide tradition of theatrical styles, from cabaret to mime, from comedy to Butoh, to serve each story we tell.

More so than ever, we're preoccupied with personal stories which, because they are marginal, or unexpected, or inconvenient, face a battle for recognition against the generalised narratives that prevail in the public (and political) discourse.

Curious? So are we. Get in touch at:




Blistering words and beats collide for break-neck physical theatre

Christopher Samuel Carroll as the man wh


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Mermaid Stromlo.jpg


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An artfully-embellished one-man show with sleuthing, vermouthing, and a mimed penny-farthing chase.


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Christopher Samuel Carroll is an Irish actor, writer and theatre-maker, trained at the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin and Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq, Paris. As an actor, he has worked with companies all over Ireland, and as Artistic Director of Bare Witness Theatre Company, has developed work in ensembles and as a solo performer, with an emphasis on work that is dynamic and boldly theatrical.

Christopher’s practice is informed by a wide range of different theatrical styles and approaches. His foundation as an actor is that of a classical, conservatory training, with a heavy focus on traditional, text-based drama. His time working with nervousystem theatre company in Ireland, and subsequently, his contact with The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards in Pontedera, Italy, and Dairakudakan Dance Company in Tokyo, instilled in him a great appreciation for the value of a daily practice for the actor. As he has traveled and continued his development as an artist, increasingly creating his own, original work, he has been influenced by more radical, expressive forms, rooted in a highly physical approach to the actor’s craft.


As a teacher, Christopher is specialised in Movement for the Actor, and has also worked as a tutor for voice, acting, and dramaturgy, with students of all ages and levels. He has taught Movement and Acting at the Canberra Academy of Dramatic Art, Canberra Youth Theatre, and Daramalan College, as well as teaching private voice lessons for individuals.


Hanna Cormick is a performance artist with a background in physical theatre, dance, circus and interdisciplinary art. Her current practice is a reclamation of body through radical visibility.


She is a graduate of Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq (Paris), Ecole des Arts Chinois du Spectacle (Paris), Charles Sturt University's Acting for the Screen and Stage degree and NIDA's Young Actor's Studio, and has also undergone training with numerous experimental theatre practitioners including Thomas Richards and Mario Biagini at The Grotowski Center (ARTA Paris), Pan Théâtre at the Roy Hart Centre (Malerargues), and Per Brahe with the Balerung Dance Company (Bali).


Cormick is one half of the cirque-dance duo Les Douleurs Exquises, with Apollo Garcia, who have brought their signature danse apache to underground cabaret and electroswing clubs in Paris. They have also spent time working with Her Yerde Sanat Social Circus in refugee camps on the Turkish-Syrian border as the clown duo Salade & Socks.


She was a founding member of interdisciplinary art-science group Last Man To Die, who between 2009-2011 toured Australia with their audience interactive tech-driven work, and were shortlisted for an ArtsHub award for Innovation in the Arts.


Her performance practice spans close to a hundred productions over twenty years, with works in Australia, Europe and Asia.


Her first performance artwork as a disabled artist, The Mermaid, debuted at Art, Not Apart 2018, and is a confrontation of rare illness, invisible populations, the social model of disability and the climate crisis. For this work she was a finalist for the 2018 ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award (Young Leader) and the National Award for Disability Leadership (Arts).

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2017 by Bare Witness Theatre Company

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