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Clare Bartholomew


Clare Bartholomew has been performing, writing, directing and producing new theatre works in Australia and internationally for over 25 years. She consults on performance for numerous organisations and independent companies from Circus Oz shows’ and their Blakrobatics program to multi award winning Fringe Wives Club’s Glittery Clittery, acrobatic ensemble Dummies Corp, comedians’ Hannah Gadsby, Barnie Duncan/Juan Versuvius, Josh Glanc, clown and physical comedy ensemble The Business, dark bouffon/clown ensemble WE3/The Long Pigs, Finucane and Smith’s The Burlesque Hour and Glory Box, Little Wing Puppets, Rawcus and Bunk Puppets, to name a few. 

Clare has taught clown & physical comedy Master Classes at the VCA and from 2015 to 2023, at Collarts since 2021, and was a guest teacher at the John Bolton School of Theatre for the last 5 years. 

Clare has worked as a Clown Doctor for 24 years using her theatre, comedy and music skills as distraction techniques for sick children, staff and parents in hospitals in Melbourne and runs performance workshops and training for the Clown Doctor program nationally.

Clare’s work has had numerous awards and nominations including fourteen Greenroom Award nominations, winning the Greenroom Best Cabaret Production Award twice as well as Best Comedy – Melbourne Fringe, Best in Fest – Winnipeg, Best Comedy – Intrepid Theatre BC, most Outstanding show – Ottawa Fringe, a Melbourne Comedy Festival Barry Award nomination and a Foreign Exchange Award and the British Council Tour Award also at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, a Total Theatre Award nomination - Edinburgh and the TO&ST (Time Out  - Soho Theatre, London) Best Cabaret Award nomination. 

She is a member of multi award winning clown ensemble The Business and a performer/devisor of the acclaimed show, The Long Pigs by WE3 alongside Nicci Wilks which toured to Sydney Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, had 3 Greenroom nominations and was a finalist for International Theatre Prize "Il Teatro Nudo" in Milan.

Since 2006 Clare has co-produced alongside Daniel Tobias as their company Salvador Dinosaur, the highly successful cabaret/comedy act Otto & Astrid - Die Roten Punkte. A German indie pop punk duo that has toured around Australia and had 23 international tours including the main support act for Amanda Palmer Europe and West Coast of US.  They were recently presented at Sydney Festival, Soho Theatre London, Norwich and Norfolk Festival, Darwin Festival, Joe’s Pub – NY to name a few.

“Astrid (Clare Bartholomew) is a crisp-eating comedy powerhouse. She is a superb clown. Everything about her is funny.”  – Kate Copstick, The Scotsman 2017, Otto & Astrid – Eurosmash! 

In 2015 she co-wrote the songs and produced Daniel Tobias’ award winning The Orchid and the Crow, which premiered at The Malthouse’s Tower Theatre, touring to five Canadian cities, The Edinburgh Fringe, four arts festivals in New Zealand and regionally throughout SA and WA. Nominated for three Greenroom Awards and winner of Best Writing – Cabaret. 

In 2016 Salvador Dinosaur collaborated with Arena Theatre Co to create a new children’s musical, Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon written by Clare and Daniel premiering at Sydney Festival, presented by the Comedy Festival, Theatre Works, Perth’s Awesome Festival, Assijet in Beijing, China, and to four arts festivals across New Zealand. 

In 2017 Salvador Dinosaur collaborated with Rob Tannion and Circus Oz to make a Circus Rock Opera called ROCK BANG featuring their characters’ Otto & Astrid. It premiered in 2018 at The Malthouse’s Merlyn Theatre and was then presented at Sydney Festival, 2019.

In 2021 they were special guests on RocKwiz at The Myer Music Bowl and presented Otto & Astrid’s Haus Party, in partnership with Melbourne International Comedy Festival, at Melbourne’s iconic rock venue The Forum.

In 2021 Clare directed Detectives in Cirque Noir at The Spiegeltent, Arts Centre Melbourne which won an Adelaide Fringe Weekly Award for Best Circus in 2022.

Clare & Daniel created a new non-verbal physical comedy called The Anniversary, directed by Peter Houghton, which premiered at Malthouse Theatre in March 2022 and then toured to CircFest Meanjiin and to Edinburgh Fringe, it has a tour of the UK in 2024. 

In 2023 they created Otto & Astrid’s Joint Solo Project which is toured in 2023 to Canada, Edinburgh and Hull’s Freedom Festival, followed by a regional Victorian tour in November.

Most recently they wrote an filmed a 10-part web series for their character’s Jim & Barb from The Anniversary, co-created and directed by comedian Frank Woodley. The web series will premiere later this year.

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