Too Close to the Sun

Too Close to the Sun is a contemporary performance-making company creating and touring interdisciplinary solo work in Canada and Australia. We have been described by The Huffington Post as “a company known for installation theatre works that combine intense performances with stunning aesthetics.”

We use multi-layered storytelling, incorporating puppetry, projection, live film and installation, to create worlds that are inescapable, unsettling and dream-like. Our work is characterised by transformation and immersion and seeks to directly question the nature of performance and examine darkness with unnerving humour and intensity. Our work has the quality of the handmade, the unsettling, and the intricate that often lends comparison to the dark cinematic puppetry work of Janie Geiser or the disturbing, off-beat vision of David Lynch.

The company combines the skills of husband and wife team, Talya Rubin (devisor/performer) and Nick James (co-devisor/director), collaborating with some of Australia and Canada's most respected contemporary sound, video, object, puppet and lighting designers. Together, we create original installation theatre work designed to draw audiences into an uncanny, surprising and compelling experience through visual invention and rich text.

Talya Rubin (Co-devisor/Writer/Performer/Visual Concept and Design) is a co-founder of Too Close to the Sun. A Montreal born writer, performer and creator of new work for live performance, she has spent most of her creative life based in Australia. She has toured her original solo work Of the Causes of Wonderful Things and The Bluebird Mechanicals to festivals and arts centres in Australia and Canada, including:  Brisbane Festival, Performance Space, Arts House, Brisbane Powerhouse, Metro Arts, Adelaide Fringe (produced by Vitalstatistix), SummerWorks (Toronto) and Theatre La Chapelle (Montreal). As a company, they have been invited to be part of The National Arts Centre (Canada) Collaborations Project. As a poet, Talya won the National Canadian Bronwen Wallace award for poetry for the most promising writer under the age of 35 and her first collection of poetry, Leaving the Island, was published with Véhicule Press in 2015. She is currently working on a new book, Iceland is Melting and so are You.

Nick James (Co-devisor/Director) is a co-founder of Too Close to the Sun. A writer and film and theatre director born in Chile from Australian parents, Nick also directed and co‐ devised the company’s previous work Of the Causes of Wonderful Things. He has participated in numerous curated residencies with Too Close to the Sun, including: The Banff Centre, The Rex Cramphorn Studio (Sydney University), Metro Arts, HotHouse Theatre and PWM Montreal. His first short film was screened at 20 Australian and International festivals and he has just completed two new short films in 2017. Nick is currently working on a feature film script with Talya, entitled Tell Me When We Get There.


Hayley Forward (Sound Design) is a sound artist and engineer, producing compositions, sound designs, performances, and sound installations for the visual and performing arts.  As an artist, Hayley has collaborated with Jess Olivieri and the Parachutes for Ladies whose exhibits include Framed Movements ACCA, Melbourne Festival 2014; Contemporary Australia: Women GOMA, 2012, Primavera 2011, MCA. Awards include the John Frieze prize (2013).  As a sound designer, Hayley creates atmospheric soundscapes and incorporates ideas into the weave of her own creative work. Recent credits include Tacita Dean’s, Event for a Stage at Carriageworks, Sydney Biennale 2014 and Too Close to the Sun’s Of the Causes of Wonderful Things and The Bluebird Mechanicals.

Sam James (Video Design) has been a projection designer for contemporary performance companies and independent dancers since 1995As a video artist he has been involved in over 200 performance works including Nun's Night Out (winner Best Dance Film, Australian Dance Awards 2006), The Piper (My Darling Patricia, Sydney Festival - winner Best Children’s Theatre Sydney Theatre Awards 2014), GUDIRR GUDIRR (Marrugeku 2014), and My Radio Heart (NORPA and Urban Theatre Project 2014). He held a large-scale exhibition at Artspace Sydney, curated by Blair French (Amygdala - Fear Conditioning 2010) and a multi-channel installation curated by Bec Dean (Nightshifters Performance Space, 2010).

Richard Vabre (Lighting Design) has lit productions for MTC, STC, Malthouse Theatre, Belvoir Street, Victorian Opera, Windmill Theatre, Arena Theatre Company, NICA, The Darwin Festival, Stuck Pig’s Squealing, Chambermade, Rawcus, Red Stitch, Polyglot, Melbourne Worker’s Theatre, Aphids and many many productions at La Mama Awards: Richard has won 4 Green Room Awards including the Association’s John Truscott Prize for Excellence in Design (2004).  He has also been nominated for 7 other Green Room Awards.