• Photo: Richard Haughton

  • Photo: Richard Haughton

  • Photo: Richard Haughton

  • Photo: Richard Haughton


Acrobat, clown, poet and magician James Thierrée creates a world of endless invention in Raoul, the story of a man without beginning or end, who tumbles through a series of utopian fantasies in which acrobatics, mysterious transformations, music and dance collide – a world which is at once recognisable and yet utterly alien.

One of Europe’s most extraordinarily versatile artists, Thierrée uses his impish talent to transform everyday objects into magical dream-like spectacles that captivate, charm and inspire. With Raoul  a surprising and daring solo, Thierrée mischievously teases the audience whilst demonstrating his formidable skills through delightful visual comedy.



  • 'His ability through physical inventiveness and pliability to transform everyday occurrences into moments of wonder is superb.'

    Financial Times

  • 'Dream-weaver James Thierrée is a master of theatrical spectacle, whose adventures in physical hallucinogenics defiantly defy categorisation.'


  • 'James Thierrée has created a fantasy world that's a breath of air so fresh it will take your own away.'

    Evening Standard

  • 'Thierrée’s rag-doll body and his struggle to preserve the eroding crab shell he’s built around it accrete meaning as the night tumbles on, gradually writing a wordless epic in the air. It’s old-fashioned French existentialism set to the rhythms of supercharged parkour. […] Thierrée performs an unforgettable cirque du solitaire, thrilling, hilarious, terrifying, and mysterious, but never obscure.'

    NY Mag

  • Biography

    James Thierrée, born into the magical world of circus, acquired his astonishing talent from the age of four, touring with Le Cirque Imaginaire and Le Cirque Invisible. In January 2009 he won the Theatre Pleasure Prize, awarded by France’s Playwright Guild. He has appeared in London five times: in 2007 with Au Revoir Parapluie; in 2004 and 2005 with La Veillée des Abysses; and in 2001 and 2002 with The Junebug Symphony, a show which won four Moliere Awards, France’s highest achievement in theatre award.

  • Co-Producers

    Raoul went to London’s Barbican in October 2009 and to Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in February 2011.

    Raoul is a Compagnie du Hanneton production, co-commissioned by barbicanbite09 in association with Crying Out Loud, Abbey Theatre Ireland, Le Théâtre de Namur, Sas Junebug, La Coursive Scène Nationale de La Rochelle, La Comédie de Clermont Ferrand, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, La Maison de la Danse Lyon and TNT Toulouse.

    La Compagnie du Hanneton is supported by Fondation BNP Paribas.