Polytoxic is an Australian collective known for creating hyper-visual, pop-inspired performance work built upon foundations of diversity, collaboration and intersectionality. The company is led by two feminist performance-makers at the top of their game: Lisa Fa’alafi (Hot Brown Honey) and Leah Shelton (Bitch On Heat).
Since 2000, Polytoxic’s work has been presented in traditional huts, indie theatre seasons, dusty big-tops and major festivals including PS122’s COIL Festival New York, Harbourfront Centre Canada, WanSmolbag Vanuatu, Sydney Opera House, Darwin Festival, Brisbane Festival, Perth Fringe World, Bleach Festival, Enlighten, ArtsHouse Melbourne.
Polytoxic’s works include the live-art karaoke party experience THE BACKUP SERVICE, mongrel tiki-circus show THE RAT TRAP (co-presented with Queensland Theatre Company), and rose-tinted travelogue TEUILA POSTCARDS.
The company has also mounted several large-scale outdoor installations. Their stunning watertop projection work TRADE WINDS premiered at Harbourfront Centre, 2012 and has since played to audiences of up to 1500 people at a time in outdoor festivals around the world.
PRIVACY SETTINGS saw the company collaborate with design gurus Craig & Karl in a commission for Festival 2018 as part of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. In 2019, Polytoxic Co-Directed the immersive DALI AFTER DARK, a site-specific theatrical extravaganza set amongst the original works of Salvador Dali in a takeover of Perth’s Metro City nightclub.
Recognition of Polytoxic’s artistic and cultural merit is reflected in their positioning as Studio Artists at Queensland Theatre Company (2012), Company in Residence at Brisbane Powerhouse (2009-2012), members of MAPS for Artists (2009 – 2014), and critical response to their touring works. Lisa and Leah continually advocate for intersectional feminist approaches to contemporary performance practice and have participated as speakers on this topic at numerous national and international forums.
Polytoxic was co-founded in 2000 by Lisa Fa’alafi and Fez Fa’anana, with Leah Shelton joining the collective in 2002. Together they developed a style that borrowed from each performer’s intricate background, paying homage to Pacific tradition, Aussie humour, new fangled choreography, delightful theatrics, conceptual costume, slick set design and good ol’ entertainment. Since that time the company has morphed and evolved, collaborating with numerous brilliant artists include Kim ‘Busty Beatz’ Bowers, Natano Fa’anana, Mark Winmill, Amanda-Lyn Pearson, Liesel Zink, Sammie Williams, Nerida Matthaei, Anni Davey, Jaxzyn, Samuel Tupou, Pete Foley, Craig & Karl and optikal bloc.