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Tangle is a huge, fun, totally interactive elastic weaving event, created live and on the spot by children and their families. It’s part spectacular live art, part performance, part playground and all chaos.

Participants are each given a ball of soft elastic to weave around and through 24 tall slender golden poles. Strand by strand the kids create a dense multi-coloured landscape, tangled and interwoven to make a place where they can play and explore and bounce.

Tangle takes individual paths and interconnects them to form a hilarious metaphor for life.

Featuring live music, this beautiful event is a place where children take control and create a giant shared abstract artwork that everyone owns and anyone can play in.

"This is an opportunity you rarely get to do since you can't do it at home or anywhere else." - Bethany, 13

"This is children's play invisibly directed and unfolding" - The Age, Melbourne, Australia

How Does It Work?

Imagine 25 poles of different heights, from 2.5 to 6 metres tall, set in platform bases. Each child is given a ball of elastic that they weave in and out of the poles. Gradually, the landscape fills with interconnecting lines of different colours as more and more children fill the space. As the day progresses and the weaving becomes denser, the space becomes a huge messy bouncy playground, and the children play within the stretchy mass, weaving themselves in and out of the elastic. Tangle follows Polygot’s philosophy that theatre is child’s play.

In and around the space are the Weavers, performers who follow the children’s instincts, responding to their impulses and facilitating their creations. Using big crooks, they can hoist the eslastic higher on the poles so that there is room for more weaving by more children, while creating a massive multicoloured ceiling. As the soundtrack changes – from upbeat circus music to atmospheric blips and beeps – the performers alter their movement and we see also how this affects the way the children move in the space and what they create. It is created in the moment and constantly affected by others. It’s all a giant experiment.

We can also play with colour palette – imagine the black, red and yellow of Indigenous Australia, the blues and greens of an environmental theme, the rainbow colours of Mardi Gras. The aim of the piece is simply for children to work together to create a singular, abstract, lyrical messy artwork which everyone owns.


Tangle is a simple artwork which is a complex metaphor of intertwining lives and intentions. It is about connection and instinct. It has resonance with the themes of interlinking communities, of links between strangers, of connecting life strands and desires. We are interested in the revealing nature of the work. How does chaos affect people’s behaiviour? How do children interact and play with each other, and with adults? How does this shift and change in different cities and countries?  Tangle provides the chance for children to enter an abstract world of their own creation.

View photos in the 'Photo Gallery' tab below. 

For booking enquiries, please contact:

Tamara Harrison 
Executive Producer
 +61 3 8060 4680

Laura Colby (North America)
Director, Elsie Management
+1 718/797 4577


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Videos Media Creative Team Touring History Freight & Tech Specs
Tangle (2012)
Tangle - Highlights

Since Sue Giles was appointed Artistic Director of Polyglot in 2000, she has directed, written...

Artistic Director

Christian arrived in Australia in 1980 from Hungary via Germany. After several years studying...

Ania Reynolds

Ania graduated with an Advanced Diploma of Music Performance at NMIT in 2003. She has worked as...

Musician / Composer

Tim Wells graduated from RMIT with a fine arts degree in 2002.Currently sharing studio space at...

Puppet Maker
Nick Barlow

Nick completed his honours degree in Visual and Performing Arts at the VCA in 2000.  Since...

Animator / Performer

Tamara Rewse has worked as a Director, Devisor, Maker and Performer in Puppet and Visual Theatre...

Michael Baxter

Baxter is a designer, fabricator and maker of sets and props for circus, theatre, dance, film...

Construction Designer
Glen Walton

Glen is a multi disciplinary artist with over 6 years experience in Theatre, Music and Visual...

Performer / Maker

Sabrina is a Melbourne-based puppeteer and performer. She has a Bachelor of Acting from Theatre...

Felicity Jane Horsley

Felicity Jane is a Tasmanian born performing artist, director, trainer and multi-tasker. She...

Lachlan MacLeod

Lachlan MacLeod is an actor, singer/songwriter and puppeteer from Melbourne. He trained for four...

19 Jun 2013 - 23 Jun 2013
Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Ann Arbor, Michigan
2 - 12
$5 per child / Their Adult FREE
13 Jun 2013 - 16 Jun 2013
Matrix Festival, Midland, Michigan
0 - 12
$3 per child
07 Jun 2013 - 09 Jun 2013
Brookfield Properties, Los Angeles, California
0 - 12
03 May 2013 - 12 May 2013
0 - 12
09 Mar 2013 - 11 Mar 2013
12:15PM, 2:30PM & 4:45PM
WOMADelaide Festival, Botanic Garden, Adelaide.
Under 12
Free to Festival Ticket Holders
21 Feb 2013 - 24 Feb 2013
10AM & 3PM
Perth Cultural Centre
5 - 12
24 Nov 2012 - 25 Nov 2012
various (see below)
Kidstown Adventure Playground, Shepparton
5 - 12 yrs old
24 Oct 2012 - 24 Oct 2012
10:30AM, 11:45AM & 2:30PM
Melbourne Museum, Carlton.
Free for children & concessions; Adults $10.
12 Aug 2012 - 17 Aug 2012
Festival Park, Darwin, NT
26 Jul 2012 - 29 Jul 2012
See below for full details
Josie Robertson Plaza, Lincoln Center, New York.
18 May 2012 - 02 Jun 2012
4:00PM & 6:30PM
Rainbow Canopy, Festival Village, Singapore
0 - 12
13 Apr 2012 - 15 Apr 2012
Latrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell, VIC
28 Feb 2012 - 28 Feb 2012
10.30am, 11.30am, 1.45pm & 3.15p
Adelaide Festival Centre
2 to 12
18 Jan 2012 - 22 Jan 2012
10.30am, 12pm & 2.30pm (70 mins)
The Arts Centre Melbourne
3 - 10
Free (no need to book)
07 Jan 2012 - 07 Jan 2012
Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW
1 to 100
06 Jul 2011 - 07 Jul 2011
10am, 11.15am, 1.45pm & 3pm
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
1 to 100
$12 per session
28 Jun 2011 - 02 Jul 2011
9.30am, 10.45am and 1.15pm
Brisbane Powerhouse Plaza
1 to 100
$12 (1 hr session); $18 (2 hr session)
12 Mar 2011 - 14 Mar 2011
11am - 6pm
1 to 100
07 Jan 2011 - 07 Jan 2011
3pm - 5.30pm
Hyde Park, Sydney
13 Dec 2009 - 13 Dec 2009

Tangle's full technical specifications are available for presenters as a PDF download: