Emma Beech

The Photo Box

Australian Premiere
Presented by Adelaide Festival, Vitalstatistix and Brink Productions.

Emma Beech’s art is both simple and hard to define. Labels like ‘direct address performance’, ‘docu-drama’, ‘verbatim real-life portraiture’, all seem to rob her storytelling of its straightforward warmth and worth.

Conversations with other people have always been central to her shows, but a few years back something happened that persuaded her to turn the lens on herself. Her mum and dad gave her a box of family snaps and, as she had a performance that night, she thought it might be fun to rummage through them for the first time in front of an audience of strangers.

Amongst all the embarrassing hilarity of hairdos and frocks was a shot of her mum, taken aged 40, holding her baby self, the little surprise born 8 years after the last of her 8 (!) brothers and sisters. Emma, at the time, was 40 herself and mother of 5-year-old triplets. Out of that instant electric connection between two very different women The Photo Box was born.

It’s about a town in regional South Australia where everyone knows you, a girl being left to make her own mistakes and grow herself up. Family, choices, memory, and mythmaking, and how the baby of a big Catholic brood became devoted to the search for unsentimental truths.

Borrowing from cinematic installation, The Photo Box is a funny and heartfelt new work from one of our most gifted performers.


The Photo Box is an Adelaide Festival presentation, and a commission and co-production by Vitalstatistix and Brink Productions, produced by Vitalstatistix. The Photo Box is supported by RISE an Australian Government Initiative, the Government of South Australia through Arts South Australia, the Australia Council for the Arts and Country Arts SA.

Performance Dates

MARCH 3-7 2022

Thursday 3 March, 6pm (Preview)
Friday 4 March, 6:30pm
Saturday 5 March, 6pm
Sunday 6 March, 1pm & 8pm
Monday 7 March, 11am & 6pm

Space Theatre, Adelaide, Kaurna Yerta



Creative Team

Creator and performer: Emma Beech
Director: Mish Grigor
Dramaturg: Anne Thompson
Film maker: Shalom Almond
Production design: Meg Wilson
Composer: Jason Sweeney
Lighting and projection design: Chris Petridis
Costume design: Renate Henschke
Choreographer: Larissa McGowan
Assistant director: Tim Overton
Welcome to Country: Michael Kumatpi Marrutya O’Brien
Producer: Jennifer Greer Holmes
Production manager: Emma O’Neill
Stage manager: Françoise Piron

Producer and director:
Shalom Almond
Cinematographer: Helen Carter
Editor: Lauren Wells-Jones
Colourist: Sam Matthews