New show tells the history of the sideshow

  • 20/10/2015
Sarah Houbolt (Paul Henry)
Sarah Houbolt (Paul Henry)

Born with the extremely rare Hallerman Streiff Syndrome, Sarah Houbolt is a founding member of The Dust Palace and a cast member of Cirque du Soleil’s Worlds Away.

In her new one-woman show, KooKoo the Birdgirl, she will combine her circus, theatre and dance skills to develop a new physical language for the show.

Based on the true story of KooKoo the Birdgirl, a vaudeville sideshow act from the early 1900s, Sarah’s show delves into the history of her craft as a circus performer and the history of her disability.

“Growing up I was treated pretty much the same as everyone else, I’m a human. But there were definitely moments where I knew I looked a bit different, especially as a teenager.”

She set out to channel those ideas of identity into her show.

“To be different is a vulnerability, it’s something that’s seen as weak, it’s seen as not the best as something else. We have to acknowledge that, we’ve got some difference and some weaknesses but we can flip that around and turn them into strengths.”

KooKoo the Birdgirl runs November 11-13 at TAPAC, 100 Motions Rd, Western Springs.

Go to for more information.

Watch the video for the full segment.