UPDATE: In light of the current snap lockdown in Victoria, the performances on Friday 28th May, 7:30 pm, Saturday 29th May, 2 pm & 7:30 pm and Sunday 30th May, 4 pm have been canceled. If you were booked into any of these times please contact info@lamama.com.au to organise rebooking your tickets, or to arrange a refund. We will do everything we can to reschedule the canceled shows. More information to come.

On the brink of artistic discovery, Michel’s plans for the future are interrupted by a diagnosis of schizophrenia – he must rely on his sister – yet Karen has dreams of her own, how long can she push them aside to care for him?

Drawn from the writer’s lived experience of schizophrenia, this powerful play explores the relationship between siblings who grapple with managing this condition, which interrupts their focus on transforming the world through art. 

Michel is writing his first novel, Hipflask, his older sister Karen is in Europe turning the world into paintings. Michel’s letters take a strange turn. He believes Joan Miro and Franz Kafka are his companions and he can speak with them. His sister Karen rushes home. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Michel is unable to accept it. Karen becomes her brother’s career, which tests but cannot destroy their strong bond.

Cathy Hunt’s direction has led to four superb performances, and the nuance each actor brings to their characters is to be commended.The Music

Writer: Michel Paul Tuomy

NDIS Arts Mentor: Tania Smith

Dramaturg: Peter Matheson

Mad Comrade: Sandy Jeffs

Director: Cathy Hunt

Directing Attachment (Emerging Director Award, Union House): Vaishnavi Ravikrishna

Set & costume designer: Kris Bird

Sound designer & composer: Jess Keeffe

Lighting designer: Shane Grant

Production & Stage manager: Hayley Fox


Michel: Adam Cass

Karen: Jane Barry

Image by Darren Gill

Michel’s artworks by Michel Paul Tuomy

Karen’s artworks by Elyss McCleary

Content Warning: References the experience of acute mental illness in the form of schizophrenia.

What to expect from Little Brother, Big Sister (pdf)
What to expect from Little Brother, Big Sister (word doc)

Accessible show program (Word doc)

The Playwright’s Supporting Note – Michel Paul Tuomy
It is not my or our creative team’s intent to lead someone to have an episode due to the confronting material in Little Brother, Big Sister.  Yet if someone does feel vulnerable, before coming to the play, or while you are at La Mama, we have been thinking of you.  We have some in-depth information to provide awareness of any possibly confronting material that is available upon request from La Mama box office.  And we have a quiet space outside the theatre into which to retreat, if you are in need of tranquil space, during or after the play. 

Emotional resolution over difficult terrain is a big theme in this play and this theme translates to how we want our audience to respond to personal details of lived experience.  Our wish is that our play be a gentle journey of learning and smooth sailing, where everyone’s needs are cared for in every personal situation, before it can escalate into a predicament.  Carers and consumers alike, you are all welcome into La Mama’s caring environment.  Remember, we are there for our audience.

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This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

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