Interview: Jamie Bretman from Splash Test Dummies, ‘It’s going to be a tidal wave of laughter and madness!’

Winners of the Best Children’s Presentation at Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2021 along with the highly coveted Children’s Choice Award (Runner Up) at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016, Dummies Corp productions have been praised by critics and audiences alike, and been seen on the stages of Sydney Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, London Wonderground, Kaifeng Clowning World Festival and Shanghai International Comedy Festival, across Australia and in Europe, UK, South-East Asia and the USA.

They have toured extensively since 2012, sharing “adept, unadulterated mischief” (The Times) and creating treasured experiences for families across Australia and around the world. With their nuanced blend of circus, comedy and imaginative play, these shows appeal on several levels with cultural references that resonate across generations. In 2021 the company extended their appeal beyond the family market with a new production for adults hailed as a “creative triumph” (The Au Review).

This year, they’re at Glastonbury Festival, ahead of a UK and Ireland tour, to bring their blend of genres to the festival’s faithful. We caught up with their CEO & Artistic Director Jamie Bretman to find out what it’s like to be performing at Worthy Farm.

Q&A with Jamie Bretman

What can you tell us about Dummies Corp?

Dummies Corp is Australia’s leading comedy circus company. We specialize in creating hilarious and jaw-dropping shows that blend comedy, acrobatics, and pure silliness. We’re all about bringing laughter and entertainment to audiences of all ages, whether they’re young or just young at heart.

You’re bringing Splash Test Dummies to this year’s Glastonbury Festival – does it feel to be performing at the festival?

Oh, it’s like riding a unicycle through a field of confetti! Performing at Glastonbury Festival is a dream come true for us. The energy and excitement at the festival are electric, and we can’t wait to unleash the Splash Test Dummies on that sea of festival-goers. It’s going to be a tidal wave of laughter and madness!

What can you tell us about the show?

Well, picture three daring and dashing dummies who have a penchant for getting themselves into all sorts of hilarious and wet situations. Splash Test Dummies is a high-energy extravaganza that combines acrobatics, juggling, and even a bit of water ballet. You’ll witness death-defying stunts involving rubber ducks, synchronized swimming on land, and a grand finale that will leave you soaking with laughter. It’s a show where you can expect the unexpected and embrace the absurd!

What kind of opportunities does a festival audience present?

Ah, the festival audience is a magnificent creature! They’re like unicorns, except instead of rainbows, they emit infectious laughter. The best part about performing at a festival is the sheer diversity of the audience. You have people from all walks of life, ready to embrace the magic of live entertainment. It gives us the chance to connect with a wide range of people, make them laugh, and create lasting memories. Plus, there’s nothing quite like performing in a stunning big top circus tent. It’s a true carnival of joy!

Will you have a chance to check out any of the acts across the festival and is there anything you’re looking forward to seeing?

Oh, absolutely! We’re definitely going to take a break from being the Splash Test Dummies to check out the other incredible acts at Glastonbury. There’s a whole smorgasbord of talent waiting to be discovered, and we can’t resist the lure of live music and mind-blowing performances. Personally, I am excited about Australian blues band superstars; The Tesky Brothers, and Elton John? It’s like stepping into a treasure trove of artistic marvels!

You’re also touring the UK and Ireland, beginning in Dublin on 7 July – how does it feel to be taking the show on tour?


It feels like we’re embarking on a grand circus adventure across the lands of leprechauns and tea enthusiasts! Taking the show on tour is a thrill beyond words. We get to visit all these fantastic cities and towns, meet new audiences, and spread laughter far and wide. It’s like being the comedy ambassadors of Dummies.

Splash Test Dummies is in the Astrolabe Theatre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Their tour is on sale now.