About the production

What makes us happy?

Happy as Larry is a funny, playful and poignant new dance show, which investigates the elusive nature of human happiness. This powerful production combines an intoxicating mix of ballet, break-dance, roller-skating and highly physical contemporary dance.

The cast of characters is developed from the Enneagram, a psychological system that maps nine personality types: The Perfectionist; The Giver; The Performer; The Tragic Romantic; The Observer; The Devil’s Advocate; The Optimist; The Boss; and The Mediator – all rich inspiration for Shaun Parker’s insightful creativity.

Set to a vibrant electro/acoustic score, the performers bring fun and danger to the fore in this innovative and moving dance work.

To purchase the album of Happy as Larry, visit I-TUNES.


Creative Team

Director/Choreographer: Shaun Parker
Co-Composers: Nick Wales & Bree Van Reyk
Designer: Adam Gardnir
Lighting Designer: Luiz Pampolha
Dramaturg: Veronica Neave
Rehearsal Directors: Craig Bary, Joshua Mu


2019 Germany Tour: Toby Derrick, Joel Fenton, Harrison Hall, Libby Montilla, Josh Mu, Sophia Ndaba, Marnie Palomares, Harriet Ritchie, Alex Warren

2014 Tour of Europe and the Middle East: Jana Castillo, Toby Derrick, Luke Hanna, Libby Montilla, Josh Mu, Sophia Ndaba, Marnie Palomares, Lewis Rankin, Joshua Thomson

2013 Australian Tour: Jana Castillo, Toby Derrick, Libby Montilla, Josh Mu, Sophia Ndaba, Timothy Ohl, Marnie Palomares, Lewis Rankin, Joshua Thomson

Past performers: Anton, Matt Cornell, Dean Cross, Robbie Curtis, Ghenoa Gela, Melanie Palomares, Harriet Ritchie, Adam Synnott, Miranda Wheen, Paul White, Lee Wilson



75 minutes



This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government Arts and Advisory Body, in association with the confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., Sydney Festival, Perth International Arts Festival, Brisbane Festival and the New Zealand International Festival.

The 2019 Happy as Larry tour to the Middle East and Germany was supported by the Australian Government through the Council for Australia-Arab Relations, and an Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs.  It was also funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

The 2014 Happy as Larry Masahat Tour was supported by the Commonwealth through the Council for Australian-Arab Relations, which is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Australian Government is proud to be associated with this tour through the national performing arts touring program, Playing Australia, which gives Australians across the country the opportunity to see some of our best performing arts.



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Critical Reviews


Happy as Larry, the creation of the Australian Shaun Parker, was undeniably a highlight of the festival… his work [is of a type that] one sees little of in Europe… he has a humour and sensitivity and we tightrope walk between laughter and tears… the public made him a veritable triumph!

Danser Magazine



[A] highly enjoyable production…Parker always has something up his sleeve.

The Times


….the whole piece was extremely powerful and expressive.



Through a judicious combination of street dance, contemporary dance and acrobatics with a bit of ballet thrown in, Parker delivers a constantly evolving set of vignettes…expressing loneliness and hesitant friendship, some playfully raucous, to a lively electro-score written by Nick Wales and Bree Van Reyk. The precision of the ensemble work is breathtaking, coordinated to within a hairsbreadth of the music.

The Stage


Refreshingly, this is solid, analogue stagecraft ; there is no digital trickery or video screen projections. The Chalk Artist’s accelerated scrawls of coloured chalk are just as effective as lasers. And when the balloons that have been hovering above the wall finally descend around the lone Chalk Artist, a little voice cried out behind me: ‘Is he happy now?’ I think we all were.

The Stage



Happy as Larry is brilliantly choreographed, flawlessly and joyously performed, and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. I literally sat on the edge of my seat.

Australian Stage


It’s smiles all round – on stage and in the audience. You have to welcome a dance piece about happiness…delightful.

Sydney Morning Herald


As long as we have people like Shaun Parker creating shows, there is no need to fear for the future of arts in Australia. His work possesses a confidence and ingenuity that make him one of the most interesting artists in his field, level of experience not withstanding…Parker has created a spectacularly funny, playful, poignant, unpretentious piece of theatre that is so much more than dance…It is witty, at times deliciously nostalgic and such a fascinating examination of human behaviour, it is hard to leave feeling anything other than happy as Larry.

The Daily Telegraph


Delivered with such accomplishment and ease, the company are given extended applause and make this a feast for the senses. Shaun Parker’s background in music, choreography, physical theatre and dance make this work a must see in the future. The contemporariness is riveting, but the emotional tenure of this work is unique and inspiring – a joy to behold!

Arts Hub


Niedersächsiche Staatsttheater Hannover

Tollhaus – Karlsruhe, Germany

7:30pm Ramallah, West Bank, Al-Kasaba Theatre

7:30 pm Amman, Jordan, Al-Hussein Cultural Center

8:30pm Bipod Festival, Beirut, Lebanon, Al Madina Theatre

8pm Linz, Austria, Posthof

8pm Belgrade, Serbia, Theater on Terazije

Sydney Seymour Centre

Mandurah Performing Arts Centre

Albany Entertainment Centre

Darwin Festival, Darwin Entertainment Centre

Darwin Festival, Darwin Entertainment Centre

Adelaide Festival Centre - Dunstan Playhouse

Adelaide Festival Centre - Dunstan Playhouse

Adelaide Festival Centre - Dunstan Playhouse

Adelaide Festival Centre - Dunstan Playhouse

Adelaide Festival Centre - Dunstan Playhouse

Melbourne Gasworks Arts Park

Melbourne Gasworks Arts Park

Frankston Arts Centre

NORPA at Lismore City Hall

West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul

Mildura Arts Centre

Griffith Regional Theatre

The Cube Wodonga

Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre

Newcastle Civic Theatre

Orange Civic Theatre

Northern Stage, Newcastle, England

The Lowry, Salford, England

Peacock Theatre, London, England

Brighton Dome, Brighton, England

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, England

Lighthouse, Poole, England

Hall for Cornwall, Truro, England

Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham, England

Royal & Derngate, Northampton, England

Oxford Playhouse, Oxford, England

Contact Details

+61 419 344 484
Level 1, 3A Joynton Avenue, Joynton Avenue Creative Centre Zetland NSW, 2017, Australia
ABN 40 146 251 989

Shaun Parker & Company acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island elders, past and present.

Shaun Parker & Company prides itself on celebrating diversity, regardless of race, religious affiliation, gender identification or sexual orientation.