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James Thierrée was born in Lausanne in 1974 and made his stage debut aged four in his parents’ circus, Le Cirque Imaginaire. From 1978 to 1994 he toured with Le Cirque Imaginaire, its successor, Le Cirque Invisible, and Le Cirque Bonjour, then trained at the Piccolo Teatro, Milan, and the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique, Paris. In 1998 he founded his own company, La Compagnie du Hanneton, for which his production of La symphonie du Hanneton toured internationally and won three Molière Awards in 2006. His other directing and performance credits include La Veillée des Abysses (2003); Au revoir parapluie, which won a Molière Award in 2007; Raoul (2009); and Tabac Rouge (2013), which won a Molière Award in 2014; The Toad Knew (presented at the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival); Frôlons (2018) for the Opéra National de Paris; and Mo’s (2021). He has collaborated with the directors Peter Greenaway (on the film Prospero’s Books, in which he played Ariel), Robert Wilson, Carlos Santos, Beno Besson, Coline Serreau, Agniezka Holland, Jacques Baratier, Tony Gatlif, Claude Miller, Jacques Doillon and Roschdy Zem, among others.