Volker Gerling (Germany)




14 and 15 May at 9.30pm (Tue, Wed)


Portuguese Premiere


Technique: Image manipulation Language: English For audiences over: +12 Running time: 70 min.


A magical and delicate encounter between cinema, photography and storytelling...


Volker Gerling is a passionate creator of flipbooks and an intrepid traveller. Since 2003 he has walked some 4000 km on foot, inviting people to visit his travelling "thumb book cinema" exhibition and from time to time capturing the hidden magic of seemingly everyday encounters, transforming these into new photographic flipbooks.

In his show, Gerling moves through the flipbooks with his thumb underneath a video camera lens and projects the images onto a screen. In a series of enchanting and precious moments the people he photographed come to life as he shares a gentle but profound reflection upon the transitory nature of the moment and the significance of interpersonal encounters.

Gerling embraces the traditions of the magic lantern and the drawing room raconteur. All the while the artist charmingly recounts the stories behind the moving image. Gerling’s art provides an incandescent, flickering glimpse of human persona and essence.

We became transfixed by this hand-made theatre. In the end, what the artist gives us is something truly special: instances frozen in time and then brought back to life. 


"Disarmingly beautiful." - Sydney Morning Herald


"My quirky hit of the festival so far is undoubtedly Portraits in Motion (...). One of those shows that completely defies categorisation." - Lyn Gardner, The Guardian


"Uniquely heart-warming." - The Times


"It’s spellbinding… you’ve never seen a show like this." - Janet Smith, The Georgia Straight


"Just delightful." - What's on Stage


"Volker Gerling, walker, storyteller, filmmaker extraordinaire, is an absolute gem. And his show is quite as unique as his art (…)." - Jackie Fletcher, British Theatre Guide *****


"Accessible storytelling by a fascinating creative. Excellent!" - Polly Allen, Everything Theatre ****


"Volker Gerling produces beautiful and unique artworks. (...). A truly charming and thought-provoking show (...)." - Dorothy Max Prior, Total Theatre


"In Volker Gerling’s tiny flipbooks, great things emerge from small candid portraits of strangers that offer fascinating glimpses into the human soul. - Broadway Baby


"Quirky delight... one of those shows you hope to stumble across, an oddity and a revelation." - Financial Times


"Gerling has achieved nothing less than a new form of theatre." - Theater der Zeit


"With a sophistication born of kindness, Portraits in Motion is artifice-free theatre/cinema/performance art that makes us feel glad to be human." - Paul Durras, Vancouverplays



Volker Gerling is Germany's premiere creator of photographic flipbooks. Although he is now travelling the world with his show Portraits in Motion - which since 2005 has been in more than 16 countries - Gerling still prefers to travel the country with his backpack and vendor's tray so that he can share his work with people face-to-face.
Gerling became interested in the interface between film and photography during his studies in film directing and cinematography leading to his first work as a flipbook filmmaker. He has found a form of presentation in which he literally combines film and photography in such a way that it created a completely new genre - with a breath-taking result.




Created and performed by: Volker Gerling In association with: Aurora Nova Photography: Franz Ritschel, Futoshi Sakauchi, Susanne Schüle, Volker Gerling