What’s the story and who’s the audience?

Australian director of stage and screen

These simple questions are often overlooked but always worth asking.

I’ve had the chance to work with great writers, including Patrick White and Sam Shepard, and the ghosts of Shakespeare, Brecht and Strindberg.

I’ve also had a few chances to flex my own literary muscles: devising screenplays and writing a memoir that went beyond my recollections to offer a little cultural history – Blood & Tinsel.

OVERVIEW by Critic and Arts Writer Andrew Fuhrmann

“As a directorial debut, Sharman’s production is imaginative, resourceful and above all strikingly mature. His signature is unmistakable from the outset.”

Blood & Tinsel

“Fearless and fun.” – Baz Luhrmann
“A stunning self-portrait.” – Geoffrey Rush
“Like dazzling conversation.” – Jake Wilson, Senses of Cinema

The memoir Blood & Tinsel ranges from the rough and ready world of outback Australia in the fifties, where boxers and panto dames shared the stage, to the cultural explosions in which Sharman played a part. Blood & Tinsel is a remarkable story about Australia. It is also a moving tribute to a family legendary in the entertainment stakes.

“Entertaining, informative and provocative … a memoir, a cultural history and a moving self-portrait … ‘Sharman, Shaman, Showman’ could be applied to Sharman the writer as well as the theatre maker.” – Elizabeth Shafer, Royal Holloway, University of London

Buy Blood & Tinsel from MUP here


  • In the Realm of the Imagination
    A transcript of the inaugural Rex Cramphorn Memorial Lecture delivered at Belvoir St Theatre in 1995. It served as the springboard for the later memoir: Blood & Tinsel.
  • On Francis Bacon
    A transcript of an opening address for the Francis Bacon Retrospective at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2012.
  • What’s Past is Prologue
    An article written for Adelaide Festival: 60 Years 1960 – 2020. A book of essays on the Adelaide Festival written by former Artistic Directors and other notable artists. Jim was Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival in 1982.
  • KALA
    KALA was originally published by Lonely Planet in their 2011 collection of on-the-road tales from screen storytellers: ‘Lights, Camera … Travel!’