Bris­bane Fes­ti­val

Where Gold Coast - - Contents - BY JES­SICA FEENSTRA

EX­PE­RI­ENCE 22 DAYS of won­der at Bris­bane Fes­ti­val, one of Aus­tralia’s lead­ing in­ter­na­tional arts fes­ti­vals and Queens­land’s largest cul­tural event. This year there are more than 60 im­pres­sive and spec­tac­u­lar events across Bris­bane’s hottest cul­tural precincts, in­clud­ing dance, mu­sic, cabaret, the­atre, cir­cus, com­edy, vis­ual art, film and more.

With five world pre­miere com­mis­sions, 11 Aus­tralian pre­mieres, 25 Queens­land pre­mieres and a star-stud­ded lineup of in­ter­na­tional lu­mi­nar­ies, Aus­tralian leg­ends and home­grown heroes, Bris­bane Fes­ti­val is set to en­ve­lope the city once more from 9 to 30 Septem­ber.

Live mu­sic dom­i­nates the pro­gram, be­fit­ting a city that takes pride in its place in the his­tory of con­tem­po­rary pop­u­lar mu­sic. There are 26 unique events in­clud­ing Bri­tish megas­tars Lon­don Gram­mar head­lin­ing an out­door mini-fes­ti­val at River­stage; the eu­phoric Me­gan Wash­ing­ton in con­cert with Queens­land Sym­phony Orches­tra; and Aus­tralian rock leg­ends Tex Perkins, Don Walker and Char­lie Owens.

The­atre high­lights from the world stages in­clude the Lyric Ham­mer­smith’s com­pelling pro­duc­tion of Fer­di­nand von Schirach’s con­tro­ver­sial court­room drama “Ter­ror”— would you kill 164 peo­ple in or­der to save 70,000? Or the rav­ish­ing Chi­nese dance-drama “Un­der Siege”; and the Aus­tralian pre­miere of the satir­i­cal com­edy “An Oc­toroon”, a sub­ver­sively funny riff on the 1859 melo­drama by crowd­pleas­ing Ir­ish im­pre­sario Dion Bouci­cault.

There’s also a string of work from the Asia Pa­cific, re­flect­ing Bris­bane’s close re­la­tion­ships in the re­gion. There’ll be work from China, Korea, Sin­ga­pore and In­done­sia.

This year’s pro­gram sings with lo­cal leg­ends too, in­clud­ing Dead Pup­pet So­ci­ety and Tim Sharp’s highly-an­tic­i­pated vis­ual the­atre ex­trav­a­ganza “Laser Beak Man”; Ca­sus Cir­cus’s dizzy­ing new work “Drift­wood”; and a dou­ble­dose from home­grown hit-mak­ers Strut & Fret, in­clud­ing the siz­zling “LIMBO UNHINGED”.

With a host of free and tick­eted events, the Fes­ti­val is also a school hol­i­day on­estop-shop for fun. En­joy nine tick­eted chil­dren and fam­ily shows in­clud­ing “Look! Look! It’s a Gob­bledy­gook” from ARIA award win­ner Jus­tine Clarke, and “Grug and the Rain­bow” fea­tur­ing ex­quis­ite pup­petry and beau­ti­ful sto­ry­telling. Head to Trea­sury Bris­bane Ar­ca­dia for a ded­i­cated Fam­ily Fun Day on 16 Septem­ber.

The ex­trav­a­gant three-week Fes­ti­val cul­mi­nates on Satur­day 30 Septem­ber with Aus­tralia’s long­est fire­works cel­e­bra­tion, Sun­su­per River­fire, ig­nit­ing the city sky­line in a spec­tac­u­lar clos­ing dis­play. Se­cure your spot at one of the many van­tage points in­clud­ing South Bank, Kan­ga­roo Point Cliffs or Ea­gle Street Pier, and set­tle in for 20 min­utes of awe-in­spir­ing fire­works for the 20th year run­ning. Spec­ta­tors will also be wowed by aer­o­bat­ics from the Aus­tralian De­fence Force. It’s no won­der that Bris­bane Fes­ti­val at­tracts an au­di­ence of more than one mil­lion peo­ple every year, don’t be one to miss out.

Bris­bane Fes­ti­val, 9–30 Septem­ber, ■ var­i­ous lo­ca­tions around Bris­bane. Free and tick­eted events. bris­bane­fes­ti­val.com.au

“Un­der Siege”. “Grug and the Rain­bow”. Photo: Shane Reid. Lon­don Gram­mar. “LIMBO UNHINGED”. Photo: www.david­solm.com

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