It’s worthwhile taking Brisbane Festival Artistic Director David Berthold’s advice on how to attack this year’s just announced stellar line up of art and entertainment, “It’s a feast not a snack, don’t just taste one little tit-bit dive in and sample the whole range, use both hands and take risks!”
Brisbane Festival launched on Tuesday morning over coffees and pastries, probably too early for the grog. It was a bizarre feeling dropping your kids off to school then heading onto the dark burlesque world of the Tivoli, but it’s a hot program with brilliant music front and centre, premieres of incredible International theatre and innovative melds of cinema and sound.
Interview with Brisbane Festival Artistic Director David Berthold
London Grammar will headline the festival’s marquee music event. The indie-pop sensation made up of Hannah Reid, Dan Rothman and Dot Major will lead a special Riverstage concert that will be a day long event featuring national and International artists.
Brisbane art-rock veterans Regurgitator will reinvent the genius album of The Velvet Underground and Nico, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, Berthold describing it as “A love letter of one group of endearing eccentric to another”.
Other musical highlights include Diamonds are for Trevor: A sparkling tribute to Shirley Bassey, Meagan Washington & The Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the The Aints play the Saints 73-78 on the 40th anniversary of the release of The Saints’ classic album ‘(I’m) Stranded’, founding member, guitarist and songwriter Ed Kuepper revisits the material performed by the Australian porto-punk pioneers.
My pick for the theatre lineup is Terror. Direct from London and exclusive to Brisbane Festival, Terror is a thrilling courtroom drama that has been stirring debate across the globe. A hijacked plane is heading towards a packed football stadium. Ignoring orders, a fighter pilot shoots the plane down, killing the 164 people on board in order to save the 70,000. The pilot is then put on trial and charged with murder.
The audience become the jury and decides the fate of the pilot? At intermission I imagine there are some pretty intense debates between audiences in the foyer when they are given a credit-like card to cast their vote. Apparently there has been really interesting results from different cities across the world. Let’s see how Brisbane votes.
Per Te by Compagnia Finzi Pasca (Switzerland), written and directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, is an Australian Premiere exclusive to Brisbane. Daniele Finzi Pasca dedicated the work to Julie, his wife and co-collaborator, who recently passed away. It’s a tribute to how one survives the tragedies of life.
What makes this an astonishing circus and physical theatre work is that the acrobatics are performed in medieval amour. Thirty kilograms of steel transform every move into a battle of resistance and strength.
Per Te by Compagnia Finzi Pasca
Under Siege from Shanghai is an epic, visually ravishing spectacle re-enactment of one of the great ancient battles of Huan. This production comes from China’s most famous choreographer and dancer, Yang Liping and is designed by Tim Yip (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).
Theatre Republic is a destination for a great night out of food, drink and a show or two. Here, don’t miss Betty Grumble Sex Clown Save the World, a shamanic striptease of storytelling and an earthly date with Gaia amongst garbage and glamour.
Masters of Italian Cinematic Horror is another highlight at GOMA. Across the three weeks of Brisbane Festival, the museum will screen a special film series, aligning with a live concert and screening of the great giallo film Suspiria at The Tivoli.
Gothic, Giallo, Gore: Masters of Italian Horror explores the works of the three main auteurs of the Italian giallo film genre: Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci, and Dario Argento.
You can check out the full program for Brisbane Festival here. It runs from 9th to the 30th of September.
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