Monday, 14 May 2012

A creative long weekend in Brisbane


Thursday night I was taken to the premiere of A Hoax at La Boite. Now, shamefully I must admit that prior to entering the theatre I had No Idea what the play was about. Fortunately there was a wonderful little program that told you it was inspired by cases of great 20thC literary hoaxes while giving away absolutely nothing of the plot.

The first act - I have never heard so much swearing on stage - was shockingly funny. The second act was confronting and the four actors excelled at every moment and we the audience of loving if slightly jaded Brisbane Arts Types lapped it up. Not so much about literary hoaxes as identity, the nature of truth, media and the lies we tell ourselves and each other, it’s a great work by Australian award-winner writer Rick Viede. Brisbane is the world premiere location.

Some shows this week have had to be cancelled. The lead actress is flying to Cannes because her film debut ‘Sapphire’ has been selected for the Cannes International Film Festival (congratulations!) so I don’t know if the run has therefore been extended.  If you get the opportunity, I’d recommend seeing it.

Image courtesy of La Boite.


Friday night saw me walking around Highgate Hill looking for the location an impromptu show venue. Anywhere Theatre Festival sees theatre work by starting-up writers, actors and directors being performed anywhere except a conventional stage. Last year I saw The Taming of the Shrew at The Zoo; there are shows in parks, in the Queen Street Mall and tonight I was looking for the ordinary suburban house hosting the show. 

A House of Cards has, sadly, finished its' run. It was performed underneath a house with the audience on couches, mattresses and bean bags. I’d got there early because Chuck was official photographer and got a front and centre comfy-couch position. The show was short and sweet, the work of writer / director / lead actor Michala and inspired by a Radiohead song.

Anywhere Theatre Festival is running until the 19th of May and is an annual event in Brisbane. There are usually half a dozen shows on every night so there is sure to be something you want to see and the tickets tend to range from free-of-charge to about $15, so don’t say you can’t afford it.  It’s a great way for you to have a night out and support your local just-getting-started theatre scene.


Saturday was hastily organised on Thursday when I discovered that Polytoxic Loves You were putting on their new show The Rat Trap.

The brother-troupe for Polytoxic Loves You are ‘Briefs; all male, all vaudeville, all trash.’. I’ve been to see them twice now in Brisbane and its a show that I will happily see every time they come around because they’re juts so godsdamn entertaining. I knew Polytoxic Loves you - which is half the guys from Briefs with a couple of cool women thrown in - would be excellent so I persuaded a bunch of friends to coming along with me, telling them it was 'circus cabaret' and there we were on Saturday night.

This is the blurb for the show; 

Polytoxic invites you to The Rat Trap, a technicolour tiki bar where the doors are locked but the drinks are flowing. Curfew is lifted and the guest list includes the high flying King of Burlesque, a body adorned Samoan chief, a hot brown bitch, a fabulous femme fatale and a seven-foot Islander drag offender. Come witness the unholy union of these five mongrel cross-breeds as a soap-opera saga of epic proportions unfolds.

I can't do any better than that description. Fun, fabulous, circus cabaret, striptease and shameless overacting as the 5 performers ran amok in the closed studio. I can’t say anymore except we all had a wonderful night out and I now have another group of fiends who insist on being invited the next time either Briefs or Polytoxic Loves You are performing.

Photo courtesy of PolyToxic Loves You.

The Rat Trap is running at The Billie Brown Studio until 26 May. If you’re 30 and under tickets are only $30 and it’s a night out of genuine entertainment. Hell, it’s worth it just to see the crowned King of Burlesque do his stuff. Want to know what the hell that means? Go see the show!

Mark Winmill performing as part of Briefs.

Sunday night was one of my first gigs of the year (shamefully slack). Frank Turner, William Elliott Whitmore and The Smith Street Band at The Zoo. I was going primarily for Frank Turner but Chuck got me onto the other acts in the lead up to last night’s show and I’d had Sigourney Weaver by The Smith Street Band in my head for a week!
I can’t write a gig review. I’m hoping Chuck will do that for me. It was a brilliant line up of local and international, the crowd was for the most part really into every set and the guys were all clearly having a brilliant time on the last night of their Australian Tour.
Frank Turner is such an enjoyable live musician. The fans at the front of the stage – of which I was one – single along to every word and he really plays for the crowd, putting on a fun show like he’s just really enjoying our company.  So we sang and yelled and I danced like a fool and bought CDs. Check out Frank Turner on his website or on YouTube.

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