12 days and 12 shows (for me) later, and the Anywhere Theatre Festival is over. And I miss it already. Though there might have been times when I struggled to know what day it was, I wanted it to go on and on. Not only did I see a range of interesting shows, but I saw a lot of them in the most unexpected of places, in exploration of some of Brisbane’s numerous nooks and crannies.
It has been interesting also, to see both the divided and shared opinions of some productions (“Drunk Shakespeare” for example). One show that seems to have received only glowing accolades has been Vena Cava Production’s “A Library For The End Of The World”, a fascinating singular experience like no other that was one of my favourites thanks to its cosy contemplations of the surrounding West End world and evocative exploration of the power of personal memory. Its season extension due to popular demand to include Wednesday 21st to Saturday 24th May is an opportunity to be embraced. Although it is the type of show you may attend reluctantly, it is one from which you will emerge with smiles, maybe even tears and a determination to ensure others share the experience.
Funnily enough, my other favourite was also an outdoor experience: Jenna&Alex’s enchanting “Little Boxes”, performed without words, in a 360° set to allow the audience to be simultaneously surrounded by the stories of self-imposed misery being shared from inhabitants within the little box cramped flats.
It is fitting perhaps that I saw these two shows on my first and final nights – evidence of the sustained quality of the works on offer as part of this year’s festival. While these two shows are just a snapshot of the many on offer, they each represent the raw creativity, edge-of-the-mainstream slickness and marketing hopefulness of all that is currently great about independent theatre in Brisbane. And while I am already looking forward to next year’s festival, right now it is time to sleep.
You can find all of my Anywhere Theatre Festival reviews on the Festival website.