Increasingly the arts calendar in Brisbane seems to wander from one festival to another (#inagoodway) and as we head into May, the Anywhere Festival approaches. Like last year, I am looking forward to reviewing about a dozen shows of all sorts spread all across the nooks and crannies of the city.
And what am I most eager to see? Flowers Theatre Company’s “The Mayne Effect.” Like so many others it seems (the season is sold out), I love seeing Brisbane stories on stage. It is something we’ve always done well; think “Brisbane“, “Cribbie” and even back to the days of “Johnno” and “The Mayne Inheritance”. And when it comes to fascinating historical stories, they don’t get much truer than a tale of Patrick Mayne and his children, the murderous man whose legacy we see in so many of our city’s locations (including our oldest university). The fact that this new play will be performed in Harris Terrace, a beautiful heritage listed Georgian six-rowed venue that links from one house to the next (the audience will follow the action from room to room as it unfolds) only adds to anticipation.
When it comes to intriguing show locations (because that is ATF’s identity: to bring great performance experiences to non-tradition theatre spaces), they don’t come more enigmatic than Giema Contini’s debut solo work. “Awesome Ocean Party“, whose blurb promises invitation from a half-human/half-octopus host into the depths of her three hearts. I cannot wait to attend this eccentric ocean-themed birthday party at Musgrave Park Swimming Pool and experience its storytelling and songs (original music by Nathan Stoneham of “지하 Underground“). I’m sure my expectations of surreal silliness are going to be satisfied. And their might even be birthday cake!
And there is also set to be a party at the “Bossa Nova Sunset Club“, which will see Singer Anje West and her musical and life partner Kym Ambrose draw inspiration from the music of Brazil in exploration of the origins of the South American musical style. With Rio de Janeiro as the backdrop and one of the most famous songs in the world at its heart, its promise is so fun-filled that it is another show already selling fast.
These are just three of the 54 different performances over the 17 day festival. Of course there are many, many more. So do yourself a favour and take some time to look over the ATF program. But perhaps look beyond your usual type of shows or companies that you may recognise. Sticking to your favourite flavours in the theatre world can often be at the expense of the diverse, potentially-satisfying banquet on offer.
I might see you …. anywhere (just look for the big green a).
You can also follow my Anywhere Theatre Festival reviews c/o the Festival website.