If you can't find something to wow you in this year's Brisbane Festival (September 8 - 29), you're just not trying, with highlights including a spectacular new light-and-laser show on the river.
The great news is that if it's at all possible, Brisbane Festival will be even bigger and better than previous efforts. With almost 600 performances - 100 of them free - you won't be able to resist getting into the festival spirit.
Eight exciting works are premiering, and two major Riverstage music events on Opening and Closing Nights will have homegrown acts, Ball Park Music and Violent Soho. Music of a different kind will feature Eskimo Joe (in concert with Camerata) and the Benjamin Britten masterpiece, Peter Grimes, starring world-leading heldentenor Stuart Skelton; while the nightly, all-ages, free river show, #CelebrateBrisbane River of Light: The Story of Maiwar, will ignite the city with a visual feast of luminescence.
Something different this year is that the huge program is presented in three distinct acts - one for each of the three weeks. Says Artistic Director, David Berthold, "Each act has its own explosion of story, and each opens a window to the world that will entertain and enlighten."
The first week, Act One, features almost 30 different productions in 15 venues and revolves around ideas of home, memory and gender.
Legendary actor, Helen Morse, will perform in Memorial, an epic theatrical experience that gives life to each of the 215 dead soldiers named in Homer's Iliad. A community chorus of 215 choreographed by Circa's Yaron Lifschitz will be accompanied with music by Golden Globe nominee, Jocelyn Pook.
Qweens on King is an inner-city garden party that will see eight real-life same-sex couples tie the knot in a public ceremony officiated by Gai Lemon. This celebratory event fittingly takes place in Bowen Hills, which registered the highest YES vote in all of Queensland in the marriage equality postal survey.
Other Act One highlights include Hugh Sheridan in California Crooners Club, Strut & Fret with LIFE the show, and Katie Noonan's Elixir, Michael Leunig and The Camerata in Gratitude & Grief.
Act Two casts the individual against the giant forces of nature, fate and society, with circus, dance and music delighting and thrilling audiences. Circa will put on one of their biggest shows yet with En Masse, while Dancenorth - Australia's leading company for dance innovation - will present Dust. Rhonda Burchmore joins guest star Rob Mills in "sexy and sassy" new show, BANG! BANG!
Last but not least is Act Three in the final week, which delivers a fierce and fun climax. There's the colourful children's opera The Owl & The Pussycat, the mind-bending scary movie homage HORROR, and the world premiere of Man With The Iron Neck from Australia's leading physical theatre company, Legs on the Wall.
What's a Brisbane Festival without Sunsuper Riverfire? I hear you ask. Well, don't fret because the crowd favourite will be lighting up the skies on Saturday, September 29, with the fun soundtrack themed on Sci-Fi and Superheroes. So, celebrate this wonderful city we call Brisbane and join in the fun and entertainment.
View the full Brisbane Festival PROGRAM
By Vicki Englund
Brisbane Festival is a valued partner of Must Do Brisbane.com