Brisbane Festival 2022 – 5 intriguing productions and events that caught my eye

Welcome to September! That means another Brisbane festival is upon us. For the first time in a few years, when everyone SHOULD take precautions, there is a minimal risk of COVID-19 suddenly interrupting this year’s festivities, so there seems to be a lot more on offer this year. Although what you’ll probably want to see is highly subjective, and if in the Brisbane area this month you should check out the full list of events HERE. But if you’re a bit of a theatergoer/otaku like me, then I’d like to share some of the events that caught my eye and I think are worth checking out.

Image courtesy of the event publicity team

As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, there are some things I feel like I missed out on because of my decision. One of them would easily Maho Magic Barcreated by Broad Encounters, the same team behind 2021 A midnight visit – who traveled south but now lives in Queensland until September 18. It launched a few months ago as part of Brisbane Festival’s Early Event programme, and is still here to serve you drinks and entertain you with magic until its last day.

As part of the Twilight Electric compound on Brisbane’s Northshore, Maho Magic Bar Visitors will be able to enter the pop-up venue, described as a bespoke, intimate and beautifully refined bar and entertainment space, clad in neon lights, spread across six performance zones. After taking your seat and selecting your beverage of choice, accomplished master magicians, straight from Japan’s magic bars, will perform your own exclusive magic show at your table – creating an “unforgettable, multi-sensory and interactive experience” which they say , is “unlike anything you’ll find in Brisbane”.

To be fair, the neon-lit venue, the concept of a bar-like place of magic, and a great night out with friends make it an enticing opportunity. Additionally, there are non-alcoholic options for “designated driving”, such as the Ichigo Delight mocktail (strawberry, vanilla, green tea) and some other Japanese classics.

Image courtesy of the show’s publicity team

For those who haven’t read my articles on theater productions for a long time, one thing you should know is that I think shake & stir theater co is a fabulous company that has seen many classic novels (Australian or otherwise) staged across Australia and even launched its own educational platform shortly after the outbreak of COVID-19. Their latest book is an adaptation of Shannon Molloy’s memoir, Fourteenwhich will world premiere at the Queensland Performing Arts Center (QPAC) Cremorne Theater until September 17, 2022.

The novel, released in 2020, is a coming-of-age memoir about a young man’s search for identity and acceptance during his fourteen years of life. This is an account of Molloy’s experience at a rugby-mad Catholic boys’ school in the Queensland region; the bullying, torment and betrayal as well as the moments of resilience, love and hilarity that marked his 14 years. It’s billed as delivering “equal parts uplifting and heartbreaking” storytelling, and from friends I know who have seen it, is shaping up to be a memorable inclusion as part of the Brisbane Festival program.

For those who can’t travel to Brisbane to see FourteenI imagine it would be part of their touring schedule in the future.


North country girl

Those after a musical experience during the Brisbane Festival may wish to consider heading to the QPAC Lyric Theatre, where it will host North country girl from this Thursday to Sunday September 18, 2022. This marks the production debut in Brisbane, co-produced by GWB Entertainment and Damien Hewitt, and is based on music by acclaimed performer Bob Dylan. The musical will feature twenty Dylan songs, including Hurricane, I want you, slow train coming, still young and like a rolling stone – and set in the mid-1930s, a story of American life and a community on a knife edge.

Although performances have yet to begin, the accolades surrounding a more mature and well-executed musical production make it sound like this may not be a show to bring the kids in, but maybe one for. those who are longtime fans of The Works of Bob Dylan or taking a break from some of the more family-friendly musicals we’ve received in recent years.

Although it’s a very short season of just a few weeks, some big names are involved including Lisa McCune, Peter Kowitz, Helen Dallimore, Peter Carroll and Greg Stone.


Ordinary people dance Eisteddfod

Image credit: Joël Deveruex

The Common People Dance Project, which runs “fun dance workshops, classes and programs for all ages and abilities for people to experience the joy of learning great choreographed group routines, celebrates community and lose in the dance”, are back in 2022 for their fourth outing at the Brisbane Festival with Ordinary people dance Eisteddfod on Sunday, September 18, 2022 at South Bank Piazza, BOQ Festival Garden.

The 90-minute production is priced reasonably at $25-$35 and will see a “powerful dance battle between suburban gladiators from North, South, East and West Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast”. According to the producers, expect “glitter, sweat, and spandex” as these “suburban gladiators roll, pump their fists, and race to victory.”

While not something I would usually add to my watchlist, the combination of the stellar promo artwork captured by Joel

Deveruex, Common People Dance’s mission statement and the overall sense of community I get from this production – make it one that I will endeavor to take to Brisbane to see the following weekend. Plus, it looks like it’s going to be a pretty good uplifting moment. We need more of that in the world.

Image credit: Joël Deveruex

A promotional image with an arcade machine? This production immediately caught my attention. After Shak & Stir Theater Co’s production of Fourteenthe QPAC Cremorne Theater will host Blak Social’s first job, the city of the queenpresented by Brisbane Festival, Screen Queensland and Queensland Performing Arts Center September 21-24, 2022.

the city of the queen is written and directed by Alethea Beetson, and revolves around the idea that “Every town is nestled atop a watering hole, teeming with truths that have been hidden and controlled”. In this Queen’s City, the heart is at ‘All Ways’, a karaoke bar and ice rink run by the local matriarch, Truth, and her loyal servants: Justice, Magick and Grace.

But when politicians threaten to tear down All Ways to make way for new “cultural” activities, the Restriction Avenue “wrong side” crew must find a way to rewrite the past to save their beloved place. Of course, it was the promotional artwork that encouraged me to read more, but its intriguing concept, the choice of “Watering Hole” and the idea that it was a performance of native futurism with Sci-fi and comedy elements make this another production I can’t wait to see.

Marjorie N. McClure