In a first for Brisbane Festival, the massive program is presented in three distinct acts – one for each of the three weeks of activity. Act One understandably opens things up with a bang, focusing on ideas of home, memory and gender. Opening celebrations include the Heaps Gay Trash Palace, kicking things off with DIY, dumpster diving and straight-up queer decadence. Other Act One highlights include signature event Memorial, a theatre epic that takes on the daunting task of bringing each of the 215 dead soldiers named in Homer’s Iliad to life. Another knockout is Katie Noonan’s Elixir, Michael Leunig and The Camerata’s combined effort Gratitude & Grief, a unique blend of spoken-word poetry, heavenly tunes and live drawing.
Brisbane Festival’s Act Two is all about putting the individual up against the giant forces of the world. Scintillating displays of circus and cabaret like En Masse and Bang! Bang! will showcase all facets of the genre, from the playful to the more tribal and everything in between. Act Three closes out celebrations with formidable force – you can catch spooky delights like Séance and Horror, the inspiring and insightful I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You, as well as stacks of live music. We’re hanging out for The Cat Empire’s Harry James Angus and (of course) the mammoth final concert headlined by Mansfield legends Violent Soho.
Brisbane Festival is rolling into town from September 8–29 – to check out the huge roster of entertainment on offer, head to the festival’s official website.