Get your calendar ready for 2018 – these shows are going to add colour to it. From annual festivals to major new exhibitions and blockbuster musicals, these are the events that have already been announced.
-- THEATRE + MUSICALS --
The Rocky Horror Show
Bold, fun, frivolous. There are so many ways to describe the wild bash that is The Rocky Horror Show (pictured), and that’s why it has become such a popular musical. This production is a hit every time it comes to QPAC, and this year's star cast includes Cameron Daddo as The Narrator.
17 January to 11 February
The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek
La Boite Theatre Company will launch its 2018 season with a new black comedy by Kathryn Marquet that asks how we can create change. In the new play, The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek, George dreams of changing the world, but for now the environmental scientist must contend with her work saving Tasmanian devils instead. Then one night, unexpected visitors put her ideology to the test.
10 February to 8 March
Who would have thought that the irreverent music from Green Day would ever be seen on Broadway? After selling out last year, Broadway musical American Idiot is returning to QPAC. It’s a story of three friends who live in suburbia and are searching for meaning in a post 9/11, Trump-led world. The Australian cast is led by Phil Jamieson and the musical features every song from the American Idiot album.
Anywhere Theatre Festival
During May you could be watching theatre a burger joint or your neighbour’s backyard. Anywhere Theatre Festival brings small and large-scale productions to the places Brisbane locals love to spend time in. As well as being a platform for emerging artists, the festival also showcases established theatre companies and an increasing number of interactive shows.
10–27 May, anywhere across Brisbane
See the onstage adaptation of this iconic Australian coming-of-age murder mystery. Queensland Theatre is bringing Melbourne Theatre Company’s sell-out show to Brisbane in 2018. Set in a small country town where everyone’s business finds its way into the public domain, Jasper Jones examines issues of bullying, racism and family through a distinctly Australian lens.
28 July to 18 August at QPAC
Priscilla: Queen of the Desert
Priscilla is one of Australia’s most famous musical exports. ‘It’s Raining Men’, ‘I Will Survive’ and ‘I Love The Nightlife’ form the background of the sassy story of three fabulous friends taking a battered bus to Alice Springs to put on a show of a lifetime. It features more than 500 costumes and 200 headdresses, and promises more glitter than ever.
From September at QPAC
-- COMEDY --
Brisbane Comedy Festival
This festival is definitely a laughing matter. Now held across three venues, Brisbane Comedy Festival continues to grow, taking over the city with hilarity. American Jim Gaffigan unofficially headlines this year’s festival and he’ll appear alongside more than 70 comedians with varying breeds of comedy to tickle every funny bone.
23 February to 25 March at Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane City Hall and Sunpac
Lano & Woodley – Fly
More than 150,000 Australians turned out for their farewell tour. Now after a 12-year hiatus, comedians Lano & Woodley have reunited. They’ll return to stages in 2018 with a new show inspired by the Wright brothers, with the personas of their alter egos still firmly in tact.
5–17 June at Brisbane Powerhouse
-- FESTIVALS --
World Science Festival
Brisbane is the only city outside of New York that hosts the World Science Festival and, following the popularity of the event over the last two years, we’re hosting it again in 2018. This year’s theme is humanity – what makes us human, our advances and how we can live for longer. Crowd favourites the baby turtles will be back, alongside a compelling program of more than 100 events that will include talks, film screenings and free science fun.
21–25 March at South Bank
Brisbane Writers Festival
From fact to fantasy, the written word inspires in so many ways. Whether you escape through books or use them to challenge yourself, you will find a talk to suit your literary persuasions when Brisbane Writers Festival returns this year.
4–7 September at State Library of Queensland
It’s one of the city’s biggest music events and BIGSOUND Festival will continue to celebrate Australian music in 2018. As well as being an industry conference, the festival is also your chance to take a four-day musical excursion as you hop between bars in Fortitude Valley.
4–7 September at Fortitude Valley
Brisbane Festival – our annual arts bonanza of music, cabaret, circus and theatre – will turn the city pink for 22 days at the start of spring. It all wraps up in a glittering flurry of colour for Riverfire on 29 September.
8–29 September across Brisbane
-- ART + EXHIBITIONS --
Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection
Australian artist Patricia Piccinini is preparing to present her most ambitious exhibition to date. This year her works will occupy the entire ground floor of GOMA in a retrospective of her career. The exhibition will feature the hybrid creatures she’s become known for, as well as a newly commissioned inflatable sculpture.
14 March to 5 August at GOMA
Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives
Last year Queensland Museum took us back to Ancient Roman times with the Gladiators exhibition, and next it will venture deep inside the pyramids of Ancient Egypt with Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives. Presenting six mummies, the exhibition offers insight into their lives using CT scanning technology and more than 200 artefacts from the British Museum’s Egyptian collections.
16 March to 16 August at Queensland Museum
The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9)
GOMA’s signature art series is back. From Turkey to Hawaii and our own shores, the Asia Pacific Triennial series is a vast survey of contemporary art. Returning for the ninth time, APT9 will showcase works that reimagine traditional practice and showcase the diversity of nature, history and culture.
24 November, 2018 to 28 April, 2019 at GOMA
Local fashion designers Lydia Pearson and Pamela Easton became an important part of the Australian fashion landscape with their colourful label, Easton Pearson. After gifting their archive of more than 3,300 garments to Museum of Brisbane, a major exhibition is being planned to showcase their sartorial legacy.
From late 2018 at Museum of Brisbane
-- BALLET --
After launching in 2017, Queensland Ballet is bringing back Bespoke. In a collaboration with Expressions Dance Company, this production challenges assumptions about dance. The new dance experience is performed together with film, photography and sculpture.
9–17 November at Brisbane Powerhouse
-- ORCHESTRA + OPERA --
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s popular Harry Potter series continues with its third instalment. In an immersive experience, the orchestra will perform the magical Oscar-nominated score as the film plays. You can get a taste for the music of the score’s composer John Williams ahead of this concert at another of the orchestra’s special events, From Jaws to Jurassic Park: The Music of John Williams.
19 May at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Bernstein at 100
This special event will see Queensland Symphony Orchestra celebrate the 100th birthday of superstar composer Leonard Bernstein. Pieces on the program include Symphonic Suite from the film On the Waterfront, Chichester Psalms, The Age of Anxiety and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.
15 August at QPAC
It has been some time since Opera Queensland performed Mozart, but that ends this year. As charming as he is dangerous, Don Giovanni is a compelling character. He’ll be brought to life in a bold show that celebrates the complexity of Mozart’s work.
19 October to 3 November at QPAC
… And we’re only just getting started! Keep up with what’s on throughout 2018 by signing up to our weekly enewsletter.