The winds are changing, sweeping in a fresh new series of events over winter. Don’t be tempted to fall into an early hibernation this June, because you’ll be missing out on everything from Roman gladiator exhibitions to book festivals and lots of local theatre. Here’s what’s on in Brisbane this month.
Queensland Cabaret Festival
As you’d expect, there are plenty of cheeky acts on the bill of the Queensland Cabaret Festival, but there’s also more to this elusive genre than sultry corseted performance. Now in its fourth year, the festival also presents shows by icons including Paul Kelly and The Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl, as well as a tribute to the leader of the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra. See our list of highlights for more details.
1–15 June at QPAC, Brisbane Powerhouse and Queensland Multicultural Centre
The Woman in Black
This show takes ghost stories from the campfire to the stage. Based on the novel by Susan Hill, The Woman in Black is about a solicitor who has been cursed by the play’s namesake – a woman in black. Ready to free himself from a life of fear, he hires an actor in an attempt to retell his terrifying story. There’ll be spooks and unnerving moments in a show that isn’t for the faint-hearted.
10 June to 15 July at Brisbane Arts Theatre
QSO with Muhai Tang
This is a special performance in QSO’s Maestro Series, with the orchestra’s former Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor Muhai Tang returning to Brisbane for one night only. The show is part of QSO’s 70th anniversary celebrations and it will feature Chindamo’s Palimpsest, Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Brahms’ Symphony No.1.
10 June at QPAC
When a bored British housewife winds up in the Greek Islands for an all-expenses-paid holiday, a carefree spirit grips her. No longer confined to the monotony of her day-to-day life, Shirley Valentine rises out of her rut, becoming a comedic hero for the everywoman. Will she be able to return home to Liverpool? Head along to Shirley Valentine find out.
13–14 June at Gardens Theatre
Anyone who’s visited a small Aussie town will relate to The Forwards. Pintoon is a tiny spec on the map and a place where everyone lives for the weekend footy. It’s the only exciting thing that ever happens – aside from binge drinking and car racing. This raw and in-your-face show explores small-town life and the pressures facing sportspeople who carry the expectations of the community on their shoulders.
14–24 June at Brisbane Powerhouse
Wireless is a contemporary dance piece where movement intersects with technology. The show, which sees dancers using their devices to control the soundscape, looks at how we use and respond to technology. It’s a commentary on the theory of polymedia and our innate human-ness.
15–17 June at Judith Wright Centre
Paris in the 19th century wasn’t the romantic city we’ve come to know. Thérèse Raquin is set in the dingy backstreets of the famous city, where lead character Thérèse is stuck in an arranged marriage and destined for life as a servant. That is until she meets Laurent and finally finds love, albeit in a secret affair.
21–22 June at Gardens Theatre
Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum
Actual pieces of the Colosseum will be on display at Queensland Museum for Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum. This is your chance to expand your knowledge of gladiators beyond the Russell Crowe film – the exhibition features more than 120 original artefacts including helmets and armour that were preserved in the ashes of Pompeii. There’ll also be after-dark events with drinks, expert talks and live music.
From 23 June at Queensland Museum
Lifeline Bookfest is the event on every bookworm’s calendar. Head to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre this month to trawl your way through a treasure trove of bargain books, magazines and records. The volunteers have measured the tables at the event and found they stretch out over an impressive distance of 4 km, which means you are sure to unearth plenty of good reads.
24 June to 2 July at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Want more? You can read the June What’s On Guide online now.
Pictured: In the Warm Room: The Music of Kate Bush 1978-1980, showing as part of the Queensland Cabaret Festival.