Known for throwing convention to the wind, Anywhere Theatre Festival returns this year with shows taking place in museums, mid-century homes and boats floating along the Brisbane River. The festival celebrates Brisbane’s independent theatre scene while also letting you into spaces you may not otherwise encounter or think twice about.
If there’s one thing we have learned from the Anywhere Theatre Festival, it’s to expect the unexpected. This theme continues for the festival’s 2017 instalment, which features a host of interactive shows that will pull you into the action and keep you guessing right to the very end. There will be more than 700 performances across Queensland ranging from theatre to comedy, dance and music. Brisbane audiences can look forward to this selection of highlights.
The Farce Awakens
The Museum of Brisbane will transform into Game World for this interactive theatre show that lets you choose your own adventure. In The Farce Awakens, a mysterious force called The Dull is destroying Game World and you can choose to become a participant in the show by solving puzzles or challenging characters. Of course you can also be a spectator simply exploring and observing the show as it unravels – either way, expect a healthy dose of parody, puns and pop culture.
12–20 May at Museum of Brisbane
Oh Lady Be Good
If the names Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson, Bessie Smith, Peggy Lee and Eartha Kitt bring some of your favourite songs to mind, this show is for you. Melissa Western’s Oh Lady Be Good unearths untold stories of the 20th century’s greatest chanteuses and celebrates their most memorable songs. Together with her jazz band, she performs iconic songs and shares anecdotes in a fascinating cabaret. The show takes place in a mid-century modernist home for Anywhere Theatre Festival, following a series of sell-out shows in the UK.
12–13 May at Australian Modern
Let Them Eat Cake
Cake you shall have in this witty comedy that takes place at The Golden Pig Food and Wine School. Set in Versailles, the fun and interactive comedy invites you to lend a hand to Pierre, a mime who is caught up in a high society feud. The drama is between Hugo, a wealthy aristocrat with an inconvenient secret, and Celeste, a widow who loves scandal. As Pierre becomes entangled in their commotion, he will need the audience to help him get through it unscathed. True to the show’s name, the audience at Let Them Eat Cake (pictured) will be treated to cupcakes from The Golden Pig.
11–13 May at The Golden Pig Food and Wine School
The Bossa Nova Sunset Club: Nordestino
Revel in the uplifting music of Brazil at The Bossa Nova Sunset Club: Nordestino. A joyous celebration of music that will make you want to shake your hips or tap your toes at the very least, this show is performed by Anje West and Kym Ambrose – two of Australia’s most respected musicians in this area. They will pay homage to artists who are beloved household names in Brazil, including Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Joyce Moreno, Maria Bethânia and Timbalada.
19–20 May at Australian Modern
The Travelling Sisters
Sketch comedy show The Travelling Sisters (pictured) comes to Brisbane after successful appearances at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The trio behind the performance – who were named as one of The Guardian’s Picks of The Fringe in 2016 – serve up a variety of misfits in a tragically charming show of comedy and surreal songs.
4–19 May at Five Sisters Cafe & Bar
10 May at Viva Italia Ipswich
What better setting for a cocktail party turned murder mystery than the historic Kookaburra Queen? Cluedo! The Interactive Game is a theatrical take on the board game, where the action takes place at a 1930s cocktail party. After the host is found dead, guests explore hidden rooms in the boat to solve puzzles, find clues and delve into the lives of the party’s curious array of guests. Presented by Brisbane Immersive Ensemble, the event also includes jazz, live music performances and a buffet dinner.
5–19 May onboard Kookaburra Queen
Tortured Remixes by Topology
Hear imaginative remixes of The Saints, MC Hammer, The Beatles, Stevie Wright, Beyoncé, Cold Chisel and more at Tortured Remixes by Topology. The show celebrates the 20th anniversary of Brisbane quintet Topology and the launch of their 14th full-length album, which sees hit songs pulled apart and then reassembled into adventurous new works.
11–12 May at Vulcana Women's Circus
Extra highlights include:
Various locations around Brisbane