REVIEW: The Ballad of Rosie Quinn (Republic of Song) & Full Steam Ahead (InsideOutside Theatre Company)

A delightful double bill hosted in the atmospheric venue of Spring Hill Reservoirs. Don a blindfold and descend into the dark of Brisbane's convict past with Republic of Song, then put your powers of deduction to the test with InsideOutside's interactive murder mystery.

REVIEW: I Stand Here Ironing (Anne Pensalfini)

American writer Tillie Olsen’s short story is brought to life on stage, performed as a heartfelt monologue by Anne Pensalfini. Created in consultation with Margi Brown Ash and directed by Heidi Manché, I Stand Here Ironing explores the complexity of familial relationships, especially those between a mother and her children.

Standing at her post by the ironing board, smoothing the creases that she can control, Anne’s character reflects on her relationship with Emily, her eldest child, following a request for an interview with Emily’s university teacher. She reminisces about the good and not-so-good times in their life together, the sacrifices and compromises that were made and how they have woven together; she expresses her joys and regrets, her desire to return to certain moments, her guilt that she had more wisdom in raising her later children, and her amazement at the person that Emily has become despite her fears and the responsibilities and realities that she had to take on at an early age.

Although the work was written in the 1960’s about America’s Great Depression in the 1930’s,  the timeless struggle of motherhood, especially for poor, young, working mothers, ensured that the piece did not feel out of place in the modern day.

REVIEW: GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS (Bonnie Curtis Projects)

Image credit: David Vagg

After sell-out shows in Sydney, Bonnie Curtis Projects embark on their first tour to Queensland, and the nature of the performance defies definition – it’s not dance, it’s not theatre, it’s GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS.

Hosted by the charismatic Mistress of Ceremonies, who did a fabulous job in widening the boundaries of conventional theatre and encouraging the audience to participate when appropriate, GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS uses a variety of mediums to convey its message about how women relate to themselves, to the invisible audience of ‘society’, and to each other.

REVIEW: Puck (Magnetic North Theatre Company)

Image credit: Aimi Hobson

In a hidden garden in Bardon, the mischievous sprite Puck makes his return to the human realm to master the whiles of the WiFi, which is interfering with Fae magic. But things have changes since Puck last stumbled upon mortals…

REVIEW: Frankie & Sal in Molten Rage (Electric Fish Arts Company)

Frankie & Sal in Molten Rage is a short, sweet comedy about reading the fine print.

Frankie & Sal in Molten Rage is another instalment in the nine-part series created and performed by Bec Redsell and Daria Smith. The creators have stated that the stories are not necessarily chronological, and I certainly didn’t feel like I was missing anything by not having seen the previous ‘episodes’ – Molten Rage was a delightfully whimsical adventure by itself, and skilfully presented.

Frankie is a dour realist-bordering-on-pessimist (think Daria with less biting comebacks) and Sal is always looking on the bright side of life. The program casts Frankie and Sal as two best friends, but their onstage relationship dynamic has more of an older-and-younger-sister, or mum-and-daughter feel as Sal tries to keep Frankie out of trouble, with little success.

In Molten Rage, Frankie’s attempts to manage her anger result in her letting Lava out of his volcano. Now the floor is going to become lava, and Frankie & Sal must devise a plan, including testing their lava boots on the audience (patent pending), and preparing for a climactic confrontation.

GIVEAWAY: The Longest Minute

Imagery via Kath Rose & Associates

Where? QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre
When? May 26 – June 23, 2018

Football and theatre collide as Queensland Theatre’s next mainstage production makes its world premiere, playing on the 2015 Rugby League Grand Final between the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys. Backstreet Brisbane has two tickets to give away, thanks to Kath Rose & Associates and Queensland Theatre – head over to the Instagram to enter!

Like many Far North Queenslanders, I remember where I was on the night of the 2015 NRL Grand Final. We had gone to a friend’s apartment to watch the game – I’d done a questionable job of icing some cupcakes in the competing team colours (see below for evidence). I grew up in a FNQ household that barracked for the Broncos when the Cowboys weren’t playing, so I didn’t think I’d care about the outcome. Fast-forward eighty minutes and we were all on our feet, yelling at the television as Johnathan Thurston made up for his missed conversion by kicking a field goal in extra time, sealing the Cowboys’ first premiership win 20 years and the first Grand Final to be won in Golden Point. The series of events couldn’t have been scripted better, and Robert Kronk and Nadine McDonald-Dowd used the events as inspiration for their own script.

REVIEW: Much Ado (Shakespeare Plugged In)

Image credit: Geoff Lawrence, Creative Futures Photography.

Shakespeare Plugged In transform the world’s first romantic comedy into a musical tour de force at Brisbane’s legendary live music venue, The Zoo.

Shakespeare’s lyrical prose lends itself to musical interpretation, and Shakespeare Plugged In have taken it a step further, turning the world’s first romantic comedy into an immersive rock experience.

REVIEW: A Star Wars Story (The Good Time Boys)

Image credit: Aimi Hobson

Better than legendary composer John Williams? The Good Time Boys present a night of sketch comedy as Australian as a Bunnings sausage sizzle. The show had much less to do with Star Wars than you might expect, but it was a hilarious, messy night of self-aware sketch comedy.

Disney owns, or will own, everything we love, and Mr Disney-Man is looking to acquire The Good Time Boys, Brisbane’s self-proclaimed 10th best comedy group. But first, they have to prove they’ve got what it takes.