The World Theatre Festival is in full swing at the Brisbane Powerhouse, bringing the best independent theatre from Italy, Belarus, India, United States, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. With only one week remaining and many performances already sold out, you need to get in quick to see what the world has to offer to the future of theatre.
Festival Director Andrew Ross describes the World Theatre Festival as:
“not just about ‘theatre’ but about ideas, story-telling and the chance to connect with other people who are interested in the world around them”.
The World Theatre Festival 2012 includes main stage performances along with forums, masterclasses and a new Festival Lounge with free live music and Wi-Fi, at the Brisbane Powerhouse from 16 – 26 February 2012.
The following is a run-down of the second week of the festival:
AND THE BIRDS FELL FROM THE SKY (UK)
Escape into another world with Il Pixel Rosso’s And the Birds Fell From the Sky – an innovative theatre experience where only two audience members can take part, armed with video goggles, MP3 players and a set of instructions.
With your eyes and ears completely hijacked and liberated, you will find yourself surrounded by a wild and anarchic fictional world of the Faruk clown, in which you are cast as the main character. As the narrative unravels, your new reality will become even more immersive through live interactions that engage your sense of smell, touch and movement through space.
Duration of show: 15mins
Performance Dates: 17–26 February
A stage. Some booze. A pile of clothes. A dream-like path that appears strange and slightly mad. Two men lose control yet don’t seem to care.
Darkly comedic and subconscious, this work creates its meaning through piecing together the unobvious. Selected by Brisbane Powerhouse as the winner of the 2011 “Innovation in Theatre” Award, and nominated for two 2011 Green Room Awards, BUNNY is a simple yet sharp production based on the power of dialogue.
Duration: 60mins, no interval
Performance: 22–26 February
THE METHOD GUN (USA)
From New York to LA to Brisbane – The Rude Mechs bring us a loaded gun and the world’s most dangerous acting technique. The show explores the extreme teachings of Stella Burden, actor-training guru of the 60s and 70s, whose method ‘The Approach’ aims to add sex, death and violence into every moment on stage. Whether her ensemble is engaged in kissing or crying practice or a revealing monologue, Stella’s teachings are at the forefront of their minds. That is, until she mysteriously disappears into the South American jungle leaving her fervent followers distraught. Do they continue rehearsals for their nine-years-in-the-making production of Streetcar Named Desire? Or do they faithfully await her return?
Kooky with a lot of charm, The Method Gun captures the ecstasy and excesses of performing, the dangers of public intimacy, and the
Notes: Recommended for people aged 15 years and over. This production contains nudity and the sound of live gunfire.
Duration: 90mins, no interval
Performance Dates: 22–26 February
Direct from New York City and led by LE TIGRE’s JD Samson, MEN bring their notorious fusion of politics and danceable beats to Brisbane.
MEN blends a mix of synthy electronic beats, impressive guitar loops and lyrics about credit card babies, radical surgery and prosthetic sex.
MEN’s debut record, Talk About Body, was released on IAMSOUND Records. The band has toured across the globe, supporting the likes of Peaches, Gossip, and CSS.
Performance Date: 24 February only
THE LADY FROM THE SEA (India & Australia)
Cinematic projections, live music and tonnes of sand will help bring an epic version of Ibsen’s classic love triangle with India’s award-winning Abhinaya Theatre Company and Brisbane’s own Topology.
Set in no particular time or space against a beautiful live score by Robert Davidson, The Lady from the Sea delves into the internal anguish, conflicts and confusion implicit in romantic relationships.
A meditative and poetic adaptation of the original play by Henrik Ibsen, The Lady from the Sea observes the three main characters of a husband, wife and a stranger. The stranger, once engaged to the wife, has a compelling power over her and has returned to take her away. Her husband gives her the freedom to choose between staying with him and leaving with the stranger.
The Lady from the Sea harnesses the infinite possibilities offered by the modern stage, and is punctuated by stunning animation to create a moving space installation.
Notes: In Malayalam with English surtitles.
Duration: 70mins, no interval
Performance Dates: 24–26 February
SCRATCH WORKS AT WORLD THEATRE FESTIVAL
Scratch Works is an initiative that allows the audience to see shows as a work in their early stages of development. The ideas may not be fully formed. The script may not be fully finished. This is theatre at it’s most vulnerable.
The following are the Scratch Works for the second week of the festival:
TALES OF THE UNDERGROUND
Creative Regions (Regional QLD)
Tales of the Underground explores the social impacts of mining through the experiences of three playwrights-in-residence in the ex-boom towns of Mount Morgan, Mount Perry and Cracow.
Given only three weeks, the playwrights uncovered the stories that shaped the history of these communities – tales of vision, dedication, sacrifice and madness – and examined what can be learned from these mining towns of the past.
Duration: 45min play readings
Performance Dates: 25 February
THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY
Cre8ion (Sydney and Brisbane)
Eugenia becomes Harry. Harry meets Annie. Trouble ensues.
The Trouble with Harry is the thrilling new play by award winning Australian playwright Lachlan Philpott. Join us for the premiere reading of this work, which tells the story of Eugenia Falleni, the notorious ‘ManWoman’ of Sydney in the early 1900’s.
Enjoying a unique place in Sydney’s bawdy history, Falleni’s story continues to fascinate. An Italian immigrant, Falleni lived much of her life as a man — Harry Crawford, the notorious ‘ManWoman’ of Sydney in the early 1900’s and served time in prison for the murder of her own wife.
Developed as part of the PlayWriting Australia National Script Workshop, this work takes an idiosyncratic look at the Falleni story, questions versions of this history and looks at contemporary debates and assumptions surrounding gender.
Duration: 90mins, no interval
Performance Dates: 22–24 February
Erth – Visual & Physical Inc (Sydnet)
Inspired by Nick Cave’s song cycle, Murder Ballads, director Scott Wright uses dark puppetry to uncover our obsession with the ultimate taboo.
Murder, explores homicide in pop culture, folklore, fantasy and fiction. Choreography, animation, projection and puppetry create a mysterious atmosphere where you will “stumble” upon murderous events as you walk with the production.
Murder is a visceral, stimulating, engaging experience, shaped by Erth’s signature visuals. Better known from their family-friendly repertoire, Murder is not such a play.
Duration: 10mins, no interval
Performance Dates: 23–26 February
A SPECTACULAR OF SORTS
Monsters Appear (Brisbane)
An amalgam of eisteddfod zest, melancholic gaud and shameless theatrics, and inspired by Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies, this showing is rough, black and ridiculous.
Ivan and Juniper feel hopelessly unprepared. They’re in charge of a tribute – they must re-enact a list of alphabetised but altogether unfortunate events. The set is unfinished, the room is too small and the audience is arriving sooner than expected. Ivan and Juniper must rise to the occasion. This is storytelling at its darkest and most strange – it’s A Spectacular of Sorts…
Duration: 30mins, no interval
Performance Dates: 24–26 February
Download the Festival Program: www.worldtheatrefestival.com/program