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UK's Royal Ballet brings two shows to Brisbane

The Royal Ballet arrives in Australia, direct from London, this winter for an exclusive residency at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) from Thursday 29 June to Sunday 9 July 2017. Bringing with them their two award-winning productions, Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works and Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale, the exclusive season will showcase the extraordinary breadth of the Company’s modern repertory, and the virtuosity and theatricality of its dancers. 85 of The Royal Ballet’s dancers will travel to Brisbane, with casting for the tour including Principal Dancers Federico Bonelli, Alexander Campbell, Lauren Cuthbertson, Francesca Hayward, Ryoichi Hirano, Sarah Lamb, Steven McRae, La

Kinky Boots heads for Brisbane

Winner of every major international Best Musical award, Kinky Boots features Tony and Grammy-winning songs by Cyndi Lauper, a book by Harvey Fierstein and direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell. Kinky Boots takes audiences on a journey from a bankrupt shoe factory to the runways of Milan. Callum Francis and Toby Francis lead the company as Lola and Charlie, the fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos and the young man he inspires with an outrageous idea to revamp the family business. Sydney-based singer, writer, producer, and musical theatre performer Toby Francis was most recently a member of the Australian music ensemble The Ten Tenors. Britis

Professor Brian Cox to return to Australia

Professor Brian Cox has accepted Lateral Event’s invitation to tour Australia and, for the first time, New Zealand in November this year, to present a new live stage show. Brian Cox is one of the world’s foremost communicators of all things scientific. His ability to make complex matters entertaining and easy to understand has made his scientific television shows ground breaking in their audience reach and accessibility. Joining Brian on stage will be British comedian, actor, and writer Robin Ince, Brian’s co-host on the BBC Radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage. Professor Brian Cox is a British particle physicist at the University of Manchester and Royal Society Professor for Public Engagement

A tribute to Irish poets

Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly and Irish singer Camille O’Sullivan pay tribute to the words of W.B. Yeats and other great Irish poets with Ancient Rain in Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC’s) Concert Hall on Tuesday 13 June. Ancient Rain combines original songs and music, together with spoken word inspired by more than a century of Irish writing. Paul and Camille inhabit a range of characters in this performance, revealing themes from the cost of love, the price of independence, to the inadequacy of faith and the power of forgiveness. Created in collaboration with composer/pianist Feargal Murray and director Chris Drummond, Ancient Rain offers a concert experience through a

Spelling bee musical at Sandgate

Pine River Musical Association’s (PRIMA), next production will be The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and will be performed at the Sandgate Town Hall from 21 – 29 April. This musical about a bunch of young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a tale of overachievers' angst, chronicling the experience of these adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. It’s the unlikeliest of hit musicals about the unlikeliest of heroes: a quirky yet charming cast of outsi

AD Sam Strong’s directing debut at Queensland Theatre

From Australian playwright, and former Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Michael Gow, comes Once in Royal David’s City, a story that tumbles from the 1950s to the present, from West Berlin to Byron Bay, from brief encounters to the cycles of history. It is about mothers and sons, lost innocence and facing mortality; about faith, rage and the brilliant possibilities of life and art. Making his directorial debut with Queensland Theatre with this new Australian story is the new Artistic Director, Sam Strong (right). Most recently, Sam directed a sold-out production of Jasper Jones for the Melbourne Theatre Company, gaining a five star review in The Age and six Green Room Award nominations

Review- Queensland Ballet’s Raw: an evening to savour and remember

Above:Camilo Ramos and Lina Kim in No Mans Land. Below: Clare Morehen and Darcy Brazier in Ghost Dances. Photos: David Kelly Raw Queensland Ballet Various choreographers Playhouse Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: March 17-25. Running time: two hours 15 minutes with two 20 minute intervals. Bookings: www.qpac.com.au or 136 246 This trio of short ballets proved that short really can be sweet. They had mood, intriguing (and sometimes difficult) choreography, and some magnificent dancing that included mind- blowing pas de deux. It was an evening to savour and remember for a long time. The opening – 45 minutes long – piece was No Man’s Land, Liam Scarlett’s r

Parramatta’s Skye to beef up the restaurant scene

Right: Chef Stephen Seckold. Photo: Mitch Lui Crown Group has announced that it has partnered with three culinary innovators who will bring to life the Food and Beverage (F&B) concept at its flagship hotel, Skye Hotel Suites at Parramatta. Hospitality designer Nic Graham, hospitality consultant Dave Galvin and chef Stephen Seckold have been tapped to launch the new concept, a lobby-level all-day restaurant that will help define the neighborhood’s culinary scene. “We designed Skye Hotel Suites to inspire and invigorate the soul,” said Iwan Sunito, co-founder, Chairman and Group CEO of Crown Group, which owns and develops Skye Hotel Suites. “The culinary program at Skye Hotel Suites at Paramat

Expressions Dance Company peeps into private moments

Right: EDC's Elise May and Richard Causer. Photo: Jeff Camden This May Expressions Dance Company’s award-winning choreographer, Natalie Weir’s new work Behind Closed Doors opens in the Playhouse Theatre, QPAC. Showcasing contemporary dance, Behind Closed Doors is set to draw audiences into a hotel where the private lives of its late-night guests and staff are exposed. This kiss-and-tell dance features modern jazz performed live on stage by Queensland’s Trichotomy, as well as special guests, Brisbane-based vocalist Kristin Berardi and saxophonist Rafael Karlen. Natalie Weir said, “Behind Closed Doors explores the playfulness and fragility of human nature. It has moments of joy and moments of

Review - My Fair Lady 60th anniversary production: joy at every step.

Anna O’Byrne (Eliza) and Charles Edwards (Higgins). Alfred Doolittle (Reg Livermore) enjoys his pre-nuptial celebrations. My Fair Lady Book and lyrics Alan Jay Lerner Music by Frederick Loewe Directed by Julie Andrews Choreography by Christopher Gattelli Lyric Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: Until April 30. Running time: three hours and fifteen minutes including interval. Bookings: www.qpac.com.au or www.myfairladymusical.com.au Phone: 136 246. Wow, what a night; My Fair Lady was not just fair she was fabulous, with joy at every step of the way through the fast flowing one hour 45 minutes of the opening act with its poignant journey from Covent Garden

QPAC Choir celebrates 40 years of Abba in Australia

It’s been 40 years since 70s super pop group ABBA first toured Down Under! In March 1977, they toured to every capital city in Australia, but Brisbane missed out. ABBA Mania was in full flight at that time and there was a huge outcry from the Brisbane fans. Even the Premier of Queensland at the time, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, writing a personal letter to the Swedish super group didn’t result in a Brisbane concert. So to rectify this and mark this milestone, the QPAC Choir’s annual showcase concert Thank You For The Music: An ABBA Celebration will be presented as part of the Queensland Cabaret Festival on Tuesday 6 June 2017 in Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC’s) Concert Hall. Followi

Comedian Chris Rock heads for Australia

Grammy and Emmy Award winning comedian, actor, director, writer and producer, Chris Rock, will return to Australia as part of his new tour, The Total Blackout Tour 2017, that opens on Friday 23 June at Perth Arena and will travel to Brisbane’s Entertainment Centre on Saturday 24 June, Melbourne’s Hisense Arena on Monday 26 June and finishes at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena on Wednesday 28. The Total Blackout Tour 2017 is currently touring the US to rave reviews and is the comedian’s first tour in more than 9 years. Tickets for the Australian shows will go on sale at 12 noon local time on Friday 24 March. Lauded by peers and critics alike, Chris Rock is one of our generation’s strongest comedic v

Journey of music, madness, and self-discovery

From left: Brent Schon, Aaron Dora and Jermia Turner; Photo by Adam Finch. Enter the asylum and follow young director Lewis Riley on a journey of music, madness, and self-discovery in Louis Nowra’s Australian comedy, Cosi in April. The year is 1971. While his friends march in protest to the Vietnam War, Lewis Riley (Aaron Dora) lands this first job out of university directing a production of Mozart’s opera Cosi fan Tutte ... in a mental asylum. With a cast ranging from pyromaniacs and manic-depressives, to drug addicts and obsessive compulsive disorder sufferers, Lewis grapples with the politics of theatre, true madness and love. “It’s thrilling to see the excitement of young people when the

Review - Constellations: exceptionally cast

Constellations By Nick Payne Directed by Kat Henry Queensland Theatre Bille Brown Studio South Brisbane Brisbane season until April 9 followed by a Queensland tour. Bookings: queenslandtheatre.com.au What do you get when the world of a beekeeper and the world of a quantum physicist endlessly collide? Constellations. After all, the universe didn’t create stars without the Big Bang. This recent play by British playwright Nick Payne stars a two-actor cast: Lucas Stibbard as Roland and Jessica Tovey as Marianne. When Roland, the apiarist, encounters Marianne, the physicist, their worlds are thrust into a never-ending list of possibilities which Payne explores in a subtle and poignant manner. Con

“The best” Christine to tour Australia

Broadway and West End music theatre star Sierra Boggess, will perform at the Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) as part of her debut Australian tour for one night on Thursday 8 June 2017. Asked by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber to perform Christine in the award winning and highly acclaimed Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary Production at Royal Albert Hall, he regards her as “... the best, the best Christine certainly!”. This international award winning music theatre performer is also a celebrated Broadway Disney Princess, having portrayed Ariel in The Little Mermaid on Broadway to high acclaim. Most recently Sierra finished a season as Principal Mullins in Andrew Lloyd Webbe

The beekeeper and the physicist

Roland, an easy-going chap who makes his living as a beekeeper, and Marianne, a warm, intelligent, and witty woman who works at Sussex University as a quantum physicist – the odds of them getting together are astronomical. But when their worlds do collide, they keep on colliding, as all the possibilities of their life together – good, bad and ugly – flicker across the stage in a series of intricately-structured snapshots, from first date to farewell. Lovers often say fate brought them together, and fate doesn’t get much credit after that. But in Queensland Theatre’s Constellations, by British playwright Nick Payne, every moment that Roland and Marianne share is at the mercy of the infinite a

The Popular Mechanicals back on Sydney stage

Right: Amber McMahon. Photo by Kris Washusen Following a riotous reception in 2015, the original cast of State Theatre Company South Australia’s The Popular Mechanicals are heading east to remount the show for Sydney Theatre Company, directed once again by former STC Resident Director Sarah Giles. Performances are at The Wharf from 6 April to 13 May 2017. This play of mischief, song and sheer silliness was a smash hit with audiences and critics alike in Adelaide with The Australian saying “the excellent cast is inventive and versatile” and Scenestr declaring it “hilarious from the get-go”. First directed by Geoffrey Rush in 1987, The Popular Mechanicals was written by Keith Robinson and Tony

When Hollywood hits Ireland

Stones in His Pockets by Marie Jones is the story of a small Irish town overrun by the arrival of a Hollywood film shoot. As the scripted on screen romance blossoms between a rich girl and a local farmer, off-screen disenfranchised local film extras clash with the brash Hollywood big shots. Equal parts deeply moving and deliciously funny, Stones in His Pockets sees Grant Cartwright and Sean Hawkins play 15 characters between them: an ambitious film extra, the vacuous Hollywood starlet, a steam-rolling movie studio producer, and a desperate young man caught up in it all. According to director Chris Bendall, Stones in His Pockets zeroes in on the characters we usually overlook – like a film ex

Naomi Price to premiere personal new work at La Boite

On her ‘days off’ from touring the country with her award-winning Adele show Rumour Has It, Queensland’s Naomi Price is preparing to take on a different songbook. Premiering in May as the next instalment in La Boite Theatre Company’s 2017 season, The Beatles-inspired Lady Beatle reunites Price and collaborator Adam Brunes as writers, with Price to take centre stage. “Lady Beatle is the third and final pop culture cabaret in our planned trilogy, following Rumour Has It and Wrecking Ball,” Price said. “This is certainly our most ambitious work to date, weaving a fictional tale about the real women who inspired The Beatles’ biggest chart toppers.” Price said Lady Beatle wasn’t a ‘live Beatles b

Jonathon Biggins take aim at the news

Right: John Waters. Photo by James Green The relationships that bind modern journalism, the justice system, and the political establishment come under acerbic scrutiny in Talk, written and directed by Jonathan Biggins. Sydney Theatre Company’s latest new play, which explores how the 24 hour news cycle is spurred on by the influence of social media, plays at Sydney Opera House from 23 April to 20 May 2017, followed by seasons in Belrose and Canberra. John Waters, in his first role at STC in more than a decade, plays John Behan, a rampaging radio talk-back host who fills the airwaves with a daily diet of moralising opinion. As he and his producer Belinda (Valerie Bader) learn that his words ha

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