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Brisbane independent artists join forces

Heidi Manché, Heather Fairbairn and Kate Wild

Three independent theatre directors have joined forces to combat the devastating toll of COVID-19 on Brisbane’s theatrical landscape.

The Hive Collectivea collaboration between Heather Fairbairn, Heidi Manché and Kate Wild – works on the age-old principal of strength in numbers.

The trio are experienced theatre artists, each producing award-winning, high-calibre professional work, in Brisbane, nationally and around the world. Together, as co-Artistic Directors of Hive, they will curate and produce each other’s work.

“The COVID pandemic has seen the performing arts industry devastated by theatre closures around the country,” said co-Artistic Director Heather Fairbairn. “Independent artists and freelancers have been hit particularly hard. “Standing together as Hive, we’ve found the sustainability and resilience to survive these challenging times.”

The collective looks forward to sharing some good news with the launch later this year of their inaugural project at the new Metro Arts in 2021. Follow the collective on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and keep listening for an exciting announcement.

The idea to form the collective came after the three women shared their frustrations at the lack of opportunities for independent theatre makers to present work in Brisbane.

Then came a defining moment of optimism and determination, explains co-Artistic Director Heidi Manché. Well, what shall we do about it?’ we asked. ‘How can we stand together to make those challenges easier to overcome?

“At first it was about a production model which shared tasks and resources to make our time and money go further, but now, I think, the best thing about Hive is the support and advice we give each other.

“Producing your own work can be a tough gig. Having two colleagues to make plans and make decisions with has helped us all through a difficult year.”

The collaboration has already proved fruitful. As co-Artistic Director Kate Wild explains, “We’re thrilled to have partnered with Metro Arts for our first work. Metro have been champions of independent theatre in Brisbane for decades and both Heidi and I have directed work at the old building on Edward Street. We can’t wait to be a part of Metro’s new chapter at West Village.”

Heather Fairbairn directs theatre and contemporary opera. Working across Australia, Europe, and the UK, her directing credits include Silk Moth (Arcola Theatre, London), The Mutant Man by Christopher Bryant (The Space Arts Centre, London) and Sunnytown (La Boite Theatre Company). She regularly collaborates with renowned director Katie Mitchell.

Heidi Manché spent several years in Italy, working alongside Nobel laureate Dario Fo, translating many of his texts into English and touring with theatre troupe, Stalker. In Brisbane, Heidi has produced and directed with her independent theatre company Room to Play, including Tom Holloway’s Red Sky Morning and Lally Katz’ The Eisteddfod, Ionesco’s The Bald Prima Donna.

Kate Wild is the award-winning writer and director of The Sound of a Finished Kiss. Having worked in theatres throughout London, Bristol and Melbourne she has returned to Brisbane, founding Now Look Here and directing Splendour, A Slight Ache and The Seagull for the company.


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