Ever wondered what it would be like to watch a ballet performance in a bath house? A theatre performance in a hospital? A comedy in a bowls club?
As wacky as it sounds, the Anywhere Theatre Festival is bringing all this and more to Brisbane over 12 madcap days from 7 to 18 May. The Spring Hill Baths, described as the oldest baths in the southern hemisphere, will host Sweet Meniscus by Joseph Stewart and featuring Queensland Ballet dancers. St Vincent's Hospital will be the unlikely stage for the performance of Edge Improv's LifeStory - unscripted and reliant on inspiration from the audience. Then there is a live reading of the debut sketch comedy album by Bell and McPhie, The Smooth End of the Pineapple, at the Holland Park Bowls Club. And that's just for starters.
Founded by Paul Osuch and Alex McTavish, the Anywhere Theatre Festival, now in its fourth year, seeks to turn traditional theatre on its head. There are 420 performances including circus, comedy, dance, drama, poetry, puppetry, burlesque and music - being performed anywhere you'd least expect to see them.
Miss K is ... Wrong.com. Anywhere Theatre Festival image.
Aside from offering something delightfully different, Osuch says people want to see a show without the inconvenience and cost attached with normal theatres. 'The festival is also a great chance to discover those secret and not-so-secret nooks and crannies of Brisbane you've always wanted to explore,' he adds.
Venues hosting performances are dotted all over Brisbane, including Morningside, Eagle Farm, Carina, Goodna, Seventeen Mile Rocks, Holland Park, West End, Kangaroo Point, Chapel Hill, Paddington and Sunnybank.
So the Belles of Hell will perform Shave and a Haircut at West End's HQ Male Grooming, while The Travelling Sisters Wig Out plays in Paddington's Fil-a-bolus Hair Salon, commandeered for this very purpose. The Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts stages The Robbers in their car park. And for those with sea legs, The Change and We All Make Mistakes will be performed at the Queensland Maritime Museum.