Queensland Theatre, until recently known as Queensland Theatre Company, has been operating since 1984. After a record-breaking season in 2018, it is now Australia's fastest growing theatre company. They have announced their 2019 season, titled a Season of Dreamers, promising a variety of productions.
Queensland Theatre Launches its 2019 season of 8 plays
Queensland Theatre is Queensland's flagship theatre company and is Australia's third largest theatre company. Additional funding comes from the Queensland Government to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation as well as youth and regional engagement. It leads the country in these tasks. In addition, they have worked hard to achieve gender parity in the company.
Based in South Brisbane where they have 2 performance spaces, the refurbished Bille Brown Theatre (formally Bille Brown Studio) and the Diane Cilento Studio. Both of which are great performance spaces. They also regularly stage plays at QPAC as well.
Billed as the season of dreamers, the theme of 2019 will be optimism and ideas and the consequences of these. While any good story should involve its share of tragedy and failure, it is the characters' idealism that has to be explored and celebrated.
Death of a Salesman is Arthur Miller's seminal play that is supposedly the death rattle of American optimism and the American dream. Dating from 1949, it seems that perhaps rumours of this death were greatly exaggerated because the play still resonates with many people today, a so-called withering commentary on capitalism doesn't seem to have withered anything because capitalism seems to have shrugged and said "Exactly, I agree, this play is exactly how we do things and like it." While the themes of this play have turned up over and over again across the decades since, this is really the play that set the foundations for those that followed.
Sue Smith's play, Hydra ,is based on the true love story of Charmian Clift and George Johnston as they seek an idealistic bohemian existence on the Greek island of Hyrda. While trying to seek literary inspiration, they face the issues of jealousy, infidelity, illness and alcoholism. But does the artistic muse live in the clear blue waters of paradise or come in the form of a many headed monster?
If you like theatre with more rock n roll energy rather than middle class angst, then Barbara and the Camp Dogs by Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine maybe be more of your scene. It tells the story of 2 rockers who are the core of a band called Barbara and the Rock Dogs. They make a return trip home by motorbike from Sydney to Katherine. Yes, there will be plenty of rock n roll and a motorbike on the stage.
The mining town of Kalgoorlie is the the eponymous City of Gold in Meyne Wyatts play about aboriginal identity in Australia's young indigenous people. This play balances personal dreams, media images and family expectations in a riveting, honest and personal examination.
Colin Theiele's children's book, Storm Boy has long been a favourite. Queensland Theatre along with Dead Puppet Society will bring Tom Holloway's stage adaptionof the book to life, with not only the 3 pelicans of that Storm Boy rescues but all the wildlife of the coastal setting. This is a play for all ages.
Joanna Murray-Smith has translated her own experiences and reflections renting an AirBnB apartment in Paris into the play L'Appartment. This comedy explores the relationship we might have with the "perfect life" and the reality behind the facade.
Yve Blake is a gifted comedian, singer and playwright. In Fangirls she explores the relationship teenage girl fans have with their idols. Ultimately a musical and comedic celebration of what it means to love without apology: something that teen fangirls are able to uniquely do. It also raises the question, how far will a fan go when they have a chance to meet the object of their obsession?
Written over 2400 years ago, Antigone is Sophocles play about individual obligations within the context of family and the state. Adapted by Merylnn Tong. This classic story of distopian rule and the process of healing after a war will have one twist, with the two main characters being played by women.
Season tickets are available for sale now. You have choose tickets for all 8 plays, or just 6, 5, or 3 plays (not sure why they don't have options for 7 or 4 plays, for those who only have interest in some of the shows because you can select which plays you want to see.) You need to select which time you want to see the plays, Saturday Evening, Weeknight evenings, Matinees or Previews as prices differ based on when you go to see the play.
8 tickets to plays can be had for as little as $304 for normal prices and $240 for people under 35. Individual tickets range from $32 to $77.
There is also an Opening Night full season package, which includes the gala option to join the cast and creatives at the post performance parties. This package is $1096, but includes a $272 donation which you can make tax deductible.
We can expect another successful season with Queensland Theatre. Its efforts with indigenous performances is laudable, with 2 plays by indigenous artists and 1 play, Storm Boy, with an indigenous focus. In addition achieving gender parity is something all theatre companies should aim to do.
While their is an emphasis on variety, other than the indigenous works, the focus is very white and middle class, with the ultimate example of this being their production of Death of Salesman. L'Appartment also looks at middle class disillusionment whith the ideals of their life. Fangirls, which is likely to be a fascinating and fun look at teenage girls and their hopes and dreams, still has that middle class outlook.
Having said all that, do expect great performances and amazing productions with a wide range of plays and styles. They do aim for variety in their selection of works. If you are a fan of theatre, then there will be more than a few plays worth enjoying, and if you are thinking about going to the theatre, you are sure to find something of interest to check out. Don't forget Storm Boy will be something to enjoy with your kids.