This year, Akram Khan, one of the world’s best contemporary dancers, will perform his award-winning masterpiece DESH, and hostthe exclusive Australian premiere season of The Perfect American, the operatic sensation of the year and a new work by the legendary composer Philip Glass – just one of many world and Australian premieres in this year’s festival line up.
In a new partnership with the Treasury Casino and Hotel, Brisbane will be treated to a thrilling, free opening night performance from the gravity-defying acrobats of Grupo Puja!. Do Do Land will see performers balance 40 metres above Reddacliff Place on a geometric stage, illuminated by a striking light show and set to a live rock score.
Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Noel Staunton said he expected hundreds of thousands of people to turn out for 73 productions and 440 performances over three weeks. “The quality of artists and work means Brisbane is in for a very special September,” said Mr Staunton.
Festivalgoers will enjoy a transformed South Bank, filled with light, colour and the ever-popular Telstra Spiegeltent. The iconic venue has an increased capacity this year to cope with the crowds, who will flock to revel in a high voltage music line up featuring Phil Jamieson, Midnight Juggernauts and Joe Henry; hilarious comedy from funnymen Matt Okine and Ronny Chieng; and a family program for all ages, including the spellbinding world premiere by Circa, The Physical Impossibility of Disappearing.
Coming direct from a sell-out season in London, the Telstra Spiegeltent’s nightly cabaret show LIMBO promises an incendiary mix of magic, acrobatics, music comedy and dance. While over in The Courier-Mail Piazza the sell-out sensation of 2012, SOAP – The Show, will return with splashy whacky family fun.
Eye-catching festival landmarks will also spring up on South Bank come September, including the towering inflatable city of Exxopolis, looming over the Cultural Forecourt and enticing crowds into a serene world of colour and PVC, while the Brisbane Airport Light Garden is sure to enchant visitors of all ages with its winding fairy-tale forest of bamboo, light and sound on the riverbanks.
This year will be Noel Staunton’s last as Artistic Director and he will sign off with a bang when the Festival’s 16-tonne firework feast Sunsuper Riverfire wraps up the event on Saturday 27 September. He said his time at the helm had been exhausting and exhilarating.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to spend the last four years bringing everything that is great about the arts to Brisbane. We have laid on some amazing festivals over the years but I believe we have saved the best until last,” said Mr Staunton.
In 2014, the Brisbane Festival is showcasing more theatre than ever before with the world premiere Monkey… Journey to the West, based on the cult TV series Monkey Magic, the indigenous masterpieces Black Diggers and Shadow King, and an adaptation of A Doll’s House by Lally Katz.
Festivalgoers are also encouraged to take a walk on the wild side at the QUT Theatre Republic, which is back and bigger than ever, taking over QUT Kelvin Grove with 12 independent theatre shows and other treats for three weeks.
Premier Campbell Newman said Queensland artists and arts organisations would be a highlight of this year’s festival.
“Brisbane Festival will showcase the amazing work of our Queensland arts companies with participation from Circa, La Boite, Queensland Theatre Company, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Opera Queensland and Expressions Dance Company,” said Premier Newman.
“Brisbane Festival will also have a stronger presence at Queensland’s Cultural Precinct at South Bank working with Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Queensland Museum and Sciencentre and State Library of Queensland.”
“The Queensland Government supports Brisbane Festival as part of the Arts for all Queenslanders strategy to provide more great arts to more Queenslanders,” the Premier said.
The 2014 Brisbane Festival runs from 6 to 27 September. For more information and the complete program, visit: www.brisbanefestival.com.au for details.
Image: Black Diggers – photo by Branco Gaica