The 2013 Melbourne Festival kicks off tonight for 17 days of 105 events and activities, that includes 19 world premieres and 13 Australian premieres and offering audiences a chance to make new discoveries, reconnect with much admired favourites, and encounter collaborations and special Festival commissions.
Australian Arts Review highlights a number of shows that you should checkout this year:
Prepare to be swept away by this heart-warming show: a marvel of unbridled joy, tempered by the heartache of love. A radiant adaptation of the classic 1945 film Brief Encounter, this is a tale of a sudden romance that sparks, keenly and unexpectedly, in an unremarkable British railway tea room. Created by the award-winning Cornwall-based Kneehigh Theatre.
A lyrical melding of cinema and symphony, directed by Matthew Lutton, featuring ACO Artistic Director Richard Tognetti and backed by the might of almost 100 musicians and vocalists, The Crowd is a majestic exploration of what happens when one becomes many.
In Spite of Myself:
Join Nicola Gunn, as she presents her fictional self as the subject of a fictional retrospective of her fictional work. An unclassifiable excursion into the gap between woman and myth, Gunn’s work is a dazzling whirl of video, sculpture, illustration, photography, text, audience debate and live performance.
The Shadow King:
One of Shakespeare’s most powerful works, King Lear is an unmatched epic of kinship, country, justice and despair. Now in the hands of director Michael Kantor and co-creator Tom E. Lewis – who also takes the title role – this timeless tragedy speaks to the tangled legacy of Indigenous Australia.
Brave, arresting and bristling with anarchic energy, Teenage Riot is a gripping plunge into the teen psyche. A non-stop, in-your-face detonation of images, sound and fury. Confronting and unflinching, this is a forceful howl of rage against a callous world. Presented by ground-breaking Belgian theatre company Ontroerend Goed.
From the mind of Eddie Perfect comes a wickedly satirical piece of theatre – a caustic black comedy that skewers middle-class hypocrisy with pinpoint precision. Taking a cleaver to middle class angst, social media morality and inner-city eco-pretensions, Perfect conjures a scathing, all-too-recognisable reflection on the conflict between what we say, what we believe and what we’re finally willing to do.
A Small Prometheus:
From an inventive collaboration springs an incandescent new dance work – a piece about darkness and light, and the spark that bridges them. Stephanie Lake, one of Australia’s most exciting choreographers, partners with composer and artist Robin Fox to present this hybrid work of dance and sound, driven by the capricious power of flame.
Urban Chamber – Beyond:
Hip-hop meets chamber music and urban dance in a multicultural ode to Melbourne – welcome to the new sound of our city. Telling tales of wealth and poverty, privilege and neglect, Urban Chamber – Beyond channels the hopes, anxieties and ambitions of Melbourne’s suburban youth, whose origins span five continents.
Daniel Schlusser brings us his most ambitious production to date – an original work inspired by the life of Mikhail Bulgakov, his sensuous, satirical masterpiece of love and madness, The Master and Margarita, and the darkly theatrical politics of contemporary Russia.
Foxtel Festival Hub:
After last year’s resplendent debut, the Foxtel Festival Hub returns to the banks of the Yarra – offering festivalgoers a luxurious pop-up performance space, supper spot and late-night club experience, all rolled into one ephemeral destination.
The 2013 Melbourne Festival continues to 27 October. For more information, visit: www.melbournefestival.com.au for details.
Image: Brief Encounter (courtesy of Kneehigh Theatre)