Indie Launch Day … Indie Pride!

La Boite Theatre
Image by Bandido of Oz via Flickr

Today is not only St Valentine’s Day, but also, and perhaps even more importantly for Brisbane’s theatre-lovers, the launch of the La Boite Theatre Indie season, which we’re hoping will be enormously successful for everyone concerned.

A perhaps overused word right now when talking about the wider artistic environment is its ‘ecology’ …

1 the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings.
• (also human ecology) the study of the interaction of people with their environment.
2 (also Ecology) the political movement that seeks to protect the environment, esp. from pollution.

and the theatre ecology of Brisbane and beyond requires a robust independent sector to keep it fit and healthy.

We thought we’d post up this little video taken last year by one of Brisbane’s leading independent companies, 23rd Productions.  It was shot to celebrate World Theatre Day 2009, and has gone beyond Brisbane around the world as their contribution.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you should; there’s much in here that celebrates what independent means in a theatre eco-system.

And congratulations 23rd Productions and Artistic Director Kathryn Fray and Associate AD Christopher Sommers on your inclusion in the La Boite Independents season with Blackbird by David Harrower.

This Week in Queensland Theatre: February 1-7

February today, and that means the 2010 theatre season is getting serious, especially with previews of Hamlet, the first production for La Boite Theatre by its AD David Berthold, and the start of WTF (World Theatre Festival) at the Powerhouse and various other locations.  The local interwebs discussion on the nature of Residencies at QPAC continues on various blogs (Performing Arts Blog and XS Entertainment) and via Facebook commentary.

For dates and times check company websites

In Preview and Opening:

WTF – World Theatre Festival at the Powerhouse and various locations (Tuesday)

Hamlet directed by David Berthold – La Boite Theatre at the Roundhouse (Saturday)


Chasing the Lollyman Debase Theatre at !MetroArts


Talking Shop at the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts, The Valley.  (Wednesday 5.30-7pm)  This month Sue Rider will facilitate a conversation about theatre direction.  How can we find ways to develop our theatre directors?  How do we give and receive feedback?  How can we engage with each other’s work?  What mentoring models exist?

Hamlet: La Boite

Further details on session times @ La Boite’s website  Click the La Boite logo on Greenroom’s homepage.

Online Reviews and Blog Commentary:

Web-based reviews are listed as published

Hamletd: xsEntertainment blog (Xanthe Coward)

Hamlet Reviewed: Performing Arts Blog (Katherine Lyall-Watson)

Hamlet Review: Courier Mail Arts Blog (Tonya Turner)

Hamlet: ABC Brisbane 612 (Nigel Munro-Wallis)

Hoodie wearing Hamlet mixes horror with humour in a play for our times: The Australian (Bree Hadley)

Hamlet: Absolute Theatre (Eric Scott)

Hamlet in the box: ugly-beautiful: Greenroom blog (Dave Burton)

Scene Magazine : (Kate Gilpin)

Hamlet: Time Out (Baz McAlister)

Hamlet: A Little Gossip (Alison Cotes)

La Boite’s Hamlet: Not for the Fainthearted: M/C Reviews (Nick Terrell)

Hamlet: Brisbane Critiques (Kellie Scott)

Hamlet: La Boite Australian Stage Online (Caitlin Gahan)

October already!

September has been a terrific month for theatre in Queensland.  The biggest story was the Brisbane Festival with a wide array of local, national and international acts in town.  Then there was the Under the Radar Festival of fringe theatre – both put a spring in the step of Queensland in the south-east.  Closer to home, we launched Greenroom here on 1 September, and since then we’ve been thrilled at the welcoming response.  It proves to us the interest in and the need for a niche spot to focus on the work being done by professional and independent companies in Queensland.  We pull in reviews, interviews and commentary in the one spot.  Suddenly though … it’s October.

Image @BrisbaneGirl

Wikipedia says October is actually the eighth month of the year in the old Roman calendar.  It’s also breast-cancer awareness month – who could miss Brisbane’s Story Bridge lit up pretty in pink?  Thanks to @BrisbaneGirl who was en route to the theatre when she snapped this image from a CityCat on the Brisbane River – great way to get there, and no parking worries!

October is also young adolescents’ month; popcorn popping month (really); orange month in Sweden (look it up yourself), Black Cat month (Halloween I suppose),  and Women’s Small Business Workplace Politics Awareness Month (you didn’t know about that now, did you?).

In the Australian theatre world,  October sits in the middle of a 3-month launch season for the coming year.  From late September through early November you can log on to websites and see what will be coming to theatres near you in 2010.  Smart brochures begin plopping into mailboxes around the place, and casual subscription sales staff swell the ranks of the employed around the country.

Apart from launches, October is still a pretty busy time on the theatre calendar.  Queensland Theatre Company celebrated the start of its 40th anniversary year on 1st October, the date of its first production of The Royal Hunt of the Sun with a reception hosted by the Governor of Queensland.  Both the Under the Radar Festival and the Brisbane Festival finish on October 3, while former Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company Robyn Nevin continues her fine, fine performance in Cate Blanchett‘s production of The Year of Magical Thinking for the Company at QPAC until 17th.  Don’t miss this one.

There are more season openings throughout the month: The Crucible (Queensland Theatre Company); Lazarus Won’t Get Out of Bed (AS Theatre); Cats (Empire Theatres); Les Liaisons Dangereuses (THAT Production Company); As You Like It (QSE) … to name a few.  Check the season dates and times by mousing over the calendar on Greenroom.  You can also subscribe to add what’s on and coming up to your desktop calendar or phone.

Applications for La Boite Theatre‘s innovative Indie 010 project will open on Monday October 5, the same day that Queensland Theatre Company launches its 2010 season.  La Boite will launch its season early in November, and there are lots of people keen to hear what AD David Berthold has in store for the new-look La Boite.

Don’t forget, if your group wants to send in details of an upcoming production, an audition, or a launch, please contact us and we’ll do our best to assist.  And if you would like coverage of a production or would like to talk to us about your company, we’d love to hear from you.  This site is about helping the professional and independent theatre community, and enhancing the work being done throughout the state.  The image on this page is a screen-grab of our ‘poster wall’ on Greenroom right now.  It features companies and organisations with links to their home pages.  If you’d like to be added, send us your group’s logo and we’ll add it to the wall.

Do you have a Twitter account?  You should!  If you do, don’t forget to following us @greenroomQ for wider coverage of your work.  Remember Twitter gets the word out beyond the closed walls of Facebook – great as FB is!

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Reviews: ‘The Kursk’

National tour of ‘The Kursk’ by Sasha Janowicz Dir: Michael Futcher. Matrix Theatre and Critical Stages at La Boite Theatre Brisbane,  September 1-12, 2009.

Australian Stage Online “… another triumph for Matrix Theatre.”

The Australian “Speed blurs emotional effect …”

Courier-Mail “Chilling … powerful … electrifying …” Performing Arts Blog “The play is moving, horrifying and lyrical … a stunning production”

Groundling “The Kursk: a flagship for Queensland’s independent theatre”

Absolute Theatre

612 ABC Brisbane: Nigel Munro-Wallis “…a strong, riveting story – the type of drama that will have you thinking long after you have left the theatre. Director Michael Futcher has again proved himself to be a talent of national significance in his re-designing of the piece. It loses none of its suffocating impact in the larger venue – probably due to the physical closeness of the audience on three sides of the action. If you missed it last time then make sure you catch it during its current season at the Roundhouse. You’ll be glad you did. Five Stars.”

Time Off:   “The Kursk is as much the story of loved ones watching and waiting with the rest of the world. Adding to the mounting tension, thanks to brilliant sound and lighting design, there are some truly heart stopping moments.”

Curtain Up: Brisbane Theatre Reviews: ” … an excellent script which translates to a compelling theatre piece in the docudrama style.”

Stage Whispers: Ken Cotterill “Simply put, this is theatre at its very best.”

Other Reviews and Interviews (Queensland)

Arts Hub: Kirsten Leroux (JUTE Theatre, Cairns) NB Requires sign-in to read.

612 ABC Brisbane – Sasha Janowicz: Interview with Madonna King (Aug 13)

Other Reviews and Interviews (interstate and international)

Sydney Morning Herald:  ” A shipshape staging, but this drama about the doomed Russian submarine takes water.”

Time Out Sydney:  ” … strong stagecraft in a production very much worth catching at Darlinghurst Theatre before its short run is up.”

Canberra Times:  ” intensely moving and riveting production … a powerful theatrical experience that reminds us that we all share a common humanity and a duty to act.  Janowicz’s poetic homage to the dead and prophetic plea to the living closes with Chekhov’s ‘We should bury the dead and mend the living.’  This outstanding production of Janowicz’s finely acted work reminds us that there is much to mend before yet another lesson in history remains unlearnt.”

Sydney Morning Herald: Multimedia presentation narrated by Sasha Janowicz and the cast.

RT Moscow: Submarine Tragedy Remembered Across the World

The Moscow News:  Australian playwright Sasha Janowicz told the wire service that it took him seven years and two trips to Russia to carefully study the tragic events and write the play.

Making History With History: the Kursk interview (Alison Mooney for Scene)