Review: The Empty City – The Human Company at Powerkids Festival @ Brisbane Powerhouse

The Empty City, directed by David Fenton, is based on the picture book of the same name by David Megarrity and Jonathon Oxlade. It explores an idea that has undoubtedly crossed the mind of every child: What if, for one day only, everyone disappeared and the city belonged to you? What would you do? Go on, you’ve already started picturing yourself eating and playing your way through a large department store, haven’t you? Jumping on all the beds, stuffing yourselves with gumballs, pouring your own McDonald’s thick-shake? Thought so.

Tom, our young protagonist, explores his options in the empty city between two projection screens that give the animated metropolis a 3D effect, allowing plenty of room for snazzy tricks and magical sleight of hand. Designer Jonathon Oxlade, lighting designer Freddy Komp, animator Luke Monsour and graphic designer Ray Pittman have done a fabulous job creating a city that is familiar yet mysteriously different; it could exist anywhere. The actors, Tom Oliver and Bridget Boyle collaborate inventively with their surroundings to tell Tom’s tale. Continue reading “Review: The Empty City – The Human Company at Powerkids Festival @ Brisbane Powerhouse”

Review: Argus – Dead Puppet Society at Powerkids Festival @ Brisbane Powerhouse

Puppets – they’ve come a long way since Punch and Judy. In fact, I would go so far as to say the ‘puppet renaissance’ has been busily playing itself out for a few years now, with local Brisbane theatre company the Dead Puppet Society at its helm.

Always hard at work creating new and wonderful ways for humans to help their puppets tell a story, the latest offering from the Dead Puppets is the delightfully magical Argus, a 45 minute children’s piece, playing as part of the Powerkids festival at the Brisbane Powerhouse this June. Continue reading “Review: Argus – Dead Puppet Society at Powerkids Festival @ Brisbane Powerhouse”

Review: Mother Courage – Queensland Theatre Company and QPAC at The Playhouse, QPAC

Images: Rob Maccoll

The last time Herr Brecht and I crossed paths was in a high school drama room, some 16 years ago and, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t taken with his work. Come opening night of QTC’s indigenous production of his most famous play, and all I could remember about Brecht was that I was supposed to remember something about Brecht. Nonetheless, as the corrugated iron curtain flew up on Mother Courage, I was put at ease. These people I knew.

Probably his best known play, Brecht’s epic Mother Courage (1939) is set on the battlegrounds of the European thirty years’ war, 1618-1648. This production, adapted in a new translation by Wesley Enoch and Paula Nazarski, is set in a post-apocalyptic Australia, a world where ‘government is lost and human greed takes the form of mining armies.’ The indigenous population is clearly divided and, like the original, this Mother Courage is making her living – surviving the impossible odds – by profiteering from war. Continue reading “Review: Mother Courage – Queensland Theatre Company and QPAC at The Playhouse, QPAC”