By Peter Gill | 7 Sep 2018

September may mean the start of spring for some, but for Brisbane inhabitants it also marks the beginning of Queensland’s premier international arts festival: Brisbane Festival.

Over three weeks, the annual event connects artists and audiences in ways that lift the spirit, disrupt the conventional and open our city to the world. The Festival, starting Saturday 8 September, boasts a number of blockbuster Brisbane-only events. One such event is the spectacular River of Light, a nightly free water, light and laser show along the river depicting the traditional story of the dreaming serpent.

The contribution this event makes to the life and vibrancy of Brisbane is truly outstanding. Urbis is proud to sponsor the Brisbane Festival once again in 2018.

Tipped to be the biggest yet, this year’s Festival includes appearances by local circus troupe Circa, physical theatre company, Legs on the Wall, and Townsville’s Dancenort. A multitude of performances are scheduled to take place across venues including QPAC, Brisbane Powerhouse, the iconic Tivoli Theatre, La Boite Theatre, the bespoke Spiegeltent in the South Bank and Brisbane City Hall.

It is an outstanding program ahead, with particular highlights including:

  • Life at the Spiegltent – featuring the acrobatic cabaret style performances of Strut & Fret. 
  • Katie Noonan, Gratitude & Grief – Katie’s haunting voice supported by a jazz trio, a symphony orchestra and cartoonist Michael Leunig’s interpretative sketches – one for most of the senses!!!
  • Home – upon an empty stage, a house is gradually built as its procession of inhabitants go about their daily lives. The play explores the essence of what makes a house a home, and even lets you explore this yourself by inviting you to step on stage.
  • Yothu Yindi – Yothu Yindi should need no introduction. Australia’s best known Aboriginal band will be performing at the Tivoli, with a show giving tribute to the incredible, and sadly gone, voice of Dr G Yunupingu.
  • Ode to man – this play is from award-winning theatre-makers Emma Mary Hall and Prue Clark. In Ode to Man they explore the state of modern man and romantic ambition in a world where women can have it all.
  • En Masse – Brisbane circus company, Circa is at the forefront of the new wave of contemporary Australian circus. This performance of their new show, En Masse, features a narrative of acrobatics set to classical music.
  • Stalin’s Piano –  a smash hit at its 2017 premiere at Canberra International Music Festival, Stalin’s Piano is a compelling musical exploration of a century of history, art and politics. Musical vignettes of notable identities are entwined with actual excerpts from their lives and work, from Le Corbusier to Shostakovich, and Jackson Pollock to Ai Wei Wei.
  • Mother’s ruin – Equal parts historical and hysterical, all heaving harmonies and tipsy candour, explore the history of gin through story and song; a 60 minute theatrical cabaret, with music originally performed by Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, Martha Wainwright, The Popes, The Pretenders and more.
  • Violent Soho – Brisbane’s own Violent Soho will be performing on the Riverstage, with the spectacle of Riverfire unfolding through the evening as a backdrop. 
  • Eskimo Joe with Camerata – For this performance entitled With Strings Attached, the band will be playing their best-of, accompanied on stage by ensemble orchestra, Camerata.