WTF 2013 begins tonight!



It’s Mum’s birthday so I’m taking her out! Tonight we’re seeing the Australian premiere of Pan Pan’s production of Ibsen’s classic, A Doll House. I’m looking forward to seeing what this innovative Irish group have done with it. Tomorrow night, Sam and I will see Parah – another Australian premiere – by Malaysian theatre makers The Instant Cafe Theatre Company. Perhaps not the most romantic option in Brisbane for Valentine’s Day (read about it here), but we love doing dinner and a show together so it’s fine. And look, if you’re seeing anything at the Powerhouse, anytime of year, try the dining options at the venue. Bar Alto is excellent Italian cuisine in a sleek, dark interior, and Watt Bar + Restaurant is a little more relaxed, overlooking the water.

Watt Bar + Restaurant

You can’t really go wrong at WTF! There is so much on, showcasing many new and unique artists, as well as those we know and love, that even if you find you don’t LOVE a show, you’ll be glad you went, to experience the vibe and the theatre here, there and everywhere. There is literally something for everyone at WTF!

Hot on the heels of their presentation of The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane in New York, North America and New Zealand and following on from their beautiful interpretation of Beckett’s All That Fall in 2011, comes a new Irish production from Pan Pan for 2012: A Doll House.

In 1887 Strindberg claimed that ‘the theatre is a weapon’. Eight years earlier, Ibsen proved it with A Doll’s House. And he still does whenever the play is imaginatively performed. As Shaw prophesied in 1913: ‘There comes a time…when the parable of the doll’s house is more to our purpose than the parable of the prodigal son’.

Its Christmas and Nora Helmer is going crazy squirreling away presents and decorations, spending the money her husband hasn’t yet earned as the new bank manager. But don’t worry – Pan Pans version of Henrik Ibsens modern classic doesn’t dwell on the current recession. They’re looking at communication, relationships, and social conventions and how we are first and foremost human beings. After all, people shouldn’t always be thinking of themselves, especially women.

Gavin Quinn says of this production: Pan Pan’s new version of Ibsen’s A Doll House, (the world’s first great prose drama which at the time exploded like a bomb into contemporary life) will be the opening show of the ‘new’ Smock Alley Theatre. Smock Alley was originally a theatre in the 17th Century and hosted the Irish Premiere of Hamlet.

This version of A Doll House will examine the like- and unlikeability of these famous Ibsen characters and how they can still connect to today’s supposedly restless age.

“My conception of the audience is of a public each member of which is carrying about with him what he thinks is an anxiety, or a hope, or a preoccupation which is his alone and isolates him from mankind; and in this respect at least the function of a play is to reveal him to himself so that he may touch others by virtue of the revelation of his mutuality with them. If only for this reason I regard the theater as a serious business, one that makes or should make man more human, which is to say, less alone.”


Gathering to witness a performance may be the oldest of human rituals after sharing a meal.

Whether sitting in the sands of the Great Victoria Desert watching song cycles, watching wayang in an Indonesian village, or a musical in the West End, we are participating in the same ancient and very human ritual. In classical Greek and Roman societies, theatre was performed only in festivals. Brisbane Powerhouse gathers the best in contemporary theatre from Australia and around the world to create a true festival, a community gathering where our thoughts and emotions are shared. World Theatre Festival is about seeing a show, but it is also about sharing the experience with the performers and fellow audience members.

We are very excited about the program; it is strong, diverse and at times surprising. We encourage you to come along and come often; come with partners, friends or alone and be a part of World Theatre Festival.

Andrew Ross, Director
Sarah Neal, Head of Programming
Zohar Spatz, Producer

A Doll House







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