18
Feb
20

KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities

 

KURIOS

Le Cabinet des Curiosites

Cirque du Soleil

Grand Chapiteau, Northshore, Hamilton

January 10 – February 23 2020

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

The roar of joy that set the worlds in motion

Is reverberating in your body

And the space between all bodies…

 

The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche, PHD

 

 

 

Behind every challenge, there are always beautiful risks.

Chantal Tremblay, KURIOS Creative Director

 

ONLY 10 Brisbane shows left!

 

Circus has always been about coming together in awe and wonder, laughing and gasping, shouting and applauding, recognising and celebrating, and expressing the collective roar of joy beneath the Big Top, marvelling at the breathtaking, beautiful business on stage of taking human potential to its limits. No one can create this space, in which time stops still for more than 90 minutes, quite like Cirque du Soleil can. 

 

If you’ve been following @xsentertainment on socials, you will have noticed that my worlds have been less about live theatre lately and more about our inner theatre, however; as these worlds so beautifully and naturally converge, it should come as no surprise that any further study/work/play with actors and non-actors, all looks and sounds a little a LOT similar. In fact, I’ve just about given up trying to tell people what I “do” and have started telling people who ask, that if they think it would be of some use to them, I’ll happily “be” right by them when they need. This is a new brand of life force coaching and creative facilitation. You don’t have to be a performer to get it, or to get the benefits from it – you just have to be human. 

 

As an instinctive meditation coach and change maker, I see all my worlds and possible futures coming together; making sense of working in theatres, private studios, and school settings for so long, travelling, and writing and responding to live theatre and lived experience; it all begins to make more sense than ever, as it becomes crystal clear to me that we all need the same – but different – very personal support. 

 

 

KURIOS: Cabinet de Curisotes dabbles less in the darker aspects and revels much more in our playfulness and childlike curiousity of life, making it the perfect entertainment and escape for all ages.

 

In an alternate yet familiar past, in a place where wonders abound for those who trust their imagination, a Seeker discovers that in order to glimpse the marvels that lie just below the surface, we must first learn to close our eyes . . .

We are in a future past – a Thomas-Edison-meets-Jules-Verne retro-future. We are now or never.

Close your eyes and open your heart. Now look again and behold the wonder. Seize it!

 

 

Cirque virgins and long-time lovers alike will enjoy KURIOS: the Cabinet of Curiosities, written and directed by Michael Laprise. We delight in its steampunk inspired style, and some slightly different acts, though during the Brisbane Premiere, those that are a little less physically daring – the yo-yo and the invisible circus – appear to be the most under-appreciated. The skill required to perform such a short, fast paced, double yo-yo piece is undeniable, however; this act perhaps falls short of some expectations.

 

Looking a little like my favourite Woodfordian postie, Astrid (AKA Zen Zen Zo’s Gina Limpus, recognised this week as the Bille Brown Best Emerging Artist in Brisbane at the Matilda Awards), our Aerial Bicycle artist is suspended mid-air, performing a number of amazing and amusing upside-down tricks.

 

 

The quickest, slickest contortionists ever, appearing as splendidly coloured electric eels, twist and turn themselves into incredible balances and pyramids on top of a fully mechanised hand, crawling downstage like a giant crustacean emerging from the rock pools at low tide. This is a masterclass for physical performers, in timing, precision, specificity and dynamic stillness.

 

A Russian Cradle Duo appears from their music box to perform a thrilling aerial act 4 metres above us. The Strongman flings a porcelain-faced ballerina into the air, allowing her to achieve somersaults of increasing complexity in the space above him. He is stoked each time they succeed; it’s gorgeous to see and hear his roar of joy intermingle with the appreciative sounds from the audience.

 

Rola Bola features a suave Lazytown style aviator, balancing on a teetering structure of cylinders and planks, which he constructs inside a trapeze Washington, the ultimate balance test as it swings like a pendulum; incredible.

 

The largest acro net in the world becomes the setting for my favourite act and the highlight of the show; featuring Australian acrobats, Fletcher Donohue and Nathan Dennis; it becomes home to an incredible ensemble of wriggling sea creatures, childlike, cheeky, a little bit crazy! These flying fish leap higher than we imagine might be possible, but isn’t that the point? Not only does this act celebrate its unique and quirky characters, it relishes its daredevil nature and a terrific sense of humour, before making way for the more serious and serene Continent of Doubles. Their aerial straps and extraordinary strength and grace allow them to soar through the air as if they were on broomsticks in a Quidditch field, pure magic. The program notes suggest that this act is an ode to individuality, emancipation and cooperation.

 

One of the world’s 10 smallest people, Australia’s Rima Hadchiti, stands at 3.3 feet tall and as Mini Lili, represents the intuitive mind of Mr Microcosmos, the embodiment of technological progress. She lives in a tiny Victorian world and adds elegance, refinement and subtle humour to the show. 

 

Building on the notions of brotherhood and the Catalan tradition of castells (castles), the Banquine acrobats are perfectly synchronised, and the epitome of strength, poise, perfect focus, connection and teamwork.

 

I adore Sophie Guay, Canadian chanteuse/street singer, reminding us how insignificant words can be when the voice itself will do (her scat is fantastic), and a lively, vibrant band featuring French cellist, Guillaume Bongiraud and Australian drummer, Paul Butler. This might be my new favourite upbeat soundtrack.

 

KURIOS is the joyous recognition – in the same vein as The Greatest Showman or Baz Luhrman’s brilliant can can sequence in Moulin Rouge – of the magic and beauty of all our unique differences, our crazy similarities, and our basic daily requirement for awe, wonder, connection and celebration.

 

 

Cirque du Soleil, the circus of the sun, continues to raise the bar; there is no show on earth quite like the world created each time, for all people, everywhere. How can we even expect the best to be bettered? Somehow, there continues to be something for everyone; the medicine to treat every ailment. And there’s never been a better (darker, more challenging, more taxing) time to bring some extra light and utter delight into our world. Whether it’s your first or tenth time under the Big Top – and the new grey and white one is a beauty – there is so much on offer here. Miss it and miss another opportunity, presented by artists on a silver platter, to savour the pleasure you remember from another time and place. The theatre – music, circus, dance, magic – is still the easiest way to find it!

 

Splurge and experience the full VIP package or book a Backstage Tour, and a Meet and Greet!

 

Love is inside you

Life is beautiful

Life is more powerful than fear

We are with you

We are with you

We are with you

Courage

Everything is possible

 

 

11
Jun
15

Best of Queensland Cabaret Festival!

Best of Queensland Cabaret Festival!

 

 

In here, life is beautiful!

 

 

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Last night Queensland Cabaret Festival kicked off with Voices of Vice, a one-off cabaret/concert bringing together some of the best local talent ahead of most of the visiting artists arriving from interstate and overseas.

 

Unfortunately, this meant a clash with one of the Festival highlights, Painted From Memory: The Music of Bacharach and Costello starring Michael Falzon and Bobby Fox with special guest star Luke Kennedy. If you saw it, let me know what you thought! I was sorry to miss it because these guys are CLASS.

 

Shows will clash. This is a standard Festival dilemma.

If only we could be in several different places at once.

 

Voices of Vice brought us songs of dissipation, debauchery, wickedness, corruption and all manner of sin, with highlights from Lizzie Moore, Melissa Western, Tyrone Noonan and Sandro Colarelli singing a song of Satan, written for him by The Good Ship. Hosted by Colarelli, Greg Bird (I loved his drunk piano number) and Alison St Ledger, the schtick lacked punchlines and pace (I find the pace lags whenever St Ledger takes the mic but boy, can she sing!), but the artists had a ball and the audience got a “taste” of what’s to come over the next few days and nights.

 

Make sure you plan ahead and get to the venue in time to find a park and get to Bar Alto at Brisbane Powerhouse or Russell Street Wine Bar at QPAC for a bite to eat and a chance to purchase your drinks because you can take drinks into the shows. Because CABARET.

 

HOT TIP: If your tickets are for the cabaret seating in the Powerhouse Theatre BUY A BOTTLE because punters getting up in the middle of a sultry torch song to get more alcohol and then juggle several glasses and said bottle on the way back to their seats are REALLY ANNOYING TO THE ARTISTS AND THE OTHER PUNTERS. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

 

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#openingnightstyle Camilla & Sachi shoes (Metalicus under because WINTER)

 

TONIGHT

 

Choose from Tyrone Noonan’s Vegas! Standards Reborn, Mary Wilson: Up Close, Bendigo to Broadway: Bradley McCaw or Dash Kruck in I Might Take My Shirt Off. I loved Kruck’s show when we saw it earlier this year at Melt Festival.

 

 

 

 

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FRIDAY

 

You might like Vaudevillian ne’er-do-wells Dirty Sexy Politics (Tom Albert and Samuel Valentine), who are seizing government the only way they know how: with sex, revenge and unbridled chaos. Or you might feel like an hour of stirring, high-class entertainment with two of Queensland’s best loved artists as Annie Lee (with accompanist, Sallie Campbell) shares her most treasured songs and stories of a life in cabaret. Or you could join Geraldine Turner for an evening of songs from her celebrated career, peppered with show business anecdotes and stories.

 

OR you might be in the mood for a bit of jazz flute and double entendre from the surprise of the opening night show and (wait and see) the surprise hit of this festival, the nu-folk comedy duo, Warmwaters. The creation of Bridget Boyle and David Megarrity (with a cheeky look in from Lewis Jones – what a great team that makes), these two would probably feel more at home at Woodford Folk Festival, however; having accepted the invitation to appear at “Voices of Nice” they took everything in their stride and stole the show. It’s a parody of all things folk, complete with jazz flute and clever audience interaction. If you haven’t booked to experience Warmwaters you’re missing out! Image by Grant Heaton. BOOK HERE

 

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I loved Lizzie Moore (we saw her last as the other, other sister of Kylie Minogue). Moore oozes old-school cabaret sass-in-a-hat and worked the audience seated at tables until some of them weren’t sure where to look! Moore’s show, Cool Britannia, has been relocated from the Visy Theatre to the Powerhouse Theatre, allowing MORE OF YOU TO SEE IT! It’s a swinging sixties pop mod party that you won’t want to miss. Illustration by Sean Dowling. BOOK HERE

 

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Cool Britannia is the sound of those times and you’ll hear Moore bring to life hits by 60s British legends Petula Clark, Lulu and Dusty Springfield. The show also follows the sound to today, with songs from the latest wave of talent inspired by the Swinging 60s including Amy Winehouse, Duffy and Adele. Illustration by Sean Dowling.

 

Saturday

 

After a sold-out season at Queensland Cabaret Festival 2014, Michael Griffiths is back to dish the dirt and explain why he hasn’t grown up yet. Adolescent features tunes from musicals Jersey Boys and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert as well as 1980s classics by Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, A-ha and Culture Club. BOOK HERE

 

From the 80s with Griffiths and into the 90s with Tom Sharah, who’ll take you on a ride through the decade that created him. I LOVE THESE GUYS.

 

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Be swept away by sultry songbirds Baby et Lulu – Abby Dobson (Leonardo’s Bride) and Lara Goodridge (FourPlay) – and their prodigious band (Mark Harrison on bass, Ross Harrington on saxophone, Julian Curwin on guitar and Marcello Maio on accordion) in a celebration of la vie française. BOOK HERE

 

Sunday (this is actually my schedule on Sunday)

 

3:30pm

Rob Mills Is…Surprisingly Good (or not so surprisingly if you’ve been following his career from screen to stage, nevertheless he says this show was inspired by the surprise of his critics). Join Rob for an evening of hilarious behind- the-scenes anecdotes, an eclectic array of show tunes and hits from Taylor Swift, Gavin DeGraw, Coldplay and Millsy himself. Here’s a fresh reminder that Rob Mills is actually an acclaimed musician and performer. BOOK HERE

 

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4:30pm & 6:30pm

Melissa Western’s Oh Lady Be Good is back in Brisbane after a successful UK tour AND due to demand the Festival has had to add a show, which means – you guessed it – MORE OF YOU GET TO MEET MELISSA WESTERN. Image by Simon Woods. BOOK HERE

 

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5pm

Fresh from Adelaide Fringe Festival, Only the Good Die Young features Queensland’s winner of the International Cabaret Contest, Jessica Papst, and a knock-out three-piece band ready to tackle RnB, blues, funk and rock. Directed by Cienda McNamara. Image by Joel Devereux. BOOK HERE

 

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8pm

Rock meets cabaret when international sensation Storm Large takes the stage. Direct from the US, Storm Large is best-known for her appearance on Rock Star: Supernova and is one of the compelling front-women for iconic band Pink Martini. Join her for an evening of tortured and titillating love songs; beautiful, familiar, yet twisted…much like Storm herself. Storm is joined by band Le Bonheur. Image by Laura Domela. BOOK HERE

 

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8pm

If you’re not at Storm Large you should probs be on the Turbine Platform to see Blur: The Songs of Ellen Reed. Reed is one of Brisbane’s rising stars with her incomparable voice and her ability to perform gracefully under pressure. She won Nova FM’s national extreme karaoke competition by belting out Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” whilst covered in snakes and spiders inside a coffin. In BLUR Reed takes the stage to perform original tracks from her debut album, inspired by Queen, Fleetwood Mac and Frank Ocean, as well as insightful covers of classic pop, RnB and blues. Don’t miss this introduction to one of Australia’s newest chanteuses. Image by Joel Devereux. BOOK HERE

 

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That’s it, there you have it, my hot tips for the Queensland Cabaret Festival & Cabaret at the Cremorne in 2015.

 

 

Let us know where you are and what you’re loving via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

 

 

Hashtag #queenslandcabaret #qldcabaret #xsentertainment and tag @queenslandcabaret & @xsentertainment

 

 

23
Oct
14

Reality Bites Nonfiction Literary Festival

Reality Bites Nonfiction Literary Festival 2014

 

Now in its seventh year, Reality Bites brings Australia’s best minds and writers of literary nonfiction to the Noosa Hinterland. Presented by the Sunshine Hinterland Writers’ Centre, this festival is hand-crafted by a dedicated group of writers, readers and lovers of books and ideas.

 

This year the Festival is delighted to spread the word in Eumundi, taking weekend events to two new venues there. After the most successful ever event last year, it now offers a three day festival pass that includes a program of close-up sessions, panels and conversations with a brilliant lineup of local and interstate authors.

 

Feed your heart and mind at the Poet’s Speakeasy on Friday night, then on Saturday night celebrate the festival and welcome VIP guests.

 

Check out a workshop series for developing writers and programmed sessions covering a range of subjects for readers, thinkers and writers alike. And don’t forget the wildly popular pitching clinic where writers pitch their book ideas to a panel of industry experts.

 

Join writers and lovers of good writing for a feast of ‘food for thought’ in the REAL heart of the Hinterland.

 

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A message from Artistic Director, Melanie Myers

 

It’s been a year of changes for Reality Bites Festival – the most obvious being our change of dates and location. Having enjoyed great support in Eumundi – from the Eumundi Green magazine and the Eumundi Historical Association, which has sponsored our festival launch since the event began – the time seemed right to spread the word to out to the wider Hinterland. While our workshop program and community events will remain at the Cooroy Library, our home for the last two years, hosting the main program in Eumundi allows us to kick off events Friday afternoon, and continue right through Saturday and Sunday with two streams of panels, conversations and close-up sessions that showcase a diverse range of Australia’s best nonfiction writing and authors.

 

For a nonfiction writers’ festival, ‘Reality Bites’ is a fitting name, and has held us in good stead for seven years now. When planning the program for 2014, our name got me thinking about the term ‘reality’ and, more particularly, what we mean by ‘real’. Real is considered synonymous with truth. We understand real to be what is actual, rather than imaginary.

 

For a literary festival that specialises in showcasing Australia’s best nonfiction, concepts of what are actual, real and the truth, are the touchstones of our existence. That might suggest we are in the business of disseminating cold, hard facts, but the truth is, that’s rarely the case. What is real, or even what seems real, may be true only so far we, as individuals, communities and societies, perceive and feel things to be real – whether that be love, loss, deviancy, injustice, the workings of our own mind (as with mental illness), or our shared past. This idea of ‘real’ is the thematic thread that underpins this year’s program.

 

So often the prerogative of fiction, real love, for example, holds a prominent place in this year’s program. As well as launching Australian Love Stories – a new anthology of short stories and memoir – we’ll be discussing the use and abuse of the ‘L’ word in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in ‘Words of Love’. With proceeds going to the Morcombe foundation, both real love and real crime will be in focus, as author Lindsay Simpson talks about the process of co-writing Looking for Daniel with Bruce and Denise Morcombe, and their 10-year quest to find out what happened to their son. Real crime and real dirt turns on the agents of the law enforcement themselves with ‘Watching the Detectives’ − our police diaries conversation in two parts, while ‘Dirty Secrets’ looks into the ASIO files of well-known Australian activists.

 

For the ‘big issues’ this year we’re talking about women in politics, or the lack of, in ‘Dis-man-tling the Joint’, and the competing realities of compassion and the law in ‘Seeking Refuge’. In a special 90-minute session, ‘Forgotten War’, Steven Lang will discuss the ‘white washing’ of Australia’s real history with respect to the frontier wars with historian Henry Reynolds, and academics Nicholas Clements and Tony Birch. For our Saturday morning-tea event, Maxine McKew will talk about inequality in our education system, and real solutions to remedy the problem. These are but a sampling of the conversations I hope will generate real discussion, real ideas, and perhaps even, one day, real change.

 

Ultimately, as readers and writers we have the power to create our own realities, and I hope you find something that’s real to you at Reality Bites ’14. Enjoy!

 

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TODAY – Thursday October 23 2014

 

Berkelouw Books:

Early Bird Breakfast – free
THURS 23, 7.30 a.m.

AV Presentation by Raoul Slater of the new book Glimpses of Australian Birds
Croissants supplied by Berkelouw Cafe. Buy your own beverages.


Check website for details. http://www.berkelouw.com.au/events

 

Berkelouw Books Open Bookclub – free
THURS 23, 6 – 8:30pm
Join Eumundi Book Club for its discussion of Thomas Picketty’s Capitalism in the 21st Century.
Check website for details. http://www.berkelouw.com.au/events

 

(Book club attendees can attend Reality Bites session 24 AmalgaNations for free. Please register with Amanda at Berkeleow.)

 

School of Arts:

Beyond Fossil Fuels: Alternatives for a Clean Energy Future
THURS 23, 6:30 – 7:30pmIan Lowe, Drew Hutton and Tasmin Kerr
Tickets at door $5/$2
Tomorrow night – Friday October 24 – Katie Noonan presents Song Book at Eumundi School of Arts

 

Katie Noonan’s Song Book
FRI 24, 6 – 8:30pm

 

School of Arts

Katie NoonanLocal song-siren Katie Noonan hosts and performs with special guests in this annual community fundraiser. Profits go to Eumundi State School and School of Arts Hall.

Cash- only tickets available from Berkelouw Books Eumundi and Discover Eumundi Heritage and Visitor Centre.

 

 

See you there! (And before that, we’ll be at Words of Love with Anna Campbell, Annah Faulkner, Mandy Sayer & Ashley Hay).

 

 

Follow @xsentertainment on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with what’s happening at the Festival!

 

 

Download the PDF Program

 

 

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