Posts Tagged ‘arcadia




Realscape Productions & Darkfield

September 8 -29 2018

Treasury Brisbane Arcadia

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

Step inside, take a seat, but don’t get comfortable.

The tension builds even as we wait outside the 40ft shipping container, alongside the explosion of colour, sound, story and art of the River of Light to be briefed about what not to do once inside Séance. I’d intended to experience it earlier in the evening but Hamnet was late to go on, giving us a good excuse to chat for longer in the foyer of QPAC’s Cremorne, catch up with MFAC & Queensland Conservatorium graduate, Rebecca Rolle, and find out what everyone is seeing this Brisbane Festival! A popular choice, but with a limited capacity of just 26 punters per show, and a big buzz about this unique piece might make it hard for you to get a ticket, but you must try. And if you miss out at the box office it’s worth waiting nearby in case someone doesn’t turn up (or opts out!). Séance is something completely, thrillingly different.

The UK’s Glen Neath and David Rosenberg (Darkfield) have designed an intense, immersive sensory deprivation experience, using 3D sound technology and sonic vibrations that eerily conjure enough auditory evidence to convince us that we’re in the presence of spirits summoned from beyond the grave. But it’s only suggested, making this as much an investigation into the psychology of an audience, as it is in theatre making. We might argue that that’s the same thing. By blurring perception and reality, the creators of Séance almost convince us that we’re communing with the dead. It’s terrifyingly real…

I’m not a horror fan. In fact, all things considered, I’m pretty okay to take off to Sri Lanka in the final week of the festival and entirely miss that other theatrical / psychological experiment, HORROR. What I mean is, I’ll actually be in Sri Lanka and miss it. Let me know how you go with it.” rel=”attachment wp-att-17501″> Where I’ll be instead of experiencing Jakop Ahlbom’s homage to the horror genre


We’re seated opposite each other, in two rows of red velvet vintage theatre seats along the walls of the narrow space, a long timber table running down the centre, upon which we’re asked to place our hands. Noise-cancelling headphones are found to our left and we’re asked to put these on. If ever we’re super scared we can remove them but we can’t leave… I’m fine for a while, as the lights flicker and go out, leaving us in the blackest of black. We hear various aspects of a well considered, cleverly constructed multi-layered soundscape, placing us smack bang in the middle of the sort of traditional séance our mothers and grandmothers warned us about. Rather than sit for 20 minutes in a a state of high alert, I let the yoga breath kick in and allow my shoulders to drop away from my ears as I try not to frown (because frown lines), listening intently. I hope there’s no audience participation. A sense of dread fills me as I’m told in a whisper that I have a special role to play here. What!?

Alarmed, I close down my eyes.

It’s so dark it makes no difference to open or close them but it must be safer to close them?

How much time has even passed? I gradually become aware that I can feel the warm breath of the speaker in my ear………….


Without giving too much away, our perception of reality is challenged by the power of suggestion and our imagination, and perhaps our fight or flight response is primed! I was rattled, but others will thrill at the suggested horror, and the strange, shared, intense and immersive sensory experience of Séance.


Brisbane Festival is about to kick off! Are you ready?


Brisbane Festival unlocks Arcadia and invites everyone to the opening bash!




Brisbane Festival officially kicks off on Saturday 5 September 2015 – the wacky and wonderful Arcadia at South Bank will come alive with sizzling shows in two massive tents as well as a packed line up of free entertainment, while some meaty shows will play at QPAC and La Boite, all capped off by a big opening night party.




Float between four bars.

Feast at boutique food trucks.

Treat yourself in the Little Creatures Treehouse.

Keep up to date on all the free entertainment happening in Arcadia by joining the Facebook Event.

When: Sat 5 – Sat 26 Sept


Arcadia, the new Festival village, will open from 2pm with South East Queensland’s best hip hop and break dancers battling it out in the popular free event RAPcity, while Australia’s top pavement artist will create amazing 3D chalk art where Festival-goers can snap themselves amongst the trippy work.

From 5pm enjoy free live music by Kahl Wallis (this year’s winner of the Dreaming Award at the National Indigenous Arts Awards), Karl S. Williams and Good Oak at QPAC’s Melbourne Street Green, and at 5.30pm an Indigenous Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony, and a contemporary dance performance from ACPA, the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts, will take place in Arcadia.

At 6.45pm, dance out of time and sing out of tune with abandon to DJ Mikey’s beats streaming to wireless headphones in a free Silent Disco and keep an eye on the William Jolly Bridge as it is lit up with beautiful art projections by Gerwyn Davies and Alice Lang.




Festival-goers will be spoilt for choice in the evening. In The Spiegeltent, Megan Washington will perform the first of two sold-out shows, which will be followed by the mischievous antics of New York nightlife icon Murray Hill and fellow cast in Club Swizzle.



The show everyone is talking about, Fear & Delight, will call on brave folk who are up for anything – from chicken head and syringe canapés to a gin and tonic cloud experience to an ancient Japanese artistic rope bondage act – audiences are asked to dress in black and white and leave their inhibitions at the door.



Rise for the Oceans *LIMITED TICKETS*

For one night only, Tim Winton, Bernard Fanning, Katie Noonan, Jessica Watson, and natural historian Prof Iain McCalman and other special guests will edify, thrill, entertain and enlighten us with their hopes and fears for our oceans and reefs.

When: Sat 5 Sept, 8pm



Coup Fatal

Join in a mad, defiant party that makes you want to live.

When: Sat 5 – Tue 8 Sept, 8pm



Over at QPAC, famed Belgian dance theatre maker Alain Platel’s Coup Fatal, featuring Congolese countertenor Serge Kakudji and 12 musicians from Kinshasa, will make its Australian premiere in the Playhouse, while Bernard Fanning, Tim Winton and William Barton will join other iconic Australians in the Concert Hall for the world premiere of Rise for the Oceans.




Highly anticipated and moving theatre production Prize Fighter will play at La Boite, a contemporary retelling of Anton Chekhov’s classic The Seagull will show at Queensland Theatre Company, and dance, music and animation will collide in Desirelines at Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.


Once the curtains have closed everyone is invited back to the heart of Arcadia where an opening night party will kick off at 10pm into the wee hours of the morning, featuring DJ Tyrone and a performance by UK cult artists and stars of Fear & Delight, The Correspondents.


Arcadians can meander between five bars, a cocktail hut and a selection of wickedly tasty food trucks throughout the evening, and soak in the atmosphere from the brand new Little Creatures Treehouse or the Miami-inspired Riverhouse.




Brisbane Festival Artistic Director David Berthold said opening weekend would be huge and a good indicator of what people could expect over the next three weeks.


“With more than 500 shows across 20 venues, including 15 Australian premieres and six world premieres, the 2015 Brisbane Festival will provide abundant opportunities for new experiences and cultural adventures, as well as several new boutique places to meet up with family and friends,” Mr Berthold said.


“We have productions coming to Brisbane from five continents and 12 different countries including Singapore, Democratic Republic of the Congo, USA, UK, Japan and France, while 26 Queensland and 17 interstate companies are involved. This is the time to come out and see some of the best shows on the planet.”


On Sunday 6 September The Little Creatures Treehouse will kick off its free ‘Learn stuff about beers’ 30-minute workshops at 1pm and 2pm, where people can get hands-on with malt, savour some beers and create a mini-brew*.  The quirky new venue will also host a ukulele lesson at 4pm followed by a live performance at 5.30pm.



Club Swizzle

After two sell-out seasons at Brisbane Festival, the creators of La Soirée return with a brand spanking new show.

Loose, glorious and irresistibly fun, Club Swizzle is a night of sassy entertainment where the mayhem is kicked up a notch.

When: Fri 4 – Sat 26 Sept, 8pm



Audi Presents Fear & Delight

Join cult UK artists, The Correspondents, and an elite international cast of contortionists, acrobats, dancers and comedians whose dazzling physical feats will get your heart pounding.

While the daring physical and comedy performances will leave you short of breath –the extra elements of Fear & Delight will truly blow your mind.

When: Fri 4 – Sat 26 Sept, 8pm



Arcadia will continue buzzing with Jazz Japan Award for Album of the Year winner Fox Capture Plan in The Spiegeltent at 7pm followed by Club Swizzle, and audiences can also catch Fear & Delight and Coup Fatal again. Arcadians are also advised to be on the lookout for rogue film directors and impromptu karaoke.





At Palace Centro Cinemas The Diary of a Teenage Girl will be played at 4pm, which is part of The Female Gaze – a showcase of seven iconic indie female-focused films dating back to 1941.



Book online for all Brisbane Festival events.



*Registration for the ‘Learn stuff about beers’ workshops is required one hour prior to commencement as only 20 spots are available for each session. You must be 18+ to participate.