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Brisbane Festival Returns This September with Street Parties, Bond Tunes and 'Boy Swallows Universe'

Last year's popular Street Serenades program is returning, and Kate Miller-Heidke will kick off her new national tour at the festival.
By Sarah Ward
June 17, 2021
By Sarah Ward
June 17, 2021

When spring hits Brisbane each year, it doesn't just herald the arrival of warmer weather and blossoming jacarandas. For most of September, it also means that Brisbane Festival is here. Over the first few weeks of the season, the citywide event brings a swathe of performances, concerts, art and other activities to town — and, following a smaller-scale event in 2020, this year's fest will be back doing what it does best.

The full 2021 lineup hasn't been announced as yet, and won't be until next moth; however, that doesn't mean Brisbanites can't start getting excited already. Over the past few months, Brisbane Festival has been revealing bits and pieces of its program or this year. From returning favourites and stage productions that were supposed to happen last year to new shows glare, there's plenty to look forward to.

2020's Street Serenades — a series of street parties and gigs in Brisbane suburbs — is making a comeback, so you can expect to hear live tunes and see engaging performances across the city's 190 neighbourhoods once again. The program is dedicated to popping up in every one of the nearly 200 suburbs around town, in fact, with this year's event gaining additional funding.

Something that Brisbanites have also already heard about: the long-awaited stage adaptation of Boy Swallows Universe, which was first announced back in 2019. It was actually meant to premiere at Brisbane Festival in 2020, until the pandemic hit, and will now take to the stage this year.

And, in the just-announced camp, Bris Fest will get everyone thinking about a certain suave espionage agent — which'll be rather timely given that pandemic-delayed Bond flick No Time to Die is finally set to hit cinemas later this year. Here, though, the 007 action comes courtesy of The Little Red Company. In a show called Skyfall, performers Naomi Price and Luke Kennedy will pay homage to the cinematic spy by crooning tunes, including past Bond themes by Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Nancy Sinatra, Gladys Knight, Paul McCartney and Adele. For their gigs, they'll also be giving the South Bank Piazza a makeover, turning it into a Monte Carlo-style club.

Dylan Evans

Also on the bill: Kate Miller-Heidke, who'll kick off her new national tour at the festival; Client Liaison, playing The Tivoli; Jess Hitchcock's Songs That Made Me; and Dead Puppet Society's new production Ishmael, which'll have its world premiere.

As for what else you'll be seeing and hearing between Friday, September 3—Saturday, September 25, that'll be revealed mid-July.

Brisbane Festival will run from Friday, September 3—Saturday, September 25, with the full program announced on Tuesday, July 14. For further details, keep an eye on the festival's website.

Published on June 17, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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