Tired of the classic movie and dinner date night combo? Us too. That's why we're always on the hunt for new things to do, scouring the city for not-boring Brisbane activities — ones that are guaranteed to take your next date way beyond done-before beers at the pub. Whether you're taking someone on a second date or doing your 100th with your significant other, we've got some killer (and, yes, cute) ideas for dates to go on this week, no matter how much money you've got to spend. Just think of us as your cultural wingman. You're welcome.
GO ON AN ART GALLERY CRAWL
Brisbane's contemporary art scene is brimming with talent, risk-taking and innovation, the result of decades of dedicated practitioners, curators and gallerists supporting the newest, most controversial and strangest art in the local game. From West End to Woolloongabba, art spaces have popped up all over the city over the years, with big guns like QAGOMA sitting alongside smaller unconventional spaces and pop-ups.
Grab your partner, clear your schedules and start pounding the pavement to visit some of the best free art available in Brisbane. If you need more suggestions, here's nine galleries to start with.
Image: Min Wong. Too fit to quit 2017. Neon lighting. Courtesy the artist.
BELT OUT A FEW POWER BALLADS
At The Foundry on Saturday, September 29, you and your significant other aren't going to sit in silence. You're not going to stand or dance in silence, either. Instead, you'll be following in the footsteps of Aussie music legend John Farnham and letting your voices ring out. You're both someone's daughters or sons, after all.
From 9pm, the Wickham Street venue is dedicating the evening to power ballads — and while karaoke isn't on the agenda, you just know that everyone in attendance will sing along. That's what happens 'You're the Voice' starts cranking through the stereo, or Daryl Braithwaite's 'Horses', or anything by Celine Dion or Meatloaf. Or Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart', Foreigner's 'I Want to Know What Love Is' or Starship's 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now'.
We could keep listing artists and tracks, but you get the picture. Unsurprisingly, the night will have a very 70s, 80s and 90s feel. Entry is free, although you'll need money for the drinks this occasion clearly calls for. The first ten people through the door will receive a gift, too — other than the gift of power ballads, that is.
ENTER AN UNSETTLING SHIPPING CONTAINER
There's a big, white container at South Bank. But, like most shipping containers in the city, it's not being used to transport furniture. And the word 'séance' is written on the side in black. It's kind of ominous.
Séance is actually a new installation where participants take a seat inside the tiny space, put on a headset and place their hands flat on the table in front of them. The lights go out and the container enters complete darkness. For the next 20 minutes, participants are fed 'suggestible information' through their headsets.
You're probably thinking that there's something dark or supernatural about the whole thing — and going by the name, we don't blame you. But the installation's organiser assures us that 'séance' is simply a French word meaning 'session' or 'sitting'.
And so Séance is a sensory experience that looks at the psychology of a group sitting together. Despite not being a horror or supernatural-themed piece, it's a scary indicator of how easy it is for confusion, information overload and the people siting right next to us to affect our judgment.
Artists David Rosenberg and Glen Neath (who have collaborated in other sensory deprivation projects before) are the creative masterminds behind the project, which has been described as 'disorienting' and 'deeply unsettling'. It's not recommended for the claustrophobic or the easily frightened.
The spooky installation visited Sydney and Melbourne late last year, and is part of the Treasury Brisbane Arcadia, South Bank Cultural Forecourt, until September 29 this year as part of Brisbane Festival. Entry costs $20.
SCARE YOURSELVES SILLY WITH AN ON-STAGE HORROR SHOW
Do you and your favourite person like scary movies? If your answer is yes — and that question has you itching to revisit Scream — then Jakop Ahlbom's Horror is for you. The acclaimed Swedish director and film aficionado has turned his love of all things frightening into an internationally acclaimed physical theatre production, and it's making its first trip to Australia
Serving up spine-tingling thrills while nodding to everything from The Shining to Rosemary's Baby to The Exorcist, Horror blends black humour with the genre that gives the show its name, complete with a host of cinematic special effects that aren't usually used in live theatre. That means not just blood-splatter aplenty and slasher flick-style orchestral screeching, but swinging an axe through a wealth of classic movies and tropes in a head-spinning fashion. Expect more than a few chills when it heads to QPAC from September 26 to 29 as part of this year's Brisbane Festival.
Still game? The smart, sinister homage sets its creepy fun in a haunted house — where else? — where a young woman and her friends are forced to confront vengeful spirits still smarting from a traumatic family event. Trading dialogue for illusion, mime, movement and music, it'll make you feel like you're a mere few steps away from a real-life horror flick. And, thanks to Ahlbom's stage magic, you will be.
Tickets start at $50 — and if you don't like feeling frightened, this won't be for you.
Images: Sanne Peper.
ONE BIG BLOWOUT
STEP INTO THE WORLD OF MOULIN ROUGE
Need an excuse to attend Cloudland's latest themed shindig? We have one for you — because you can can can. With the Fortitude Valley venue paying tribute to all things Moulin Rouge over one decadent night, the end result promises to be spectacular spectacular.
From 8pm on Friday, September 28, the Ann Street spot will turn its already decadent digs into the closest approximation of a Parisian music hall that it can manage — complete with live entertainment, burlesque dancers and roaming performers. And, the Moulin Rouge party will span across two levels, taking over both Madame Hedges and the Crystal Palais. No word yet if someone will be swinging from the ceiling and singing 'Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend' like Nicole Kidman's Satine.
The good news is that general admission is free and gets you into the ground floor glitz, although tickets are still required — and you'll need your wallet for beverages. Or, if you feel like splurging, go all out for $75. In what promises to be an indulgent date night, you'll get access to the upper reaches plus a three-hour drinks package. Come what may, indeed.