MELT Festival's 2023 Lineup Is Here with Kah-Lo, Aluna, KUCKA and Club Toilets-Set Theatre Hit 'Overflow'

Brisbane Powerhouse's annual celebration of queer culture returns with a feast of music, visual art and theatre in November.
Sarah Ward
Published on August 22, 2023

Nightclub toilets aren't just a place where people head when nature calls between drinks and dancefloor stints. Amid the women's bathroom cubicles, sinks and queues — there's always a queue — conversations erupt, heart-to-hearts spring and friendships are forged. So knows everyone who has ever needed to use a club's facilities, and also UK-born theatre show Overflow, which is one of the highlights of the just-announced 2023 MELT Festival program.

Hitting Brisbane thanks to Darlinghurst Theatre Company, but hailing from British playwright and prominent trans voice Travis Alabanza, Overflow doesn't only dive into the camaraderie that can arise in its distinctive setting — it's also about someone trapped in a flooding stall. As it spends time with protagonist Rosie, it confronts the debate circling about who is and isn't allowed in these public spaces, in a powerful piece about trans and gender diverse experiences.

Overflow sits on MELT Festival's lineup alongside an array of music, theatre and visual art, as Brisbane Powerhouse's annual celebration of queer culture always puts on. Since 2015, the event has celebrated all things LGBTQIA+, with 2023's fest from Saturday, November 11–Sunday, November 26 marking its eighth edition.

Also leading the bill: Kah-Lo, Djanaba, Aluna and KUČKA. Kah-Lo hits MELT ready to bust out 'Rinse & Repeat', 'Fast', 'Fake' and 'Drag Me Out', with First Nations artist Djanaba with her. Aluna, formerly half of AlunaGeorge, has songs from her solo record MYCELiUM to play, with Flume, SOPHIE and Kendrick Lamar collaborator KUČKA sharing her stage.

MELT's 2023 lineup also includes TOPS and Matt Hsu's Obscure Orchestra on the music roster — the former getting Jane Penny's vocals echoing through Brisbane Powerhouse, and the latter featuring more than 20 BIPOC, First Nations, disabled, non-binary and trans artists. Plus, Alter Boy, June Jones, Keiynan Lonsdale and Keelan Mak are also help round out the bill.

Theatre fans can check out Bunny, too, the rope-focused work by Luke George and Daniel that explores trust, consent and desire. And, Rhys Nicholson is on the roster on a book tour for Dish.

Also, MELT will feature three free visual art exhibitions: Paul Yore's BECOME WHAT YOU ARE, The Huxleys' Places of Worship and Multitudes by Tin Nguyen & Edward. Contemplating consumerism, sexuality, pop culture, neo-liberalism and more, the first is textiles-heavy, including pieces from a collaboration with Romance Was Born. For the second, performance artists Will and Garrett Huxley play outsiders in their latest photographic series. And, with the third, Tin & Ed are setting up a series of outdoor installations about borderless spaces.

MELT Festival 2023 runs from Saturday, November 11–Sunday, November 26 at Brisbane Powerhouse. For more information or to buy tickets, head to the fest's website now.

Published on August 22, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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