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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Five Eclectic and Eccentric Shows to See at Brisbane Powerhouse's 2019 Wonderland Festival

This year's must-sees include a recreation of 'Die Hard', an angsty cabaret show about being an adult and a birthday party for a half-person half-octopus.
By Sarah Ward
November 21, 2019
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Five Eclectic and Eccentric Shows to See at Brisbane Powerhouse's 2019 Wonderland Festival

This year's must-sees include a recreation of 'Die Hard', an angsty cabaret show about being an adult and a birthday party for a half-person half-octopus.
By Sarah Ward
November 21, 2019
  shares

FIVE ECLECTIC AND ECCENTRIC SHOWS TO SEE AT BRISBANE POWERHOUSE'S 2019 WONDERLAND FESTIVAL

This year's must-sees include a recreation of 'Die Hard', an angsty cabaret show about being an adult and a birthday party for a half-person half-octopus.

Returning for its sixth year, Brisbane Powerhouse's Wonderland festival promises a treasure trove of fun — especially if you're a fan of weird and wonderful entertainment. 2019's event features 28 shows between Thursday, November 21 to Sunday, December 1, so yes, it's going to be a busy nine days.

Adults-only circus, 1960s swing parties and and a tribute to Nina Simone are all on the bill, because this is an eclectic lineup. So are electrifying vocals and eye-popping acrobatics, all across a huge feast of weird and wonderful theatre, art, music, magic, burlesque, circus, cabaret and comedy.

Feeling spoiled for choice? We're here to help — thanks to our five must-see picks.

  • 5

    First, it turned Speed into a play. Then, it gave Titanic the same treatment. Now, Act/React is saying “yippee-ki-yay” to the mother of all Christmas-set action films. Break out the white singlets, get festive and prepare to spend plenty of time watching someone crawl around in vents, because Die Hard is coming to the stage, too.

    This comedic theatre performance will transform the Brisbane Powerhouse’s Turbine Platform into Los Angeles’ Nakatomi Plaza, let European terrorist Hans Gruber do his worst and task New York cop John McClane with saving the day — with help from the dad from 80s and 90s sitcom Family Matters.

    Throw in more than a few one-liners, incredibly low-fi special effects and an all-round comic atmosphere, and that’s Die Hard: The Movie, The Play. This is one hijacking you’ll want to witness.

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  • 4

    Welcome to the Awesome Ocean Party, aka the party you never knew you always wanted to go to. Your host believes that she’s half human and half octopus, and she’ll be telling you a tale of romance, tragedy and yearning — plus more than a few legends from her amphibious family history — at her birthday celebration.

    At this surreal and silly shindig — which first premiered in Brisbane a few years back — you’ll see Giema Contini in action. When it initially hit the stage, this was her first solo work, branching out after spending time with La Boite Theatre Company, Motherboard Productions and Dead Puppet Society.

     

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  • 3

    Twin Peaks: you either love it or you love it, right? Don’t just take our word for it — take Janey-E’s, with her reaction expressing every Peaks-loving TV fan’s as well. Indeed, both a quarter of a century ago and now, there’s just absolutely nothing like David Lynch’s most wonderful and strange television series. And, thanks to the music stylings of Angelo Badalamenti, there’s nothing like its score and soundtrack either.

    In fact, the composer won a Grammy for the Twin Peaks theme, and since 1990 many a muso has tried to follow in his footsteps. Now it’s time for a bunch of Brisbanites to try their hand at Fire Walk With Us: The Music Of Twin Peaks.

    As they’ve done in previous years at The Junk Bar, Electric Moon will assemble a 12-piece ensemble of musicians to reinterpret Badalamenti’s compositions. Together, they’ll be belting out new renditions of Twin Peaks‘ minimalist, atmospheric tracks, channelling their inner Julee Cruise, and maybe even imagining they’re making like “the Nine Inch Nails” and taking to The Roadhouse’s stage.

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  • 2

    Were you the kind of kid that couldn’t wait to be a grown up? Now that you’re an adult, do you wish otherwise. In the words of a certain TV theme tune that’s been stuck in everyone’s heads for a quarter-century, no one told us life was going to be this way — and so Tash York is tackling the subject in her latest cabaret, Adulting.

    All those parts of being an adult that get on your nerves? That’s what the After Hours Cabaret Club MC will be singing and chatting about. All those silly mistakes you’ve made, chores you can’t stand and the fact that you actually have to cook each night? They’re on York’s agenda, too.

    Image: Wade Ranson Photography.

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  • 1

    From the screen to the page, tales of the future have promised us many, many things over the years. Some of them were good, like Back to the Future: Part II‘s hoverboards. Some of them weren’t, such as 1984‘s vision of governmental control. Some of them just keep finding new ways to turn technological advances into a horror story, which is why Black Mirror keeps us all hooked.

    Now, imagine this kind of thinking, but in a sketch comedy show. The end result: Slack Mirror. Amy Currie (Love/Hate Actually) and Drew Lochrie (Titanic: the Movie, the Play) will be your guides into the future — and expect their take on things to come to take a “well we may as well laugh about it” approach.

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