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Anywhere Festival 2022

See theatre, comedy and cabaret performances in bars, laneways, churches, old paint factories, nurseries, sports centres and an underground reservoir.
By Sarah Ward
May 05, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
May 05, 2022
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Usually, you don't go to someone's house to see a live theatre show. You don't normally go to an underground reservoir, head to a church, wander around an old paint factory, pop into a plant nursery or sit on a jetty, either. But, as its name suggests, performances can happen in plenty of places at the Anywhere Festival. Indeed, bars, restaurants, sports clubs, cafes, universities, laneways and shops are some of the more ordinary locations.

From Thursday, May 5–Sunday, May 22, this huge fest takes over Brisbane — after kicking off on the Sunshine Coast since Friday, April 29, and later heading to the Moreton Bay region from Saturday, May 14–Sunday, June 5. That means that you have plenty of places to visit in more ways than one, whether you're eager to make the most of the fest's Brissie season or head north.

If you're new to Anywhere Festival, the key part really is all there in its moniker — and this year, for the Brisbane run, that means 60 productions putting on more than 500 shows during the event. It also means turning any space possible into an arts space, including backyards, World War II aircraft engine testing facilities and senate rooms. The one kind of spot you won't see an Anywhere Festival performance, however? A traditional theatre.

At its creative and makeshift venues around town, on the bill is everything from theatre, comedy, dance and cabaret to music, circus, spoken word and poetry. The 2022 fest kicks off with a big laneway party on Fish Lane, complete with pop-up performances — then spans cabaret under a 117-year-old church roof, French tunes and treats in a garden centre, and a show at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium that's focused around the Northern Lights.

Also on the lineup: a series of intimate circus performances in parks in Moorooka, Morningside, Nudgee and at Northey Street City Farm; an escape room-style show in a cafe; a rendition of Little Shop of Horrors; a whodunnit delightfully called Murder at the Bowlo; and a 1920s-style murder-mystery that takes cues from Agatha Christie. Or, there's a roaming and immersive performance that turns that aforementioned paint factory into an intergalactic prison, plus sea shanties in the Spring Hill Reservoir.

Bruce Heath

Top image: Geoff Lawrence.

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