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Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Act 1 2016

Story: Act 1, 2016 K U R I L PA

A place of storytelling & magic For the creative and curious...

PUBLISHED BY QUEENSL AND PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE QPAC.COM.AU

S A M U E L WA G A N WAT S O N

THE POWER

OF MUSIC THE EXTRAORDINARY MIND OF DR OLIVER SACKS

NEW SOUND A D I F F E R E N T TA K E O N THE JULIE ANDREWS CLASSIC


A B O U T Q PAC Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) is one of Australia’s leading centres for live performance. Welcoming over 1.4 million visitors to more than 1,200 performances each year, we embrace the best in live performance – the world renowned alongside the emerging, local and new – and connect to the stories and ideas at the heart of each production. Through the warmth and expertise of our staff, we have become a trusted curator, presenter and host; a place to come together to relax, reflect, share stories and celebrate.

OUR VENUES QPAC has four theatres suitable for a range of performance styles: Lyric Theatre (2,000 seats) is designed primarily for opera, ballet and large-scale theatre events such as musicals; Concert Hall (1,600 seats) is a versatile space, designed primarily for orchestra performances and also used for contemporary music, stand-up comedy and presentations; Playhouse (850 seats) is primarily designed for theatre and dance; and Cremorne Theatre (312 seats) is an intimate and versatile black box theatre space.

CONNECT @ ATQ PA C @Q PAC @ ATQ PA C Q PAC T V

C O N TA C T PO Box 3567, South Bank, Qld, 4101 (07) 3840 7444 | qpac.com.au/story ABN: 13 967 571 1218

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The Queensland Performing Arts Trust is a statutory body of the State of Queensland and is partially funded by the Queensland Government: The Honourable Annastacia Palasczuk MP, Premier and Minister for the Arts; Director-General, Department of Premier and Cabinet: David Stewart.

Story is published by QPAC. Printed in Brisbane, Australia. Contents of Story are subject to copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publication of editorial does not necessarily

Luke Currie Richardson, Yolanda Lewatta and Beau Dean Riley Smith of Bangarra Dance Theatre perform Sheoak, the second act of the company’s 2015 QPAC season of lore.

constitute an endorsement of views or opinions expressed. The publisher does not accept responsibility for statements made by advertisers. All information was correct at time of printing. Story welcomes editorial contributions or comments. They should be sent by email to story@qpac.com.au. Printed January 2016.

PHOTO: JACOB NASH


Greg Stone and Christen O’Leary perform as Stefan and Magda in the QPAC and Queensland Theatre Company’s 2015 co-production of Ladies in Black.


Contents T H I S E D I T I O N O F S T O RY I S I N S P I R E D B Y Q PA C ’ S J A N UA RY T O J U N E 2 0 1 6 P R O G R A M .

11

17

DR OLIVER SACKS

WILLIAM MCINNES

21

26

PETER SELLARS

SAMUEL WAGAN WATSON

THE POWER OF MUSIC

HOME IS WHERE THE CORN IS

BEST SELLARS

CONJURING A GHOST TIDE

31

29

TIME OUT

CULTURAL DISTRICTS

JOHN BIRMINGHAM

37

35

RETURNS

LITTLE EXPERTS

YARON LIFSCHITZ

45

39

FOOD THEATRICS

FAVOURITE THINGS

TONY HARPER

51

55

BUILDING A SELF THROUGH ART

OUT OF THE CLOSET

PROFESSOR JUDITH MCLEAN

EASTON PEARSON

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63

FIVE MINUTES WITH

WHAT’S ON AT QPAC

MAX GILLIES

C O V E R I L L U S T R AT I O N C R E D I T ; M I S H K A WAT I N

STORY IS INTERACTIVE Download the free Layar app to discover even more content within Story, including videos, galleries and behind the scenes access.

PHOTO: ROB MACCOLL

iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Layar is available on Android devices 4.0 – 4.4.


In this edition words John Kotzas Chief Executive QPAC

I recently had occasion to recall a conversation that took

as a public institution and the idea that a great public

place in north Queensland somewhere around the late 1970s.

institution reflects the community it works for.

I was there to help a friend who had just set up a business,

This corner store in north Queensland was emblematic

the details escape me but it was something to do with paper

of a great public institution.

or cardboard. I’d been in town for about a week when I entered a corner store, pushing through the heavy glass

In this edition of Story, many of our contributors are

front door and the oppressive late afternoon heat.

touching on the idea of place and what it means to belong somewhere. In Home is Where the Corn is, acclaimed actor

What I encountered inside wasn’t at all out of the ordinary;

and writer William McInnes reminds us that out of

in fact it was a very usual afternoon in this corner store,

nowhere an image can act like a little postcard that suddenly

in this town. Shelves bearing what at that time was a wide

catapults us back to childhood. Award winning Indigenous

array of ingredients representing countries from around

poet Samuel Wagan Watson reflects on Kurilpa, the site

the world; at the other end of the store what appeared to

where QPAC is located and its long and conflicted history

be two locals were catching up on the goings on of their

as a site of storytelling and as he suggests ‘magic’.

neighbours; a man I assumed to be the owner was taping a lost cat sign in the front window; and as I approached the

In March the London Palladium production of

counter I saw an elderly couple easily in their 80s paying

The Sound of Music opens and so we take a look at a few

a telephone bill. I engaged in the usual exchange required

of our favourite things . We also invited Circa Artistic

of someone from out of town ... ‘no, just visiting’, ‘my friend

Director Yaron Lifschitz to consider the story as one of

moved here six weeks ago’, ‘I’m from a little further north

flight and a family seeking refuge and a place to belong.

than here’. It is a great honour that we’ve been able to publish here The old man moved away to look at the front page of the

a piece by one of the world’s most extraordinary minds

newspaper and I asked the woman how long they’d been

who sadly passed away in 2015. Dr Oliver Sacks’ The Power

married. She smiled and told me they were in fact not

of Music is part science and part homage to an artform that’s

married but just friends, and that Les had been a good

ability to conjure memory and place is more powerful

friend of her late husband. No, they were great company

than even language.

for one another during some of the rituals of daily life which included a visit to this store every afternoon.

And so, wherever it is you feel you belong, I hope this edition of Story helps you to imagine your way there.

What makes this fairly pedestrian event one of my most vivid memories is just how ingrained the store was with the community it served. It met needs beyond its core purpose – groceries – in a way that had come to be relied on. In its own way it was a market, a community notice board, a bank, a town square, a meeting place. The conversation that prompted this memory was a discussion about QPAC

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Story is for the creative and curious. FOR PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE S TO R I E S M AT T E R .

The ideas, people, musings and moments assembled here are an invitation to use art as a lens to know yourself; see others and imagine possible futures.

PHOTO: MINDI COOKE

Discover more - Download the free Layar app and scan this page to see more.

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Contributors

JOHN BIRMINGHAM OLIVER SACKS

PETER SELLARS

John Birmingham has published lots of books. So many that he sort of loses

Oliver Sacks, M.D,

American opera, theatre,

physician, best-selling author, professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine.

and festival director

WILLIAM MCINNES

renown worldwide for his transformative

The New York Times has

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Peter Sellars has gained

referred to him as “the

William McInnes is one of

poet laureate of medicine.”

Australia’s most popular

He is best known for his

writers, delighting readers

collections of neurological

with his memoirs A Man’s

case histories, including

Got to have a Hobby and

The Man who Mistook his

numerous novels. In 2011,

Wife for a Hat, Musicophilia:

with his wife Sarah Watt,

Tales of Music and the Brain

he co-wrote Worse Things

and An Anthropologist

Happen at Sea, which was

on Mars. Awakenings,

named the best non-

his book about a group of

interpretations of artistic masterpieces and collaborative projects with an extraordinary range of creative artists. Sellars has staged operas at the English National Opera,

SAMUEL WAG A N WAT S O N Hailing from honourable ancestors of the BirriGubba, Mununjali, Germanic and Gaelic peoples, Samuel Wagan Watson grew up in a family of accomplished authors, political players,

Netherlands Opera,

entrepreneurs, academics,

Opéra National de

artists and raconteurs.

Paris, Salzburg Festival,

His collection of poetry

fiction title in the ABIA

and San Francisco

Of Muse, Meandering and

patients who had survived

and the Indie Awards in

Opera, among others,

Midnight, UQP won the

the great encephalitis

2012. His last book was

and has established a

1999 David Unaipon

lethargica epidemic of the

the bestselling Holidays.

reputation for bringing

prize for unpublished

early twentieth century,

Also an award-winning

twentieth century and

Indigenous writers.

inspired the 1990 Academy

actor, William has won two

contemporary operas to

Since then he has written

Award-nominated feature

Logies and an AFI Award

the stage.

five more collections

film starring Robert De

for Best Actor for his role

including the award-

Niro and Robin Williams.

in the film Unfinished Sky.

winning Smoke Encrypted

Dr. Sacks was a frequent

He recently starred in the

Whispers, UQP. His most

contributor to the New

ABC television series The

recent collection of poetry is

Yorker and the New York

Time of Our Lives and Hello

Love Poems and Death Threats,

Review of Books. Dr Oliver

Birdie. William McInnes

UQP. He lives in Brisbane,

Sacks died last August at

grew up in Queensland and

Queensland.

his home in New York.

lives in Melbourne with his

He was 82.

two children.

track of them. He wrote features for magazines, including working for Rolling Stone, Playboy and the Long Bay prison News, in a decade before publishing He Died with A Falafel In His Hand and the award-winning Leviathan: an unauthorised biography of Sydney. He started writing airport novels because they were more fun. His most recent series of books that improve with altitude are the Dave Hooper novels. He blogs at the cheeseburgergothic.com and can be found on Twitter as @JohnBirmingham.


TONY HARPER

MAX GILLIES

Having bumbled through a series of dubious career moves, Tony Harper

YA R O N LIFSCHITZ Yaron is a graduate of the University of New South Wales, University of Queensland and National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA). Since graduating, Yaron has directed over 60 productions including large-scale events, opera, theatre, physical theatre and circus. He was founding Artistic Director of the Australian Museum’s Theatre Unit, Head Tutor in Directing at Australian Theatre for Young People

settled on wine and food via a series of restaurants, wine bars and liquor retail. Age and children were anathema to the restaurant game. Today, Tony writes for various publications on both wine and food, as well as fronting the family business, Craft Wine Store. For the past decade he has been the restaurant reviewer and wine writer for Brisbane News as well as contributing writer for Cove Magazine and the Queensland Good Food Guide.

JUDITH MCLEAN

Over a period of 40 years,

MINDI COOKE PHOTOGRAPHY Mindi Cooke is a freelance commercial and editorial

Max has undertaken

photographer specialising

a number of political

in food, interiors and

Professor Judith McLean is

revues for the stage -

lifestyle. Mindi is renowned

the Chair in Arts Education,

Squirts, A Night with the

a joint appointment

Right, A Night of National

between Queensland

Reconciliation, The Gillies

University of Technology

Summit, Live at the Club

(QUT) and the Queensland

Republic, Your Dreaming

Performing Arts Centre

and The Big Con.

(QPAC) where she holds

Michael Dare is a long-

His television series

term employee of QPAC

the role of Scholar in

The Gillies Report, Gillies

and used to be a

Residence. Judith’s career

Republic and Gillies

professional photographer.

is distinguished by her

and Company were all

breadth and diversity

produced for the ABC.

of experience as an arts

In 1990 he was made a

educator, artist and

Member of the Order of

cultural leader across

Australia for Services to

Australia. She is currently

Australian Theatre.

a Director on the Board of Tourism and Events

for her love of light, capturing beautiful moments that tell a story. MICHAEL DARE PHOTOGRAPHY

JOHN NGUYEN PHOTOGRAPHY John Nguyen is an award winning commercial photographer who has a strong understanding of the design process.

and has been a regular

Queensland and along

JULIA GONSKI

guest tutor in directing at

with Professors Brad

I L L U S T R AT I O N S

NIDA since 1995.

Haseman and Paul

He is currently Artistic

Makeham, she co-leads

Director and CEO of

executive education

generated detailing with

Circa. Yaron lives in

programs using arts based

the digital. She is currently

Brisbane with his son,

practices in the corporate

freelancing from Indonesia

Oscar. His passion is

and government sectors.

creating works of

Julia Gonski’s illustration work entwines hand-

and India where she is practicing batik and block printing design.

philosophical and poetic depth from the traditional languages of circus.

C H A I R Chris Freeman AM | D E P U T Y C H A I R Rhonda White AO | T R U S T E E S Kylie Blucher, Simon Gallaher, Sophie Mitchell, Mick Power AM E X E C U T I V E S T A F F Chief Executive: John Kotzas. Executive Director - Programming: Ross Cunningham. Executive Director - Marketing and Communications: Roxanne Hopkins. Executive Director - Development: Megan Kair. Executive Director - Corporate Services: Kieron Roost. Executive Director - Patron Services: Jackie Branch | S T O R Y E D I T O R Rebecca Lamoin, (rebecca. lamoin@qpac.com.au) | S T O R Y T E A M Editorial: Carol Davidson, Professor Judith McLean, Roxanne Hopkins, Jennifer Cahill, Emily Philip, Eleanor Price. Digital: Kim Harper, Jasmine Ellem, Asiya Muldabayeva. Creative & design: Rumble Creative & Media Photography: Mindi Cooke, Michael Dare, John Nguyen. Illustrations: Julia Gonski.


Briefly PHOTO: DARREN THOMAS

HANGING ON THE TELEPHONE Debate persists about whether we should still fuss over the

W H AT A R T U N V E I L S

occasional tri-tone bleat or screen glow from the theatre stalls.

AMERICAN PHILOSOPHER AND AUTHOR ALVA NOË

Should the theatre be a phone/device free zone? Are we too

R E C E N T L Y W R OT E I N T H E N E W YO R K T I M E S:

uptight in our praise of silence or is that precisely why we’re there, to be taken away from the outside world? Tell us what you think via #QPACchat on Twitter or email us: story@qpac.com.au

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“Art isn’t a phenomenon to be explained…art is itself a research practice, a way of investigating the world & ourselves”.


”.

PHOTO: BRETT STEVENS

B E N N E L O N G AT SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE Australian super chef Peter Gilmore has taken on one of our cultural icons…the dining room at the Sydney Opera House, Bennelong. Previous Story contributor David Prior reflects on the responsibility and possibility in designing a menu for this unique space.

TECHNOLOGY IS C H A N G I N G T H E WAY CULTURAL TOURISM WORKS Chances are there’s a smartphone next to you as you read this. Estimates in Australia put the smartphone penetration rate at up to 90%. And with so many people addicted to notifications and connections via their phones it’s no wonder there’s a plethora of apps to assist, distract, engage, inform and entertain. Apps are transforming the way we live, the way we connect and how we source information. And in the world of cultural tourism, apps are becoming an essential tool in connecting audiences with content and with each other. Late last year, Queensland joined the list with the Culturalist app that lets users create playlists and suggested itineraries around the Cultural Precinct at South Bank. The app connects users directly with other users who share their own curated experiences. A trend that’s set to stay?

R E A D T H E F U L L A R T I C L E S AT Q PA C . C O M . A U / S TO R Y

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Described as the ‘poet laureate of medicine’ Dr Oliver Sacks explained neurology to everyday people. Dr Sacks brought a unique sensibility to telling his patients’ stories, weaving together medicine, science, philosophy and art. His case studies focused on many patients suffering from rare or misunderstood illnesses and resulted in numerous bestselling books including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings which inspired the 1990 Academy Award winning film starring Robin Williams. In much of his work Dr Sacks explored our complex and exquisite sensitivity to music and its power to impact our brain. In this essay his expertise as a neurologist is equally matched by his personal warmth and his lifelong love and respect for music. Dr Oliver Sacks died last August at his home in New York. He was 82.

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PHOTO: JOSHUA PELLER


THE POWER

of Music

To read The Power of Music, please pick-up a printed copy of Story from QPAC.

LLER

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THE POWER

of Music To read The Power of Music, please pick-up a printed copy of Story from QPAC.

LLER

12


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Dazzling superstar of the piano


WANCHAI STREET SCENE, HONG KONG. PHOTO: iSTOCK

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HOME IS WHERE

THE CORN IS Ambling through an antique store is an invitation to a rush of memories but a stroll down a Hong Kong street? WILLIAM MCINNES reminds us of the things we notice when we are not noticing and how easy it is for ordinary things to become symbols of something bigger.


ODD WHAT CAN catch YOUR ATTENTION AND TAKE YOU TO A place THAT IN SOME STRANGE WAY defines YOU.

BIN-DERE? BIN-WHERE? BIN-DAH! It was the wonky joke always muttered by somebody when you caught the train into Brisbane from the north side. It smelt sticky and sweet. On the year-seven school excursion to the Golden Circle Cannery a guide ushered us into an area with the words

Gives you a sense of what you are and where you might have come from. Gives you, to put it simply, a sense of belonging. And it can happen anywhere.

“This is where all the excitement is!” We all dutifully turned our heads to rows of expressionless, gloved and hair-netted people wreaking havoc on pineapples. A boy, who grew up I think to be a dental surgeon, said in an awed whisper, “Boy they are good with their hands.” Wonder if ever he thinks of those knives and pineapples when he’s with his patients. The interesting thing when your mind and memory are jolted unexpectedly is the way you always drift back to the people associated with the trigger.

I was waiting for the traffic lights to cross the street and get back

It’s not surprising really, it’s people and their stories that finally

into the air-conditioned atmosphere of the hotel I was staying

go to make up a history of a place. I thought of this not so

in in Hong Kong. Hong Kong - very humid, very close, very

long ago, after a day sifting through an archive collection of

busy. I bent my head slightly, wiping my brow. And saw it, the

buildings, names, places and endless faces.

can of sweet corn. It was filled with some dark liquid that had something to do with the work being done on a Lamborghini in

I am working on a project for Museum of Brisbane about

a little mechanics shop down the way from my hotel. Wasn’t just

the history of Brisbane told through its changing population.

any can of sweet corn. Golden Circle Sweet Corn. Golden Circle.

As I walked, it was slightly odd being confronted by the living Brisbane. All these stories being lived out around me after I’d

Perhaps it was more humid and busier than I thought and

spent the day sifting through bits and pieces of lives lived.

anything that took my mind off that was good, but I had just been given a little bit of home. A flurry of memories and images. Little postcards if you like. Of people and places. The Golden Circle Cannery at Northgate, with its own railway station, Bindah, for its workers. I remember one woman making her way out of the carriage with the long bench seats, nodding to a workmate on the platform, then breaking out singing a dreadful song Nine to Five by Sheena Easton and then dissolving into giggles.

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PHOTO: QUEENSLAND STATE ARCHIVES


Including a pamphlet from 1947 extolling the virtues of the products of the Golden Circle Northgate Cannery. It featured the ‘Pineapple Girl’, a tinted figure of a woman holding her hand out indicating a massive pineapple with the cannery superimposed upon it. She looked like she had fallen into a vat of fake tan and the whole effect was slightly surreal. A history I decided, as I clambered aboard a City Cat, is a melding of both place and people letting someone know they belong. We headed off past the South Bank Cultural Precinct and under the row of graceful bridges that cross the river, as the city’s skyline begins to shine in the darkening sky. Up towards the university and past the units that dot the river’s banks, I see streams of flying foxes gliding through the sky in front of a big rising moon. They seem so close to the verandahs of those units, so close as if their unit’s occupants could reach and touch them. And then a silhouetted figure stands on the edge of verandah and suddenly waves through the flying foxes, out into the night. A long slow wave to somebody somewhere. A bit like the Pineapple Girl’s welcoming wave to the Cannery. There is a mum and her young daughter sitting not far from me at the back of the City Cat. The mum sees the figure and points her little girl’s eyes towards it. The little girl giggles

PHOTO: GOLDEN CIRCLE

and waves back. The mum waves back. And then the Deckhand. And then me. I don’t know how long I looked at that bloody can of Golden Circle Sweet Corn Kernels thinking of that moment on the back of the City Cat. The lights have changed and I walk with teeming crowds and peel off into the rarified chill of the hotel.

Author and actor William McInnes is currently researching and writing for an upcoming exhibition at Museum of Brisbane. Celebrating our greatest achievements, reflecting on our most trying struggles

I get into a lift with a yawning aircrew, a family on holiday and

and spotlighting the quirks that make us unique, 100%

a trio on business. We’ve all got our stories, this lift full of people.

Brisbane will explore our city through its people.

I laugh. Because I bet nobody else’s includes a tin of corn. Even though I’m a world away from Brisbane, there is a part of me that knows that’s where I belong.

100% BRISBANE OPENS JULY 2016 ON LEVEL 3, BRISBANE CITY HALL.

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BEST

Sellars Peter Sellars is one of the world’s leading theatre and opera directors. He is known as an innovator, collaborator and a cultural activist with a renegade heart. Sellars brought his work FLEXN to QPAC’s Playhouse for the 2015 Brisbane Festival. It’s an edgy, contemporary dance performance created in concert with members of

PHOTO: PIERRE RADISIC

New York’s flex dance community.

Discover more - Download the free Layar app and scan this page to hear more from Peter Sellars.


STORY INVITED PETER SELL ARS TO

I love that, and I don’t need anything to be about my show because

A N I N T I M AT E I N T E R V I E W W H E R E O U R

the interesting thing is what happens further down the pipeline

LEADING QUESTION WAS WHETHER OR NOT THE AUDIENCE IS ALWAYS

as people are talking and the legend is created and finally all these people who are never there have this really incredible impression of it. That’s amazing! That’s thrilling. This is why I love audiences.

R I G H T. T H I S S PA R K E D A W I D E RANGING C O N V E R S AT I O N B E T W E E N P E T E R A N D INTERVIEWER GORDON HAMILTON.

On social justice THERE IS A SENSE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE T H AT V I B R AT E S I N M O S T O F Y O U R W O R K . DO E S A R T H AV E A S E N S E O F

On audiences DO YOU THINK THE AUDIENCE IS A L WAY S R I G H T ? O R I S T H E AU D I E N C E SOMETIMES WRONG?

SOCIAL JUSTICE OR CAN ART JUST BE ITSELF SOMETIMES? I think justice is every decision you make, every second of your life. I don’t think you can lift justice out of the equation. As an artist, what we do is to make a choice. Justice is about choosing.

The audience is clue free. The audience has no idea and I would

Justice is about noticing what you have, that you can go this way

just emphasise I’m not saying anything bad about an audience.

or that way, and recognising going this way involves more equity,

I’m just saying that most of us has no idea what’s happening when

more values of inclusiveness, more recognition of a community

it’s happening. When something’s happening to you do you say, oh

that needs attending to, verses your own personal solar system of

my god this is a disaster we have to go through this? Probably not.

selfishness. Justice is built into art because art is how we train human

It may take a while and suddenly ten years later it’s the most

beings to make more correct choices.

important period of your life. When you witness this in art – seeing the right choice – you feel For me, I don’t ever care about what the audience reaction is on the

it because your entire physical being responds to justice. So, for me,

night because none of us really know what’s happening to us when

justice is the heart and soul of being alive.

it’s happening; and all of us, the more we live, look back on things and understand them differently, in light of subsequent experiences. In fact my rule is that when I’m at a performance and people ask me at intermission “what do you think?” I talk about the weather. That’s because anything you say you’ll remember more than your actual reaction.

On community C O M M U N I T Y I S PA R T O F A L L A R T T H AT YOU MAKE AND IT IS NOT SOMETHING S E PA R AT E . Y O U D O N ’ T S AY : O H , W E L L

My favourite thing (it’s kind of a cliché now) if somebody hates one

W E ’ L L H AV E T H E CO M M U N I T Y A S P E C T

of my shows or if someone loves one of my shows the next morning

OF THIS PROJECT OVER HERE AND

it’s the same half hour on the phone to their best friend: “I saw the worst thing ever! Blah blah blah” or: “I saw the greatest thing!”

T H E N W E ’ L L H AV E T H E R E A L T H I N G

Either way someone calls someone they love and puts this thing

A F T E R WA R D S . W O U L D Y O U S AY T H AT

out there. Then what’s so beautiful is somebody who wasn’t there

IT’S CONNECTED?

has this whole image of what occurred. That’s my favourite way that culture operates.

Absolutely. Even if you’re selfish and you just want to think about you. Who are you? You are everyone you’ve ever met. You are everyone else.

What you’ve done is you’ve taken the person who was at your event

“You” is all these people who shaped you; “you” are a community.

the night before and the next morning they become the artist. They are creating an experience for someone who hasn’t seen it,

I say to my students, if you want to change your life, get some new

and they become the person who imagines and creates this

friends. Just go to some other place and hang out with different people

hole world of impressions which then someone else receives.

and you’ll find the “new you” really quickly because you respond to

And then they tell their friends so each person down the line becomes

who you’re with. And “you” is constantly in motion depending on what

themselves an artist, inventing something and communicating.

community you’re part of at a particular moment. “Community” is one

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of these ironic things that, like so much white culture was made in these antiseptic white boxes, but in fact everything already came from the community so you don’t have to go find a community at the end of the process if you’re doing it right ways up. Essentially, the community is where you start, not where you finish.

On opera as an artform Most opera, the history of opera, is about topics – is about something that really had to be dealt with. I’m not interested in opera as that list of favourite CDs. Opera for me is like the word opera itself which means ‘works’. Opera is a bunch of things that are working and it’s this collaboration among artists from different art forms. That’s what opera is. So, let’s make opera this amazing thing of how do we collaborate across art forms, across disciplines, across economic lines, across political lines, across racial lines, across, you know, how do you get an interesting group of people all in one room working together who all have way different points of view about life, and therefore the result is a composite which is richer than any one point of view. That’s the beauty of opera and why opera is the artwork of the future. It’s actually about shared spaces.

On teaching YOU TEACH ART AS MORAL ACTION. W H AT ’ S Y O U R M O T I VAT I O N ? The best way to learn something is with really smart people. My ‘art as moral action’ class has 400 students and the students come from across the university (University of California Los Angeles): from the hard sciences, from law, from medicine. I have the UCLA basketball team, the volleyball team, water polo, women’s track and soccer; these are amazing athletes who are holding themselves to a really high moral standards. And also some choreographers and filmmakers, and poets, but really the 400 people are an interesting cross-section, and every year I devote the class to some new topic for example contemporary slavery, the slow food movement, the drug war, the economic meltdown – this year black lives matter… You want to be with the most exciting people on earth and so yes, you’re going to teach because that’s how you’re going to be with the coolest people. My graduates are some of the coolest people I’ve ever met in my life; I’m learning from them. But what I can also do is offer them certain empowerment and permission because the world hardly ever gives you permission for your best ideas. I can just really say ‘go’. That’s my contribution.

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PHOTO: KEVIN HIGA

It’s amazing to teach 400 university students and take a subject and learn in a room with interesting and diverse people and test that subject matter, which is different from me sitting at home alone in a room reading a book. Teaching is just a dynamic way to learn, and it’s also a way to recognise what a younger generation is thinking; I’m not just locked in the thoughts of my own generation, I’m constantly with younger people, and seeing how they see the world really differently from my experiences. It really enriches who I am, and it lets me embark on projects with a cross-section of ideas and understanding of realities. The other thing I do in that class is I insist on meeting with every student for 15 minutes and that takes a lot of time. It’s intense, but I really get very real and personal with people very quickly. Because of the nature of the class, when the student finally has a moment with me, there will be something that they actually want to talk about and we go really, way below the surface into a very personal zone and, you learn something about what people are really carrying with them, behind the mask or the facade or the appearance, and the depth and difference of people’s humanity and that’s just humbling. The experience of teaching makes you humble...it makes you not judge people. My class is very famous because everybody gets an A, because I don’t believe in evaluation especially when asking moral questions. Story thanks Gordon Hamilton, Artistic Director of The Australian Voices (TAV) for facilitating the interview.

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Love poem S A M U E L WA G A N WAT S O N He had L

O V E tattooed across his clenched right fist,

followed by P

O E M , etched in a vagabond’s quill,

across the other. And with these fists coming at you in unison, you copped a taste of his, L O V E P O E M . He walked the crooked lines of this world, straightening them out with a little, L O V E P O E M . “My old man fixed the world with his fists…in his memory I have a little,

L O V E P O E M …” He’d start out with the P O E M and then he’d flourish it with some L O V E , his one-two, two-one strategies with bloody tattooed gloves. He no longer used his real name, just the combination of slugs,

LOVE POEM, LOVE POEM, POEM, LOVE, LOVE POEM, LOVE POEM, POEM, LOVE… This hard, crooked world could use some tenderizing, with a little

LOVE POEM, LOVE POEM, LOVE…POEM.

Copyright © 2005 by Samuel Wagan Watson

By permission of Love Poems and Death Threats, UQP 2014

ILLUSTRATION: JULIA GONSKI


CONJURING A

Ghost tide Award-winning poet SAMUEL WAGAN WATSON reflects on the South Brisbane of his childhood and his family’s history in the place where QPAC now stands.

Discover more - Download the free Layar app and scan this page to hear more from Samuel Wagan Watson. SAMUEL WAGAN WATSON

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Conjuring a Ghost Tide W O R D S B Y S A M U E L WA G A N WAT S O N

So much of the wonder and waste of Brisbane ends up

Dad is an accomplished author and playwright. My sister

in the river; the river claims and the river receives.

and I have both received the same Queensland Premier’s

Sometimes the waters give back. I’m thankful the river

literary award. I suffered horrible night terrors as a kid.

has given me so much. As a kid I took from the river when

It was so relieving to hear Dad’s old typewriter rattle in the

I was dry for inspiration. That sparkling quicksilver,

night, smashing sentences away, tap, tap, tapping! That kept

bronze skin off the shifting tides. It afforded me momentary

my fears at bay. The fears of perceived monsters under

lapses of anxiety, to dream that maybe one day I’d have a

the bed, the fears of Dad not accomplishing what he loved

stake in all the dazzle and progress too in this river-city.

so dearly, to complete a novel! The smell of mosquito coils and bug-arias in those humid south side nights heavily

I keep my pasts in mental shoeboxes. Some of the images

pepper my memories too and flavour some of my writing.

I store were captured in black and white with a pigment of brown-sepia-tone, and will remain that way forever. I was born in the RBH in 1972 and that year under certain ‘Aboriginal Protection Acts’ it was still illegal for Dad to be married to a member of the white race. I wasn’t officially an Australian citizen until 1976 either, but being classed as ‘fauna and flora’ didn’t do me grievous harm. My two sons are growing up a couple of streets away from where my Dad and his five siblings grew up on the south side of Brisbane. The Page family of ‘Bangarra-fame’ also lived here and our families share extended blood through my late grandmother’s people whose tribal ancestry is still deeply embedded in the country that has for a long time

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Artists, and especially writers, are born into creativity. We don’t wait until a university degree permits us accordingly. My eldest son is in an emerging thrash-metal music band now. He was once 100 feet tall on the side of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. A poster-child for the 2004 Brisbane Writers Festival, photographed sitting in a tree on South Bank, reading Fox in Socks. Back in the late 70’s, when Dad’s sister was in town with a ballet company we’d go see a matinee in the city on a Saturday afternoon. Productions like that were staged in Queen Street’s ‘Regent’ Theatre. QPAC and South Bank were still a twinkle in the eyes of our city’s urban

been called Beaudesert. Dad’s youngest sister left

developers. Expo 88 and Fitzgerald would influence this

home in her teens and became a brilliant ballerina;

landscape too eventually. My late Nan; Dad’s mum,

the first Indigenous performer in Australia to be courted by

worked her way in a fish market for a time in the early

the major ballet companies. An innovative air looms on the

60’s where South Bank is languishing now. In those days,

south side of Brisbane and indeed lures and attracts many

QPAC’s foundations were the rough-end of town.

Indigenous kin and kindred. That’s how we roll in our

It was deplorable and in the after-hours it even reflected a

extended, creative family.

post-colonial/post-Victorian era of portside debauchery.


THE RIVER WETS MY QUILL AND THE ENVIRONS OF THE QUEENSLAND PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE PROVIDE My late grandparents who assisted in the foundations of some

ME WITH A SCOPE

of Brisbane’s key Indigenous social-services recalled chilling

OF FROM WHERE I’LL

winter nights standing guard, warding off police patrols bringing

STRETCH MY CANVAS.

young recruits down to the area and instructing them on how to throw elderly Indigenous people into the drowning chill of a swollen midnight tide. Back in one of my former lives, writing policy and speeches in the State’s Arts ministry, places like the precinct were always under attack. An embattled opposition will target public spending on the arts, the first victim of political assassinations, without even acknowledging that the public spaces in South Brisbane reflect the vibrancy of a city’s creative being. The river, maiwar; a term of endearment by the first Australians who communed and will further commune with these waters, acknowledge that they can cleanse and exorcise so much. When a production like Bangarra comes to town the cultural precinct is alive for a brief moment with a static charge. The Indigenous community feels it. Non-Indigenous patrons in the audience experience the true spirits of reconciliation that aren’t the ectoplasm of ‘phantom-bureaucratic’ schemes and fabricated culture that is supposed to nurture and

THE SECRET RIVER

protect Indigenous dreams.

From 25 February to 5 March 2016

Magic has always happened down here on the riverside,

Playhouse, QPAC

whether darkness or light. Much of my published work begins conceptually by stepping off the Victoria and William Jolly bridges. The river wets my quill and the environs of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre provide me with a scope of from where I’ll stretch my canvas.

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Cultural Districts

C R E AT I V E Q U A R T E R S

Arts Precincts

URBAN CLUSTERS

PHOTO: DARREN THOMAS

In this current decade an estimated $250 billion will be spent worldwide on creating ‘cultural precincts’ – clusters of buildings or organisations connected with art and culture. Cities large and small are constructing new spaces, adapting old ones and drawing metaphoric borders around neighbouring buildings and declaring them precincts. Driving this pursuit of connectedness is a combination of desires - build a city’s reputation, attract tourists, feed artistic collaboration, revamp downtrodden sections of town and produce positive economic benefits. QPAC hosted two of Australia’s most accomplished arts managers in a discussion on the good, the bad and the potential of cultural precincts.

Discover more - Download the free Layar app and scan this page for the full transcript and photo gallery.

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Time out WORDS JOHN BIRMINGHAM

Australia is known as the land of summer, of beaches and tropical paradises. Yet, recent data pins us as among the worst in the world in taking a break, having fun and going on holidays. The drive to be working and connected starts young‌ what happened to those endless summer holidays?

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...ROBBED THEM OF THE CAREFREE EASE WITH WHICH WE TRAIPSED THROUGH OUR OWN SAL AD DAYS. IT’S NOT GOOD FOR THEM, AND YET WE ARE SO FAR DOWN THIS ROAD THERE SEEMS NO WAY OF TURNING BACK. EVERYTHING MUST BE USEFUL. EVERYTHING MUST DELIVER.

PHOTO: DOLLAR PHOTO CLUB

My poor children. It sometimes feels as though their childhood

heavy burden of our fears, expectations and demands.

is over before it’s time. They’re teenagers, but not older

Robbed them of the carefree ease with which we traipsed

teenagers. And yet modern life seems bent on crushing all of

through our own salad days. It’s not good for them, and yet

the joy and freedom out of their early years.

we are so far down this road there seems no way of turning back. Everything must be useful. Everything must deliver.

Every afternoon I pick them up from bus or ferry and ask, “Got any homework?” and every afternoon they sort of sigh

But that is not how we lived our own lives at their ages.

and slump and confirm that yes they have. And not just a little

We played in the afternoons and lounged in the evenings.

bit, a half hour’s dilly dallying with the books, but a whole

Our holidays were endless, almost stultifying vistas

second shift. Another whole day’s work to begin after the

where nothing happened, and we were forced to fill up the

day just done. It is not unusual in our house to find everyone

long, slow beat of summer with improvised adventures in

still at their keyboards come nine or ten o’clock at night;

imagined worlds. A tree could be a space ship. The insect

and our house I fear is not unusual.

filled grassland of a suburban paddock was the cruel sea. Throw a harness on that trusty Labrador; he is a

We have done this to our children, by which I mean we

bloodhound now, and you are Sherlock Holmes on the

collectively to all children. We have loaded them up with a

trail of the purple handed jewel thief.

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There are those – punishers and straighteners Manning

of Lego, surely millions of pieces of them, every single one

Clark would have called them – who would cast furious

white. Dozens of children played happily at this table,

disapproval upon such wasteful profligacy with precious time.

and between them created a substantial and ever evolving

But nothing is wasted in play. The mind learns to stretch

piece of art, a pure white city of Lego. Of all the many

and run, the creative self is set free again. We are born free

activities I took them to over the years, that one remains

and effortlessly creative. Every small child is Picasso and

a stand out memory. I suspect that even now, as terribly

Shakespeare, Spielberg and Jobs, but with every year they

sophisticated teens, they would find the lure of the white

spend among the grown-ups that easy creativity ebbs and

Lego city hard to resist.

shrinks and eventually disappears, until only the crazy ones, as Steve Jobs called them, are left.

Of course, as terribly sophisticated teens, they’re not entirely unfamiliar with QPAC and its distractions.

This is a tragedy and a theft. Whole worlds turn in the

Both play instruments – again, thanks to hundreds of

limitless minds of children and we burn those worlds down

hours of dull, repetitive, serious practice – and have had

and bury them with our demands for responsibility and

the opportunity through their schools to perform on stage

seriousness. The little girl who thinks herself a starship

there. What they prefer however is to take a break from such

captain might one day go on to fly jets, but she will never

demands. A holiday should be just that – a clear moment

get there without first imagining herself away up in the sky.

of discontinuity, when we throw open the valves and decompress – allowing all of the pressure which has built and built and threatened to redline to suddenly blow off

T H I S I S A T R A G E D Y A N D A T H E F T.

in one huge whistling shriek.

WHOLE WORLDS TURN IN THE LIMITLESS MINDS OF CHILDREN

Of course they could just sit in front their screens for a

AND WE BURN THOSE WORLDS

couple of months, lips hanging open, eyes lost in the digital

DOWN AND BURY THEM WITH OUR

world, but they have all their grown up lives to look forward

DEMANDS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND SERIOUSNESS.

to that. Better that when they are still free to get out in the world and actually play that they take the opportunity. It will be gone soon enough.

Sometimes, in an era saturated by hi-def digital distractions, the simpler pastimes can still delight. I have the fondest memories of spending many hours at GOMA with my kids when they were younger. There was a massive installation of sorts, a long, long table piled high with unknowable tonnages

SUMMERSET January 2016 QPAC

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Little EXPERTS It’s the second last day of school. December in Brisbane is hot, and the humidity is adding to the skittishness and general afternoon rumple of a class of Year 3 students as they make their way into the Yeronga State School library. Visually they are a moving mass of blue and yellow checks, swishing ponytails, arms and legs akimbo. Their low level twittering is punctuated by laughter and ripping Velcro.

Inside are some of QPAC’s Out of the Box Festival team, they want to chat with the students about the things they think they’re good at…or expert even.

This year, Out of the Box Festival is built on the idea that children are experts. More particularly, they are expert in imaginative investigation (the key to disruptive thinking) and this has all manner of possible attached when applied to some of the world’s problems and challenges. PHOTOS: JANELLE CAMILLERI

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W E L L , W H AT A B O U T T H I S . HOW WOULD YOU FINISH THIS SENTENCE… “IN FIVE YEARS I WILL BE AN EXPERT IN…” “Golf, technology, animals, Usain Bolt (being as fast as, not a biographer on), American history, art, acrobatics, immortality, violin, eating, gymnastics, learning, cricket, trains.” Also, we expanded to almost a full soccer team of soccer experts. Over the course of a few hours, these 24 eight year

S O Y E A R 3 … . W H AT ’ S A N E X P E R T ? “Someone who is really, really good at something.” “When you are smart and you know everything.” “They are clever clogs.” “It’s when you’re excellent.”

olds identified a lot of expertise and ambition. They identified what it takes to be an expert and knew how to spot one. They told us that experts are people who can think, talk, act in their field of excellence demonstrating to people what they know. As the Out of the Box team visits more schools in the

O K , T H AT S O U N D S G O O D S O F A R .

coming months, no doubt more expertise will be on

S O , W H AT I S S O M E T H I N G Y O U

display and more imaginations flexed in the pursuit

THINK YOU’RE EXPERT IN?

of answers to some difficult problems.

“Cricket.” “Ballet.”

What did the Year 3 class think of the afternoon’s activity? Let’s leave it to one of them to have the last word.

“Hair dos.” “Eating chocolate.”

“Umm… I’m also expert at having secrets.”

There are also approximately six expert soccer players and four master artists, so we’re well placed for future World Cups and Venice Biennales.

W H AT I S I T A B O U T T H O S E T H I N G S T H AT Y O U L O V E ? Lego expert – “when it breaks apart you can rebuild it and make it into something else.” Cello expert – “making music makes me relaxed

O U T O F T H E B O X F E S T I VA L From 21 June to 27 June 2016 For children 8 years and under O U TO F THEBO X F ESTI VAL.CO M.AU

and happy.” Video game expert – “you get good at it and it stops me getting bored.” Mum and Dad expert – “I know a lot about them, it’s important because otherwise you don’t know who they are.” There is a lot of discussion about fitness, pleasure,

K8 CHILDREN’S SYMPOSIUM Monday 27 June 2016 QPAC

happiness, learning, relaxation and the joy of playing in a team.

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PHOTO: POPPERFOTO/CONTRIBUTER

RETURNS YARON LIFSCHITZ The Academy Award winning movie The Sound of Music recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. A new production is headed to the Lyric Theatre stage and as Circa Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz reflects, this much loved musical has a 21st century relevance.

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ILLUSTRATION: JULIA GONSKI

Last September Circa had the great fortune to

I first saw The Sound of Music as a child in South Africa.

present our newest creation Il Ritorno in Brisbane

I grew up as the grandchild of Jews lucky enough to

Festival. Il Ritorno is based on the baroque composer

have escaped the infernos of World War II and the

Claudio Monteverdi’s opera Il Ritorno D’Ulisse in

Holocaust. I was acutely aware that a passport was

Patria (The Return of Odysseus to the Homeland).

always necessary – a flimsy life-raft for the deadly tides

In the opera, Monteverdi recounts the story of the

of history. It wasn’t something that was discussed –

Greek hero’s return home after 20 years of war

it was a texture in our lives. History could never be relied

and wanderings.

on, safety is an illusion. Later I moved to Australia and experienced firsthand the dislocation of the immigration.

We percolate this through the world of Primo Levi – an Italian-Jewish writer who, after being liberated from

The desire is simple. To be safe. To be able to be with

Auschwitz, found himself stranded in the middle of

one’s family, with one’s people, in a place one can call

the Soviet Union. For the first time in years, Levi and

home. Free from persecution. To be comfortable.

his band of fellow travellers are free from persecution.

To know the stories that are being told, to know the

While they have enough to eat they are gnawed at by a

tunes that are being sung. This is the dream.

deeper hunger – the longing for home. And throughout history this has been, for far too many We tell this story, loosely, in opera and in circus and

people, just that – a dream. There has never not been

in ordinary times we would hope it moves and touch

a crisis of refugees, of people who are unable to live

audiences. But sadly our tale gained currency when its

in the place they’d like to call home. The stories of

premiere season coincided with the publication of horrific

those who are imperilled, abandoned or exiled form

images of drowned refugees in the Mediterranean.

a powerful thread throughout art. From Homer’s

Suddenly the wanderings of Odysseus, the baroque

telling of Odysseus’s wanderings to Queen Penelope’s

opera of Monteverdi and our own production had

magnificent aria “Di Misera Regina” (The Misery of

become tragically timely.

the Queen) in Il Ritorno through to the images of Aylan Kurdi’s infant body washed ashore, the displaced

The Sound of Music is a joyous musical. The hills are alive

and lost find their voices in the songs, paintings,

with it. Its mixture of quirky nunnery, great songs

operas and books of our civilisation.

and the revolt of youthful energy never fail to delight and inspire. Yet as full as it is of love and song,

The Sound of Music offers us some hope. For in its heart

The Sound of Music is also a tale of flight from one’s

it is a tale of love and art – the two great, redemptive

home, of the terrible separation that history can cause.

forces that liberate Maria and the von Trapps. Love and

Anschluss – the German annexation of Austria in 1938

art bring people together, grant them courage and fill

and the coming of the Nazis poses the ultimate obstacle

them with purpose.

for the von Trapp family. And so, curiously, The Sound of Music, Odysseus, baroque opera and our circus all circle the same images we were seeing on our televisions and computer screens – infants washed up on deserted beaches, fathers fiercely gripping their children, boats filled with families, stormtossed on uncertain seas.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC From 11 March 2016 Lyric Theatre, QPAC

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A FEW OF OUR

Favourite Things We all have favourite things, some carefully tucked away in the bottom drawer, others proudly on display. A special few of us pursue our favourite things with fervour. In celebration of the much-loved musical The Sound of Music, which comes to QPAC in March, Story asked QPAC staff to share a few of their most cherished possessions. Avid collectors revealed their impressive treasures and here is a glimpse of three from staff and QPAC’s archive.

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Christopher Smith C U R ATO R , Q PA C M U S E U M

“The QPAC Museum has well over 80,000 items in the collection; to select favourites is hard, like having a favourite child. The items chosen belonged originally to an array of talented artists who have shared their stories with QPAC. Dancer and soubrette Peggy Ryan, aerialist Olga Varona, actor, author and musician Denis Melksham, ventriloquist Malcolm McPhee and designer Bruce Auld, all remind me of the many thousands who continue to dedicate their lives to the performing arts in Queensland.”

GINGER THE VENTRILOQUIST DUMMY AND THE SUITCASE HE TRAVELLED IN Malcolm McPhee who made Ginger, worked under the stage name of Walter Vernan and Ginger was originally called PHOTOS: MINDI COOKE

“Jerry”. McPhee and Jerry/Ginger entertained the troops in World Wars I and II, and toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.

WOODEN BOX CO N TA I N I N G 8 T U N E D BRASS HAND BELLS Denis Melksham, who died in 2015, was a long time member of the Maryborough Players, as well as being an accomplished clown and musician and owned these hand bells. In various outrageous costumes for many years, he led the annual festival parade through the streets of Maryborough. Denis also collected touring, circus and vaudeville memorabilia from the Maryborough region, as well as writing, directing and acting in plays, musicals and pantomime.

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Isabel Kemp CRM MANAGER, QPAC MARKETING “In one handful, I can travel the world. My small box of pins transports me to the places I’ve seen, events I’ve loved and the people I’ve shared them with. It started as a practical souvenir purchase when I was 14 years old and has since become a quest. This isn’t a collection, these are my stories.”

Discover more - Download the free Layar app and scan this page to see more of our Favourite Things.

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Brett Howe FESTIVAL DIRECTOR, QPAC’S OUT OF THE BOX FESTIVAL “Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi: The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together. You could say that these collections are my way of connecting to that energy. Oh, and I love to play.”

PHOTOS: MINDI COOKE

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Colour Every Corner

LET ART

In the last edition of Story, Briefly featured an article about the rise in the number of adults switching off their screens, picking up their pencils and turning to colouring in books. The trend has continued and looks set to stay with the health benefits of ‘mindful colouring’ now well known as a stress reliever for adults.

Now it’s your turn – pick up your pens, pencils or crayons and start experimenting with colour.

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ILLUSTRATION: JULIA GONSKI

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Food Theatrics TONY HARPER Shakespeare’s oft-quoted adage that “All the world’s a stage...” can so perfectly be applied to a cast of celebrated chefs and their chosen stage - the restaurant kitchen. Brisbane wine & food writer Tony Harper shares his thoughts on some of the world’s most theatrical chefs.

PHOTO: AMANDA DAVENPORT

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HESTON B L U M E N T H A L wandered on to

It’s little wonder, because theatrics have always been part

the QPAC stage in 2013 and, in front of a packed house,

of Heston’s repertoire. And his restaurant, The Fat Duck –

filled his allotted time with anecdotes and tall-tales.

Three Michelin Stars and 2005 top billing for The World’s

But, like every good showman, he spiced his act with

50 Best restaurants – is a culinary stage that engages and

theatrics - some culinary wizardry, a well-worn but still

challenges the senses … all of them. It provokes thought,

effective trick with wine, and one piece of simple advice

involves the diner way beyond the basics of service and

for cooking the perfect steak. It was terrific theatre.

satisfactory taste, it titillates the olfactory and turns topsyturvy our ideas of culinary texture and sight. It mocks and cossets in equal measure, it is alchemy. And even though Heston sits, with his too-large glasses, at a relatively small table along with a handful of the world’s great contemporary chefs, he is far from alone in his art. Brisbane’s Esquire, Urbane and Gauge; Sydney’s Quay; Vue de Monde, Spain’s great but gone El Bulli and Wylie Dufresne’s recently closed but previously wonderful WD-50 in New York make up just a handful of the places and folk that treat and have treated dining as performance art. They are culinary versions of Bowie, Shakespeare, Hayao Miyazaki, Beethoven, Puccini and Jacqueline Du Pre – creative forces with paths to be forged. This isn’t a new thing. Food and wine have enjoyed the spotlight since Eve poked her sticky fingers in an apple tree and Jesus dazzled his audience with loaves, fishes and water turned into wine.

PHOTO: MINDI COOKE

Take, for example, Japanese cuisine; it’s high theatre. A skilled sashimi chef sliding his knife through a side of tuna is a man fixated on the sparse and exact, a samurai soloist. The teppanyaki chef is a little more Punch & Judy using antics to entertain the captured crowd but all the while hiding art behind bawdy fun. And even in the most casual sushi plate there is care in appearance, freshness and placement; visual art and theatre contained in mime-like simplicity. The serious drama of Japanese belongs, of course, to the Fugu chef. He is the high-wire artist dancing with death; not his own mind you, the risk lies here with the voyeur, like a front row ticket-holder at a Barry Humphries show.

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And all of those recipes…do they really spring from Jamie’s imagination and life experience, or are there researchers, themists; all those behind the scene folk who keep the Jamie Oliver wagon rolling? What about reality television – MasterChef, My Kitchen Rules and My Restaurant Rules? Sure, they entertain with the swagger and noise of a medicine show, but those dramatic pauses, the well timed ad breaks, the constant repeating of any interesting moment and the obsessive focus on failure and success are all necessary ploys to keep the home viewer – no darkened theatre and single focal point – fixed on the screen. And for the competitors it’s probably the toughest cooking gig of the lot, trying to woo an audience with food that can neither be smelled

Tony Harper

nor tasted, without the benefits of restaurant trappings, pampering wait-staff or the lustre of reputation.

But while the Japanese have always kept their top chefs on display, seeing their skills as an important part of a

Is it theatre? You bet it is, albeit geared to the masses,

restaurant’s theatre, the western cultures have tended

tawdry at times and as subtle as a fat man in Speedo’s.

to hide them behind closed doors, keeping the smells,

Watching MasterChef from your couch is a far cry from sitting

noise and antics screened from the diners. Even our

at the Fat Duck obsessing about the wonders on your plate.

greats – Escoffier, Julia Child, Fredy Girardet, Alexandre

But both – and all that fall between – are surely performance

Dumaine, James Beard and the rest – strutted their

arts of the same genre, played by different actors using

stuff in private. But times have changed; open kitchens

different rules and treading the boards on a different stage.

have proved their worth, providing atmosphere, visual focus and live drama.

Chef’s

tables

take

things

further – interactive theatre  for the food obsessed. Add some prima donnas (or prima uomos) to the mix and it can be compelling drama. Why is it that the

THEY RANT, THEY SWEAR, THEY CAN

When Jacqueline Du Pre plays Elgar’s cello concerto she does it off the mark, timing slightly a-kilter,

AT TA C K S TA F F A N D

eccentric glissando, pauses that leave

GUESTS WITH EQUAL

you hanging and relief that leaves you

DISREGARD AND THEY WEAR THEIR BAD-

breathless. It is theatre; it is art. And it’s the moments when you hang that make it a masterpiece,

two most notorious (Marco Pierre

BEHAVIOUR LIKE A

White and Gordon Ramsay) are both

BADGE OF HONOUR.

technically perfect. It’s the voids, the dark

English? Who knows and who cares, but

THANK GOD THEY

places that we less brilliant folk can hear,

they head a crowd of tantrum throwers that make John McEnroe look like a

CAN COOK.

worlds beyond the like of something

see and enjoy, but can’t quite touch that separate great performances from good.

nun. They rant, they swear, they can attack staff and guests with equal disregard and they wear

They are there in the kitchens; in Heston’s Meat Fruit and

their bad-behaviour like a badge of honour. Thank God

Mock Turtle Soup, in Marco Pierre White’s mouth-foaming

they can cook.

behaviour blended with culinary near-perfection and Jamie Oliver’s apparently timeless link to the stuff that happens

Is all the bluster and noise merely an act, like Pavarotti

in our kitchens every day. Cooking is theatre, kitchens are a

channeling the Duke of Mantua or Bela Lugosi

stage and our best chefs are artists in the truest sense…

donning his cloak? Possibly.

foul language, tantrums and all.

At the other end of the spectrum there is Jamie Oliver, the guy that everyone wants to cuddle and take home. His ethics are shiny, his persona is lovely jubbly and his food has an honest simplicity. And it’s good, the recipes work, the food is delicious. But how much is the real Jamie and how much is designer-personality? Is that lovely little flat where he cooks and hosts really

47

his home? Or is it a set? A little of both apparently.

L Y R E B I R D R E S TA U R A N T Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm QPAC 07 3840 7598


YOUR OPERA QUEENSLAND SEASON AT QPAC MADAMA BUTTERFLY 12 – 19 May LYRIC THEATRE THE BARBER OF SEVILLE 9 – 23 July PLAYHOUSE KISS ME, KATE 12 November CONCERT HALL

Tickets 136 246 operaq.com.au


Sunday performs at Front Yard Music in July 2015.


50


“A human head is an antique shop full of Bric-a-Brac”

BUILDING A SELF THROUGH ART JUDITH MCLEAN In the last edition of Story I promised to discuss the importance of the concept of neurogenesis the birth of new neurons- making change possible in all aspects of our lives. In particular I suggested that arts engagement could assist in creating new neurological pathways in people of all ages, not just in children as was previously thought.

You may also recall that I wrote about the perils of “normatic illness” a psychological term coined by psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas and caused by an inability to express one’s inner self resulting in being experienced as dull or boring. In today’s socially mediated world being boring equates to not being liked with online trolls and bullying demonstrating the darker aspects of digital culture. I’m not suggesting that posting enviable life images and ‘selfies’ boosts brain development or makes one inherently less boring. Oxford scholar Theodore Zeldin, in his latest book The Hidden Pleasures of Life suggests that technological advances have stripped us of deep

51

,


engagement with others leading to increased superficiality,

When we read, see, listen, look at how others live/think/feel

fragmentation and loneliness. He suggests living in the

we succumb to considering different possibilities about

information age makes him feel “profoundly ignorant”. As an

people/things/events/feelings/values. What’s happening is

antidote to feeling profoundly ignorant I’m suggesting that

that we accept the reality of a fictional work of art as true

engaging in the arts is one way to build brain development

and real, and for a short time we consciously open ourselves

deepening our intelligence and as a consequence making

to the potential of what Jonathon Lear calls “suspending our

us more interesting. I propose that engaging with arts helps

physic structures” entertaining the possibility that perhaps

us know more about who we are and why we exist, what we

the neurological pathways laid down in the first two years

value and importantly what’s worth knowing. These kinds of

of our lives are not the only possibilities about how to be

existential questions have been grappled with by artists and

human. This practice known as “metaxis” illustrates how

philosophers since the fourth century BC - think Socrates,

we are able to entertain different ways of being.

Aristotle and Plato - and continue to need revisiting with each generation. Today we are threatened by the impact of

Indeed Buddhist psychoanalyst Mark Epstein in

countries, societies, and individuals who are unable to find

Thoughts Without a Thinker suggests that many of us take

commonality or agreement as to life’s value, beliefs and

our immature scripting unconsciously into adulthood failing

purpose culminating in devastating consequences.

to update two year old internal models: Much of our inner

PHOTO: ELEANOR PRICE

dialogue, rather than the ‘rational’ secondary process that is

Opening our minds to difference & the ‘other’

usually associated with the thinking mind, is this constant reaction by a selfish, childish protagonist. None of us have moved very far from the seven year old who vigilantly watches to see who got more.

The brain that changes itself Norman Doidge author of the ground breaking work The Brain That Changes Itself speaks of the brain’s malleability

The arts have a contribution to make by helping us open

and therefore the possibility to change ourselves as a tipping

our minds to difference offering unique ways of knowing

point of the late 20th century:

focused on how we feel about what we experience. Psychologically we never forget any fact that has feeling attached to it. When feeling and fact work together we have what’s called embodied knowledge, literally knowledge

T H E I D E A T H AT T H E B R A I N C A N

of the world that’s been ingested and stored as a neurological

CHANGE ITS OWN STRUCTURE AND

pathway in the body. However much we think we can, we cannot logically or mathematically compute our way into

FUNCTION THROUGH THOUGHT

experiencing art, and whilst cognition is involved, there is

AND ACTIVITY IS I BELIEVE THE

something much more complex happening.

M O S T I M P O R TA N T A L T E R AT I O N I N

To engage deeply with art is to be totally present to

OUR VIEW OF THE BRAIN SINCE

ourselves and to the work of art - what MIT academic

WE FIRST SKETCHED OUT ITS

Otto Scharmer calls “presencing” or “letting come”.

B A S I C A N ATO M Y .

Achieving this psychological state requires suspending the voice of judgment, observation, noticing, paying attention to what we are sensing in our relationship with the art work through “open mind, open heart, and open will”. Such hyper-vigilance to our internal feelings in turn connecting to what Scharmer calls “the deepest source of self and will” expands our emotional vocabulary.

52


It’s undeniable that our first relationship creates what

frozen sea inside us” points to literature’ oscillation role of engaging

paediatrician Daniel Stern calls “repeated interactions that

in the arts from “out-thereness to in- hereness” - knowing who we

are generalised” (RIGS), in effect RIGS become our minds,

are by traversing into our inner life of feelings from the world.

variously referred to as “internal psychic space” (Bollas, 1989); and more colloquially “movies in the brain” (Damasio, 2000,). Interestingly these early experiences are not verbal but embodied as feeling responses put more poetically by Theodore Zeldin as:

A HUMAN HEAD IS AN ANTIQUE SHOP FULL OF BRIC-A-BRAC, OF

The arts as external neural circuits

MEMORIES, HABITS, PREJUDICES A N D F A I R Y TA L E S D AT I N G F R O M A VA R I E T Y O F C E N T U R I E S … E AC H PERSON HAS NOT ONE AGE BUT M A N Y … T H E A N T I Q U E S H O P M AY C O N S TA N T L Y B E R E P L E N I S H E D , O R R E M A I N I M M O B I L E G AT H E R I N G

Pychologist Louis Cozolini (2006) in The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain introduces the idea of psychologists as “external neural circuits”, functioning to help build empathy with patients. He explains that “empathy is actually a hypothesis we make about another person based on a combination of visceral, emotional, and cognitive information.”

D U S T. O N E ’ S P H Y S I C A L AG E S AY S

I believe that the arts play an analogous role as evidenced by Zeldin

NOTHING ABOUT THE AGE OF

the arts can achieve:

ONE’S IDEAS. Crammed into our very own antique shop is our unique style and flavour - behaviours, relationships, values - our way of being in the world. What’s exciting about neurogensis is the capacity as Zeldin says to “rearrange the relics”. According to Roderick Gilkey and Clint Kilts in their 2007 Harvard Business Review article entitled Cognitive Fitness, central to the neurogenisis process is: understanding how experience makes the brain grow; the importance of play; searching for patterns; inputting novelty and innovation into daily life.

Brains, art & building an interesting life

Art has been enormously influential in destroying prejudice, in championing independent creativity, and in giving respectability to whatever the human mind, fancy or whim may invent… It expresses an individual vision that is discovered in the process of being constructed, so that the direction of the search, the perspective and the goal may change as new discoveries are made; it is an adventure into the unknown. Neurogenesis shatters understandings of the brain’s limits refuting the idea that once adult maturation occurs brain development stops. No longer do our brains have to disintegrate into what the Bard calls the seventh stage of dotage. In As You Like It Jacques laments:

A L L T H E W O R L D ’ S A S TA G E A N D M E N A N D W O M E N A R E M E R E L Y P L AY E R S T H E Y H AV E T H E I R E X I T S A N D T H E I R ENTRANCES... Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Brain scientist Antonio Damasio calls the process of becoming self aware as “extended consciousness” meaning having an autobiographical sense of our self as opposed to “core consciousness” which means we merely exist without the ability to change and shape our lives. Paediatrician and psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott (1986) calls it encountering the life of the personal, attaining a psychic reality, or more colloquially, as the development of “an inside”. According to Winnicott, to feel alive a person needs both a life in the world, as well as in the area of cultural experience. Damasio claims having extended consciousness entails knowledge and regulation of one’s emotional life, and is like “stepping into the light…the birth of the knowing mind”. He asked “what could be more difficult to know than how we know?” Author Kafka’s metaphor of art/books as “an axe for the

53

With technological advances we now know unequivocally that new connections are possible until the end of our lives with almost everything intact – ‘teeth, eyes and taste’ and most importantly interesting and ever expanding brains and minds. As ever, I encourage you to come and see a performance at QPAC . Please feel free to contact me at: judith.mclean@qpac.com.au


T H E Q PA C

B AC K STAGE E X P ERIENC E Join the intrigue and experience QPAC from a different perspective. Departing from The Cafe with one of our experienced tour guides you will discover the history, architecture and performing arts culture hidden within our iconic walls. Visit the renowned QPAC Tony Gould Gallery exhibiting fascinating insights into the world of theatre.

The QPAC Weekly Tour Adults $15 inc. coffee or tea 10:30am to 11:30am Fridays Departing from The Cafe Contact QPAC on 07 3840 7444 to secure a place or purchase a ticket on the day. For further information please visit www.qpac.com.au or email tours@qpac.com.au for group and school bookings.


OUT OF

The Closet WITH EASTON PEARSON Designers Pam Easton and Lydia Pearson of the celebrated Brisbane label Easton Pearson were on the red carpet for Les MisĂŠrables. They generously shared their tips on dressing for an opening night.

55


CAN YOU DESCRIBE

This does not mean ball gowns and tiaras! Clothes that

W H AT Y O U ’ R E W E A R I N G

can be dressed up or down are by far the most useful

THIS EVENING? PA M:

and versatile. If you wear special shoes and more decorative

A one-of-a-kind yellow brocade coat,

hand woven by master craftsmen in Benares,

accessories, then simple pieces that are well made in beautiful fabric can be quite appropriate.

with collar and cuff beading made in our Mumbai workroom. Black silk “skinny Legs”, an Easton

clothes; celebrate the fact and use them!

Pearson essential.

LYDIA:

A silk satin culotte suit, white with

black spots, from our cruise collection.

W H AT M A D E Y O U D E C I D E T O C H O O S E T H E S E PA R T I C U L A R O U T F I T S? PA M:

Conversely if you have a great wardrobe of occasion

This is a very special piece. I always feel

good when I wear it. Although the coat is quite spectacular, it can be dressed down, like this, with a t-shirt under, and flat sandals. (It’s) like an update of a traditional opera coat; which was always (for good reason) the accepted dress for first nights.

If they feel a bit over the top, then try toning down the shoes, hair and accessories so the outfit looks more throwaway chic than everything all at once... Remember the old Chanel adage: get dressed, and then look in the mirror to see what you should take off! Oh, and don’t forget your hanky...live theatre is a visceral  experience, and often emotionally overwhelming (in the BEST way).

FOR MEN:

Hope you don’t mind us weighing

in on your dress code too? Unless the dress code is black tie, then these days even a suit is not de rigueur. However, whilst it is not exactly inappropriate to wear jeans or chinos to the theatre, there are certain

LYDIA:

Whilst I love to look dressed up,

points to note: Pants should look as well kept and

I also adore feeling comfortable, and the softness of

pristine as possible. Save the faded wrinkled look for

the satin, mixed with the flowing shape of this outfit is

the weekend.

perfect for me. The fact that it looks like a long dress but is actually pants gives it an air of throw-away chic.

Your shirt should be long sleeved and well pressed.

I can wear flat sandals or heels, add a shawl or a little

Your jacket should be immaculate, and yes you

jacket, and I am ready in 10 minutes with no fuss.

really should have one. There is no obligation to wear a tie.

W H AT A D V I C E D O Y O U H AV E FOR OUR READERS ON HOW TO D R E S S F O R A N I G H T AT T H E T H E AT R E ? FOR WOMEN:

Although it has become

If you really have to wear a t-shirt, it should be BEAUTIFUL, and you REALLY need a jacket... And maybe even a roughly tucked pocket square. Bare ankles and loafers really don’t look right. If your lace ups are well polished it doesn’t matter

acceptable to wear almost anything to the theatre,

if they aren’t new. Trainers are difficult but not

it enhances the importance of the outing if you dress

impossible to pull off, but they must look shiny new,

for the occasion. Why not celebrate the rare chance

no scuffs. Lastly always keep a hanky, just in case...

to really go all out, respecting the fact that live theatre or a concert is a work of art involving a huge team of people over several months. It is almost guaranteed PHOTO: JOHN NGUYEN

that you will get greater enjoyment from the evening if you treat it with the respect it really deserves.

Discover more - Download the free Layar app and scan this page to view the Easton Pearson photo gallery.

56


Bump in A DAY I N T H E LIFE, BEHIND THE SCENES OF STRICTLY BALLROOM Bump-In: the process of preparing the theatre for a particular production. From the arrival of the laden trucks at the QPAC dock to the final production on the stage, a bump-in requires the precision of a military operation. Here is a story in pictures of the recent manoeuvres to bring Strictly Ballroom’s 16 semi trailers to the Lyric Theatre stage at QPAC.

57


From the smallest details, to the biggest. It takes as much care to attach a 1cm sequin as a 2.3m mirror ball.

Time to put your feet up - if only! Curtain call in 5.

Art Department perfectly

PHOTOS: MICHAEL DARE

recreates 50s Australia.

Discover more - Download the free Layar app and scan this page to see our behind the scenes gallery from Strictly Ballroom.

58


59 PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES


THE JAZZ AGE LIVES ON

JAZZ MUSIC IS AMERICA’S PAST AND ITS POTENTIAL, SUMMED UP AND SANCTIFIED AND ACCESSIBLE TO ANYBODY WHO LEARNS TO LISTEN TO, FEEL, AND UNDERSTAND IT. THE MUSIC CAN CONNECT US

PHOTO: ALAMY

TO OUR EARLIER SELVES AND TO OUR BETTER SELVES-TO-COME. IT CAN REMIND US OF WHERE WE FIT ON THE TIME LINE OF HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT, AN ULTIMATE VALUE OF ART.

– WYNTON MARSALIS

J A Z Z AT L I N C O L N CENTER ORCHESTRA WITH WYNTON MARSALIS

6 March 2016 CONCERT HALL, QPAC

STRICTLY GERSHWIN 27 May to 4 June 2016 LYRIC THEATRE, QPAC WYNTON MARSALIS

60


QPAC MEMBERSHIP > priority booking > dining and parking discounts > free eBooks > digital magazine subscription > members-only events and offers > dedicated members booking line > zero transaction fee > and much more!

COME CLOSER

JOIN NOW! qpac.com.au/membership 136 246 | QPAC Box Office


Keep in touch Q PA C WAT E R C O O L E R C H AT S Quick chats, big ideas Is poetry dead? What makes a stage show a ‘work of art’? Do adults have just as much to learn from children as they do from us? Is it the responsibility of the artist to create morally and ethically sound works? Twice a month, QPAC staff and friends gather around the metaphorical watercooler for a 30 minute chat about news and issues relating to arts and culture – new thinking, sponsorship, popular culture, digital innovations, venue management, festivals, technology and more. Join in and tell us what you think each fortnight or follow the conversation on Twitter #QPACchat ENEWS The latest shows and events Subscribe to QPAC Enews for the latest show and events at qpac.com.au SOCIAL Put yourself in the picture QPAC’s social media channels feature news, information, behind the scenes insights, competitions and conversation. Be our friend, follow us and stay across all that happens in a busy performing arts centre. #QPAC #QPACSTORY

@ ATQ PA C

Q PAC T V

@Q PAC

@ ATQ PA C

PHOTO: MICHAEL DARE

The Red Tree commissioned for Out of The Box Festival, 2004. Set and costume designed by Richard Jeziorny, based on the book by Shaun Tan.

62


W H AT ’ S O N

QPAC

J A N U A RY U N T I L 23 JA N

L E S M I S É R A B L E S – F R O M PAG E TO S TAG E E X H I B I T I O N

TO N Y G O U L D G A L L E R Y

U N T I L 17 JA N

LES MISÉRABLES

L Y R I C T H E AT R E

6 - 23 JA N

SHAKE & STIR THEATRE CO ROALD DAHL’S GEORGE’S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE

C R E M O R N E T H E AT R E

7 – 9 JA N

DEADLY 60 LIVE!

P L AY H O U S E

7 – 17 JA N

CIRQUE ADRENALINE

CO N C E R T H A L L

9 – 13 JA N

C A R N I VA L O F T H E A N I M A L S

P L AY H O U S E

9 – 17 JA N

H E AT H E R S T H E M U S I C A L

P L AY H O U S E

14 – 17 JA N

T H E T I G E R W H O C A M E TO T E A

P L AY H O U S E

20 – 23 JA N

ALADDIN

P L AY H O U S E

23 JA N

J OA N N A N E W S O M

CO N C E R T H A L L

28 – 30 JA N

DAW N F R E N C H – T H I R T Y M I L L I O N M I N U T E S

CO N C E R T H A L L

28 JA N – 6 F E B

F L A M E N CO F I R E ’ S V I VA S E V I L L A

C R E M O R N E T H E AT R E

29 JA N – 14 F E B

C AT S

L Y R I C T H E AT R E

30 JA N – 21 F E B

Q U E E N S L A N D T H E AT R E CO M PA N Y Q UA R T E T

CO N C E R T H A L L

UNTIL 6 FEB

F L A M E N CO F I R E ’ S V I VA S E V I L L A

C R E M O R N E T H E AT R E

U N T I L 14 F E B

C AT S

L Y R I C T H E AT R E

U N T I L 21 F E B

Q U E E N S L A N D T H E AT R E CO M PA N Y Q UA R T E T

P L AY H O U S E

5 & 6 FEB

NICK OFFERMAN FULL BUSH

CONCERT HALL

8 FEB

W E L CO M E TO N I G H T VA L E

CO N C E R T H A L L

9 FEB – 4 JUN

T H E AT R E S O F WA R

TO N Y G O U L D G A L L E R Y

11 F E B

LIOR SUCHARD

CO N C E R T H A L L

12 – 20 F E B

E X P R E S S I O N S DA N C E CO M PA N Y B L AC K – A T R I P L E B I L L

C R E M O R N E T H E AT R E

14 F E B

AU S T R A L I A N YO U T H O R C H E S T R A A L E X A N D R E B L OC H & M A X W E L L F O S T E R

CO N C E R T H A L L

15 F E B

ACO : B E E T H O V E N & T H E 2 1 S T C E N T U R Y

CO N C E R T H A L L

19 F E B

GORAN BREGOVIĆ AND HIS WEDDING AND FUNERAL BAND

CO N C E R T H A L L

19 – 24 F E B

AU S T R A L I A N B A L L E T C I N D E R E L L A

L Y R I C T H E AT R E

24 F E B

AU S T R A L I A N B A L L E T C I N D E R E L L A B E H I N D T H E S C E N E S

L Y R I C T H E AT R E

25 F E B – 5 M A R

Q U E E N S L A N D T H E AT R E CO M PA N Y T H E S E C R E T R I V E R

P L AY H O U S E

26 – 28 F E B

SHEN YUN

L Y R I C T H E AT R E

27 F E B

QUEENSLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MAESTRO SERIES 1 QSO PLAYS MAHLER 2

CO N C E R T H A L L

29 F E B

EXILE SONGS & TALES OF IRISH AUSTRALIA

CO N C E R T H A L L

UNTIL 4 JUN

T H E AT R E S O F WA R

TO N Y G O U L D G A L L E R Y

UNTIL 5 MAR

Q U E E N S L A N D T H E AT R E CO M PA N Y T H E S E C R E T R I V E R

P L AY H O U S E

2 MAR

SOUNDS OF LIGHT

CO N C E R T H A L L

3 – 13 M A R

P E N N S Y L VA N I A AV E N U E

C R E M O R N E T H E AT R E

4 MAR

S U FJA N S T E V E N S

CO N C E R T H A L L

5 MAR

Q L D P O P S : M A R K V I N C E N T B E S T S O FA R

CO N C E R T H A L L

9 – 10 M A R

L I G H T FA L L S : S PAC E , T I M E A N D A N O B S E S S I O N O F E I N S T E I N

P L AY H O U S E

10 M A R

C M C M U S I C AWA R D S 2 0 1 6

CO N C E R T H A L L

11 M A R

R I C H A R D C L A P TO N

CO N C E R T H A L L

11 – 12 M A R

DEAR ALBERT

P L AY H O U S E

11 M A R – 17 A P R

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

L Y R I C T H E AT R E

12 M A R

B J O R N AG A I N : B A N G A B OO M E R A N G TO U R

CO N C E R T H A L L

13 M A R

QUEENSLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MUSIC ON SUNDAYS 1 LOVE, DEATH AND HAPPY ENDINGS

CO N C E R T H A L L

15 M A R

M A R Y B L AC K – T H E L A S T C A L L , AU S T R A L I A

CO N C E R T H A L L

16 M A R

IRELAND THE SHOW

CO N C E R T H A L L

17 M A R

QUEENSLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MAESTRO SERIES 2 Q S O P L AY S A L L M O Z A R T

CO N C E R T H A L L

FE B R U A RY

MA R C H


MARCH 18 M A R

QUEENSLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MORNING MASTERWORKS MOZART

CO N C E R T H A L L

19 M A R

Q YO O R G A N S Y M P H O N Y

CO N C E R T H A L L

20 M A R

SOUTHERN CROSS SOLOISTS FORBIDDEN LOVE

CO N C E R T H A L L

21 M A R

DO N M C L E A N

CO N C E R T H A L L

24 M A R

QUEENSLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA QSO CHORAL MOZART REQUIEM

CO N C E R T H A L L

26 M A R

M E L I S S A E T H E R I DG E

CO N C E R T H A L L

29 M A R - 2 A P R

CO N C E R TO F O R H A R M O N Y P R E S TO

C R E M O R N E T H E AT R E

30 M A R

JAC K S O N B R O W N E

CO N C E R T H A L L

31 M A R

THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA

CO N C E R T H A L L

UNTIL 4 JUN

T H E AT R E S O F WA R

TO N Y G O U L D G A L L E R Y

UNTIL 2 APR

CO N C E R TO F O R H A R M O N Y P R E S TO

C R E M O R N E T H E AT R E

U N T I L 17 A P R

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

L Y R I C T H E AT R E

1 – 16 A P R

QUEENSLAND BALLET A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

P L AY H O U S E

4 APR

ACO : C I N E M U S I C A

CONCERT HALL

8 APR

T H E B E AT L E S O R C H E S T R AT E D

CONCERT HALL

9 APR

B R I S B A N E B A R OQ U E B AC H M U S I C I N T H E C A S T L E O F H E AV E N

CO N C E R T H A L L

10 A P R

B R I S B A N E B A R OQ U E T H E R E D P R I E S T V I VA ! V I V I C A + V I VA L D I

CO N C E R T H A L L

14 A P R

B R I S B A N E B A R OQ U E M A H A N E S FA H A N I

CONCERT HALL

15 A P R

T H E P R OC L A I M E R S

CONCERT HALL

16 A P R

TO M M Y T I E R N A N – O U T O F T H E W H I R L W I N D

CO N C E R T H A L L

21 A P R

Q U E E N S L A N D S Y M P H O N Y O R C H E S T R A M O R N I N G M A S T E R W O R K S R AV E L

CO N C E R T H A L L

23 A P R

QUEENSLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MAESTRO SERIES 3 Q S O P L AY S R AV E L

CO N C E R T H A L L

23 A P R – 15 M AY

Q U E E N S L A N D T H E AT R E CO M PA N Y M U C H A DO A B O U T N O T H I N G

P L AY H O U S E

UNTIL 4 JUN

T H E AT R E S O F WA R

TO N Y G O U L D G A L L E R Y

U N T I L 15 M AY

Q U E E N S L A N D T H E AT R E CO M PA N Y M U C H A DO A B O U T N O T H I N G

P L AY H O U S E

7 M AY

QLD POPS: THE BEST OF BRITISH

CO N C E R T H A L L

8 M AY

THE TEN TENORS - THE POWER OF TEN

CO N C E R T H A L L

12 – 19 M AY

O P E R A Q U E E N S L A N D M A DA M A B U T T E R F L Y

L Y R I C T H E AT R E

16 M AY

ACO : B E E T H O V E N & M O Z A R T V

CO N C E R T H A L L

20 M AY

QUEENSLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MORNING MASTERWORKS B E E T H O V E N CO N C E R TO S 3 + 4

CONCERT HALL

21 M AY

QUEENSLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MAESTRO SERIES 4 B E E T H O V E N C YC L E # 1

CONCERT HALL

22 M AY

M E D I C I CO N C E R T S : P I E R S L A N E

CONCERT HALL

26 M AY

B I A N C A D E L R I O : N O T TO DAY S ATA N

CO N C E R T H A L L

27 M AY – 4 J U N

QUEENSLAND BALLET STRICTLY GERSHWIN

CO N C E R T H A L L

28 M AY

Q YO O L D I N G P L AY S B A R B E R

CO N C E R T H A L L

UNTIL 4 JUN

T H E AT R E S O F WA R

TO N Y G O U L D G A L L E R Y

UNTIL 4 JUN

QUEENSLAND BALLET STRICTLY GERSHWIN

L Y R I C T H E AT R E

FROM 1 JUN

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

P L AY H O U S E

5 JUN

Q U E E N S L A N D S Y M P H O N Y O R C H E S T R A M U S I C O N S U N DAY S 2 L O N G L I V E T H E B A R D – 40 0 Y E A R S

CONCERT HALL

7 – 12 J U N

CARL BARRON DRINKING WITH A FORK

L Y R I C T H E AT R E

14 J U N

QUEENSLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MID-SEASON GALA LANG LANG

CO N C E R T H A L L

16 J U N

M I C H A E L JAC K S O N H I S TO R Y

CO N C E R T H A L L

18 J U N

THE PINK FLOYD EXPERIENCE

CO N C E R T H A L L

19 J U N

SOUTHERN CROSS SOLOISTS VISIONS OF EARTH

CO N C E R T H A L L

21 – 28 JUN

QUEENSLAND BALLET LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

P L AY H O U S E

21 – 28 JUN

O U T O F T H E B O X F E S T I VA L

VA R I O U S

APRIL

M AY

JUNE

V I S I T Q PAC . CO M . AU O R C A L L 1 36 2 46 F O R B OO K I N G S O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N . I N F O R M AT I O N CO R R E C T AT T I M E O F P R I N T I N G .


Y O U ’ V E P L AY E D M A N Y O F T H E M O N S TA G E B U T W H O I S YO U R FAV O U R I T E P R I M E M I N I S T E R TO P L AY ? My favourite Prime Minster to play would have to be Bob Hawke. He gives you so much to work with…his demonstrative gestures, his face, his hair, his hands – there’s plenty to play with.

W H E N Y O U WATC H T H E N E W S , A R E Y O U LISTENING TO THE CONTENT OR JUST LEARNING A NEW POSE OR GESTURE TO PRACTICE? Both really. My general interest is with both of them for some reason and I’ve never quite worked out why. When I was small and we’d listen to the radio I found Question Time in Parliament as entertaining as anything else on the radio. Part of it was the liveliness, the spontaneity of it, the authenticity of the characters. But it was also the politics, what they were arguing about that also engaged me. I got to know politicians by their voices and then subsequently through the television sets and their behaviour. The behaviour of public people intrigues me; it fascinates me as much as the politics and the politics fascinates me as much as the behaviour.

W H AT T H R E E W O R D S B E S T D E S C R I B E

FIVE MINUTES WITH

Max Gillies

Max Gillies is one of Australia’s acting treasures.

‘ T H E AT R E ’ TO Y O U ? I’ve always liked Berthold Brecht’s description of the theatre as a laboratory. A social laboratory which in my mind means an experimental place where society can speculate about itself. It’s a workshop where you imagine what the world might be, where you try to show each other what the world is really like, or should be. It’s an imaginative laboratory, a workspace for society.

W H AT I N S P I R E S Y O U N O W ? Anything can inspire. But right now, Samuel Beckett.

He is renowned for his ability to inhabit his

A N D F I N A L L Y , W H AT C A N Y O U N O T L E AV E

characters, figuratively in his charismatic

THE HOUSE WITHOUT?

impersonations…and also literally! Gillies may well be his own one-man Australian Cabinet.

Something to read or something to listen to...a book or a tablet or a podcast or music. I’ve got the modern disease, just walking down the street or waiting for a bus or tram is boring without something to

In November, 2015 Gillies returned to QPAC with Once Were Leaders in

stimulate the mind.

which he shared his memories and favourite speeches. The Story team sat down for five minutes with him (at least, we think it was him, he sounded rather like Bob Hawke from time to time).

65

Discover more - Download the free Layar app and scan this page to hear more from Max Gillies.


A B O U T Q PAC Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) is one of Australia’s leading centres for live performance. Welcoming over 1.4 million visitors to more than 1,200 performances each year, we embrace the best in live performance – the world renowned alongside the emerging, local and new – and connect to the stories and ideas at the heart of each production. Through the warmth and expertise of our staff, we have become a trusted curator, presenter and host; a place to come together to relax, reflect, share stories and celebrate.

OUR VENUES QPAC has four theatres suitable for a range of performance styles: Lyric Theatre (2,000 seats) is designed primarily for opera, ballet and large-scale theatre events such as musicals; Concert Hall (1,600 seats) is a versatile space, designed primarily for orchestra performances and also used for contemporary music, stand-up comedy and presentations; Playhouse (850 seats) is primarily designed for theatre and dance; and Cremorne Theatre (312 seats) is an intimate and versatile black box theatre space.

CONNECT @ ATQ PA C @Q PAC @ ATQ PA C Q PAC T V

C O N TA C T PO Box 3567, South Bank, Qld, 4101 (07) 3840 7444 | qpac.com.au/story ABN: 13 967 571 1218

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The Queensland Performing Arts Trust is a statutory body of the State of Queensland and is partially funded by the Queensland Government: The Honourable Annastacia Palasczuk MP, Premier and Minister for the Arts; Director-General, Department of Premier and Cabinet: David Stewart.

Story is published by QPAC. Printed in Brisbane, Australia. Contents of Story are subject to copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publication of editorial does not necessarily

Luke Currie Richardson, Yolanda Lewatta and Beau Dean Riley Smith of Bangarra Dance Theatre perform Sheoak, the second act of the company’s 2015 QPAC season of lore.

constitute an endorsement of views or opinions expressed. The publisher does not accept responsibility for statements made by advertisers. All information was correct at time of printing. Story welcomes editorial contributions or comments. They should be sent by email to story@qpac.com.au. Printed January 2016.

PHOTO: JACOB NASH


Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Act 1 2016

Story: Act 1, 2016 K U R I L PA

A place of storytelling & magic For the creative and curious...

PUBLISHED BY QUEENSL AND PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE QPAC.COM.AU

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