queensland theatre company


How to spend Valentine’s Day in Brisbane with your bestie

posted by Karlicca Culalic February 13, 2018 0 comments

Friends rock. They might “borrow” your clothes and send you on crappy blind dates but friends never break your heart. And after all, what would life be without an insult from your mates on the reg? If Valentine’s Day content makes your eyes roll and your Feb 14 plans are assuming couch potato mode with a glass of vino then, stop right there, call your clique, and discuss these cute AF options.

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Gasp! : Who Knew the Resources Sector Could be Funny?

posted by Scott Duffield November 23, 2014 0 comments

ben elton gasp!

Ben Elton has been on my “I need to check him out properly” list for years. I’ve got about four of his books on the bookshelf that I picked up from beachside second hand stores but I’ve never actually gotten around to reading them.

So naturally, I jumped at the chance to see Elton’s Gasp! when the review opportunity came across the Brisbane Threads desk. Gasp! is actually a rewritten version of his first stage production, Gasping. I thought this must be a good sign – terrible things don’t get revisited, do they?

The rewrite sets the production in Australia, where greedy mining company Lockheart Industries is searching for a new resource to capitalise on now that our wide brown land has been completely stripped of coal. Some bright spark comes up with the idea of harvesting oxygen, purifying it and then selling it as a premium product to the world’s wheezy asthmatics and sneezy allergy sufferers. Unsurprisingly, corporate greed soon kicks in with major consequences for all the oxygen breathers out there – if you want to breathe, you’ve got to pay. Reads like a page out of some kombucha-drinking, Greens-voting leftie’s nightmare journal, right?

Gasp! explores some pretty big themes – greed, corporate responsibility, environmental sustainability, the onus on individual consumers – but it does so deftly. It’s still really good entertainment, not some Michael Moore or Inconvenient Truth style lecture-mentary. (That’s a portmanteau of lecture and documentary that I will be trademarking as soon as I finish this review).

This is helped by the fact that Gasp! is very funny. Elton has managed to write almost every current trend and issue into the script. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he actually worked with the writing team from Mad As Hell. If you’re not into those current affairs-y jokes, there’s also a part where an older gent shows his bum. So yeah, it pretty much caters to everyone.

If you’re a theatre buff, I guess you’ll want to know about the individual performances, set design, lighting design, media design and all that other theatre-type stuff, right? Good, good, good and good, as far as I can tell with my limited experience. Want more detail than that? Well, go find yourself a real theatre review blog then, chum!

Gasp! was great. The jokes were funny, the plot was engaging and the actors did good acting. It was actually so entertaining that I’m going to put the brakes on Game of Thrones and pull one of those Ben Elton books off the shelf. He’s earned my attention.

For the record, I would also like to note that I planned to title this review “Theatre Production Gasping At Straws” if the production was bad. It’s kind of a shame they did such a great job, hey?

Gasp! is a joint production of Queensland Theatre Company and Western Australia’s Black Swan State Theatre Company, written by Ben Elton and directed by Wesley Enoch. The production is showing at QPAC Playhouse until 7 Dec 2014. Tickets available for purchase here



Queensland Theatre Company: Australia Day Competition

posted by Danielle Lewis January 9, 2014 0 comments


A powerful, rollicking mainstage comedy of bumbling bureaucratic battlers A wickedly funny exploration of authenticity and idealism in the melting pot of modern Australia  : 25 January to 16 February 2014


Australia Day is our favourite public holiday and whilst a beer and a BBQ never gets old, this year the Queensland Theatre Company are giving 10 Brisbane Threads readers the opportunity to leave the budgie smugglers at home and join them for a VIP showing of Australia Day by Jonathan Biggins.

We’ve got 10 double passes to give away and all you have to do is fill in your contact details at the end of the article to enter!

Welcome to the typical little Aussie country town of Coriole, where life is laidback and carefree – unless you’re a member of the Australia Day committee, who couldn’t raffle a chook in a pub … this January, grab a lamington and a stubbie, pop on your double pluggers and your Jackie Howe, remember the Aeroguard and settle in for a clever, caustic comedy that promises to put the sizzle in your ‘barbie … or should that be in your wok?

Australia Day is the story of six quirky community leaders in a small country town charged with putting together the ultimate cultural celebration of what it means to be Australian. However the idea of consensus on the national identity is further away than the Southern Cross.  Never mind wrangling the Nippers, the Lions and the CWA; these little Vegemites are at loggerheads just deciding the type of bread that’s appropriate to serve at an Aussie BBQ …. or should it be fried rice?  Thrown in this laugh-out-loud Thermomix of politics and small town social culture is the fact the affable yet scheming Mayor Brian Harrigan (Bishop) has his eye off the ball, preoccupied by his own bid to win true blue pre-selection for the Liberal Party and his sledging sessions with the local Greens.

QTC Artistic Director Wesley Enoch said the rollicking satire, which stars a marquee lineup of talent led by Paul Bishop on stage and Andrea Moor in her Playhouse directorial debut, was one of five Australian productions in the Company’s 2014 season. Australia Day tackles the conundrum  of the changing face of Australian society with the biting wit and wisdom of our own inimitable Jonathan Biggins. An Australian theatre institution, and the brains behind Sydney Theatre Company’s wickedly satirical institution the Wharf Revue, Biggins has his finger firmly on the pulse of Aussie culture.

Well known and lauded Queenslander Paul Bishop leads the cast, and will be quite comfortable in the role of the Mayor – when he’s offstage, he is a Redlands City Councillor on Brisbane’s bayside. He’s joined by leading actors Chris Betts, Louise Brehmer, Barbara Lowing, Bryan Probets fresh from the acclaimed Design for Living and Lap Phan. Super talented theatre star Andrea Moor returns from directing the smash hit of the 2013 season, Venus in Fur and shining on stage in Design for Living, to direct this thought-provoking yet wickedly funny exploration of authenticity and idealism in the melting pot of modern Australia.


Join us at the VIP Opening Show on January 25, 2014 – 10 double passes up for grabs – fill in the contact form below!


AUSTRALIA DAY by Jonathan Biggins

25 January – 16 February

Playhouse QPAC

Director:              Andrea Moor

Designer:             Simone Romaniuk

Cast:                      Paul Bishop, Chris Betts, Louise Brehmer, Barbara Lowing, Lap Phan, Bryan Probets.

Tickets:                 Season Tickets on sale via queenslandtheatre.com.au or 1800 355 528