'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

27 December 2015

Wonderland Festival

Brisbane Powerhouse
THU 03–SUN 20 DECEMBER, 2015
Wonderland brings you a cavalcade of burlesque, circus, cabaret, music, comedy, poetry, theatre and variety shows filled with international and Australian artists.

I Want To Know What Love Is
18 December 2015
Powerhouse Theatre Love Box

Friday Night with Michelle Boyd and a joyous time out at the Powerhouse, foyer, front yard and Love Box. A return season of Daniel Evans' creation “I want To Know What Love Is’ drawn from the 812 submissions of the lovelorn, the passionate, the broken hearted and the dreamers of this city and beyond. Even I claim 6 words. Produced by The Good Room there is a change of venue from the original show at the Queensland Theatre Company, one change of actor from Carol Burns to Margi Brown Ash and some small changes from it’s last season just 15 months ago. Before the show I had the usual glass or two of red wine and some really lovely catching up with some brilliant artists who were there as well to see this or other shows at the Wonderland Festival. Lucinda Shaw , Fionn Ellwood, Gabriel Comerford, Ellen Elizabeth Bailey, Kristian Šantić and I met up for the first actual time with Lewis Jones who has directed shows at the Con I have seen this year and is also doing the show I see tonight. 

After the show I got to hug the artists Daniel Evans, Tom Cossettini and Amy Ingram . And then ran into the boys from another show I go to see tonight.
The show is a blend of wildly frenetic outbursts, memories, hopes, bitterness, involved stories and single words that form part of an exploration of just what love is. Tom’s hair is a feature that you can see in the photos, he is sexy and charming and a charismatic scene stealer, Amy’s blunt and unabashed lines and delivery is a wild show of power and lust, anger and commitment, a comedian and a presence to be dealt with and Margi has the versatility of an amazing professional that had the audience reacting to every nuanced step she took. She had them, not to mention Tom, eating out of her hands. Caroline Dunphy brought connection to the goings on in this amazing split personalities ensemble. 
The audience laughed and clapped, showed surprise and succumbed to recognition and familiarity. Love is many things to many people and many things to each single person. You could hear agreement whispered from the audience, the laughter of the absurdity of this madness and all pay tribute to how Daniel Evans has woven a performance with such spot on observation filtered and distilled from the hundreds of people who offered up their stories for display, dissection and sharing with their family of fellow theatre lovers.

 350 light bulbs hanging from the enormous ceiling, tens or hundreds of thousands of petals showering down from all points on actors and audience alike, spot lights and a soundscape both new and familiar by Lawrence English. Yes Jason Glenwright was involved in bringing magical light and dark to the episodes. I would love to say you just have to go, but the last show is tonight and I do not know if there are ant tickets left, but as everyone has been raving about it I assume you have all heard so much about this already and have no doubt been.

The Games We Play
Turbine Platform
19th December 2015 

More great fun at the Powerhouse Wonderland Festival last night with Michelle Boyd, Phil and David Bentley. The Five Fold Collective, namely Brisbanites David Trappes, Adam Strom and Ashleigh Pearce as well as Quebec-based Nate Armour and American Owen Winship. got all hot and bothered for an extraordinary performance of circus gymnastics, juggling and all things difficult. The audience did not stop cheering, clapping, wowing! and the night ended with a standing ovation. Humorous, sexy, campy at times with that great balance of springing on you an original slant to leaping through body rings while playing up how difficult it is and at the same time how easy it is for them. Tension in the great tradition of this sort of amaze me performance and with a charm so invigorating endearing, cute and i just have to say again - original. Did I mention they are all extremely gorgeous and spent most of the evening in their white undies with the occasional getting dressed without hands, upside down etc. You really should have heard the enthusiasm coming from the audience it was a hoot. Lewis Jones the wonderful director around town looked very pleased with himself last night and we have him to thank for yet another wonderful show.
It was back in June 2013 that I first met David Trappes in a spectacular show 'Salon' and now he is international. I was so pleased to run into them on both Friday Night and Saturday night.

Vanguard Burlesque
Turbine Platform
10 December 2015
 Produced by my friend Joel Devereux in the centre.

Lots of fans, nudity and some original fun and comedy.

Glory Box La Revolucion
Powerhouse Theatre Love Box
5 December 2015
 A lot of female nudity and gymnastics. Just returning from South America and Cuba.Some great avant guard performance art pieces and loads of flesh that was popular with the audience however I was there to see Mama Alto
Above is Mama Alto or Benny Dimas who is a counter tenor of extraordinary talent. She specialises in the blues but can belt out amazing songs in a spine tingling voice of beauty and power. After the show while they were taking their bows she came off stage to give me a hug and a kiss. We have been fb friends for a few years and I was so looking forward to seeing her live one day. Just remarkable and a gorgeous person.

Wonderland under the stars
In addition to taking over the inside of Brisbane Powerhouse, the festival also spills into the outdoors with nightly Wonderland Food Markets by Jan Power and Bamboozled performance tents filled with a wide-ranging menu of bite-sized entertainment. 
 I ran into the fabulous Shivannah, Fez Faanana, who was doing shows with cocktails at The Little Palais amongst the tents and fabulous venues outside the Powerhouse on the lawns. Fez is the MC and one of the stars of the amazing show 'Briefs.' which you can see on a large poster on the Powerhouse wall from Last Year's festival

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