Anywhere Festival Preview Night Review by Catherine Lawrence

Lights, camera, action… If the 8 May, 2019 Anywhere Festival Preview Night is anything to go by, the 2019 Anywhere Festival will brighten Brisbane, Noosa and Sunshine Coast days and nights. Well, at least for 9-26 May.

The Preview Night is a great addition to the Anywhere Festival program. A chance to sample over 14 different shows, with easy access to a bar and snacks. In a little over two hours, the audience had the chance to see tasters of acts that ranged from acrobatics to music, and improv to theatre—with a fair sprinkling of comedy,  a hefty portion of ‘live’ radio plays, and at least one B-Movie.

I spent most of the evening either congratulating myself on tickets already booked, or wondering how I might squeeze an extra show into the next few weeks. So the challenge is trying to draw up a shortlist of recommendations. At this point, I think my top tips for the festival, based on the preview night, include:

Hold My Beer: The second-half of the Preview Night started with a sizzle, thanks to the steamy ‘carne sutra’ extract from this show.  Excellent circus and acrobatic moves, choreographed to a very apt soundtrack. Half Hitch (who also hosted the Preview Night) only have five shows during the Anywhere Festival. Based on the Preview, I have a feeling this will soon be a Festival sell-out.

Picture: Inflight Entertainment (Riley Cope) at the Anywhere Festival Preview Night, 8 May, 2019. Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography

Inflight Entertainment: Looks as if this show is definitely a reason to make the trip to Caloundra Air Museum. The Riley Cope Creative team have obviously been on many flights in order to prepare this closely-observed and funny “high altitude musical cabaret.” With only six shows this crowd-pleaser looks likely to be a Festival hot ticket. Perhaps the time to opt for ‘first class’?

Tales of an Urban Indian: One of the many things I love about Anywhere Festival is that events can take place literally… well.. anywhere. So where better to see a piece about the “guy who sits next to you on the bus” is… of course… on a bus. Fresh from sell-out performances in Canada, Craig Lauzon performed an extract of the Talk is Free Theatre City Bus show, Tales of an Urban Indian. I can’t wait to see the rest of this funny (and, literally moving) show.

Picture: B-Movies Live at the Anywhere Festival Preview Night, 8 May, 2019. Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography

‘Live’ Movies and Radio Shows: Ok. I am cheating a little here as there were three extracts on Preview Night that fit this particular billing. The B-Movies Live team (Lightning Bolt Creative) are bringing their entertaining format of B-movie-recreations back to the stage (this year complete with some great cardboard heads). But with only three nights this year, their die-hard fans may just snap up all the tickets before the undecided make their choice (yes.. sorry… had to get an election reference in somehow…). Even with only one half of the Smooth Pineapple duo at the Preview Night, I can see that their shows at The Sideshow are going to be a lot of fun. With only two shows, their advertised ‘classic sketch comedy’ is going to be very fashionable (and very sold-out). And if you are looking for a different take on radio comedy, then the two Radioplay Hours (The Coffin in Studio B and Little Women)  may be both educational and fun (with the possibility of getting to operate a wind machine!).

Of course, I can’t close without mentioning Titanic: The Movie, The Play,  brought to the stage (sorry, boat—as it is at The Queensland Maritime Museum) by Act/React. Following on from the success of the Act/React/Maritime Museum combination last year, I can’t wait!

There were so many other great acts in the Preview. I had better get back to reading the program and see what else I can get to see. Well done to the Anywhere Festival organisers. Another great festival is now… open!

 Catherine Lawrence

Audience notes: The Anywhere Festival Program (and ticket sales) is at reviewer attended the Wednesday 8 May 2019 Preview Night (7:00pm), Metropolitan, Spring Hill.

Pictures Credit: Creative Futures Photography.

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