Playing a game of squash usually involves bouncing a ball off rackets and walls, but two Mackay performers plan to bounce off their audience instead. Not literally of course… although that could still make for an interesting game. (Read the full article at ABC Online)

Dougal McLauchlan and Julieanne Bergmann are involved in the Anywhere Festival. which is running in Mackay over the course of 10 days in March.

Dougal says the festival is designed to create performances in non-traditional locations.

“It can be anywhere from a car park, a playground, warehouse, or cane fields; it is just sort of taking it out of its normal confines,” Dougal said.

As you may have already guessed, Dougal and Julieanne are performing on a squash court, and both say their game plan is to train hard and play hard.

“The majority of our work is all improvised,” Dougal said.

“So we will work on the fitness and the skills, and then we might have a few set moves we might bring out, but the majority of the evening is just off the cuff.”

Their performance involves two competitive squash players battling it out on court.

Dougal says he probably has more of a background in sports than performance, but he likes improvising because it keeps him on his toes.

“I played football for most of my life, but realised it is probably not a good sport to go into your late 30s – it is not very forgiving running into big burly men,” Dougal said.

“Dancing and movement is a bit more gentle, well it can be… not always,” he laughed.

Julieanne is a dancer in Mackay and says she heard about the festival through some colleagues.

She says herself and Dougal will be performing over two nights, and when it comes to improvising performances, it can be a bit nerve-racking.

“I think the beauty of improvisation is that’s what you see,” Julieanne said.

“You see someone in a really vulnerable situation, we can all relate to that.

“So we are not sort of taking on Julieanne and Dougal the professional squash players as such, we are just really ourselves. ”

Julieanne says on the night there might be some bad attempts at squash playing, but mostly it is all movement and non-traditional dance improvisations.

She says performing in the setting of the squash court is going to up the ante for their physicality, and she joked that they may be lying flat on the floor by the end of it all.

Mackay’s creative scene

Dougal says it is always good to have new theatre and new art showing in town as it exposes the younger generation the creative scene.

“And all the people similar to myself, who may have moved away from the arts for a little for whatever reason, it helps them re-engage in that community,” Dougal said.

“And Mackay has such a wonderful, very eclectic collection of amazing artists of all varying skills, and it is really great to be inspired, and hopefully we can inspire the younger and older generation, because it is a lot of fun.”