Review: Parasocial Parallax and Oberon 11

As a young creative myself, seeing other emerging creatives work together on a production is always fascinating. In this years festival, Anywhere presents Parasocial Parralax and Oberon 11. Both of these works feature the hard work of local university students coming together to create innovative stories told through interactive theatre experiences. Seeing these shows will be an insight to the future of the Brisbane independent theatre sector.

Parasocial Parallax

Like followers watching drama unfold through a live-stream, Parasocial Parralax is an interactive exploration of how catering to audiences can have lasting effects on influencers. With at least 6 different endings, the trajectory of the story is determined through audience voting. According to show producer, Alexander Gillanders, there are even secret endings to find, but you “can’t unlock them if you do what you’re told”.

A collaboration by emerging creative writers – Alexander Gillanders, Stanley Benjamin, Rory Hawkins, and Jamie Stevens – this interactive piece is a coming together of Brisbane’s next generation of storytellers. Each writer has contributed a library of creative works for QUT’s quarterly magazine Scratch That exploring a variety of societal topics from politics to mental health. Parasocial Parralax is the theatrical combination of their creative writing skills. This audience-decides mode of storytelling is a short leap from Gillanders’ previous interactive storytelling venture, Nexus Brew, an online text-based choose-your-own-adventure story.

I’ll be sure to catch a few showings of this one. I can’t wait to gaze into the world of a parallel dimension and see how the influencers can be influenced.

When: 5 May 2022 – 21 May 2022
Where: The Cave Inn – 47 Balaclava St, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, QLD
Cost: $20 per person

Oberon 11

An out of this world creation by independent theatre collective, Inscape Assembly, Oberon 11 is an immersive piece featuring crime, space, and drama.

Taking place inside a prison for intergalactic criminals, the Warden of Oberon 11 welcomes the audience as arbiters to choose which prisoner should be erased from the universe. The freedom to explore and interact with the characters sounds out-of-this-world and certainly enchanting enough to distract me from making a sound judgement of the prisoners.

More like an erupting rather than emerging, the creatives behind this work and the collective are third year QUT BFA Drama students, David Wotherspoon (Producer, Director, Set Designer), Madeleine Keeble (Co-Writer, Marketing and Public Relations, Wardrobe, Set Designer), and Haley Meekan (Co-Writer, Sound Designer, Set Designer). Flexing their skills in production, the trio are also executive members of the QUT student theatre company, Vena Cava Productions, operating as the President, Head of Marketing, and Head of Events, respectively. Matilda Buck (Co-Writer, Assistant Director, Editor) is also on board, having run an award-winning visual arts exhibition for Anywhere Festival last year as half of Oubliette Arts duo.

I look forward to experiencing the otherwordly immersive story these creatives have produced.

When: 11 May 2022 – 21 May 2022
Where: The Paint Factory – 115 Hyde Rd, Yeronga, Brisbane QLD
Cost: $20-35 per person

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