Following a record-breaking 2017, Brisbane Powerhouse’s adored Wonderland Festival returns for 11 salacious nights of revelry from 22 November.
Now in its fifth year, Wonderland Festival brings together talented performers for a unique carnival of comedy, burlesque, circus, music, magic and more.
Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart said Wonderland Festival 2018 will make the most ofBrisbane’s sultry summer nights, with a whole-of-venue takeover filled with weird and wonderful experiences handpicked to surprise and delight.
“This year is about enhancing the atmosphere we have created previously to deliver a sexy, silly and spectacular carnival takeover,” Stewart said.
“Over the past four years, we’ve established a wonderful community that loves to come here and play each November.
“With over 25 shows over 11 nights, this year’s Wonderland Festival will act as the city’s downtown hub for nightly delights and promises bold spectacles and thrills around every corner.”
The 2018 lineup sees several festival favourites return, including Bombshell Burlesque, whose titillating new show Heatwave is guaranteed to sizzle; the darkly seductive threesome from Babushka with a wickedly funny cabaret, Happily Ever After; and cabaret chanteuse Mama Alto, with a powerful tribute to jazz icon Billie Holiday.
A proven launchpad for new works, this year’s festival features four world premieres, including guaranteed crowd-pleaser Two Man Tarantino – all eight films in one hilarious hour of comedy and chaos performed by Emily Vascotto and Stephen Hirst. Also premiering at Wonderland is a new work under construction by psycho-siren Leah Shelton, directed by renowned UK performance art provocateur Ursula Martinez, Bitch on Heat.
“Wonderland Festival represents everything Brisbane does so well – originality, creativity and hilarity” Stewart said.
“We want people to head on down to Brisbane Powerhouse and let loose for this end of year cavalcade of fearless physical feats, great storytelling, captivating live music and laugh-out-loud comedy. The Festival is united by a palpable sense of fearlessness and heart with guaranteed glamour and giggles.”
Additional highlights include The WonderWombs – New Zealand’s all-female circus renowned for eating binaries for breakfast; and award-winning mentalist and magician Matt Tarrant in Honestly Dishonest. Stretching their vocals will be some of Brisbane’s best homegrown female singers in the ultimate romanticode to city with I Left My Heart in Highgate Hill,and vaudeville vamp Christa Hughes will takes audiences on the journey from that elegant first sip of the Speakeasy Siren to the despair and pain of the Dive Bar Diva in Beer Drinking Woman.
Wonderland Festival is Brisbane Powerhouse’s most significant celebration of and single investment in local artists, with 100 per cent of net box office going directly to those creating and delivering the work.
“Wonderland Festival epitomises Brisbane Powerhouse’s commitment to emerging artists and new works, providing a low-risk, safe platform for artists to play, and audiences to take a gamble onsomething new,” Stewart said.
“It’s Brisbane Powerhouse’s fringe offering, a downtown escape into something a little different and risky. Come for a show, to hang with friends, or just come to enjoy the madness of the whole experience. Ourdoors are open to everyone; let the silly season begin!”
Wonderland Festival plays Thursday 22 November – Sunday 2 December at Brisbane Powerhouse.
Tickets on sale now at wonderlandbrisbane.com.au
Wonderland Festival is generously supported by 4ZZZ, Archie Rose, PropMill, Scenestr, TRYP, Valiant and the Brisbane Powerhouse Associates.
Wonderland Festival 2018
For extended information, including performance dates and times, visit wonderlandbrisbane.com.au
Bombshell Burlesque: Heatwave
Presented by Bombshell Burlesque in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
It’s Bombshell Burlesque: Heatwave! Returning after consecutive sold out seasons at Wonderland 2017 and 2016, Bombshell Burlesque present a brand new show that is hot hot hot! With a focus on glamour and fun, this fast paced, cheeky show features stunning group routines with slick choreography, award winning soloists and a chanteuse MC as part of the action.
Two Man Tarantino
Presented by Christopher Wayne in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Set in a video store, on the last night of video stores, one staff member and one customer have a crazyidea … In one hilarious hour, the entire Quentin Tarantino filmography is re-enacted in the craziest and most creative ways – from Reservoir Dogs to Hateful Eight, and everything else in between. Written by the co-creator of the international comedy sensation The Naked Magicians, Two Man Tarantinopromises to be an hilarious theatrical experience for movie fanatics and cinema newbies alike!
Matt Tarrant: Honestly Dishonest
Presented by MindBlown Productions in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
One of the most successful up-and-coming international magicians and mentalists, Matt Tarrant will read your mind, amaze you with world-class sleight of hand and have you questioning everything. Honestly Dishonest gives the audience access to the secret life of becoming a magician – and how tough it’s becoming to fool new audiences. He’s dishonest, but at least he’s honest about it.
Banging on the Door
Presented by Roz Pappalardo in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
A ballsy, irreverent, tear-jerking, stupidly funny, Spumante flavoured, folk music/comedy romp through a story of modern fertility. No fancy sets, no tricks of the light, no costume changes – just Roz, her voice, her guitar, a trestle tables and a script.
I Left My Heart in Highgate Hill
Presented by The Collective in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
This is the ultimate romantic ode to Brisbane performed by some of our best home-grown female singers. Featuring a live band and Queensland’s finest performers, including Jackie Marshall, DebSuckling, Sue Ray, Charlotte Emily, Shelley Evans, Lucinda Shaw, Megan Cooper and Lauren Jackson.
Presented by Joel Devereux in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
A gameshow like no other! Two fringe performers go head to head over three rounds of performance, antics and improvisation. Hosted by Tina Bikki and her sidekick Citrine Velvetine, and featuring some ofAustralia’s best interstate performers including; Ruby Slippers [VIC], Clara Cupcakes [VIC], Art Simone[VIC], Egson Ham [VIC], Rosie Rivette [NSW], and local favourites, Natasha St. James, Vollie LaVont, Kryptonite & Jacqueline Furey.
Presented by Jacqueline Furey in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Witness cunning stunts performed by a stunning… woman! Come on a noir adventure of old world glamour; both beautiful and bizarre. Brisbane burlesque queen and international sideshow showgirl Jacqueline Furey brings you her first ever full length show that posits – when being femme can be fatal,what’s left to fear? Performing potentially life threatening acts with her signature elegance and sass, thiswicked woman is not for the faint of heart – or stomach. You’ll be tantalised and terrorised if you dare topeep the spectacle that is a fire eating, whip cracking, sword swallowing stripteaser… with a microphone!
Beer Drinking Woman
Presented by DTC Management in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Vaudeville Vamp Christa Hughes (Machine Gun Fellatio, Circus Oz, Club Swizzle) takes audiences on the journey from that elegant first sip of the Speakeasy Siren to the despair and pain of the Dive Bar Diva in an hilarious take on the night of a booze-soaked lush. Accompanied by the talented jazz pianist Leonie Cohen, Christa performs her own compositions amongst a selection from Tom Waits, Memphis Slim, Cold Chisel, Frank Sinatra, The Tiger Lillies and a few surprises.
Lady Sings the Blues: Mama Alto Sings Bille Holiday
Presented by Mama Alto in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
The great Billie Holiday was a complex and captivating icon. Her voice and her songs were idiosyncratic, exquisite, and powerful. Her interpretations balanced joy and sorrow, pathos and intellect. In a stunning mosaic of story and song, acclaimed jazz singer, cabaret artiste and gender transcendent diva Mama Alto celebrates the triumph, sorrow, life and music of Lady Day. Mama Alto and pianist extraordinaire Miss Chief are delighted to bring their tribute to Billie Holiday to Brisbane Powerhouse.
Presented by Head First Acrobats in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Elixir is circus with a difference! Uninhibited by cliché or expectation, subversive and hilarious,
the story follows three enthusiastic and acrobatic scientists who attempt to create the elixir of life. The mayhem that follows is a beautiful mix of incredible acrobatics and impeccable comic timing. The boys are here with their blend of breathtaking acrobatics, hilarious antics and sweaty muscles. Remember to breathe; this is brinkmanship at its best. You’ll feel the heat, see the sweat and won’t believe your eyes.
Notorious Strumpet and Dangerous Girl
Presented by Nicolas Clark Management in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Julia Mullins was a thief, a prostitute and a drunk. Jess Love (The Candy Butchers, La Soiree, Circa) is a carnie, a queer and likes a drink. Get taken in by the self-supporting arms of this astounding Alcoholics Anonymous meeting where twisted storytelling and spectacular circus skills are shaken and stirred, with one part dark comedy, one part serenity and three parts hostility, hilarity and honesty. This award winning solo work, written and performed by Jess Love, is a strikingly truthful tale of one woman’svoyage to connect with her convict past.
Presented by The Dust Palace in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
This all-female circus pop open the male gaze like a bottle of cheap champagne – WonderWombs is a glance at intoxicating muscularity over toxic masculinity. The Dust Palace brings its signature hustle of risk, splendour, story, comedy and desire to this extraordinary performance experience. Dripping with autonomy, the WonderWombs are renovating circus and winking at your surprise. Eating binaries forbreakfast and unfastening the buckles at gender’s waistline, these performers don’t need to hit the glassceiling; they can lift it!
An Evening with Illusionist Josh Norbido
Presented by Mysterious Productions in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Immerse yourself with illusionist Josh Norbido for an evening of astonishing close-up magic, baffling mind-reading and impossible moments. Josh has been fortunate to perform for VIP guests at events such as Chris Rock, Queen and even for Google… But most importantly his Mum says he’s REALLY GOOD! Each show is limited to just 30 seats so that guests will experience the magic right in front of their eyes, in their hands and even in their mind!
Claire Healy: (Get A) Real Job
Presented by Hot Mess Productions in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Claire Healy has never had a real job. With a resume that looks like a list of highly questionable life choices, Claire Healy’s captivating new cabaret attempts to answer that endlessly awkward question: “What do you do?” Armed with a killer voice, keyboard and ukulele, Claire bares her soul over the sacrifices an artist makes in employment security, stability and consistency, in order to maintain space and time to devote to Art.
The Grass is Dead on the Other Side
Presented by Anisa Nandaula in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Nationally recognised spoken word poet and performer makes her Wonderland Festival debut to take on politics, identity and social justice. The Grass is Dead on the Other Side is an apocalyptic world where zombies have taken over the world and no longer need to kill for brains. They spread ignorance to the masses and are led by vicious politicians and law makers intent on building their army of followers. The show weaves together storytelling and theatre to cover a range of issues.
Presented by Kat Davidson and Emily Kristopher in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
They say ‘love is pain’, and with sex injuries on the rise, this has never been more accurate. Love and sex have been a source of torture long before the Internet gifted us with the ability to ‘swipe right’ onsomeone for an evening. Kat and Emily take stories of sex and romance gone wrong from the Internet,the audience and their own experience and weave them into one raucous hour of entertainment. Don’tmiss this whirlwind comedy of love, pain and sexual misadventures.
Happily Ever After
Presented by Little Match Productions in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
These three unlikely princesses open the genie bottle with this darkly seductive and wickedly funny cabaret that will turn your favourite bedtime stories inside out. Babushka gives Rapunzel a sharp new haircut, puts Goldilocks in charge of the three bears and gives a whole new meaning to Puss in Boots! Combining off-the- wall banter, stunning voices and blind-siding arrangements, prepare to be tickled andprickled as you’re led down the veritable forest path into a witch’s pot of surprising melodies from TheTurtles, Beyoncé, Rihanna and Lorde, to Kurt Vile, Kate Bush, Metallica and Sam the Sham.
Isaac Lomman: Hypnosis [LIVE]
Presented by Entranced Entertainment in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Volunteers are hypnotised before your eyes and taken on an unforgettably hilarious journey into theirimaginations. This show focuses on the power of the subject’s mind. See the show or be the show in aperformance that truly breaks the fourth wall with incredible results. Don’t miss this truly amazing familyfriendly show; clean and fun for all to enjoy.
Bitch on Heat
Exclusive pre-seson showing
Presented by Leah Shelton in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
A new work in creation by psycho-siren Leah Shelton, directed by renowned UK performance art provocateur Ursula Martinez. Be the first to experience this new show in its fresh, raw state. This decadent banquet of lethal lip-synch, dark comedy and anti-burlesque is a pop-fuelled critique of sexual politics in the age of implied consent. Welcome to the doghouse. Beware.
This Bitch bites.
Presented by Act/React in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
It’s played to packed houses in Brisbane and Melbourne and was nominated for Best Comedy at Perth Fringe World. Now, Love/Hate Actually returns to Wonderland Festival just in time for Christmas! Amy thinks the film Love Actually represents everything good about the human experience of love. Nataliebelieves it’s unrealistic and manipulative crap. Part double act, part film lecture, part game show, thissmash hit comedy showdown asks whether Love Actually is the ultimate rom-com… or ultimately terrible?
The Epicurean Shark
Presented by Sam Bowden in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Unquestionably the greatest stand-up hour since Lenny Bruce died, The Epicurean Shark is a comedy show determined to get to the bottom of one big question; why are humans drawn to environments,people and substances that are intrinsically harmful, all in the search to feel good? Don’t worry though, it’s still full of jokes.
Presented by DTC Management in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Immerse yourself in an hilarious experience normally reserved for budding actors with vocal coach to the stars, Larry Olive (Vashti Hughes). In this strangely life-affirming communal physical experience, theaudience helps shape Larry’s journey, ensuring no two shows are ever the same. A modern take on Homer’s Odyssey, in an interactive and side-splittingly funny ‘Hour of Power’, Larry leads traditionalvocal exercises and directs the class to create scenarios in his own personal story; an odyssey of epic proportions.
Presented by Vulcana Women’s Circus and Alex Mizzen in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
A woman confined by a 3x3m transparent box wrestles with the unspoken and the unseen; the voice in her head, her identity and her darkness. She uncovers and dissolves her invisible things. Derived from a secret and silent conversation kept through 17 years of personal journals, this show begs the question; can we ever truly know another’s internal world? Circus and dance theatre converge to shine a light on the insidious nature of invisible things.
A New World: intimate music from Final Fantasy
Presented by Century Entertainment and AWR Music Productions
The New World Players (USA) return to Australia for A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy –celebrating 30+ years of the legendary Final Fantasy video game franchise. Following a sold- out run in 2016 and 2017, the ensemble returns with a freshly updated program of music from the critically- acclaimed soundtracks in an intimate, up-close-and-personal setting. Expect to hear favourite compositions and delightful surprises from throughout the entire Final Fantasy series, including music by Nobuo Uematsu, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masashi Hamauzu, Naoshi Mizuta, Masayoshi Soken and Tetsuya Shibata.