2018 Brisbane Festival Arts Line-Up

Circa - 'En Masse' Circa - 'En Masse' Image © Damien Bredberg

Brisbane Festival's 2018 arts programme is packed with big-name acts, world premieres, light shows and celebrations.


There will be almost 600 performances – 100 free – of 70 shows across 17 venues.

In a coup for Queensland, the festival will premiere eight brand new works, including commissions from companies like Circa, Dancenorth and Legs On The Wall.

Arts programme highlights include two semi-staged performances of Benjamin Britten's masterpiece opera 'Peter Grimes' starring Stuart Skelton and the #CelebrateBrisbane River Of Light – a nightly all-ages free river show igniting the city with luminescence and life.

Cali Crooners Club BrisFes1
'California Crooners Club'

In a first for the festival, the programme is presented in three distinct acts across the three weeks of activities.

“Each act has its own explosion of story, and each opens a window to the world that will entertain and enlighten,” Brisbane Festival Artistic Director David Berthold says.

The first week alone will over almost 30 different productions across 15 venues in Brisbane city including Treasury Brisbane Arcadia, The Courier-Mail Spiegeltent, Theatre Republic and The Tivoli.

Act One is all about home, memory and gender. Among its events are 'Memorial' (giving life to the late soldiers named in Homer's 'Iliad'), 'Home' (a house built magically on stage which later becomes a celebration) and 'Qweens On King', an inner-city garden party seeing eight real-life same-sex couples tying the knot in a ceremony officiated by Gai Lemon.

Home BrisFest2018
'Home'

Also at the helm of act ones will be acts such as TV favourite Hugh Sheridan in 'California Crooners Club', the hugely successful free concert 'Symphony For Me' and 'Gratitude & Grief', a combination of spoken-word poetry, music and drawing.

Act Two presents audiences with thrilling expressions of circus, dance and music.

Highlights include the world premiere of 'En Masse', one of Circa's biggest shows yet, and 'Dust' by Dancenorth. National treasure Rhonda Burchmore will also join Rob mills in a sexy, sassy new show 'BANG!'.

ManWithIronNeck BrisFes18
'Man With The Iron Neck'

Heading into the final week of Brisbane Festival means a triumphant climax including scary movie homage event 'HORROR', the children's opera 'The Owl & The Pussycat' and a world premiere event in 'Man With The Iron Neck' from physical theatre company Legs On The Wall.

Eskimo Joe will team up with Brisbane chamber Camerata at QPAC, as well.

Riverfire BrisFest2018
Sunsuper Riverfire

On 29 September the festival crescendos with the Sunsuper Riverfire igniting the skyline in the 21st anniversary year. The soundtrack for 2018's Riverfire is themed on sci-fi and superheroes.

To check out the music line-up, see our other story here.

For the full programme of theatre, dance, circus, comedy and cabaret – and ticket info – click here.


Brisbane Festival runs from 8-29 September.

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