From Carlotta to Cat Power and everything in between.
It’s the time of year again when Brisbane queers and their peers get together and Melt. As Brisbane’s answer to the Mardi Gras festival, The MELT festival returns to the Brisbane Powerhouse (February 3-14) after a hugely successful maiden year boasting an additional three community events to the 2016 program: MELT Picnic, MELT Portrait Prize and MELT Beauty Pageant.
MELT Picnic invites families, friends and lovers to participate and perform on the Brisbane Powerhouse lawn, Sunday February 7. Strut your stuff in the Dog & Owner Costume Parade, behold the Dykes on Bikes row, judge the Hot Boi Contest and help create live art for this free MELT Festival event.
Valued at $1000 for the winning portrait, the entry deadline has been extended for the MELT Portrait Prize to January 24. A selection of the short listed works will be exhibited during the festival with the overall winner (chosen by Jason Smith, Curatorial Manager of Australian Art at Queensland Art Gallery and Alexandra Winters, Curator and Exhibition Coordinator at Brisbane Powerhouse) announced in the second week.
Inspired by Ru Paul’s Drag Race, the MELT Beauty Pageant is now open for registrations. There are three categories to be won: Graceful Glamourzons, Tremendous Talent and Condom Costume – and then the ultimate crown of Brisbane Beauty will be bestowed. Head to MELT Beauty Pageant by January 24 to register.
And what of the main theatre festival program? Festival Director Adam Gardnir remarks has some top picks:
“A few of my personal highlights of the festival include Australia’s Queen of Queens Carlotta, the most wicked update of Dangerous Liaisons you’ll ever see, David Bowie’s trailblazing album Ziggy Stardust, performed live in its entirety, and Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart directing a Brisbane only production of Gaybies.”
Also on the menu for this year’s festival feast:
One Woman Woyzeck (Feb 3-6) – One woman takes on Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck and gives it a queer twist.
Christopher Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Feb 4-6) – A comedy that distills Christopher’s ‘appalling’ childhood of moving house (60 times in 34 years).
First Things First (Feb 10-13) – Award-winning Joseph Simons explores the art of ‘getting used to it’ in this display of virtuosic dance and physical theatre. Premiering in New York, this piece is ready to be your ‘first’.
Appalling Behaviour (Feb 10-13) – Based on the playwright’s own experiences of living on the streets of Paris, you’re invited to the sleazy Parisian underworld by a homeless bi-sexual queen who wrenches you into her fringe-dwelling existence.
Fluid (Feb 10) – Frock up for a cabaret of queer artists and friends, presented by Vulcana Women’s Circus.
Something About Always (Feb 11) – With a career spanning from Play School to the London Palladium, Simon Burke promises to charm with his irrepressible talent. Burke joins MELT and Brisbane Queer Film Festival (BQFF) for an exciting residency. Commencing with an exclusive night in the Powerhouse Theatre, he performs his favourite songs in Something About Always, followed by a celebration of the 40th anniversary of The Devil’s Playground (1976) with a Gala Screening of the original film as part of BQFF 2016.
Gender Spanner (Feb 11-13) – A joyous and empowering hour of cabaret, burlesque and labels that just don’t stick.
Gone (Feb 11-13) – An uproarious journey that tackles the ultimate conundrum – where has Alex’s penis gone?! In a world dominated by dating apps and muscle worship, Gone is a comedic exploration of the impact of body image and what happens when a gay man’s sexual power is diminished.
Cat Power (Feb 12) – The sultry sounds of Georgia-born singer Cat Power returns to Australia for a series of intimate theatre-only performances.
Gentleman Prefer Blokes (Feb 13) – Spend a night with two mega-watt stars of Australian drag as they take on some of history’s greatest duos delivered with a signature side of sass like only they know how.
Directly following MELT, forming a month long spree of queer celebrations, the 17th annual Brisbane Queer Film Festival (BQFF) will take place at New Farm Six Cinemas on Brunswick Street (February 18-28). BQFF Festival Curator Shanon King, a champion of the Brisbane film industry, has developed a stunning program for this event.
Tickets and program information for both events can be found at www.brisbanepowerhouse.org