Discover the enchanting voice of a rising star: After the success of its stellar season opener The Sopranos, Opera Queensland is back with First Nations performer, composer and singer-songwriter extraordinaire Jess Hitchcock. Jess’s beguiling voice has seen her take the stage with music legends such as Paul Kelly and Kate Miller-Heidke, and this weekend she is performing a collection of songs that have inspired and celebrated her career so far. On May 27–28, you can embark on a musical journey with Songs That Made Me, exploring opera, musical theatre, folk, pop and jazz – trust us when we say her voice will blow you away. Head here for final tickets.
Witness Shakespeare mixing with the satirical at this immersive play: To be, or not to be … that is the question made famous by Shakespeare’s renowned tragedy, Hamlet. In Queensland Theatre’s latest play, however, the question is – to be a woman, or not to be a woman? Taking over the Bille Brown Theatre from May 28 to June 18, Bernhardt/Hamlet is a mesmerising real-life backstage story by renowned American playwright Theresa Rebeck. The Broadway hit tells the audacious story about a 19th century woman issuing a challenge to the system (that is still as relevant today) – she wants to break the mould and play the role of Hamlet. What transpires next will tickle the funny bone, to say the least. Tickets are available via the Queensland Theatre website.
Live your Step Up dreams at this festival of dance: If your favourite childhood movies were Honey and Centre Stage, if you’re an avid learner of TikTok dances or you just love to shake your groove thing, then you’re going to want to make your way to Metro Arts from May 29 to June 18. The creative precinct will be hosting the Mad Dance Festival, a two-week roster of awe-inspiring performances, creative projects, dance battles, workshops, artist talks and activations. You can strike a pose at the Alexander Vogue Night, celebrate the diversity of ethnic cultures at Rhythmology, show off your skills at the Mad Dance Festival Battle, and more! Tickets are of various prices – head to the Metro Arts website to find out more.
Jump on an emotional rollercoaster at this heart-wrenching play: Sometimes relationships don’t work out and, often, you’re left trying to pinpoint the moment that it all started to deteriorate. From May 30 to June 18, La Boite Theatre’s take on the musical theatre classic The Last Five Years bravely tackles this exact scenario. Created by famed American musical theatre composer Jason Robert Brown and directed by Australian theatre alum Darren Yap, The Last Five Years depicts a love story that has run its course, following New Yorkers Jamie and Cathy as they reminisce the highs and lows of their relationship but from their individual perspective – Jamie tells his story in chronological order while Cathy shares hers in reverse. There’s a reason that The Last Five Years has captivated audiences since its premiere in 2001 – but trust us when we say pack the tissues. You can grab tickets over on the La Boite Theatre website.
Catch the last laughs of the Brisbane Comedy Festival: Brisbane Comedy Festival may be in its final days, but it’s not showing any sign of slowing down. While many shows for this weekend have sold out, you can still nab tickets to some bonafide crackers, including Judith Lucy and Denise Scott at The Tivoli, and Ross Noble and Rhys Nicholson at Brisbane Powerhouse. To check out the full program and to buy tickets, head here.
Pay tribute to Greece’s greatest ever composer at this powerful concert: While many of us may not recognise the name Mikis Theodorakis, you will absolutely recognise his music. Ever heard of ‘Zorba’s Dance’? Yep, that was him. The Greek icon sadly passed away last year, after devoting his life to fighting for freedom and justice for his countrymen. Regarded as the greatest composer in Greek history, Mikis used music to express the inexpressible, penning countless film scores, symphonies and ballads that captured the hearts of his homeland, and the world. This one-night-only concert celebrates his life, with international vocalist Dimitris Basis honouring Mikis’ legacy accompanied by a Greek band, a symphony orchestra conducted by the inimitable George Ellis, and special guest Maria Yiakoulis. And yes – there will be a Zorba! Get your tickets via the QPAC website.
Immerse yourself in these mesmerising live shows: A bunch of must-see concerts, gigs and live shows are coming to Brisbane this weekend, and we are more than just a little excited. The Zoo will host Approachable Members Of Your Local Community on Friday, while We Build Spaceships, Choosing Sides, Monstera and Superghost are coming together for No Qualms on Saturday. Over at The Fortitude Music Hall, Xavier Rudd will be captivating crowds on Saturday and American pop-rock band LANY is taking to the stage on Sunday. The Triffid has a jam-packed weekend, kicking off with the May edition of Not On Your Rider! on Thursday, followed by Client Liaison presenting An Intimate Night of Divine Intervention on Friday. On Saturday, the venue will host From the Floor Up, a day celebrating Australian music featuring 23 bands across two stages, a record fair, clothing, art and merch stalls, to raise funds for Black Dog Institute. Fusing dance music, live performances and immersive technicolour visuals, SYNTHONY will take over the Riverstage on Saturday to celebrate 30 years of global dance anthems.
Explore this huge glow-in-the-dark garden full of luminous artworks: This weekend is your last chance to marvel at Botanica – Contemporary Art Outside, a huge display of illuminated site-specific artworks that will light up the City Botanic Gardens after dark with picture-perfect projections and immersive installations until May 29. Now in its fourth year, this year’s edition of Botanica features 11 artworks including state-of-the-art projections, unexpected installations and interactive pieces created by leading artists such as Leila Honari, Sam Cranstoun, Julie Monro-Allison and Tim Gruchy. The eye-catching artworks are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this year’s event, which will also bring back the extremely popular children’s discovery trail, guided twilight walks, interactive workshops and talks. The event gets levelled up on weekends with food trucks slinging delicious eats and a pop-up bar quenching event-goers’ thirsts on evenings from Friday to Sunday. To learn more, head here.
Check out a swarm of illuminated bees at West Village: The team at West Village believes that one day dedicated to the bees isn’t quite enough. The precinct is home to seven bee hives, so it makes sense that the precinct would be the perfect spot to host a whole month of celebrations. This weekend will be your last to check out Swarm, Dead Puppet Society’s sprawling, open-air installation combining hand-crafted sculpture with dazzling technological effects. Flying into West Village’s Mollison Park until May 29, the eye-catching work features more than 2000 miniature bee sculptures, each one laser-cut from polished brass and assembled by hand. Each bee has individually posed legs, antennae and wings, and can be found artfully arranged amongst West Village’s lush garden. By night, the artwork will become an illuminated 360° light and sound experience, allowing visitors to admire the beauty of Australia’s native bee species while reflecting upon the coexistence of humans within the natural environment. To read more about the installation and the other fun-filled Bee Month activities, head here.
Sip champagne in a winter-themed igloo: Everyone’s favourite winter pop-up bar, Veuve Clicquot In The Snow, has returned for the chilly season. Featuring its signature igloos, textural winter styling and plenty of Veuve Clicquot champagne, the pop-up’s stunning river vista and enticing menu are a sure-fire way to chill out and experience Euro chalet vibes in a quintessential Brisbane location. In addition to a range of Veuve Clicquot champagne available by the glass and bottle, the drinks menu features Australian and French wines, beers, and cocktails including the Berries & Bubbles with fresh raspberry, lemon juice, Belevedere Pure and Veuve Clicquot Brut! A menu of snacks and nibbles will be available including the new Customs House pop-up bar classic – the Moreton Bay bug brioche roll with lime and dill mayo! Freshly shucked Tasmanian pacific oysters, whole baked brie served with crostini, and mac and cheese croquettes with truffle aioli are also on the menu, among much more (including a range of Aussie, Italian and English cheeses) for some decadent winter indulgence. Learn more and make a booking here.
Traverse through The City on this self-guided art trail: The Indigenous Art Program transforms Brisbane’s streets into an exhibition of Aboriginal artworks in various places and spaces, including large-scale banners, light boxes, vitrines, and projections, in Brisbane’s laneways. Until August 7 you can explore the OUTstanding exhibition throughout the Outdoor Gallery, featuring new and existing artworks from Australia’s leading Aboriginal artists. The spectacular line-up of artists includes Elisa Jane Carmichael, Jody Rallah, Kyra Mancktelow, Boneta-Marie Mabo, Chris Bassi, Mia Boe, Keemon Williams, Tori-Jay Mordey, Sam Harrison, Melissa Stannard, Dylan Mooney and LaVonne Bobongie. The exciting event invites us to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Australia’s First Nations people, not just through the visual art on display but also by way of a series of artist-led workshops, talks, studio visits and walking tours with the curators. To learn more about the program, head to the Council website.
Check out MoB’s current exhibition: MoB’s home-grown exhibition Making Place: 100 Views of Brisbane is where museum-goers can treat their peepers to more than 100 artworks depicting some of Brisbane’s most iconic scenes. The dazzling exhibition features works from renowned artists including Vida Lahey, Judy Watson and Margaret Olley, and an atmospheric soundscape by Artist in Residence Lawrence English, leaving you with a much-needed dose of culture. For more information, head to the Museum of Brisbane website.
Try out this pop-up immersive experience: Brisbane’s most ‘grammable experience – Imaginaria – has extended its run! This stunning immersive play experience combines audio-visual art, inflatable architecture, light installations and futuristic gamification suitable for all ages. Visitors are invited to step inside, slip off their shoes and engage with AI projections, sensor-triggered LED waves, giant silk parachute canopies, cosmic gardens, an anti-gravity sunset, an electronic hall of mirrors and a digital wishing well that whispers your greatest desires. Ready to step into a world of mind-blowing visual excess? You can grab your tickets to Imaginaria now through Ticketmaster.
Catch some of cinema’s most iconic criminals on the big screen: Danger! Daring! Disaster! QAGOMA’s The Art of the Heist film program looks at one of cinema’s most beloved crime subgenres – the Heist film. A seductive mix of gangster cool and cerebral ingenuity, the Heist film brings together a crafty ensemble of experts, a high stakes plan and the lure of the ultimate reward. Features classics The Asphalt Jungle 1950, directed by John Huston, and Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle) 1970, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, alongside contemporary retellings such as Steve McQueen’s women-led caper Widows 2018. The Art of the Heist screenings take place Wednesday and Friday nights, and Saturday and Sunday matinees at GOMA’s Australian Cinémathèque. To check out the complete program and to nab tickets, head over to the QAGOMA website.
Shop up a storm at these weekend markets: If you’re eager to stroll through some stalls and stock up on some fresh fruit and veg, be sure check out these markets happening – Saturday Fresh Market, Riverside Markets, Kelvin Grove Village Market, Jan Powers Farmers Markets, Davies Park Markets, Carseldine Markets and the Redcliffe Markets. For delicious dinnertime eats, Eat Street Northshore is on for your snacking pleasure on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.