The Q Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre has opened their doors again for their 2021 season, following the unexpected turn of events imposed by COVID-19 last year. Like theatres across Australia and the world, the Q had to close its doors in March 2020, virtually without notice.
Now, The Q is bringing the magic back – many of the shows for 2021 will look familiar to the venue’s frequent patrons as they have been postponed from the 2020 season. However, there are a few new additions as well, including Chris Ryan’s Work in Progress comedy show, Margaret Fulton the Musical and Love Song Dedications comedy show/performance.
“Now that we’ve launched our 2021 season here at The Q, we’re so excited to welcome you back to our beautiful theatre. We really do have something for everyone from funny musicals to serious drama, tribute shows, as well as fantastic shows for the kids and the whole family,” says Jordan Best, powerhouse actor and director recently appointed as The Q’s Artistic Director.
In the limelight
The 2021 season is filled with both musical adventures and hard-hitting drama, old classics and more contemporary plays.
“There’s so much to look forward to in this year’s season – from reinvented classics like Hamlet (The Listies are an absolute riot), Don Juan and Jekyll & Hyde, to new Australian work like Lamb with songs from Mark Seymour and Margaret Fulton the Musical, as well as incredible musical acts like Darren Coggan and Glenn Starr. Keep your eyes on our website and Facebook page, because we’ll be sneaking in some surprises through the year,” Jordan promises.
One of the first plays of the season is multi-award-winning playwright Jane Bodie’s Lamb. A new Australian play full of lyrical longing and humour, it is the story of one family on an Australian sheep farm, over generations — the guilt of those who left; the lost desires of those who stayed behind.
The local Queanbeyan Players Inc will be taking on an old classic with The Sound of Music. Set against the historical backdrop of the Nazis’ rise to power and ultimate occupation of Austria, it is a time honoured story of love and patriotism, including such classic and well-loved songs as “My Favourite Things”, “Sixteen Going On Seventeen”, “Climb Every Mountain” and “So Long, Farewell”. Another global hit, Mamma Mia! will take the stage at The Q in April and May. The ultimate feel-good show, presented by Free-Rain Theatre Company, is a romantic comedy story accompanied by the storytelling magic of the songs from ABBA.
For those interested in a more immersive theatre experience, check out A Slightly Isolated Dog productions Don Juan and Jekyll & Hyde, where these classic stories are retold by a team of hilariously charming ‘French’ performers with the help of the audience. If you’re looking for a fun night out, you’d be hard pressed to find a better alternative. You’re unlikely to see anything quite like it.
Home grown talent
In February, audiences will get to enjoy some of our region’s top actors as The Q’s theatre company Echo Theatre’s Wolf Lullaby takes the stage. Directed by Jordan Best, the play will move and intrigue audiences, asking when a child commits an act of terrible violence, who is really responsible? The show is followed by a Q&A session with the cast and creatives on the 23rd February.
“Wolf Lullaby would have to be one of my favourite plays. It’s dark, and it’s thrilling, a true mystery, and a modern classic,” Jordan says. “I’ll be working with a team of amazing local actors, designers, and technicians to bring this haunting story, by Australia’s own Hilary Bell, to life. Hats off to QPRC for their support of the Echo Theatre, and of local artists; at a time when theatre’s all around the world are dark, The Q is producing tremendous local work. This is the kind of show that you will talk about for hours afterwards. The bar will be open after the show, so make sure you stay, try a glass of excellent local wine, and keep the conversation going. ”
Families are in for a treat this winter, with three shows on offer to thrill and entertain the little ones of the family.
The Owl and the Pussycat is an enchanting and intimate theatrical experience based on Edward Lear’s beloved childhood poem. Created by a national team of award-winning artists for children 4-10 years, the all-new opera features stunning vocals, interactive theatre, puppetry and a troupe of musical Puffins.
Meanwhile, Hamlet Prince of Skidmark is a side-splitting adventure that shatters the fourth wall and glues it back together with supersonic story-telling and silliness brought to you by Australia’s favourite kidult comedy duo, The Listies.
Finally, a genuine family show, Robot Song illustrates the profound, transformative nature of creativity that when combined with unconditional love, becomes an unstoppable force. The show is for any child who has ever felt isolated or pushed to the margins and any parent desperate for tools to help.
The Q is known to host an impressive array of tribute shows and this year is no exception with a wide range of tribute shows on offer from Roy Orbison and Gene Pitney to Johnny Cash and the Bee Gees.
One of Australia’s most exciting and diverse artists, Darren Coggan, will return to The Q for his latest show Remember the Days of Cat Stevens in February, in addition to joining forces with platinum-selling singer/songwriter Damien Leith for Two of Us – The Songs of Lennon & McCartney in late May.
For something completely different, book yourself in for Mark Vincent’s tribute to the great Italian-American tenor and actor Mario Lanza in July. Mark Vincent is regarded one of Australia’s most beloved tenors, earning accolades both nationally and internationally, and his tribute show will feature the ground breaking ‘virtual duet’ of “Because You’re Mine” with the Hollywood legend.
In August, you’ll have a chance to see Anthony Mara take the stage to perform his tribute show to the story and songs of Billy Joel. The show reflects on Billy Joel’s incredible 45-year career which still sees the legend selling out concert after concert at Madison Square Garden. Mara will be joined by some of the finest musicians around to present a powerful show that will mesmerise audiences with all the classic Billy Joel hits.
Delve deeper into the world of theatre
Whether you are an experienced theatregoer or checking The Q out for the first time, there’s plenty to choose from. Dip your toes into the world of theatre from the comfort of your own home by taking a peek at The Q’s Stripped online series which saw seven local actors from the region performing short monologues from some of their favourite shows, or find out more about The Q’s 2021 season at theq.net.au.