I refuse to listen to any criticism about the quality of live performance in Brisbane. I agree that the variety might some times be lacking but the quality is right up there and well worth celebrating.
If I'm honest, it is annoying that out southern neighbours seem to reap all the glory when the annual theatre awards The Helpmann Awards are announced. Still there is hope. Tonight I was at a Brisbane-based event where the nominees for this year's Helpmanns were announced live.
Again the bulk of the nominees were from Sydney and Melbourne. But there were some highlights for Queensland. The biggest one was Laser Beak Man, an original production by the wonderful Dead Puppet Society which was staged at La Boite as part of the Brisbane Festival last year. And the collaboration between QPAC and the Royal Ballet on Woolf
Works and A Winter's Tale also received a lot of love.
You'd hope there would be some accolades for some of our biggest and best companies. More surprising, perhaps, was the Gold Coast Bleach festival which was names several times and the Caboolture-based CMC Rocks. It's nice to see a recognition that artistic brilliance exists outside the cities too.
But if I'm really honest the highlight of the night for me was not the list of names coming out of Sydney. No, I was most excited to see the performance of Paige McKay. Paige was one of two Queensland Conservatorium Musical Theatre final year students to perform at the event. She's also a Fame Theatre Company alumni in the same cohort as Oliver. I feel like I've known her forever.
As I said, those who think that all the talent lies south of the border are sadly mistaken.