For over a decade acclaimed Brisbane theatre company, shake & stir theatre co has regularly presented works of the highest quality at QPAC. This week, the company marks a significant milestone when it becomes one of only a few theatre companies to have performed works across all four of our theatres.
Roald Dahl’s The Twits season sees the Company's debut production in our Concert Hall and the gruesome twosome will DAHLight and disgust audiences in equal measure, right up to Christmas Eve.
This fruitful partnership between QPAC and shake & stir began with George Orwell’s Animal Farm in the Cremorne Theatre in 2011.
Co-Artistic Director, Nick Skubij notes:
“It was a significant achievement for the company to create one of the very few original adaptations of George Orwell’s iconic allegory and then make our QPAC debut with this production. The show played to packed houses and rave reviews and really cemented our place on the Brisbane professional stage. It has since gone on to play a total of three seasons in Brisbane and two national tours – its final tour taking place in the height of COVID.”
The Company followed up Animal Farm with another Orwell favourite – 1984. This production sold out before it opened and introduced Brisbane audiences to a new style of cinematic theatre.
Skubij says “Digital media has gone on to become something of a trademark for us – digital screens, projection, live cameras, holographic video - they’ve all featured in the Company’s productions over the past decade.”
When questioned about standout moments for shake & stir Skubij muses:
“There are way too many to choose from… If I had to, I think my three personal favourites would be the premiere of Fourteen, the premiere of our fam-fav Fantastic Mr Fox, and our annual production of A Christmas Carol, which has thrilled Brisbane audiences for the past four years. As sad as it is that we won’t be bringing A Christmas Carol to Brisbane audiences in 2022, we are excited to share the magic with audiences in Canberra.”
shake & stir's recent Cremorne Theatre season of Fourteen by Shannon Molloy, its first in collaboration with the Brisbane Festival, became a smash hit of the 2022 Festival.
“It was just incredible. We saw so many people in the audience four, five, six times during the season and the outpouring of love and warmth in the feedback was overwhelming.”
When The Twits opens, it will be the second time the production has played at QPAC in 2022, following sold out seasons at the Sydney Opera House, Canberra Theatre Centre and ahead of a 40+ venue 2023 national tour.
“When the show was last at QPAC, it was actually in the Cremorne Theatre. Now, due to demand we are returning it to the Concert Hall, so, it’s a bit of an upgrade.”
This ability to create productions that can simultaneously feel intimate, but at the same time, fill the largest theatres in the country, is something the Company is proud of, and rightly so.
“So many of our productions begin in the Cremorne and then go on to play hundreds of venues, large and small, across every state and territory.
“It really is testament to our incredible team of creatives and designers - no challenge is too big. We also firmly believe that audiences in regional centres are equally entitled to the same scale and quality of theatre as those living in capital cities. This is what sets shake & stir touring apart. There is never a compromise when the shows hit the road.”
So, what’s next for this indefatigable company?
“There are many shows on the horizon, large and small, and we are extremely excited to continue collaborating with our dear family at QPAC, to embrace our Brisbane audiences and to build proudly Queensland productions that tour across the country. Our 2023 season will drop in January. Watch this space,” said Nick.
The amazing line-up of shake & stir productions at QPAC have included:
Animal Farm | 2011, 2013, 2021
1984 | 2012, 2014
Tequila Mockingbird | 2013, 2016
Wuthering Heights | 2014, 2016
Dracula | 2015, 2017
George’s Marvellous Medicine | 2016, 2018
Endgame | 2016
Jane Eyre | 2019, 2022
Fourthcoming | 2021
The Twits | 2022
Fourteen | 2022
Fantastic Mr Fox | 2018, 2019, 2020
Green Day’s American Idiot | 2017, 2018
A Christmas Carol | 2018, 2019, 2021
A Christmas Carol | 2020
The Twits | 2022
Celebrate shake & stir’s debut in the Concert Hall, and all QPAC theatres milestone, with Roald Dahl’s The Twits running until Christmas Eve.
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