Now in its 16th year, Australia’s foremost regional Community Arts and Cultural Festival, NOOSA alive! (formerly the Noosa Long Weekend Festival) will come alive with a wonderful mix of music, theatre, food and thoughtful seminars over 10 days in July.
“Our name change is important because the Noosa Long Weekend Festival has evolved into something much bigger than a regional Arts festival,” says Johanne Wright, Festival President. “These days it is a potent mix of the three ingredients people (especially visitors) are looking for… world class entertainment, great food and wine events, and an idyllic location… there is no other event in Australia that incorporates all these elements as well as we do.”
This year’s Main Event program features some of the most popular artists and productions touring festivals in Australia and overseas right now, including 2017 Festival Ambassador, the inimitable Naomi Price who brings with her, Lady Beatle – her brand new show is sure to be a highlight and a sell-out.
“I am honored to be the Ambassador for the very first NOOSA alive!” says Price. “I have extremely fond memories of performing my work in Noosa, and feel very privileged to be representing such a diverse and unique celebration of arts and culture in one of the most beautiful places in the world. NOOSA alive! is a wonderful opportunity for artists to perform intimate, memorable shows and I am so excited to get the chance to do just that, with our brand new show, Lady Beatle.
NOOSA alive! encompasses the best of dance, opera, theatre and music, with many of the events being presented for one performance only – highlights include:
Luke Kennedy – His Voice
The J Theatre: Friday 21 July – 8.00pm
Experience the inimitable talents of the most versatile singer in Australia in this incredible collection of classic songs which showcase his world-class voice. Witness Luke effortlessly slide between musical styles as he takes you on his journey from teenage pub rocker through his considerable international touring experience as a previous member of vocal sensation The Ten Tenors, to ultimately breaking out as Ricky Martin’s grand finalist, and series runner-up on The Voice Australia Season 2.
National One-Act Playwriting Competition
Noosa Arts Theatre: 21 & 22 July
David Williamson OA has forged a rich connection for writers in Noosa, and his legacy continues to foster this with attention to the One Act Play Festival. This festival within the festival sees the stage premiere of the finalist plays from the National One-Act Playwriting Competition. With nearly 70 entries submitted from across Australia, New Zealand, USA and PNG, the finalists are: Seeking Nirvana by Dave Wellings from Clifton (QLD); The Big Lap by Bruce Olive from Buderim (QLD); and Unforgettable by Cerise De Gelder from Victoria.
The J Theatre: Saturday 22 July – 7.30pm
Presenting an exciting program of dance to festival audiences, the program includes classical, contemporary and neo-classical ballet performed by Queensland Ballet dancers and Jette Parker’s Young Artists Program. A special treat will be Glass Heart by choreographer Amy Hollingsworth, with music by Katie Noonan and electronic-beats project cln, that explores the intensely close relationship between the beauty and ugliness of human nature. Baroque Beatles choreographed by Paul Boyd is a neo-classical work inspired by the unusual arrangements and interpretation of songs of The Beatles when set in the Baroque style of music.
The J Theatre: Sunday 23 July – 7.30pm
A Cultural partnership between NOOSA alive! And Queensland Music Festival, brings one of Australia’s most successful singer-songwriters, LIOR to Noosa. Renowned for his beautiful voice and songs that radiate truth and sincerity, he burst onto the Australian music scene in 2005 with his stunning debut album, Autumn Flow – which went on to become one of the most successful independent debut albums in Australian music history. Join LIOR for an up close and intimate performance, featuring a collection of his songs from across his catalogue, and a selection of new songs from his new album to be released next year.
The Marriage of Figaro
Noosa Leisure Centre: Tuesday 25 July – 7.30pm
Opera Australia is coming to Noosa with a full scale touring production of Mozart’s, The Marriage of Figaro, together with chamber orchestra, some of Opera Australia’s finest singers and featuring a local school choir of 24 students from Sunshine Beach High School. This production by Award-winning creative duo Michael Gow and Robert Kemp featuring stunning period costumes and a clever set tells the lively tale of the adventures of a household over one crazy day. Masters are lusting over their servants, servants are outwitting their masters – Figaro is the Downton Abbey of Opera, but a whole lot more fun!
Hold the Pickle
The J Theatre: Wednesday 26 July – 1.00pm / 8.00pm
Rachel Berger is well known as a comedian who delivers rapid-fire lines with assertive virtuosity. In Hold The Pickle however, she leaves the microphone behind and opens the door of her parents’ delicatessen to deliver stories of love, loss and longing, fear and belonging. Oh and schnitzels. Berger creates an emotionally rich portrait of her parents’ life story where scores of characters come to life to raise our spirits and fill our hearts.
Queenie van de Zandt: Cabaret – In 12 Easy Steps
Noosa Arts Theatre: 26 & 27 July – 8.00pm
Queenie van de Zandt, together with her accompanist Lucy Bermingham, reveal the secrets to creating a successful cabaret whilst simultaneously performing a successful cabaret! (And just a tip, one of the secrets is not designing a set which consists of pinning all your musical theatre record covers at jaunty angles onto a curtain). Yes, it’s a cabaret, about a cabaret, within a cabaret – it’s pretty straightforward really.
Ragtime – a Boogie Woogie Brunch
Rococo Beach Club Marquee: Thursday 27 July – 10.30am
Jan Preston, the Queen of Boogie Woogie shares the stage with Wil Sargisson (The Finger Breaker) and Andrew Farrell (The Wizard) in this one off Ragtime performance that will see three pianos, six hands and thirty fingers punching keys simultaneously in a roaring tribute to the sounds of boogie woogie. A special guest performance by Brisbane’s Andrew Sisters make this Boogie Woogie Brunch an experience not to miss.
Matthew Mitcham – Cabaret Double Bill
The J Theatre: Thursday 27 July – 7.30pm
On the 23 August 2008, a young Australian athlete made Olympic history – becoming Australia’s first male diving Olympic gold medallist since 1924. Grinning with pride from front pages around the world, there was no hint of the personal demons that had led this supremely talented young dynamo to quit diving less than two years before his famous win at Beijing. Based on his book of the same name, and told with the honesty and courage he is admired for, this live production of Twists and Turns is an inspiring story of a true champion – in and out of the pool. Under The Covers – expect more effervescence, charm and hilariously-brutal honesty as Matthew delivers a few Public Service Announcements he’s learnt through trial and (mostly) error. Accompanied by Spanky and pianist Matthew Ogle, this brand new all singing, all dancing production will make you feel better about your life choices in perfect 3-part harmony.
The J Theatre: Saturday 29 July – 3.00pm / 8.00pm
From the creators of celebrated Australian works Rumour Has It and Wrecking Ball comes the must see live music event of the year: Lady Beatle – a modern memory play set to a kaleidoscopic soundtrack of The Beatles’ most monumental hits. Starring Australian stage star and NOOSA alive! Ambassador Naomi Price (The Voice Australia) and inspired by true accounts, Lady Beatle weaves a fantastical tale about the women who inspired The Beatles’ biggest chart toppers including: Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, Eleanor Rigby, Penny Lane and Yesterday.
“Noosa is a great draw card for attracting the very best talent to participate in our festival,” says Ian Mackellar, Festival Director. “I am told time and again by performers and festival patrons alike that the uniqueness of Noosa as a destination, and the intimacy and quality of performances NOOSA alive!, now marks their annual calendar as ‘must do’, as something special, engaging entertaining and relaxing to lock in.”
“This makes me very proud and confirms to me what our regional arts and cultural festival is all about, and that we are on track in creating an overall unique and memorable experience that sees people returning year after year to enjoy! This year’s festival is without doubt our best ever with new inclusions and the return of great favorites!”
NOOSA Alive! runs 21 – 30 July 2017. For more information and complete program, visit: www.noosaalive.com.au for details.
Image: Matthew Mitcham and Spanky star in a Cabaret Double Bill (supplied)