THERE were few surprises at The Q, The Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, during its launch of the 2021 season, themed “Bringing the Magic”.
For another, in July The Q had let go its founding director and program manager Stephen Pike, spearheading the search for a new director, so even while the team at The Q waved its collective magic wand to come up with a 2021 program, there was the option of reprogramming much of the planned 2020 season, paused because of covid.
That season lives on in choices previously planned for this year, including Eddie Daniels’ “Battle of the Voices: Roy Orbison vs Gene Pitney”, the scary “Wolf Lullaby”, staged by Jordan Best for Echo Theatre, “Lamb”, the story of one family on an Australian sheep farm, an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Jekyll & Hyde” from Slightly Isolated Dog Production and “Wallflowering”, Peta Murray’s play about two aging ballroom dancers.
But at the launch, hosted by Canberra comedian Chris Ryan, with actors from The Q’s “Stripped” series, The Leisa Keen Trio and singer Darren Coggan, two brand new inclusions were announced.
First up in March will be “Margaret Fulton – The Musical”, with book and lyrics by Doug MacLeod. It’s billed as a musical romp that follows the late Fulton’s journey from humble beginnings to super-stardom, directed by Aarne Neeme in his Q debut.
Then in May there’ll be “Love Song Dedications”, where Tom Hogan and Bonnie Leigh-Dodds will take us on a ride through contemporary politics, philosophy and wicked dance moves, one Richard Mercer pop song at a time.
For children, comedy duo The Listies will present “Hamlet: Prince of Skidmark”, featuring ninjas, ghosts, swords, dinosaurs, zombies and supersonic gags, while “Robot Song” is a family show for any child who has ever felt isolated or pushed to the margins and for parents who want to help.
A quick glimpse at the year’s program shows some apparent clashes. That’s because, as Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council mayor, Tim Overall, explained, they’ll officially open the refurbished Bicentennial Hall with capacity to house larger audiences, so there could be two shows running at the same time.
Next year, he noted, would also see the commencement of the construction of Queanbeyan Civic and Cultural Precinct at the doorstep of The Q.
Details and bookings at theq.net.au or 6285 6290.
The Q’s 2021 season at a glance:
February 4, “Battle of the Voices: Tribute to Orbison and Pitney”
February 17-28, “Wolf Lullaby”
March 4-6, “Lamb”
March 23-27, “Margaret Fulton – The Musical”
March 31, Glen Starr’s “Hit Parade”
March 31, “Songs You Grew Up With”
July 5-7, “Prince of Skidmark”
May 11-15, “Don Juan”
May 13-15, “Love Song Dedication”
May 18-23, “Jekyll & Hyde”
June 10-12, “Grace under Pressure”
June 22-25, “The Owl and the Pussycat”
August 28-29, Billy Joel Tribute Show
September 1-4, “Robot Song”
September 9-11, “Wallflowering”