Batch Festival takes over the iconic Griffin space for three weeks of the best in genre-busting contemporary performance.
Scroll down for the program …
You’re Safe till 2024 (April 26-27)
In 2018, theatre maker David Finnigan (Kill Climate Deniers) asked 30 different scientists “What’s the most important change happening in the world today?” The resulting work is a sensory snapshot of humankind’s transformational impact on the planet. Featuring soundscapes from DJ/Producer Reuben Ingall, You’re Safe till 2024 explores where we are, how we got here and where we are headed.
Book Club for Reclusive Dance Hall Queens (April 26-27)
Rebekah hasn’t left her room, except for a quick Aldi run, in six days. In an effort to stave off a life of social isolation, she writes a policy to improve the world, and joins a political party. Still fettered with anxiety, and unable to participate in the present, she projects herself into an imagined future – a visionary contemporary Australia that is undivided and harmonious.
Cutting and comedic, Rebekah Robertson’s Book Club for Reclusive Dance Hall Queens melds together stand-up comedy, traditional modes of Caribbean storytelling and poetry, all underscored by a thumping original queer dance hall soundtrack.
You’ve Got Mail (April 26-27)
Meg Ryan is looking for love on the Internet. She finds a kind and thoughtful stranger in a chat room and instantly engages in flirty repartee.
Written by Sarah Hadley and Ang Collins, this show appears to be a rom-com. It looks and feels like a rom-com, and Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are both charismatic and endearing rom-com heavyweights, right? Wrong.
Me and My Mother, Singing (April 27)
This one-man show by Yugoslavian actor-writer Oleg Pupovac explores identity, otherness and one man’s eternal search for the perfect painting of snow.
Drawing inspiration from the countries he grew up in, Oleg uses storytelling, poetry, multimedia and performance to tell this fractured, trilingual story. Semi-autobiographical, with text performed in English, Serbo-Croatian and Arabic (with translations), it is a story that couldn’t be told without his mother, singing.
Lady Tabouli (May 1-4)
On the night of his engagement party, Danny decides it’s time to break it off. This isn’t right. Or true. Back at home and living with his ultra-religious Lebanese parents, he starts to collide his culture and queerness one lip-sync and lipstick at a time. Unapologetic, piercing and deliciously camp, Lady Tabouli is James Elazzi’s unflinching look at a life desperate for freedom, truth and a little more mascara. Dino Dimitriadis directs. Paul Capsis and Antony Makhlouf feature.
Tales of an Afronaut (May 1-4)
Melbourne-based poet wāni Le Frère transports audiences through the world of a third-culture generation, delivering a raw performance of vulnerability, resilience and honesty in an evening of spoken word poetry.
Through a lens both retrospective and current, Tales of an Afronaut stems from a need to reclaim self and that space in which self exists. It’s a journey of learning, sharing, vulnerability and survival, a love letter to black people.
Lou Wall’s Drag Race (May 3-4)
Lou Wall brings this award-winning, binary-smashing extravaganza to Sydney, featuring Melbourne’s fiercest and freshest Drag Royalty. Faux queens, bio queens, female female impersonators … it’s time for a new Queen Bee to rule this cis-gendered monarchy of men. Everything you know about drag is about to get stabbed in the d*ck tuck by an all-inclusive, queer-not-just-gay, binary-busting, stabby stiletto. Winner, Best Emerging Artist, Melbourne Fringe Awards 2018.
Don’t Knock Your Granny (May 4)
Created by the Older Women’s Network NSW Theatre Group and directed by Jo-Anne Cahill, this socio-political cabaret brings elder abuse out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Performed by formidably feisty females aged 60-90 from the Older Women’s Network, a national body that researches and advocates for issues that impact older women.
Never Let Me Go (May 8-11)
Adriano Cappelletta’s Never Let Me Go chronicles the history of the AIDS epidemic in Sydney from the early ’80s as gay community groups mobilised to save lives and the Australian government fought religious dogma, moral crusaders and a fearful public to educate and quell a plague that could have ravaged many more. Set to a soaring ’80s soundtrack performed by an a capella choir, Never Let Me Go dramatises a tumultuous decade that saw the soldiers of AIDS fight fear with enlightenment and love.
Sauvage (WILD) (May 8-11)
A new work by Aanisa Vylet (The Girl/The Woman), Sauvage (WILD) is a mashup of primal female storytelling, drums, belly dancing, physical theatre and song. Spoken in English, Arabic and Spanish, this is a tribute to those fighting for the right to return to their natural skin.
Grumble ‘n’ Friends (May 9)
From Betty Grumble, a genre smashing variety evening that whirls the worlds of performance art, club art, art art and heart art together in a womb of possibility. Birthed by totem critter Betty Grumble, Grumble ‘n’ Friends will make a great beautiful mess of your evening. All are welcome.
Never Trust a Creative City (May 11)
A little bit TED talk, a little bit buddy comedy and a little bit dystopian science fiction, Never Trust a Creative City untangles the complex relationship between artists and gentrification. Laugh, rail and weep with protagonists Emma McManus and Maria White as they embark on a comedic journey through rising rents and social dislocation, arts-led urban renewal, pop-up galleries and “really dumb things on the internet”.
A Little History Play (April 26-May 5)
Written by Caleb Lewis, A Little History Play brings together theatre, indie role-playing games, and board game design into three glorious nights of revolution. Each night, participants form a newly elected government tasked with steering a fledgling nation through uncertain times, reacting to crises and passing laws, knowing full well their actions will reverberate through history.
At the end, each group will commemorate its reign, leaving a monument for future generations.
This event will be at KXT bAKEHOUSE / Popupstairs on Level 4 of Kings Cross Hotel, 244-248 William St, Kings Cross.