This September, at Undercover Artist Festival, audiences from Brisbane and beyond will gather on Jagera and Turrbal country at Queensland Theatre to witness a vibrant and bold celebration of talented performing artists with disability.
Presented by Access Arts in association with CPL – Choice, Passion, Life, Undercover Artist Festival promises to dazzle audiences with an electrifying showcase of theatre, comedy, dance, music, poetry and more from 20 to 23 September.
Over just four incredible days audiences can expect a high-energy, electrifying music concert that will get them moving, hilarious comedy that will have them laughing out loud, and thought-provoking theatre productions that will linger in their minds long after the curtain falls. There is a one-to-one immersive poetry experience, captivating dance performances, and a family-friendly concert bursting with colour, sound and storytelling.
Festival Director Madeleine Little said “The fourth Undercover Artist Festival is bigger, better, and bolder than ever. Brisbane will love it, and I cant wait to bring the incredible line-up to stage!”
Staying true to its notions, Undercover Artist Festival will spark new and exciting career opportunities. It will expose new talent to the world and provide a platform for disabled artists to own their work – from creation, right through to performing.
“In 2023, we will continue to champion disability-led performing arts practice because we know disabled artists encounter countless barriers in their careers.
If an artist wants to lead their work, they should be given the space to do so. We want to show the arts industry – and our broader community – that disability-led work is about creating opportunities where there havent been before, breaking down barriers and building accessible stages for everyone to make their own.” Said Madeleine Little.
Image: Are You Pulling My Leg? line up, including Jamal Abdul, Madeleine Stewart, Steady Eddy, Alexandra Hudson and Sam Kissajukian.
Image: Emma-June Curik at Sleep and the City. Emma-June is holding a martini glass, wearing a grey sparkle dress and has her hand over her mouth yawning.
This year Undercover Artist Festival will bring 17 performances to the stage across its three Festival Tracks – Creative, Community and Career, each with a unique experience.
Amongst these remarkable performances is world premiere performances Sleep and the City by Emma-June Curik and Betsy and I by Alexandra Ellen. Perfect for musical theatre goers, cabaret lovers, and fans of the hit TV show bearing a similar name, Sleep and the City promises to leave audiences laughing and reflecting on their own relationship with sleep.
Betsy and I is fabulous and feisty. Together, Betsy and Ivy will take their audience on a journey of raw honesty and authentic wit about what it means to be disabled.
After a strong success at the Adelaide Fringe, the Festival welcomes Sheltered by Kathryn Hall to Brisbane. Kathryn hilariously and honestly portrays the challenges of adulthood while managing cerebral palsy within a youth shelter.
Through their quick, raw, and infectious humour Are You Pulling My Leg? by Accessible Arts, Crips and Creeps, and The Jingo Brothers by Jolly Jingo and Steady Eddy will have audiences laughing out loud.
Honouring the community track, Access Arts Ensemble will showcase their powerful, thought-provoking performance, Otherwise. Screech Arts Ensemble will bring Blind in the Rabbit Hole to the stages of Brisbane, offering a theatrical experience inspired by the elements of “Alice in Wonderland”. InsideOutside will be back on-stage performing Embrace, an uplifting dance journey that will open its audiences eyes to life with a disability.
Back by popular demand, Swinging and Spinning by The Crooners will grace the stages of Queensland Theatre again in an intimate soiree of song and prose.
Melbourne Fringe sensation Andi Snelling is back on stage with award-winning type-a-poet. An immersive 10-minute one-on-one silent experience where each audience member receives a unique poem written exclusively on Andi’s typewriter.
In this special event dedicated to kids, award-winning Donna Dyson with showcase Celebrate All through enchant and delight in a concert full song, dance and storytelling.
Concluding the Festival, Undercover Artist Festival proudly presents WunderSounds, an exceptional showcase of musicians from Queensland and beyond. The night kicks off with an unforgettable display of culturally rich talent by Deaf Indigenous Dance Group (DIDG). Following them, the audience will be captivated by the incredible songwriter Aspy Jones, the dynamic hip-hop artist MC Wheels, the talented Emma Tomlinson, the iconic Ambition Road, and the nationally recognised musician and disability arts advocate Eliza Hull.
With a total of 17 performances spread over four exciting days, Undercover Artist Festival 2023 offers something for everyone.
Explore the full program here to plan your unforgettable experience.
Undercover Artist Festival is presented by Access Arts in association with CPL – Choice, Passion, Life at Queensland Theatre, and programmed during Brisbane Festival. The program is sponsored by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, Brisbane City Council, Creative Partnerships Australia and Truis.
With the generous assistance of sponsors and partners, Undercover Artist Festival will be a vibrant and unforgettable experience for audiences.