At its best, the arts is a safe place for all to participate in and experience.
Quirky, Real and Diverse (RAD) Theatre’s inaugural creation supported by Centacare, exemplified how the arts can shine a light on a creative and diverse cast of artists to deliver an uplifting and inspiring arts experience. It premiered at QPAC in July 2022.
Quirky came to life as an expression of the experiences of the ensemble during the first years of the COVID pandemic – a time when the usual ways of “being” and “doing” changed enormously. The ensemble explored notions of community, connection, contact, social and physical distancing, vulnerability, personal and communal responsibility, and the importance of interaction. RAD never set out to make “a show about COVID”, but rather a piece that expressed how the ensemble members had experienced (and responded to) the new world in which they found themselves.
Set to Nicole Murphy’s original score performed by Queensland Symphony Orchestra, weaved together the various components into a singular whole, and provided both a response to RAD’s original thoughts and a springboard for new ideas.
Director Clark Crystal said the chance to premiere Quirky at QPAC was a happy culmination to the cast’s work putting the show together over the past 12 months and an important moment for the artists.
“We work with all capacities and people’s talent, and we want to highlight and celebrate that talent. The aim is to give a platform – a stage – to people who would not generally get a platform to perform on. It’s about giving confidence, opportunity, and a source of empowerment to those involved. Pulling the show together is like building a jigsaw puzzle. It’s all these beautiful pieces that we fit together and, in this production, it’s the music that is the driving motif for the work created. The best part is watching the RAD artists show off on stage, celebrate and connect with the audience. They connect through their emotions, and I think the audience feels that. QPAC has a fantastic team – the technicians, the front-of-house, the producers – and they really care about their work and that they give the best opportunity to the artists that come here. It’s a privilege to work with all the staff at QPAC,” said Clark.
Member of the ensemble, Jared, said Quirky was an exciting opportunity for him and the rest of the cast to step into the spotlight.
“I love performing – it feels great! The thing I like most about it is how we all come together and work as a team to put on the show.”
And when asked what he hoped audiences left the theatre with after experiencing the production, he said: “I hope they take away… just the magic of it.”
Take a peek behind the scenes
Hear from Lyndal, who played a puppeteer in the production, on how she created her own puppets for the show.
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