Picks of the fest | How Soon is Now? Backbone’s 2018 Festival

With a rich 30 year history of fostering youth artists of all varieties in greater Brisbane, Backbone Youth Arts is a local institution fiercely committed to supporting and growing our creatives in this city. On top of regular workshops, residencies and productions, one of their key initiatives is the annual Backbone Festival. The festival showcases some of the best Brissy artists you need to know about and is full of raw, experimental art designed to shake its audiences. Previous Backbone Festivals have showcased artists who have become leaders in their fields, such as Kristin Šantic, Kristy Apps, Scott Wings and Caitlin Strongarm.

This year, the festival is titled “How Soon is Now” and is pitched as “a rebellion .. against cold and passive interactions … a festival full of unforgettable moments. The dirty, messy, sweaty, intimate and sublime.”  The Festival runs for the whole month of October, and is full of arty goodness you must see. If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here with our Picks of the Fest to highlight a few must sees in the program. But honestly, do yourself a favour, buy yourself a full festival pass (a score at $50), take a deep dive into the program and go see it all. All performances will be at the Backbone space, 38 Lytton Road, East Brisbane.

La Silhoette

La Silhouette

The SUI Ensemble are one of Brissy’s most innovative performance makers. Their work delves into taboos, the fantastical, the messy and the surreal and requires the active presence of an audience to be complete. With each new work, they play with form and with the audience. “It’s all about seeing how that can be done without the audience even being aware of it”.

In La Silhouette, the SUI Ensemble take the audience on a tour through Queer History, well the shape of it. And it’s going to get nice and intimate.

Explore the Silhoettes Thursday 4 October and Friday 5 October.

Ride full


Nadia took a ride in September and rated it as “a performance experience unlike any [she has] jumped in on this year” and “ a top-notch re-imagining of the overused ‘immersive’ theatre experience”. Check your expectations at the door and get set for a ride you won’t forget.

Take a Ride, Friday 19th October and Saturday 20th October.

Vomit Cabaret and Fast & Loose

The team at NEHIB love a good scratch night and How Soon Is Now has two.

Vomit Cabaret, presented by the AudioPollen Social Club, is a monthtly cabaret that describes itself as no-holds-barred absurdism. The event is sometimes intended to disturb or distress as part of an attempt to encourage people to think about their early 21st century predicament. Be prepared.

Fast & Loose is also a monthly cabaret hosted by the most excellent Half-Hitch, aka Kelsey and Regan. Fast & Loose is pitched for all artists as an opportunity to showcase and test work in development and includes opportunities constructive feedback between performers and audience members. Plus they have food. Does that make them win? My stomach says is does.

Lap up the Vomit Thursday 11 October and get Fast & Loose Thursday 25 October.

Lung Water

Lung Water

Lung Water is an all-night multi-modal presentation of the work in progress of a full-length theatre piece by Ruby Donohoe. We were sold purely on the description on the Backbone site – LUNG WATER is a torrential prayer to melting ice, melting bodies, and the futile beauty and rage of entanglement. Ruby’s work tends to the rising tides of annihilation and skids through the spine of Western Medicine, an elderly Buddhist Punk manifesto rally, romantic severing, a war declared against the sea, bodily invasions, a Herzog volcano documentary, a visit from Duchamp, avenged pilgrims, and the perils of trying to sell a mirror on Craigslist.

Doesn’t that just get you in the feels? Who wouldn’t want to see that?

Breath it in Friday 12 October and Saturday 13 October.

Babel Backbone


During the festival, Backbone is collaborating with international artists and performance makers Younes Bachir, Deborah Wayne Leiser-Moore and Alejandro Rolandi to create a whole new work at the end of the festival, a homage to the richness and diversity of all humanity and celebration of language(s). We can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Climb the Tower of Babel 27 October.

Find out How Soon is Now?  from 4 – 27 October 2018 at the Backbone Space, 38 Lytton Road, East Brisbane.