Picks of Fest – Melt 2019

Melt, the Brisbane Powerhouse’s annual festival of Queer Arts and Culture is back again in 2019, celebrating all things LGBTQ+ in one of Brisbane’s best venues. Melt runs from 27 June to 14 July and there are more than 30 performances, events and showcases over the 2.5 week program. This year’s program includes cabaret, literature, musicals, comedy, drag, improv, installations, big parties and a whole lot more. Not sure where to start and only have a few openings in your busy, busy schedule? NEHIB is here to let you know what you must see during the festival.

MJ O’Neil‘s recommendations

Brood – A frequent complaint I have about LGBTQUIA+ events is they often seem to conform to a surprising limited definition of queer identity. While that could simply be my crotchety self, Brood is the exact kind of work that’s needed to blast open the popular understandings of queerness and encourage people to embrace the true diversity of the community. I can barely comprehend the concept of it and that excites me. I’m supportive of any work that privileges marginalised perspectives, as Brood undoubtedly does, but I’m mainly engaged because I have no freaking idea what’s going to happen in it. Viewable during opening hours for the length of the festival. 

Queer Lit – Alison Evans is an excellent writer. That’s honestly the extent of my recommendation. I know Alison is an excellent writer and I trust that their involvement means that there’s something special in the works. Their work interrogates assumptions in a very subtle and clever way. I’m not familiar with Nevo Zisin’s work at this point but I’m excited to learn about it in this session. Besides which, it’s free and on a Sunday afternoon. Free Sundary afternoon events at the Powerhouse are one of the true delights of the Brisbane cultural milieu that nobody should take for granted. Sunday 30 Jun from 2.30pm.

Ads J’s recommendations

The Sui Ensemble are one of the leading immersive performance collectives of Brisbane. They love to blur the lines between performers and audience; daring those watching to become involved, to make a choice, and to live another life for a brief moment. La Silhouette is their latest production, and in it, they will take the audience on a deep dive in 100 years of Brisbane’s queer history. Nadia Jade saw the premiere season of La Silhouette last year at Backbone and called it “… a stunning ode to some of the greatest fighters on earth.” and found it to be “… one of the best examples of immersive theatre I have ever participated in.” I’m excited to be able to see the third season and how it’s been refit for the grand old Powerhouse. Showing 27 – 30 June.

Everyone loves a good scratch night, and Show Us Yer (Melting) Bits is one of Brissy’s originals. Hosts Eileen Sourpuss and Twottie Goldsmith are bring the BITS back to where it debuted in 2001 for three hours of random performance art. Who knows what you’ll see and best of all, it’s free! One night only from 9pm, Friday 5 July until late.

With six stellar comedians and M.C.’d by Rhys Nicholson, the Melt Comedy Gala is one show not to be missed. The lineup features a who’s who of queer Aussie comedy legends – Tom Ballard, Demi Lardner, Jude Perl, Alex Ward, Sam Bowden and Cassie Workman, so there’ll be something for everyone. Sunday 30 June from 7.30.