Once a year, Blue Roo has a main house performance in Brisbane in the last quarter of the year. Each live performance is filmed and archived digitally. Being a community engagement activity, practice is long-term. We recognise the learning abilities of the performers and structure a process that supports this learning.
It is important to note that Blue Roo has a reciprocal partnership with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre of shared significance. Blue Roo collaborates with leading Queensland artists and musicians through this and similar collaborations.
The full company performance for 2022 is ‘Tis the Season. ‘Tis the Season is a unique, thought-provoking and heart-warming theatre experience devised and performed by the Blue Roo Theatre Company’s inclusive ensemble. A successful search for connection and happiness during the chaos of the Christmas season.
Performances to date
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a unique re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic tale set in regional Australia after a catastrophic bush fire. Audiences will be taken on a journey as the ghost of Shakespeare himself wakes to watch yet another adaptation and retelling of his prized story. Predominantly following the original story of the fairies, Blue Roo has put together a delightful journey full of magic, music and at times, mayhem. This production is full of all of the heart, spirit and celebration Blue Roo Theatre is renowned for. Accompanied by an orchestra consisting of leading local musicians, as well as, the debut of Blue Roo Theatre’s very own ensemble members playing musical instruments.
Boss represents an innovative collaboration between established Queensland Artist, Brian Lucas, and an emerging artist who lives with disability, Laura Solomon, allowing them to develop and present an original two-hander performance that explores issues impacting on both of their lives – disability/ability, power, freedom, personal agency, social interactions, and assumptions that are based on appearances. Boss aims to present both performers in a new light, allowing them to share their powerful insights and challenge both to explore new ideas and to further extend their creativity and artistry. Two average people meet in a generic waiting room in the offices of a mysterious company where they await an interview for an unspecified job. As they wait, they chat to fill in the time, and find themselves gradually drawn in a playful world of facts and fantasy – a world of supermodels, Disney princesses, Shakespearean lovers, masters, servants, and superheroes. But what is the “company”? What is the job? Will anyone ever attend to them? And who exactly is the mysterious “Boss”? Boss is a highly physical combination of comedy and drama which explores the personal and political issues surrounding disability and power. Boss represents a unique contribution to the field of inclusive performance in Brisbane by allowing the two artists to work together as peers, making their individual and combined artistic voices heard.
Around tells the story of an approaching new year and the life-members of Club Ted go about their unchanging routine; until a visitor arrives to challenge the core of everything they know. Performed by inclusive theatre company Blue Roo, Around features a cast of 26 fabulous performers and eleven outstanding local musicians. Artistically lead and devised by the Blue Roo Theatre Company, this show is a must-see celebration of diversity.
TIME TO GO
Marvin was raised looking up at the stars and dreaming of other places in time. Luna was raised believing in the barriers created by society to keep people like her in their place. With planet earth moving closer and closer to climate shut-down, Marvin and Luna must now stare-down prejudice and hypocrisy so they can join the Ship of Hope, an envoy of climate-change refugees headed for the dunes of the great red giant. The mission is tasked with populating a new colony with the best that humanity has to offer. But what if you are not exactly what humanity considers to be its best? Will Luna and Marvin and all those considered to be ‘other’ be left behind to face the inevitable end? In a journey full of music and mayhem and a couple of robust knock-knock jokes, our mars-crossed lovers fight against the tyranny of perceived perfection but in the end, they find themselves faced with their biggest challenge. When it’s time to go, conflicted by the emotion of turning their backs on the only home they’ve known and saying goodbye forever to those they love. Will they stay or will they go? Performed by inclusive theatre company Blue Roo in partnership with Centacare, Time to Go features a cast of 27 fabulous performers and nine outstanding local musicians. Written by award-winning playwright, Sonny Clark, this show is a must-see celebration of diversity. This performance created a timely and sophisticated narrative with heightened characterization. The play successfully challenged the ensemble to present a text driven narrative and to utilise skills in the manipulation of shadow puppets. Blue Roo created a new partnership with Queensland Performing Arts Centre. It was performed to houses of 100% capacity at the Cremorne Theatre.
Commonwealth Games Cultural Program on the Gold Coast.
Sea invites audiences to take a voyage through a large-scale movement/dance story involving 25 performers and three brilliant live musicians. Bursting with rich diversity and beauty, Sea celebrates the contrasting personalities, moods and melodies of the deep, through a mesmerizing original musical score. A new dance piece devised and artistically led by the Blue Roo ensemble. Sea challenged the ensemble to new levels of independence and autonomy. It profiled their abilities within a form that foregrounded dance. The three public space performances reached over 1000 people. Sea was presented as part of the 2018 Commonwealth Games Cultural Program. It was Commissioned and funded by the Commonwealth Games Cultural Program on the Gold Coast.
Brisbane’s exciting inclusive theatre company Blue Roo presents their latest production Now. Channel Blue Roo presents The Now Show with their adorable hosts Maggie Moment and Tony Today. Unflinchingly honest and tenderly inspiring, Now is a modern-day fable exploring protests, bus stops, fishing, the mystery of grief and the joy of memories. All surrounded by a sublime 10-piece live studio orchestra of leading Brisbane musicians. Now is irresistible! A created and devised performance led artistically by the ensemble. The multidisciplinary performance style allowed all the performers to shine and celebrate individual is skills, personality and responsibility to the ensemble. Performed to 87% capacity houses in partnership with Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.
ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE
DASDThe power of Gluck’s classic opera is the emotional journey of the main characters, Orpheus, Eurydice and Cupid portrayed by Opera Queensland’s (OperaQ) principal vocalists. The Blue Roo ensemble accompany OperaQ as the chorus of Nymphs, Shepherds, Furies, and Blessed Spirits. The ensemble embodies the emotional journey of the main characters and portrays it through gesture and physicality to heighten the effect of this deeply moving story. This is just one of the many ways in which OperaQ and Blue Roo continue to redefine inclusive community engagement. This thrilling collaboration reunited the awe-inspiring ensemble with five of Opera Queensland’s leading singers in a brand-new English translation of Gluck’s opera, along with a live orchestra of outstanding local musicians. The 28 performers shared the stage with Opera Queensland professional singers, to present an edited version of one of the great operatic canon pieces. It was presented to 85% capacity houses over 3 performances in partnership with Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts.
THE BULIMBA OPERA
The story of the robust Bulimba community during World War 2. It sings of their lives their loves and their loses. This was Australia’s first ever inclusive opera. A collaboration between Blue Roo and Opera Queensland/Open Stage. It was performed at Lourdes College in Hawthorn. The production is funded by Arts Queensland and Brisbane City Council.
Song Circle is the debut production from a new artistic collaboration between The Blue Roo Theatre Company Inc. and Opera Queensland’s Open Stage. Funded by Arts Queensland and Centacare Disability Services Queensland, Song Circle concludes the first out of a three-year partnership between the two organisations. It was performed at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. Dr Kristy Martin prepared an evaluation report as a component of the Song Circle project. The report reviews the objectives and outcomes of the creative partnership. Click to view report
DARCY O AND THE BROWBEAT FACTORY
This story explored the issues of bullying through a mixture theatrical forms of parody, satire and the music. It was funded by Centacare Disability Services and performed at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.
This production featured the story of a Brisbane family who are separated during a severe flood and their unlikely reunion and the wonderful mud army. It was funded by Centacare Disability Services and performed at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.
THE LAST NIGHT AT THE GRAND
The story of Brisbane’s infamous Grand Hotel where super rich loses a giant diamond ring and the mayhem of the hotel employees and private detectives. It was funded by Arts Queensland and Centacare Disability Services and performed at The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts
THE SUGAR CANE BALL
Here is the story of a family of female sugar cane farmers who battle with the cane cutters, unions and toads on the eve of the famous Sugar Cane Ball. It was funded by Arts Queensland and Centacare Disability Services and performed at The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.
LILY PILLY LETTERS
This was Blue Roo’s very first production. It featured the story of an Australian family during the First World War who send their three sons to Gallipoli to fight for their country. It was performed at Ipswich for national disability week and at Brisbane City Hall for International Day of people with a Disability.