Going full Throttle at the Brisbane Festival!

We’re thrilled to share that Gold Coast-based The Farm’s Throttle will be part of this year’s Brisbane Festival program!

Commissioned and originally produced by Bleach* Festival, with regional creative developments produced by Performing Lines in Albury and Bathurst thanks to our regional partners in those communities, Throttle is a b-grade horror spectacle you experience from the safety of your own car as a dark and dangerous tale unfurls around an abandoned oval.

Audience members tune into the show soundtrack through their car radio and turn up your high beams to catch the action… the perfect show for current COVID-era requirements for safe physical distancing!

We’ve asked co-directors Gavin Webber and Grayson Millwood about their thoughts and feelings on participating in the Brisbane Festival and, how the show is coming along and here’s what they had to say…

What excites you the most about performing at the 2020 Brisbane Festival?

Grayson
The fact that there can even be a major arts festival at the moment is exciting, Louise Bezzina and her team are reimagining what a festival can be in this new world, and from what we have been hearing, there is a surprisingly broad program full of awesomeness.

Gavin
Simply the fact that we are going to put something on stage and actual people will be there. Admittedly they will be in their cars but physically they will be in the same location as us while we perform. That seems like a miracle these days.

What are the challenges so far?

Grayson
So many challenges that there is no longer ONE way, I think at the moment we are up to plan N, which probably stands for something like “No, this is not a joke, we are going to get the composer to phone it in from Melbourne.”

Gavin
Only the same challenges we are all facing as we grapple with times we have never encountered before. Getting some of our collaborators here is proving difficult, so we are adapting and working in a different way. We’ve written the whole piece out as a script and are negotiating the process that way, which would be weird except for Throttle, which is a kind of radio play in some ways, it works. We did all the organic, intuitive stuff last time so developing the piece in a more systematic way feels right.

 

What is one important detail about the show you would like the reader to know?

Grayson
You never leave your car. Throttle is lit by your headlights, heard through your car radio and seen through your windscreen. It’s a joy ride of b-grade horror through the dark underbelly of Aussie car culture.

Gavin
It’s scary and it’s safe. Oh and we have a stunt motorbike rider…

What makes Throttle special?

Grayson
4 dancers, a 1970’s Volvo, a stunt motorcycle rider and a horde of 25 demons.

Gavin
It’s a whole experience. The arrival, anticipation while you do a late wee and grab a dagwood dog (if we can make that happen!) then parking in your position in the middle of the RNA showground, is half the gig. It creates a wonderful anticipation and sets you up for a pretty wild ride of B-grade thrills and spills.

How does it feel to finally get your show on the road post Covid lockdown?

Grayson
“Post” covid? Oh I like that! I already feel a lot better since you asked the question! It is great to get this piece on the road again because it’s not something that we have had to reduce the scope of in any way to fit restrictions. It was almost two years ago that we teamed up with Performing Lines, delved into the world of cars (Chryslers on the Murray in Albury Wodonga and the 12 hour endurance race at Bathurst), and in March 2019 we came out the other end with a homage to the old school drive-ins and b-grade horror.

It also happened to be the perfect COVID safe work. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Gavin
Lucky. Privileged.

And grateful to Brisbane festival and Louise Bezzina for having the courage to put the thing on so that we can bring people together once again. For us making art is about fostering human connection so to share something again feels like a profound act. That might be a weird thing to say about a B-grade horror drive-in show but our world is big and scary at the moment, and I think a few screams and laughs might be a good, cathartic way to deal with an uncomfortable reality.

For more information about the Brisbane Festival season visit – https://www.performinglines.org.au/projects/throttle/

In everything we do, we acknowledge that we live on Aboriginal land and constantly learn from the wisdom of our First Peoples.

Where we are and the history that precedes us informs how we work and how we move forward.