Arts Review


Spooktacular! Presented by Brisbaret

The New Benner Theatre, Metro Arts

31st October 2023


Gemma Regan


Everyone had a frighteningly freaky evening full of mayhem, horror and fun!


Metro Arts in the funky West End gave everyone a night to remember with their spectacularly spooky Halloween cabaret show, Spooktacular! It was the third year of Brisbaret haunting the New Benner Theatre, presenting a celebration of scarily talented Brisbane performing artists. 


Five quirky variety acts supported the hosts of Brisbaret, featuring the best Bris-lebrities as Queensland curiosities! Musical comedian Sophie Banister, holder of the Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artist’s Fellowship, created the Brisbaret format along with the musical stylings of Thien Pham, who has performed nationally in the Melbourne Fringe Festival. 


The amusing hosts provided intellectual musical interludes laden with wise wit between each act and hosted the best dressed and Bake Off competitions. The winners of the best-dressed also judged the three cakes on taste, presentation and crumb with hilarious consequences.


Whalehouse were the new-wave punk house-band accompanying the acts throughout the evening. The three women were dressed in their Halloween best, with a zombie singer and a terrifying Nun on a green electric guitar. They were so loud that the audience was given earplugs, but the music was too much fun to block out, with riffs like Big Ant and I Hate Fresh Bread. They also taunted the resident skeleton, Algernon for wearing a T-shirt stating that he loved fresh bread. They are talented local Musicians and have performed alongside King Gizzard, The Chats and Aunty Donna. 


Charlie Love was the sexy pole dancer who spun and contorted around the pole in small white briefs, defying gravity with poise and perfect posture. He even treated the audience to sweets secreted in his posing pouch.


It was a disturbing storytime from the pixie with the parasol, Anna Straker. She has a Matilda Award nomination for her terrifying tales and taunted the audience with a puppet show on The Boy Who Ate Teeth. Her interactive audience participation was hilarious, as she demanded that we all react with a groan or aahh as the unsettling story unfolded. She is also a talented stilt walker, towering menacingly over the audience for the finale.


The voluptuous Russian comedian, Borishkiva was the sexy-evil Sandman with a Ph.D. She sang and entertained with salacious social commentary and despaired about Putin's actions and that he couldn’t even get Russia back into Eurovision!


Harrison & Andre were the Bogan footy stars of Bulimba’s rugby club. Appearing as the Honey Boys and stripping to their Christmas boxers, as they had missed the Halloween rush. They were hilarious throughout the evening describing how they had iced their Bake Off cake with their own essences that might get the judges pregnant!

It was a brilliantly bizarre evening ending in a grand finale with all the performers singing about Brisbane’s Uptown pretensions. Everyone had a frighteningly freaky evening full of mayhem, horror and fun and I’m already looking forward to next year's Spooktacular!


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Aunty Donna interview: Brisbane show in Oct 2021

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