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This May, try a buffet of entertainment at the world’s most geographically-spread, open-access performance and arts festival here in Brisbane!

The idea behind Anywhere Theatre Festival is making live performance art more accessible by hosting shows in non-traditional venues. This is great news for Brisbane, where traditional performance venues are limited — and perhaps even a little bit on the pricey side for independent artists and small theatre companies.

Last year, 95,000 people attended 473 performances in 63 locations at the Anywhere Theatre Festival, which was higher than ticket-sale numbers for the commercial-style Brisbane Festival.

The Anywhere Theatre Festival has grown exponentially this year, and you can see any of the 704 performances anywhere except in a theatre (as this is the condition for producing a show for the festival). In the lead up to the seventh annual festival’s launch, Brisbane Stage was fortunate to have the opportunity to watch various preview shows. Here are our top three comedy show picks for the 2017 Anywhere Theatre Festival:

Big Fork Theatre - Apocalypse Variety Hour - Anywhere Theatre Festival

The Apocalypse Variety Hour Survive the apocalypse by heading underground to a basement-bar-turned-bunker with Brisbane’s improv and comedy sketch company, Big Fork Theatre. You could easily believe you have stumbled across an old survival shelter, complete with lamps, soup tins, boarded up walls and gas masks. The Apocalypse Variety Hour is in the format of a late night variety show and imagines what would happen if entertainment kept going after an atomic disaster. Every night audiences will meet exciting characters from the nuclear wastelands played by Big Fork Theatre performers, and experience a rotating line-up of sketches, games and segments. Special guests from the Anywhere Theatre Festival and Brisbane comedy scene will also be dropping by the bunker, guaranteeing a unique experience every time.

When: May 5, 6, 12 & 13 at 9:30pm Where: Padre Bar, 598 Stanley St, Woolloongabba, 4102 Tickets: Buy your tickets here Cost: Full $15, Concession $12 Rated: 18+

Get Your Affairs in Order From the same comedians who produced Tarnished Tiaras, these two Brisbane females know how to shine light on a dark subject! Get Your Affairs in Order is in our top three because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like a bit of black and irreverent humour? Most of us have been to funerals where something happens and you want to laugh out loud but you can’t because it would be inappropriate. Well, in this stand-up comedy eulogy you are permitted to laugh until you cry.

When: May 12 &13 at 7pm Where: The Brat Cave (Brat Haus), 47 Balaclava St, Woolloongabba, 4102 Tickets: Buy your tickets here Cost: $15 standard, $10 concessions Rated: M+

Around the Campfire If you’re looking for a family-friendly show that isn’t childish, Big Fork Theatre’s Around the Campfire perfectly balances improvised theatre, light humour, and outdoor entertainment for all ages. Around the Campfire is like those fun chats you have with your friends when you’re camping, but then actors turn those chats into scenes and it becomes even more hilarious. The outdoor amphitheatre is perfect for a campfire and you can even bring your own picnic. And because everything is made up on the spot, you can watch every show and never know what happens next!

When: 13, 14, 20 & 21 May at 6.30pm Where: Tarragindi Scouts Den, 31 Newington St, Tarragindi, 4121 Tickets: Buy your tickets here Cost: Full price $15, concession $12, kids under 12 $5, family (2 adults + 2 kids) $30 Rated: PG

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