10 years ago, The Danger Ensemble was founded and named such - not to demonstrate an aesthetic or overt risqué attitude but to remind the company to always be uncomfortable, to be in danger of failing. This last decade has provided much opportunity and support for the company and Brisbane has been a wonderful home for us.
As our birthday rolled around the company asked itself big questions, including are we relevant? does our investigation sustain us? should we continue as a company? is Brisbane the best place for us to be? are we still uncomfortable?
We have grown and changed in this last decade too. We have made works that we vehemently stand behind, we have made works that we would prefer to never speak of again. We have always tried to uphold an ambition in the work and risk failure. We have been supported and funded by almost every organisation or venue we could have been - we have always had great audience numbers and good support from local media. We have worked with incredible artists, producers, creatives and it was amazing. was.
The ecology here has changed dramatically, this is true nationally also - we are now in an era of increased conservatism in programming, in funding and in audience attendance. This is a reality. Money is difficult, it always has been. Opportunities are fewer for everyone. The avenues for independent organisations have dwindled. This is hugely problematic as often they are the ones that provide genuine opportunities for emerging artists - investing in their artistry, and provide work that sits in counter to main stage commercialism. Brisbane City Council and Arts Queensland need to take a very serious look at the way they are supporting local artists as well as young and emerging artists through their funding and venues as right now, independent companies are being forced to grow like weeds out of the cracks in the concrete. It's not healthy and these companies may not survive, let alone thrive. Our theatre is boring and dying. We would be remiss if we didn't call these things out but they are secondary to our announcement.
Brisbane, despite being our home and such an incredible supportive city - we have become too comfortable here - and it is time for us to leave you.
It is with smiles slapped across our mouths and some tears in our eyes that we announce The Hamlet Apocalypse will be our final major theatrical work* as a Brisbane-based company. In 2018, we will be making the pilgrimage that many artists have before us and planting roots in Melbourne: to be inspired by a new place and new artists, to force ourselves to redefine who we are and what we do, to reunite with old lovers, introduce ourselves to new ones and to make ourselves nervous and uncomfortable again.
Brisbane, thank you - we love you and we will be back - you will always be our home but no longer our house.
Photo by Morgan Roberts. The Hamlet Apocalypse rehearsals - East Brisbane Bowls Club.
*keep eyes peeled for a limited ticket event-come-goodbye party in November.