Brisbane Festival and Opera Queensland in association with Queensland Performing Arts Centre present


15 - 19 Sep
QPAC - Playhouse
Third World Bunfight / Brett Bailey (SOUTH AFRICA)
Australian Premiere Exclusive to Brisbane

The conflict in today's Congo is an inspired setting for this striking adaptation of Verdi's arresting opera.

In this re-creation, a group of Congolese refugees has stumbled upon a trunk filled with sheet music, costumes and gramophone recordings of Verdi's Macbeth. This theatrical paraphernalia is the catalyst for a dramatic re-telling of Shakespeare's tale of greed, tyranny and remorse, with the Macbeths as warlords, the three witches as double-crossing businessmen and Dunsinane as the Great Lakes region of Central Africa.

War rages over access to mineral resources.

Macbeth has been adapted from Verdi’s original score by Belgian composer Fabrizio Cassol. Performed by a 12-piece on-stage chamber orchestra – the spirited trans-Balkan ‘No Borders Orchestra’ – conducted by Premil Petrovic with 10 rich-voiced South African singers, and with captivating lighting design by Felice Ross, this is theatre for today: moving, fascinating, fast-paced and threaded through with African musical and theatrical influences.

"Undoubtedly the most exciting, provocative stage director in South Africa." (Sunday Independent, South Africa)

“An unforgettable musical and dramatic experience.” (The Argus, South Africa)

"This is not just another night at the opera, it's a séance - where high Western art meets a pan-African ethos, tongue firmly in post-colonial cheek." (The Star, South Africa)

“There can be no denying the power and originality of this astonishing appropriation of Verdi’s Macbeth…there’s blazing intensity and savage wit in Bailey’s staging, too… Nobulumko Mngxekeza who is positively a knockout as a fearsome, fearless Lady Macbeth… One comes away chilled and thrilled, but also awed.” ***** (Telegraph, UK)

Post show Q&A

Q&A following the performance in the Playhouse on Wednesday 16 September.

Festival Blog posts


Join artists from the show along with a panel for Festival Conversation ‘New Notes in Opera. This commences Sunday 6 September at 2pm at Studio 1, QPAC. Entry is free.

Join artists from the show along with a panel for Festival Conversation ‘Africa, Arts and the Great Forgetting. This commences Tuesday 15 September at 12pm at Auditorium 1, State Library of Queensland. Entry is free.



This production contains adult themes, coarse language, violence, strobe and sound pressure effects. Sung in Italian with English projected surtitles.
With the Support of the EU CULTURE FUND - co-produced by the Barbican, KFDA/KVS, Wienter Festwochen, Theateformen Festival and La Ferme Du Buisson. Third World Bunfight is supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund. Presented by arrangement with Arts Projects Australia.
Photography by Morne can Zyl & Brett Bailey
Dates Icon Dates
No session information available
Duration : 100 minutes

Adult $65 
Concession^ $60 
Adult $55 
Concession^ $50
Access Reserve 
Access $25** 
**Maximum of 4 tickets per transaction (selected seats only)

^Available to full time students, aged pensioners, senior card holders. Proof of eligibility is required when purchasing or collecting.
(a $6.95 fee applies per transaction)

Venue Icon Venue
QPAC - Playhouse

Corner Grey and Melbourne Streets
Queensland Performing Arts Centre
QLD 4101

Getting There

Catch an Uber to your Brisbane Festival event! First-time riders can use code BRISFEST17 for up to $20 off their ride.

Parking: Paid car parks at QPAC and South Bank Parklands
Bus: Cultural Centre busway station
Train: South Brisbane train station
Ferry: South Bank ferry terminal
Visit TransLink for public transport options

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