Brisbane Festival in association with Queensland Performing Arts Centre present

En avant, marche!

03 - 07 Sep
QPAC - Playhouse
NTGent & les ballets C de la B / Frank Van Laecke, Steven Prengels & Alain Platel (BELGIUM)
Australian Premiere Exclusive to Brisbane

This brilliant fusion of music, dance, theatre and opera – including a full-scale brass band – is a pure, life-affirming celebration of the power of making music together.

With almost 40 performers on stage, Alain Platel – one of the world’s great performance makers – in collaboration with soul mate Frank Van Laecke celebrates the marching band community and one of its members, a larger-than-life trombonist coming to terms with his demotion to cymbal player.

Music clubs are a microcosm of society, a collection of individuals striving to play in harmony. In this exuberant story of love, thwarted ambition and youth, teachers, solicitors, plumbers and nurses are brought together while our hero trombonist terrorises band members, confides in the audience, sings arias and dances an unlikely ballet duet.

This genre-defying international collaboration places our own Brisbane Excelsior Band, winner of eight Australian National Championship titles, at its brimming heart.

The sensationally arranged music includes marching band classics along with Verdi, Beethoven, Schubert, Richard Strauss, Elgar and Holst.

Les ballets C de la B travels the globe with a thrilling mix of contemporary dance, text, theatre and music. This is the third time their work has been seen in Brisbane, following Coup Fatal in 2015 and Out of Context – For Pina in 2011.

A production that swoops between high and low culture and combines concert, theatre and dance in one category-defying package… it feels as if all human life is presented on stage. What is happening around the edges is always as intriguing as what is taking centre stage... It’s a show in which the gaps speak as eloquently as the action and messy humanity spills across the stage. Then they start to play and become one… absorbing.” (The Guardian)

The whole piece creates a world in which a life can be celebrated. (The Stage)

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The Brisbane Festival version of En avant, marche! will be performed in English.

En avant, marche! is part of the Festival Focus. Click here to take part in the Festival Conversation about Taking Part.

This production is primarily spoken in English. It contains some coarse language and sexual references.
En avant, marche! coproduced with La Rose Des Vents (Villeneuve d’Ascq, France), TorinoDanza (Italy), Théâtre National de Chaillot Paris (France), Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Festspielhaus St. Pölten (Austria), Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele (Germany), Festival Printemps des Comédiens Montpellier (France), Croation National Theatre Zagreb (Republic of Croatia), Le Maillon Strasbourg (France), GREC-Festival de Barcelona (Spain), KVS Bruxelles (Belgium), Brisbane Festival (Australia), Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne (Switzerland).
Photo credit: Phile Deprez
Dates Icon Dates
No session information available


Post-show Q&A Tuesday 6 September.

For group bookings of 6 or more, please use our group booking form


Auslan performance
Sunday 4 September, 7:30pm

Duration : 100 minutes
Adult $69
Concession^ $65


Adult $65
Concession^ $63

^Full-time students, Pensioners, Seniors card holders
(a $6.95 fee applies per transaction)

Venue Icon Venue
QPAC - Playhouse

Corner Grey and Melbourne Streets
Queensland Performing Arts Centre
QLD 4101

Sunday 4 September performance is Auslan interpreted. For bookings, please contact Qtix Group Sales on (07) 3840 7466 or email
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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