Sydney Festival’s popular About An Hour series will overrun Carriageworks with a program of 38 performances spanning theatre, dance,opera, magic and acrobatics. BRAG caught up with programmer Adam McGowan to get the low-down on what to expect from the diverse lineup.

Each show aims for the 60-minute mark and cost just $35 a head. With such a small investment of time and cash, McGowan urges people to “take a bit of a chance on the works”. This idea of chance courses through these performances, especially Cadavre Exquis (Exquisite Corpse). This theatrical experiment is inspired by the Surrealist game of the same name, where a poet writes a single line on a piece of paper before folding it over and passing it to the next person, composing an unpredictable collaboration. Cadavre Exquis was similarly devised by several theatre companies: Kassys (The Netherlands), Nature Theater of Oklahoma (US), Tim Crouch (UK) and Nicole Beutler (Germany/The Netherlands). McGowan reveals that each part is guided only by the last minute of the previous piece, which he describes as a “truly original and dynamic approach to theatre making”.

About An Hour’s programmer is equally excited about Forklift. KAGE combines choreography and aerial acrobatics with a functioning forklift. In Gudirr Gudirr, Dalisa Pigram explores the lives of Aboriginal people around Broome. She explains that her work takes its name from the bird that calls when the tide is turning, with the dance serving as a warning that “we need to look at new ways to take our cultural knowledge forward, keeping old ways strong in a new light”. In His Music Burns, the Sydney Chamber Opera and Sydney Theatre Company present two contemporary masterpieces: pas И pas – nulle part…, a musical meditation on the absurdist poems of Samuel Beckett, and Into The Little Hill, a retelling of the Pied Piper as a dark political tragedy.