Elise Lawrence

Freelance Writer


Elise Lawrence is a freelance writer and editor currently working in Brisbane, Australia.

Her work has been published in Limelight Magazine, Hot Chicks with Big Brains, Voiceworks, Kyoto Journal, Mous Magazine, Overland, and more.

Capricorn ★★★

An offbeat story about love and pet fish has moments of sharp humour and sincere vulnerability, but lacks clarity.

White China ★★★★

A moving portrait of five women untangling a family legacy of shame and secrets to find peace and reconnection.

The Poison of Polygamy ★★★★

An epic tale full of flawed characters and moral quandaries adapted from the earliest Chinese-language novel published in Australia.

As You Like It ★★★★

Damien Ryan's As You Like It is a wonderfully absurd and entertaining night of Shakespeare, including new original music.

Family Values ★★★

David Williamson's Family Values is a great conversation starter, but too many ideas cloud the social commentary.

First Casualty (Queensland Theatre)

A high-adrenaline drama from a unique perspective, portraying the daily lives of Australian soldiers in 2011 Afghanistan.

Fourteen ★★★½

Despite some curious omissions, this stage adaptation of Shannon Molloy's memoir features outstanding performances that deliver magnificent moments of emotion and humour.

An Ideal Husband ★★★★

Lewis Treston's bold and sexy reworking of the 1895 classic takes audiences on a Wilde night out in 90s Canberra.

The Sunshine Club ★★★★

The legendary artist takes us on an engrossing ride through the less-travelled roads of Australia's musical heritage and identity. The editors of Limelight share their selection of the most exciting classical music, opera and theatre events coming soon. This month's concert highlights from ABC Classic, independent radio and streaming.

The Last Five Years (La Boite Theatre)

An entertaining production of the bittersweet musical, which dissects a love story from beginning to end and back again, but there is more emotion to be found.

Return to the Dirt (Queensland Theatre) ★★★★

Queensland Theatre closes its 2021 season with the world premiere of Steve Pirie’s Return to the Dirt, a poignant play about a young man who finds himself working in the funeral industry. Directed by Lee Lewis, the play offers an interesting insight into the workings of a regional Australian funeral home, and the indelible emotional and psychological toll of working with the dead and caring for those still living.

Brisbane's Art Boat - Northshore Loop (Brisbane Festival & Northshore)

Brisbane’s Art Boat is a floating art experience linking the Brisbane Festival 2021 precincts at South Bank and Northshore, Hamilton. A 75-minute open-air cruise on the Brisbane River, Brisbane’s Art Boat offers an art installation, a bar and pop-up performances from a range of genres and performers; the Northshore Loop cruise on 10 September featured beatboxer Tom Thum as the guest artist.

Boy Swallows Universe (Queensland Theatre) ★★★★½

The much-anticipated adaptation of Trent Dalton’s bestselling debut novel has made its world premiere at QPAC as part of Brisbane Festival 2021, after a 12-month postponement due to COVID-19. Adapted for the stage by Tim McGarry and directed by Sam Strong, Boy Swallows Universe captures the big heart of Dalton’s book and delivers it with inventive stagecraft and cinematic flair.

Dead Puppet Society sets sail in a sea of stars

Dead Puppet Society has arrived in the Cremorne Theatre at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and the space is buzzing with movement, energy and anticipation ahead of the world premiere of Ishmael, which will open as part of Brisbane Festival 2021 after a 12-month postponement.

CAESAR (La Boite Theatre Company) ★★★★★

La Boite chews up Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and spits out a hilarious, earnest, and political metatheatrical work about making art that represents who and where we truly are.

Taming of the Shrew (Queensland Theatre)

Queensland Theatre’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy The Taming of the Shrew is bursting with life and humour, but leaves its promise to “rescue this classic love story from the clutches of controversy” unfulfilled.

★★★★½ North by Northwest (Kay + McLean Productions)

Featuring two musicals, three festivals, a new dance work from Australian Dance Theatre and a Chinese New Year Concert with the ASO. The famous opera house in Milan is also home to a world-renowned ballet company. Jo Litson discovers what's afoot when the Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company visits Brisbane next month for its first ever Australian tour.

★★★★½ Hedda (Queensland Theatre)

Bille Brown Theatre, Brisbane November 20, 2018 Queensland Theatre are finishing their 2018 season with a bang as Hedda transforms the Bille Brown Theatre into a lavish Gold Coast mansion and drags audiences down into the underbelly of the drug business in this localised version of Ibsen's classic.

★★★★½ Nearer the Gods (Queensland Theatre)

Three world premieres, a musical, radio murder mysteries, a stage adaptation of the film Baby Doll, and the return of Diplomacy are all on the bill. Queensland Theatre and Malthouse Theatre bring Osamah Sami's absurd and affectionate memoir to Brisbane audiences. Tim Finn's score plays a key role in Sam Strong's new Queensland Theatre production.

★★★★★ Everyday Requiem (Expressions Dance Company)

Composer Gordon Hamilton and beatboxer Tom Thum will be the first artistic team to take up the new artistic residency in the Adelaide Hills. Expressions celebrates Natalie Weir's 10th year as AD with a triple bill called 4Seasons featuring dancers from Hong Kong. A spectacular evening embracing the joy of nature and the drama of death.

Overland literary journal
Return to reading

Goodreads is about comparison, for better or worse. How many books have you read compared to your friends, your co-workers, your best mate's mum? What did you think of this book, or that one?

★★★★★ The Longest Minute (Queensland Theatre)

Sport and theatre collide in this impassioned work about footy, family, and never giving up on your team. Following seasons in Townsville and Cairns, Queensland Theatre brings to QPAC a show full of Far Northern heart.

Hot Chicks with Big Brains
Books for Big Brains: Nina Riggs' The Bright Hour - Hot Chicks with Big Brains

Every so often we're sent new books that are written by women. We've decided to take advantage of this by publishing short, succinct reviews that give you the lowdown on the quality content found within each book's pages. These reviews form part of an ongoing series: Books for Big Brains .

Peter Pan (Queensland Ballet) - Limelight

Playhouse Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane October 26, 2017 Faith, trust and pixie dust abound in the Playhouse Theatre as Queensland Ballet brings Trey McIntyre's whimsical Peter Pan back to Brisbane. Fifteen years after its initial creation and two years after it first captivated Brisbane audiences, the full-length ballet takes us on a playful journey to Neverland, where no one has to grow up.

Review: La Fille mal gardée (Queensland Ballet)

Queensland Ballet presents a stunning and truly funny production of La Fille mal gardée - "The Wayward Daughter", or, more literally, "The Badly Guarded Girl". Young lovers Lise and Colas are forbidden from being together by Lise's mother, the influential Widow Simone, who has arranged a marriage for Lise to the son of a wealthy vineyard owner.

Review: Swan Lake (Queensland Ballet)

Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane May 9, 2017 The story of Swan Lake has been captivating audiences for over a century. Prince Siegfried falls in love with the Swan Princess Odette, who has been cursed by the sorcerer Von Rothbart.

Review: Raw (Queensland Ballet)

Queensland Ballet's first mainstage production of 2017 is an emotionally-charged triple bill featuring works by Liam Scarlett, Greg Horsman and Christopher Bruce. The three pieces are themed around love, loss, and death, creating a captivating performance that seeks to explore the raw edges and emotions of the human experience.

Review: Snow White (Ballet Preljocaj)

★★★★½ Ballet Preljocaj brings their deliciously dark production exclusively to Brisbane. QPAC Lyric Theatre, Brisbane September 2, 2016 Ballet Preljocaj's Snow White has made its Australian premiere as part of the QPAC International Series 2016. Based heavily on the original Grimm Brothers tale, it is a distinctly adult production and is not recommended for children.

Cyclone in a Teacup

Part memoir, part creative nonfiction. Reflecting on Cyclone Larry ten years on.

Review: Chi Udaka (Taikoz & Lingalayam)

Taikoz's Japanese drums come together with the intricate movements of Australian-Indian dance company Lingalayam for Chi Udaka - a celebration of music, dance and the forces of nature. Combining the strength and solidity of earth ('chi' in Japanese) in the taiko players and the fluidity of water ('udaka' in Sanskrit) through the movements of the Lingalayam dancers, this unique production celebrates life through these elements as they occur in a single day.

Review: Strictly Gershwin (Queensland Ballet)

Queensland Ballet celebrates the glitz and glamour of the 1920s and '30s in style with Strictly Gershwin. First produced and performed by the English National Ballet in 2008, the ballet is a stunning tribute to the Gershwin brothers' memorable music and the sparkling age of Hollywood musicals.

Womankind Magazine
Declutter Challenge

A five-day decluttering challenge, and a reflection on our attachment to objects that we do not need and may not even like.

Good Good Girl
The Silent Ranking System Eating Disorders

When I was about ten years old - gangly, ravenous, messy-haired - I read an article in a dental surgery waiting room about twin sisters. The young women pouting off the page looked bizarre, like insects or aliens, and I felt bad for them because they were dying from a terrible illness.

Review: Lest We Forget (Queensland Ballet)

Queensland Ballet's latest mainstage production, Lest We Forget, is a powerful mixed bill featuring works from renowned choreographers Ma Cong, Natalie Weir and Paul Taylor. Beginning each performance with a minute's silence, all three pieces explore themes of love and loss in wartime, from those who served and those who were left behind.

mous magazine
Fairtrade Porn

Pornography plays a significant role in shaping sexual culture. In the past it has largely been tailored to the sexual desires of heterosexual men. Sometimes it seems that there is little available to serve those who don't feel that their interests are represented in mainstream pornography.

Review: Much Ado About Nothing (Queensland Theatre Company)

Queensland Theatre Company celebrates the 400-year legacy of William Shakespeare with a delightful, contemporary performance of his classic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Their first preview show, on April 23, marked the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death. Much Ado About Nothing is often touted as the "world's first romantic comedy".

Review: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Queensland Ballet)

Playhouse Theatre, QPAC April 13, 2016 Queensland Ballet has opened their 2016 mainstage season with a stunning rendition of Shakespeare's classic comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, a co-production between the Queensland company and Royal New Zealand Ballet. The story itself is over 400 years old, but Liam Scarlett's choreography is anything but stale.

mous magazine
The reality of Donald Trump

Trump's presidential campaign, which seemed to us a very bad-taste joke when it began, has taken The Apprentice's big dog in a bad wig Donald Trump to the front of the polls as preferred Republican candidate.

mous magazine
Forgotten, but not gone

Mary is 98 years old. On weekdays, she spends her time at the local seniors'centre; playing air hockey, Wii bowling, dancing, and occasionally joining her friends in a drum circle. On weekends, she sits alone in her house and shreds junk mail into tiny pieces with her hands.

mous magazine

Mia continues, saying that impetus for her designs come from everywhere, but particularly from nature. "I've grown up on the coast so I'm no stranger to the ocean. I seem to always fall back to nature," she says, adding that while she loves Pinterest, it can be hard to 'stop the scroll'.

mous magazine
Made by Flint

The next step is to develop the physical mould, Andy continues: "Concrete is so versatile if you have a mould to pour it into.

Queensland Ballet announces a glamour filled 2016

Queensland Ballet supporters and season ticket holders were treated to a glittering preview of the company's upcoming 2016 season - A Light Fantastic. Queensland Ballet wraps up their highly successful 2015 season of fairy tale ballets, including their international debut at London's Coliseum Theatre, with Sleeping Beauty in October.

Review: The Sleeping Beauty (Queensland Ballet)

The crown jewel in its season of fairytale ballets, Queensland Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty presents a magical take on the well-worn classic, while respecting tradition. The story of the beautiful princess who sleeps for a hundred years, only able to be woken by true love's kiss, is one that many have grown up with.

mous magazine
Crafting a Change

I was walking through Brisbane's Queen Street Mall in the same way that most people do-head down, earphones in, trying to reach my destination without making eye contact-but something colourful jerked me into the reality of my surroundings. The steel bollard that blocked traffic from entering a narrow street had been covered with a patchwork of colourful, knitted squares.

mous magazine
Givin' girls an ego

Bianca adds, "I think one of the main factors that hinders [women] is that we're constantly criticised for having egos, chasing what we want or taking control of our bodies. I want to help remove those sorts of negative connotations and encourage women to develop that sense of self through features, interviews and collaborations.

mous magazine
It's not my revolution if I can't wear pink

AY says that drawing wasn't originally going to be part of the project. "People started finding me online and writing to me about their own ambivalence. I remember not knowing exactly what to respond sometimes, which is why I started answering with drawings.

mous magazine
Milly Dent

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to stack the rolling blue surf of Bondi on to the shelves of your home, Milly Dent's namesake ceramics are your answer. Named as one of Vogue Living's "Top 25 Australian designers to follow on Instagram", Milly creates tableware that is as beautiful as it is functional.

Review: French Revelations (Southern Cross Soloists)

Concert Hall, QPAC, Southern Cross Soloists June 28, 2015 The Southern Cross Soloists continue to celebrate their 20th birthday in style with a matinee repertoire of popular French compositions, skilfully performed alongside special guests Piers Lane and Marshall McGuire. The concert began with Jean-Féry Rebel's Le Chaos, which Creative Director Tania Frazer cited as the inspiration for the concert's title.

mous magazine
Reclaim Australia

If you are an Australian, and not also a hermit residing in a remote location, it is unlikely that the Reclaim Australia (RA) movement has escaped your notice over the past few months.

Review: The Importance of Being Earnest (W!ILD RICE)

Playhouse Theatre, QPAC, W!LD RICE September 13, 2015 Glen Goei directs an all-male ensemble in Oscar Wilde's classic comedy The Importance of Being Earnest as part of the 2015 Brisbane Festival's Singapore Snapshots. Their performance of what Wilde described as a "trivial comedy for serious people" sparkled like champagne, and kept its audience laughing out loud.

Review: Peter Pan (Queensland Ballet)

Playhouse Theatre, QPAC, Queensland Ballet July 11, 2015 In the second ballet of its fairytale-themed 2015 season, the Queensland Ballet has brought a little bit of magic to its audiences with the tale of Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up. Based on the plays and novels of J.M.

mous magazine
Feminism and BDSM

The first time I witnessed bondage in pop culture was when I watched Pulp Fiction at the age of sixteen, the same year that Rhianna released her pop song S&M. Less than twelve months later, the bestselling grammatical nightmare that is Fifty Shades of Grey hit the shelves and I haven't stopped hearing about it since.

mous magazine
In(accurate) Memoriam

In Australia, this guilt rose to the surface on a national level a few months ago for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, and the beginning of the ANZAC 'legend'. Scott McIntyre was fired from his job as a journalist for SBS when he used Twitter to express his cynicism of the ANZAC mythos.

Review: La Sylphide (Queensland Ballet)

Playhouse Theatre, QPAC March 26, 2015 The oldest Romantic ballet to be continuously performed since its premiere in the early nineteenth century, La Sylphide is a tragic tale of impossible love.

Review: Desh (Akram Khan Company)

Desh, meaning 'homeland' in Bengali, is a stirring personal account of culture and the search for a sense of belonging from acclaimed artist Akram Khan. Crossing cultures and oceans from Bangladesh to Britain, Khan takes his audience on a profound and intriguing journey in an incredible 80 minute solo performance.

Dance review: Coppélia (Queensland Ballet)

Playhouse, QPAC May 3, 2014 The Queensland Ballet have created a wonderful experience for the whole family with their new adaptation of Coppélia. With interactive storytelling prior to the performance and Q&A sessions with the dancers after selected shows, Coppélia should captivate audiences of all ages.

Review: Three Masterpieces (American Ballet Theatre)

September 5, 2014 Following rave reviews of their debut performance of Swan Lake, the American Ballet Theatre continued their winning streak with Three Masterpieces, a triple bill of ballets created specifically for the company over the course of their history and performed for the first time in Australia as part of the QPAC International Series.

Review: Swan Lake (American Ballet Theatre)

August 28, 2014 The American Ballet Theatre have made their breathtaking debut on the Australian stage in Swan Lake, exclusive to Brisbane as part of the QPAC International Series. In conjunction with Queensland Tourism and Events, the International Series began with the intention of 'bringing the world to Brisbane' and has seen world-class companies such as the Hamburg and Bolshoi Ballets perform exclusive shows at QPAC.

Review: The Effect (Queensland & Sydney Theatre Company)

June 13, 2014 The Effect, a new play from acclaimed young British writer Lucy Prebble, is an achingly raw composition about the way that we live our lives, the way that we fall in love, and whether it really matters in the end.

Theatre review: Cock (Melbourne Theatre Company @ La Boite)

La Boite Theatre, Brisbane April 8, 2014 Following rave reviews from London and a sold-out season in Melbourne, Mike Bartlett's latest production, Cock, has been equally well-received by Brisbane audiences. Nearing the end of a highly praised season at the La Boite theatre in Kelvin Grove, the play explores the timeworn notion of the love triangle in a fresh, contemporary way.

Dance review: Don Quixote (Imperial Russian Ballet)

Queensland Performing Arts Centre April 4, 2014 They impressed theatre-goers with their Festival of Russian Ballet last October, and the Imperial Russian Ballet Company did not disappoint when they returned to Brisbane for two nights only, performing Minkus's Don Quixote in full.

Cyclone Larry - Tales of Survival from the Children of North Queensland
Cyclone Larry: a storm to remember

A personal story about experiencing a natural disaster, written in the wake of Category 5 Cyclone Larry in 2006.