Theatre & Dance

Latest Melbourne theatre and dance reviews and previews

On stage in April
Theatre

On stage in April

From Machiavellian monarchs to musical Mormons – your guide to the essentials.

How to get cheap theatre tickets in Melbourne
Theatre

How to get cheap theatre tickets in Melbourne

Venerable American theatre critic Jonathan Kalb once remarked that the only way to really enjoy theatre was in large doses. The playwright Terrence McNally recommends three nights a week at a minimum. Excellent advice! But what about your precious doubloons? That much theatre doesn't come cheap – not unless you strategise. Group bookings Most venues offer discounts group bookings, many for groups as low as eight. That's, like, what? Four couples? Two families? One book club? Easy. This is especially useful for those big musicals at the top end of town. Ticketek have their own group bookings department where you can expect to save between $5 and $20 per ticket depending on the promoter. The advantage of a group discount is you won't get stuck in seat ZZ 99 for the sake of saving a few bucks. Just the opposite: you might end up with a few perks thrown in. Subscription Duh. Of course, taking out a season or part-season subscription will save you money. But don't forget that subscriptions aren't just for the big "arts precinct" companies. You can also purchase season tickets for ambitious independents. At a place like Red Stitch you can save almost 30% per ticket by signing up for a full season. You might also consider purchasing subscriptions to smaller companies that don't have a permanent venue. Concession Again, duh. You don't need us to tell you that most venues offer some kind of concession rate for "eligible card holders". But wait – there's more! Many companies al

The Book of Mormon: what you need to know

The Book of Mormon: what you need to know

Find out what all the hype is about before this blockbuster comedy hits Melbourne in January

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The Bodyguard musical is coming to Australia
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The Bodyguard musical is coming to Australia

Children of the ’80s rejoice! For 2017 is looking to be a vintage season of musical versions of your favourite films – including the freshly announced tour of the musical version of The Bodyguard, and the previously announced Sydney Theatre Company/Global Creatures co-production of Muriel's Wedding – The Musical.  Premiering on London's West End in 2012, Alexander Dinelaris's musical version of The Bodyguard is based on the 1992 film starring your ’90s boyfriend Kevin Costner as an ex-Secret Service agent hired to protect a superstar from her stalker, and Whitney Houston as the damsel-in-distress, Rachel Marron. Needless to say, he does more that just guard her body.   The kind of understated costuming we'd like to see.     According to Time Out London, the book is cheesier than Stinking Bishops – but the musical ticks along nicely thanks to a soundtrack featuring Houston's hits – including the Dolly Parton-penned heartbreaker 'I Will Always Love You'. As the TOL reviewer wrote: "No scientific experiment has been performed to see how many Whitney Houston numbers any individual can hear without feeling their hips and possibly even their heart-rate shifting, but for this critic it was about five." The Australian tour of The Bodyguard (produced by Michael Harrison, David Ian and John Frost) will kick off in Sydney in April 2017. Watch this space for casting info and Melbourne dates.

Theatre, dance, musicals and opera on now in Melbourne

A guide to Melbourne's theatre scene

The best new and upcoming Melbourne shows
Theatre

The best new and upcoming Melbourne shows

Our critics' picks for theatre, musicals, opera and dance in Melbourne

The best new and upcoming musicals
Theatre

The best new and upcoming musicals

From indie shows to international blockbusters, here are the musicals you should book in to see

Latest Melbourne theatre reviews
Theatre

Latest Melbourne theatre reviews

Check out the latest theatre, musical, opera and dance reviews from Time Out's critics

How to get cheap theatre tickets in Melbourne
Theatre

How to get cheap theatre tickets in Melbourne

View from the cheap seats: a Time Out Melbourne guide to play-going for penny-pinchers

What's on at...

Arts Centre Melbourne
Theatre

Arts Centre Melbourne

Southbank Theatre – Melbourne Theatre Company
Theatre

Southbank Theatre – Melbourne Theatre Company

Malthouse Theatre
Theatre

Malthouse Theatre

Arts House
Theatre

Arts House

Melbourne Recital Centre
Music

Melbourne Recital Centre

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Alluvial Restaurant
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Alluvial Restaurant

At Alluvial Restaurant the past never feels far away. You’ll find the dining room located between Collins Street’s Rialto and Winfield buildings, both of which were built in the 1890s during the twilight years of Melbourne’s gold rush; the former is designed in Venetian neo-gothic style. Once a laneway, Alluvial Restaurant is now a soaring glass atrium, running all the way from Collins Street to Flinders Lane. Look up, and you’ll notice floors of five-star hotel rooms that once served as wool and wheat stores. Look down, and you might miss another of Alluvial Restaurant’s secrets: beneath the floorboards is the original bluestone cobbled laneway. While Alluvial Restaurant embraces its history, there is nothing passé about chef Tijn Bremmers’ menu, which takes inspiration from Melbourne’s many diverse cultures and brings them to life using local produce, fresh herbs from the hotel’s rooftop garden and honey harvested from their rooftop beehives. Start with finely sliced kingfish ceviche, topped with thin ribbons of cucumber and flanked by button-sized dollops of zingy lemon gel. Seafood lovers will also jump on the squid ink linguine – heirloom tomatoes and crayfish butter providing a rich sauce to the fat tiger prawns. Moreton Bay bugs come adorned with flavoursome crisp chicken skin, along with mild, melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin ravioli. And those crunchy, smoked paprika fries with garlic aioli? Follow your instinct and order them. When it comes to choosing a wine from the 1

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Here's what it's like to try opera for the first time
Theatre

Here's what it's like to try opera for the first time

Opera is one of our most revered forms of culture. But with great reputation comes a high intimidation-factor. At Time Out, we’re lucky enough to have seen plenty of operas, so we know it’s not all valkyries in horned helmets and heavy breast armour. But we also know not everyone has been so lucky. Like Shakespeare, The Iliad and The Odyssey or Jane Austen, opera has worked itself so deeply into our pop-cultural imaginations that most of us can probably recognise Bizet’s ‘Habanera’ aria, or the twisty plotting of Cosi Fan Tutte without necessarily knowing where it came from. Given this sense of familiarity, we figured that for most people, seeing a famous opera for the first time will feel more like reconnecting with an old friend than meeting someone new. To test the theory, we gathered together four young creative types, with very different backgrounds, from three different cities, with one thing in common: they’d never been to the opera as an adult. We brought them all to Sydney for Opera Australia’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme and filmed the results.   Melburnian Ali Barter may make grungy guitar pop now, but the Girlie Bits singer is also a classically trained soprano. As a kid, she’d actually appeared on stage in an opera, but she’d never seen one performed before. “I imagine I’m going to be blown away by their technical ability,” she told us before the show. True to her word, she came out impressed. “Just their breathing ability… it was incredible. Now I kn

Cabaret the Musical
Theatre

Cabaret the Musical

Transport yourself to the last days of bohemian hedonism in pre-Nazi Berlin when Kander and Ebb's great musical Cabaret comes to the Athenaeum Theatre. The Melbourne run will see Paul Capsis take on the role of the louche Emcee of the Kit Kat Klub, and Chelsea Gibb playing the Klub's star attraction, Sally Bowles.  Expect plenty of jazz hands, skimpy costumes, feather boas and famous numbers such as 'Willkomen', 'Money (Makes the World Go Around)' and 'Don't Tell Mama'. Choreography is by Kelley Abbey and musical direction by Lindsay Partridge.  If you really want to make a night out of it, make sure you book one of the Kit Kat Club Tables, which will have you seated front and centre, right up in the action. Find out more about Cabaret the Musical.