The Australian Ballet’s 2018 season
In their 55th year, the Australian Ballet are keeping things in-house, with a season that draws exclusively on new and existing works created specifically for the company – by major choreographers and fresh talent. Melbourne’s season will open with a tribute to an Australian star: choreographer (and former Australian Ballet dancer) Graeme Murphy. Titled Murphy, the bill will feature Murphy’s acclaimed 2009 take on ‘Firebird’ (created for the Australian Ballet, as part of a triple bill paying homage to major 20th century works by the Ballet Russes), alongside a series of shorter works created during his tenure as artistic director of Sydney Dance Company. The Australian Ballet are also bringing back two classics of their repertoire: The Merry Widow, which was the first feature-length ballet commissioned by the company, in 1975, and featured the twin talents of dancer and theatre director Robert Helpmann and choreographer Ronald Hynd; and Maina Gielgud’s 1986 production of 19th century romantic ballet Giselle, created during her tenure as artistic director of the Australian Ballet. The Australian Ballet – Giselle (2015) Photograph: Daniel Boud And it’s not just about big names: the Australian Ballet is championing young talent in 2018, via the return of its popular ‘contemporary’ triple-bill (presenting works by young choreographers, created in residence with the company), and the world premiere of a major new production of Spartacus. This year’s contemporary
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
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Salt and pepper squid in Melbourne
Deep fried squid, calamari, salt and pepper squid – whatever you want to call it and whichever way you want to fry it – it comes up on every other menu in Melbourne. From pubs to fine diners, Italian institutions to the local fish and chip shop, we scooted around the city to see who's frying up the cephalopods in the most interesting of ways, and letting you pay for your salty fried treat using your American Express.
Check out O'Connell's new menu
Whether you're after a full gastronomic pub tasting menu or you just want to knock back a steak and a beer, O'Connell's has a tasty new menu and specials to boot. The South Melbourne pub's kitchen is headed up by head chef Tom Brockbank, who combines counter classics with seasonal produce driven mains. Weekly bar specials make for a great reason to head to the main bar or out to the leafy beer garden. On Monday, O'Connells will furnish you with a 250gm grass fed porterhouse steak with salad, chips, relish and a glass of house red for $20 to ease you into the week while on Tuesday you can enjoy a pot and a beef and Guiness pie at the bar from 5pm. Come in on Wednesday for the new squid and sparkling special, where you'll get fried calamari with bubbles, house wine or beer for $20. Meanwhile on Sundays you can knock back $2 oysters and $10 prosecco. Finally, head to the restaurant to try the tasting menu, which showcases some of Brockbank's best dishes over four courses for just $55, with optional matching wines for an additional $45. Find out more about O'Connell's and check out the new menu.
Melbourne’s Tallest Lunch
Sofitel Melbourne On Collins will celebrate the arrival of No35's new chef de cuisine Michael Harrison, with this special shared lunch. Debuting his new menu as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Melbourne's Tallest Lunch will preview Harrison's food philosophy, by showcasing 35 shared dishes. After working alongside some of the country's best chefs and at some of the top restaurants including renowned Jeremy Strode at Langton and Ben Shewry at Attica, Harrison will bring a menu that works with fresh produce and interesting flavour combinations. Start with a round of fresh house-made French bread, accompanied by duck parfait; pickled oysters; smoked bacon with blueberries and oyster mayonnaise; and whipped goats curd. Other menu highlights include yellowfin tuna tartare, shaven foie gras with spring onion and barbecue beef short rib. Extensive main dishes include whole fried snapper with homemade yellow curry sauce; slow cooked shoulder of lamb; and roast suckling pig, which will be complemented by spiced roasted cauliflower; heirloom carrots with macadamia feta and caper raisin dressing; and mint buttered kipfler potatoes. Finish off with sweets including old school eton mess, warm chocolate mousse and peanut butter ice cream. No35’s Tallest Lunch menu represents a changing of the guard for the sky high restaurant, and will exemplify the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival's theme of community, by sharing each of 35 dishes. The one-off event also include a welco
10 midnight adventures in Melbourne
Melbourne is Australia's late-night city. The list of venues proudly displaying AM close times is growing, and gone are the days when the only option for a midnight snack were convenience stores or a solitary kebab shop. What's more, midnight in Melbourne doesn't just have to be about clubs and live music venues (although there are tons of those, too!) – there's plenty more to discover, including film, singalongs and mini golf. The best part? Public transport runs 24 hours on Friday and Saturday, so whether you're heading out for an adventure or finishing work after dark, there's no excuse not hit the town and explore the night. Plus when it’s time to head home trains, trams, buses and coaches will take you there.