Theatre & Dance

Latest Melbourne theatre and dance reviews and previews

On stage in July
Theatre

On stage in July

July in Melbourne is all about variety. 

Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical is returning to Oz
Blog

Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical is returning to Oz

If you can't get enough of '90s Australiana, then it's a great time to be alive. In 2014, there was the diamante-studded Strictly Ballroom the Musical. Later this year, Sydney Theatre Company will bring Porpoise Spit to the stage with a musical version of Muriel's Wedding. And in January next year, Priscilla Queen of the Desert will sashay into Melbourne's Regent Theatre, then make its way to Sydney's Capitol Theatre in May, Adelaide in August and Brisbane in September.  Why is it back now, you ask? The musical adaptation of Stephan Elliot's 1994 camp classic – which starred Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp as drag queens – premiered in Sydney in 2006. Since then it has travelled the world, picking up a Tony and an Olivier award, plus a swag of other accolades, along the way. Finally, Priscilla will return to her homeland 10 years after the musical closed in Australia back in 2008, with the show's original director (and doyen of Australian theatre) Simon Phillips at the helm (who most recently directed the MTC's Macbeth).  "It's a joy to be back in the driver's seat for the homecoming of this bona fide national treasure," says Simon Phillips. "Behind the sparkles, feathers and camp feel-good factor is a story that remains as relevant as it did when the film was released 20-odd years ago with a message of hope, tolerance and acceptance." Photograph: Supplied   If you've never seen the film, then a) get on that ASAP; and b) slip on your best sequinned outfit

Mamma Mia! is coming to Melbourne
Blog

Mamma Mia! is coming to Melbourne

We knew it was coming, but the full tour details for ABBA jukebox Mamma Mia! have just been announced by producers Michael Coppel, Louise Withers & Linda Bewick – and yes, you'll have to head to Canberra this November if you want to see the premiere. Melbourne will have to wait until July 2018, when it opens at the Princess Theatre. The new Australian production will star Natalie O'Donnell (who sung lead in indie show Next to Normal at the Hayes in 2015) as mother-of-the-bride Donna, and Sarah Morrison (who was superb in the lead role of precocious teenager Lesley/Lisa in Ladies in Black) will star as Sophie.  Alicia Gardiner (Offspring) will play Donna's bestie Rosie, and Jayde Westaby (Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical) will play Tanya. The three potential fathers will be played by Ian Stenlake, Philip Lowe (currently starring in Big Fish at the Hayes) and Josef Ber (Savages). Stephen Mahy (Jersey Boys) will play Sophie's fiancé, Sky. Gary Young (Georgy Girl) will direct. Mamma Mia! last had an outing in Australia in 2009, and before that in 2001 (where Natalie O'Donnell played Sophie, and Alicia Gardiner played Ali). On sale dates for the Melbourne season are yet to be announced, but you can jump on the waitlist here. Check out our hit list of current and upcoming musical theatre in Melbourne.

The perpetual warfare of the Middle East inspires MTC's new Macbeth
Blog

The perpetual warfare of the Middle East inspires MTC's new Macbeth

When Simon Phillips tackled Richard III for Melbourne Theatre Company, in 2010, he was inspired by George Bush; when he took on Julius Caesar, in the ’90s, it was Thatcher’s Britain. So one shudders to think of what might inspire him to stage Shakespeare’s most brutal and bloody tragedy, Macbeth. As it happens, his Macbeth has nothing to do with contemporary America and its preposterous President.  “It’s ludicrous to say that America today is like Macbeth’s Scotland,” Phillips demurs. “[America] is fucked, but it isn’t that.” Instead, Phillips turned his attention to the perpetual battlefield of the Middle East for inspiration. “I saw a fantastic photograph early on when I was conceiving this, of a whole force of army trucks and soldiers on the ground with guns – all red – and this woman, swathed in black, stopping and talking to them. It was such a potent image, somehow.” It led him to a conception of the ‘weird sisters’ as people “who are disenfranchised, un-homed. I wanted them to be against the established order, a force for chaos.”   Director Simon Phillips (centre) in the rehearsal room for Macbeth Photograph: Deryk McAlpin     A world of endless warfare, of a bloodlust that can never be sated, does brilliantly describe Macbeth’s Scotland, and when it came to casting the brutish Thane, Phillips wanted someone who could convincingly play a soldier. Enter Hollywood heartthrob Jai Courtney: “Have you met him? He’s massive. He’s over six foot, built like a brick

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

You might also like...

Little Creatures Live
Things to do

Little Creatures Live

You might already enjoy their beer – including Pale Ale, Rogers' and Dog Days – but did you know there's a way to take your Little Creatures love a little deeper? This year the brewery is taking their show on the road with a series of parties that feature live performance art, food and beer at various on-premise locations and festivals across Australia. They're calling it Little Creatures Live – inspired by the original moniker of their very first Pale Ale, brewed their own way with fresh hops flowers and live yeast.  Little Creatures Live will be back in Melbourne very soon. Curious as to what to expect? Check out our recaps below. Or if you can't wait, why not pay a visit to Little Creatures' Geelong or Fremantle breweries? 

The Perth Hitlist: What to do and where to go on a three or five day stay
Travel

The Perth Hitlist: What to do and where to go on a three or five day stay

It’s the only capital city in Australia where you can watch the sun set over the ocean, but that’s not the only reason Perth is now one of the coolest places to visit. Once known only for its pristine beaches, Perth’s love of food and culture is capturing the attention of tastemakers. Blame it on Instagram or the perfect weather – no one can explain how WA’s capital city made its way onto the international radar – but the latest frenzy of new hotel openings, a statewide culinary scene that is booming and a string of new urban projects may provide some clues. Stay a little longer and you can explore ancient caves and award winning wineries just three hours ‘down south’ around Margaret River. // var axel = Math.random() + ""; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write(''); //

13 things we love about winter in Melbourne
Things to do

13 things we love about winter in Melbourne

When winter's chill sets in, it can be tempting to hibernate. Our advice: don't. As a city that takes pride in its top-notch food and drink culture, arts, festivals and fashion, Melbourne comes into its own in winter – and we're here to help you make the most of it. Never have a boring winter's day again with these 14 rainy day activities in Melbourne; and stay toasty with our list of 21 ways to beat the cold. If all else fails, grab a seat next to the fireplace at one of these cosy pubs.