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
Five reasons you should head to Hobart's Dark Mofo festival this winter
Now in its fifth year, Tasmania’s Dark Mofo festival has a reputation for programming the dark, demented and esoteric with huge success. The secret seems be partly the niche-ness itself, and partly the fact that they make sure there’s enough free and accessible art and performance to create a genuine sense of festivity across the whole city for two weeks in June. There’s a Nude Solstice Swim, light and sound installations that take place across the harbour and foreshore (this year’s sonic intervention is Siren Song by Melbourne sound engineer Byron J Scullin and the Supple Fox collective), a public art park (Dark Park), and an outdoor market (Winter Feast) that serves up street food with a local focus, alongside performance and music – and lots of outdoor fire. Dark Mofo Nude Solstice Swim 2016 Photograph: Rosie Hastie If you haven’t experienced the dark arts yet, here are 5 reasons to go this year in particular. CONTENT WARNING: the image for #5 may be distressing to herbivores and people who feel queasy about blood. 1. Mogwai The Scottish post-rockers are headlining the music offering – so even if you’re not a metal/noise/drone fan (and if you are, boy are you covered by this festival) you can get into an appropriately ritualistic mindset via one of their wall-of-sound sets. 2. A 200km theremin pilgrimage. Billed as a “200km theremin pilgrimage from church to church”, Crossing is a progressive performance that will take viewers from Launceston’s Pil
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Blanc de Blanc
After sizzling hot runs in Sydney, London and Adelaide, Blanc de Blanc is finally making its way to Melbourne for a season of Champagne-fuelled cabaret. The evening of adults-only circus, dance, acrobatics and other antics will be heating up the Spiegeltent at Map 57, a brand new arts precinct in St Kilda. This winter cast of quirky performers – comedians, models, show girls, singers, contortionists and aerial artists – will turn the night into a mad romp that begins in a sophisticated Parisian cabaret venue and slowly transforms into a crazed nightclub party. Expect bubbles, burlesque, balloons, sequins and tops off, for a hands down good time. "If Baz Luhrmann made a nightclub it'd be like this" – Time Out Sydney Find out more about Blanc de Blanc.
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
Lunch like Van Gogh at No35
Taking inspiration from the National Gallery of Victoria’s latest exhibition Van Gogh and the Seasons, this gastronomical adventure will see you getting creative with your lunch at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins' No35 restaurant. Sofitel’s executive chef John Savage has prepared a menu that is equal parts creative and delectable. On arrival you'll receive three tubes of edible 'paint' sauces. The amuse-bouche will transform into an artistic endeavour, in which you can make your very own edible work of art on housemade bread. To follow, you'll enjoy French dishes such as warm egg salad Lyonnaise; beef bourguignon with braised beef, potato purée, sautéed mushrooms and red wine sauce; followed by crème caramel with Cognac-soaked raisins. So whether you're a Van Gogh fan, a creative foodie or just looking for a sensory food adventure the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins has a lunch you'll want to try. Bookings are essential. Find out more about Lunch like Van Gogh at Sofitel on Collins' No35.
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