A ten-day festival of theatre, cabaret, art, music and dining hits Chapel Street this winter
Experience the Chapel Street precinct in a whole new (and warped) light when Provocaré unleashes mind-bending performance, outdoor art adventures and strange dinner parties on the southside.
Provocaré is a brand new ten-day festival designed to shake Melburnians out of winter hibernation and challenge them with extraordinary events. Most of the action is centred around a huge tent in Grattan Gardens, where the action kicks off every night at 6:30pm with your host, drag performer Art Simone. Stick around for headlining act Finucane & Smith's Glory Box – an hour of subversive queer and feminist burlesque and sideshow that has been tantilising and contronting audiences for 13 years across the world. Grattan Gardens, Prahran. Tue-Sun 7pm.$39-$49.
For something equally outrageous, take the plunge into Weimar-style punk cabaret with the award-winning The Little Death Club, featuring burlesque performer Jess Love, Melbourne burlesque star Miss Bettie Bombshell, drag personality Karen from Finance and Circus Oz contortionist Jared P. Dewery. Your host for the evening is Miss Bernie, AKA Bernadette Byrne, of EastEnd Cabaret and Yeti's Demon Dive fame. Grattan Gardens, Prahran. Tue-Sun 8.45pm. $34-$39.
Other performances include Australian artist Leah Shelton's hilarious award-winning anti-burlesque Terror Australis – a "fucked up outback contiki tour" through the Australian national identity – and This Boy's In Love, which is a tender and funny cabaret by Adriano Cappalletta about one man's search for love in the "urban gay jungle".
Looking for live music? British singer-songwriter Rag'n'Bone Man will bring his hip-hop/blues hybrid to the Bromley Grand Ballroom – but you'll have to enter a competition to score a ticket.
For a slice of live visual art, head to the Love and Lewis Building in Prahran and watch internationally renowned street artist Phlegm Art transform an entire wall with a mural. You can also get to know the art galleries of Windsor, Prahran and South Yarra with an Art Walk, which will begin at MARS Gallery's new sculpture garden (where you'll also get to try a sweet treat by Burch and Purchese). Start at MARS Gallery, Windsor. Sat 3-5.30pm. $15. Sat Jul 22 & 29.
If you've always wanted to try a dining in the dark experience, then Provocaré has you covered. Dinner in the Dark will see chef Adrian Li (Saigon Sally) and Masterchef's dessert queen Christy Tania creating a meal that guests will eat in a secret location, blindfolded. Secret location revealed 24 hours before the event. 6pm. $159. Tue Jul 25 & Thu Jul 27.
For the full Provocaré program, visit the website.