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Things to do in Melbourne in May

May's best events in one place – it's your social emergency saviour for fun things to do in Melbourne in May

Dogs at The Dog Lovers Show Melbourne
Photograph: Supplied
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Wondering what to do in Melbourne in May? We can help. Check out our guide to all the fun things to do in Melbourne, from free events to exhibitions, theatre shows, live music and more. For rainy days, consult our guide to Melbourne's best indoor activities instead.

The best things to do in May

Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Rocky Road Festival of Flavours

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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Attention sweet tooths: arguably the state’s sweetest destinations – Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie – are throwing a month-long Rocky Road Festival of Flavours this May. The chocolateries will be taking this old time favourite treat to new rocky heights, reinventing the traditional mix of chocolate, nuts and marshmallows into a line-up of 31 different flavours. European Chocolatiers will use couverture milk, dark and white chocolate, as well as a few seasonal ingredients to handcraft rocky road creations. Some favourite flavours like cookies and cream, salted caramel popcorn and rum and raisin will be returning, as well as some new varieties like cherry matcha, Turkish delight and satay peanut. For young chocolate connoisseurs there will also be a few special themed flavours available like Unicorn (white chocolate with rainbow marshmallows, mini freckles and berry jellies), the Cookie Monster (white chocolate with cookie balls, Oreo chunks and blue and white marshmallows) and the Snap Crackle Pop (milk chocolate with peanuts, chocolate crackle chunks and popping candy).  A special menu of rocky road infused desserts, ice creams, sundaes, waffles and hot chocolates will be available at the venue's all-day café. Rocky road fans can also take part in Rock around the Block tasting classes where you'll learn how to make your own rocky road to take home. Classes are $18 per person and bookings are essential. 

Terracotta Warriors NGV 2019
Photograph: Courtesy NGV
Art

Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank
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The National Gallery of Victoria's latest winter blockbuster was a look back at the last 130 years of modern art, but their major 2019 winter exhibitions are looking a fair bit further back. All the way to the third century BCE. For more than 2,000 years an army of 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors have stood guard at the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, in the Shaanxi province. The army was entirely unknown until it was discovered by farmers digging a well in 1974. It's not every day you stumble across one of the wonders of the world. In winter a delegation of eight warriors will visit Melbourne as part of an exhibition at the NGV called Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality. True, eight warriors out of 8,000 feels a little bit measly, but they'll be presented alongside more than 150 treasures from ancient China. But the NGV is a gallery that always has one eye on the present and the future, which is why it's presenting another exhibition from China this winter: all new works from contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang, inspired by his home country. At the centre of his exhibition is an installation of 10,000 suspended porcelain birds flying high above visitors' heads. 

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People doing yoga at Two Wrongs
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Beer Yoga

icon-location-pin Two Wrongs, South Yarra
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A healthy life is all about balance. It’s important to eat well, exercise and get enough shuteye, but it’s just as important to act like a loose unit occasionally. Or you could save time and be healthy and get lit at the same time at Two Wrongs. Every fortnight the Chapel Street bar hosts beer yoga and yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. The one-hour yoga classes are run by a mix of different yoga teachers who incorporate drinking beer (or cider if that’s your jam) into the session’s poses. An average of three beers are consumed during each class, all of which are free. Even better, the boozy yoga sessions are free for first-timers and $10 for return yogis. Given that you can barely get a single schooner of beer for $10 in Melbourne (not to mention the price of yoga classes), Two Wrongs beer yoga classes are almost ridiculously good value. Leave your mat at home, Beer Yoga provides them for free. You can join Beer Yoga at Two Wrongs every second Saturday at 3pm (then lean into happy hour, which starts at 4pm). Bookings are essential and can be made online.

Liquid Light NGV 2019
Image courtesy NGV
Art

Liquid Light: 500 Years of Venetian Glass

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank
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Venetian glass is known across the world for its vibrant colour, elaborate designs and exquisite craftsmanship, honed over centuries by traditional glassblowers on the Venetian island of Murano. In Liquid Light, the National Gallery of Victoria brings together their extensive collection of glass pieces to explore the development of the Venetian glass tradition, from the Golden Age of the 16th century to the postmodern creations of the Memphis Group. Highlights include a Games of Thrones-worthy 17th century goblet, complete with intertwining dragons coiling around the stem, and a contemporary patchwork vase by renowned Murano glass artist Fulvio Bianconi.

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Art, Photography

Darren Sylvester: Carve a Future, Devour Everything, Become Something

icon-location-pin The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne
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It’s easy to write off Darren Sylvester’s lucid, hyper-real photographs as simply commenting on consumerism. But Sylvester wants to be clear – the branded objects and banal scenes that regularly appear in his works aren’t intended to combat the commercialist agenda. “People sometimes don’t see any further than that – just think it’s about consumerism,” says Sylvester. “Well no, it’s not at all. I have no interest in any kind of consumerist topic or talk.” What Sylvester is interested in is far more relatable and can be seen in his new exhibition at the NGV's Federation Square gallery. Darren Sylvester: Carve a Future, Devour Everything, Become Something is a reflective showcase featuring 70 works, including 43 of the surreal, perfectly posed tableaus the artist is known for, as well as installations, sculptures and even an interactive dancefloor inspired by a Yves Saint Laurent makeup compact. Growing up near Byron Bay, Sylvester describes his childhood as lacking identity and (like many) he used TV to fill the cultural void. It was the aspirational quality of TV shows that he was drawn to – the impossibly happy families and eternal sunshine. Ever since the saccharine depictions of everyday scenes, branding and pop culture have formed the basis of his work, with the imagery serving to be instantly recognisable and relatable to the average Jane or Joe. “You want that genericness because I want the biggest possible range of people to read into them,” says Sylvester. In a co

Britney Spears: The Cabaret 2019 supplied
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre

Britney Spears The Cabaret

icon-location-pin Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran
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While there are few people whose lives have been documented in as much detail as Britney Jean Spears, she can still be a bit of a mystery. We know what's happened to her – from the meteoric rise, to the devastating lows and the balance she's managed to find in recent years – but we don't necessarily know a great deal about how she's personally persevered through those challenges. This cabaret by Christie Whelan Browne has been around since 2012 and has picked up rave reviews and legions of fans ever since then. And while its subject might be serious, it's delievered with plenty of laughs, all Britney's biggest hits, and live vocals that'd make Britney Jean green with envy. When the show went to London in 2017, Time Out said of Whelan Brown: "Her performance is pitch-perfect and she plays the rabbit-in-the-headlights, sadness-in-her-eyes charm of Britters to full effect. Some of the jokes are good simply because they’re so obvious, set to the tinkling of the ivories and with the occasional jazz hand." Whelan Browne has previously promised that she's putting the show to bed, but keeps John Farnhaming it back out of retirement. But on the chance that she's seriously done with it, you don't want to miss this one-night-only return performance.

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Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape NGV 2019 supplied photo
Photograph: Jason Edwards
Art

Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank
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Cai Guo-Qiang is best known for unique, large-scale artworks that draw on his cultural heritage. In this exhibition, part of the National Gallery of Victoria's prestigious Winter Masterpieces series, he's presenting all new works, ranging from a monumental installation that will see 10,000 porcelain birds suspended over visitors heads to a 31-metre artwork created using silk and gunpowder.  This exhibition is being presented with Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality, which features eight of the world famous terracotta warriors and other archaeological and historical objects from China. A ticket grants entry to both exhibitions, which stand side by side.

Cosi Melbourne Theatre Company 2019
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre, Drama

Così

icon-location-pin Southbank Theatre (Melbourne Theatre Company), Southbank
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Louis Nowra’s Così, telling the story of a young director who stages an opera starring the patients of a mental health facility, is one of the best known Australian plays of all time. But it’s somehow never had a production at a state theatre company. Melbourne Theatre Company is bringing it to the mainstage with a little help from co-producer Sydney Theatre Company and a cast featuring Esther Hannaford, Katherine Tonkin and Rahel Romahn. MTC's associate director Sarah Goodes is helming the dark comedy.

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Vengadores: Endgame
Photo: Marvel Studios
Film

Avengers: Endgame

Review by Joshua Rothkopf Arriving with the sledgehammer momentum that only 21 previous global blockbusters can provide, Avengers: Endgame is the multiplex-rattling and curiously emotional culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – at least until the next chapter. You know it’s going to be long (three hours, but there’s no need to sit out the end credits this time); you know it’s going to be high-level homework for even the most advanced fan. But what you don’t know is how deeply invested you may be in these 11 years of movies, a compendium of destruction and heroism that altered our culture but also reflected it, sometimes weightlessly, at other times grandly. Endgame often pays tribute to itself, which makes it as fascinating as it is self-serious. It taps into a live wire of epic, doomy tragedy and phoenix-like rebirth that comics do so well. Working from an intricate screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely that sometimes finds calm in the storm, the film begins (after a brief cold open for all you Hawkeye fans) just as the whole MCU did: with Robert Downey Jr’s neurotic Tony Stark grappling with his responsibilities. Downey is the actor upon which the franchise was launched, in 2008’s whiz-bang Iron Man, and there’s a symmetry to giving him the floor during Endgame’s downbeat early stretch – when it's an operatic grief drama in which half the world’s living creatures have blown away in clouds of dust. Cities are now ghost towns, dating is apparently a d

Time Out says
Things to do, Exhibitions

Revolutions: Records and Rebels

icon-location-pin Melbourne Museum, Carlton
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There might never be another time in western history like the late 1960s. It was a time of the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, revolutions, civil rights, social justice and monumental change.  This exhibition comes from London's Victoria and Albert Museum and includes more than 500 objects. Highlights include John Lennon's real-life glasses and the uniform he wore on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, handwritten lyrics for "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", Mick Jagger's stage costume and a guitar the Who's Pete Townshend once smashed on stage. The handwritten lyrics to 'Revolution' show an insight into Lennon's songwriting process, with words that rhyme with 'revolution' scribbled down the left side of the page ('constitution', 'institution', 'revelation', 'dissolution', confusion', 'intrusion'...).  It's not just objects, either. Seinheiser has developed a sound experience throughout the exhibition using film and video footage of the voices of the era. Visitors are given a headset when they enter the exhibition, and the soundtrack changes depending on where in the exhibition they are. One room is devoted to Woodstock, and headphones are taken off in here – video and audio of the festival have been cut together to create an immersive experience.  It took more than two years to put together the exhibition, which has also toured in Montreal and Brussels. Visitors can't help but draw parallels from the turbulent times of the 1960s to the current politi

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Cloudstreet Malthouse 2018
Photograph: Zan Wimberley
Theatre, Drama

Cloudstreet

icon-location-pin Malthouse Theatre, Southbank
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Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet has come out on top in just about every poll of Australia’s favourite books since its release. Some of us probably even love the Pickles and the Lambs – the two families at the centre of this saga, sharing a ramshackle house in Perth for 20 years – more than we love our own families. The book has been turned into a TV series, an opera and even a radio play. But it’s been almost two decades since Nick Enright and Justin Monjo’s acclaimed stage version of the novel has been seen in Melbourne. And there’s one clear reason why – it’s a huge undertaking for any theatre company and runs to about five hours. But Malthouse Theatre’s artistic director Matthew Lutton has been on a crusade in the last few years of bringing Australia’s classic stories to the stage with fresh eyes. And you can’t do that without bringing Cloudstreet back to life. “If we take our own culture seriously then we should take our stories seriously,” Lutton says. “I think that’s what informs us in thinking about Cloudstreet rather than doing a massive cycle of the Greeks or Shakespeare.” We know what you’re thinking: five hours of theatre sounds like a tough slog. But if you can do five hours of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, you can do five hours at Malthouse. On certain nights, the company will be performing the whole thing back-to-back, with a dinner break in the middle. But if you’re going to be a wuss and skip the marathon, you can see the two separate parts on different ni

Film, Thriller

Burning

Review by Geoff Andrew Novelist-turned-writer-director Lee Chang-dong may not be the most prolific filmmaker around – he released his last movie, Poetry, back in 2010 – but when he does get to work, the results are usually highly impressive. Burning, his sixth feature, is no exception. Inspired by a short story by Haruki Murakami (which was itself inspired by a story by William Faulkner), it centers on Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in), a farmer’s son-turned-deliveryman who dreams of becoming a writer. One day in Seoul, he meets Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo), an impulsive girl he half-remembers from school. Soon she’s asking him to feed her cat while she travels to Africa; later that night, she's seducing him. So when she asks him to meet her at the airport upon her return, he’s put out to find her in the company of wealthy sophisticate Ben (The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun), who immediately treats them to a meal. Soon, Jong-su is wondering if they’re more than friends. It’s just the first mystery in a movie rich in teasing ambiguities and possible lies. When Hae-mi suddenly disappears from Jong-su’s life, he naturally suspects Ben of having something to do with it. Could the handsome hotshot, who during one weed-fueled conversation boasted about his bizarre hobby of burning down greenhouses, have murdered the young woman? Director Lee’s interest lies not in crime-solving but in exploring Jong-su’s emotional confusion. He pivots against Ben partly out of sexual jealousy, and partly because he i

Time Out says
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Vacant block at 132 Little Bourke Street
Photograph: Nicola Dowse
Things to do, Markets

Chinatown Pop-up Market

icon-location-pin Chinatown, Melbourne
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If there’s one Melbourne suburb that doesn’t like being neatly assigned to a box, it’s Fitzroy. And that's why the team behind the Fitzroy Market are polevaulting over to the CBD and launching a pop-up market in the heart of Chinatown. For seven weeks starting April 25, the Fitzroy Market will be popping up in the vacant block of land on Little Bourke Street (between Russell and Exhibition streets). As with the regular northside market, the Chinatown pop-up will have a mix of food, artisan crafts, vintage wares, second-hand goodies and top-notch local products. Unlike the OG market, however, the new pop-up will be on four days a week from Thursday to Sunday. The space the market is Chinatown pop-up is happening on is a large block of land that has been unused for several years. In early 2019 The Age reported that Maz Salt, the owner of Section 8, wanted to plant trees on the site and turn it into an outdoor restaurant. The Chinatown Pop-up Market is free to attend and is on every Thursday to Sunday from April 25 to June 16 at 132 Little Bourke.

Crown high tea by Paul Thiéblemont
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

English High Tea at Conservatory

icon-location-pin Conservatory, Southbank
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If you've ever spent time in London, you know the Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park is kind of a big deal. The Presidential Suite there is more than £5,000 a night. That's pounds, you guys.  So when the executive pastry chef of the Mandarin Oriental comes down to Melbourne for a residency, you know he's cooking up something good.  Paul Thiéblemont has created an English-style high tea menu for Conservatory, including a twist on a Yorkshire tart, Battenberg bake, Braeburn apple tart and plum Bakewell slice. The prettiest and most Instagrammable dessert on offer looks like a perfect peach, with an ombré red-gold exterior and a little leaf at the top. Slice it open and you'll discover the exterior is made of coloured white chocolate, and it's filled with a cream and jelly.  For those who are less avant-garde in their dessert preferences, Conservatory also offers a lolly bar, sundae bar and white and milk chocolte fountains, with fruit, cake and other sweets available for dipping.  There are plenty of savoury treats too, with sandwiches (crusts cut off, natch), mini pies and tiny pastries weighing down multi-tiered stands. And as it would not be high tea without scones, they are available too, in fruit and fruit-free varieties.  Thiéblemont's specialty desserts will only be available until the end of June. The high tea is $75 per person with tea and coffee, $95 if you want one glass of Champagne rosé and $120 per person for free-flowing Champagne.

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Rigoletto Opera Australia 2019
Photograph: Georges Antoni
Theatre

Rigoletto

icon-location-pin Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank
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Elijah Moshinsky's La Dolce Vita-inspired production is one of Opera Australia’s most enduring (in fact, it's outlasted another Rigoletto production that's fallen out of the repertoire), thanks to its spectacular revolving set and ultra glam costumes. It’s still a perfect introduction to the world of opera. Mongolian baritone Amartuvshin Enkhbat will sing the title role and rising Australian star Stacey Alleaume will make her role debut as Gilda. Armenian tenor Liparit Avetisyan will play the Duke, singing one of Verdi's most famous tunes, ‘La donna è mobile’ (which you may know from a pasta sauce ad). Verdi specialist Andrea Licata is conducting. See what else is in Opera Australia's 2019 season.

Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks exhibition Immigration Museum
Photograph: Lekhena Porter/Supplied
Museums

Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks

icon-location-pin Immigration Museum, Melbourne
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Get ready to open up this winter season as the Immigration Museum introduces Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks, a collection of new exhibitions and experiences focusing on tattoos and the meaning behind them.  There will be two main photography exhibits that focus on the intersection between ancient and modern tattoo practices as well as a series of contemporary installations curated by tattoo artist Stanislava Pinchuk, also known as Miso.  Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World will explore the artistry and extensive history of Japanese tattoos, which has persevered despite the criminal stigma thanks to its association with the yakuza, the country’s most notorious mafia syndicate. Held in tandem with this is an exhibition exploring a traditional Samoan art form called Tatau: Marks of Polynesia, showcasing the works of both traditional tatau masters and emerging artists that are still practising this 2,000-year-old art form. Keep an eye out for a series of four installations titled Documenting the Body curated by Stanislava Pinchuk. These works will be located over all three levels of the Immigration Museum and will include works from Australian tattoo artists including Paul Stillen, Brook Andrew and Angela Tiatia.

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Ghostbusters Conference
Image: Mitchell Moore
Things to do, Expos and conventions

Ghostbusters Conference

icon-location-pin The Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford
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If there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Real Ghostbusters! The real ghostbusters of Australia will be coming together in May for a conference at Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne. The conference will run from May 24 to 26 and will feature five speakers, four of whom have been helping people get rid of persistent disturbances they’ve been experiencing. The conference will begin with a ghost tour of a haunted place in Melbourne, with the speakers on the night of May 24, followed by seminars on May 25 and various workshops on the last of the conference. The speakers will cover a lot of ground regarding the paranormal, including 'real' cases of hauntings and the causes of potential paranormal activity, and they will be open to any questions that you might have. There will also be a chance to network and talk with other attendees, some of whom might themselves be ghostbusters and investigators. If you’re interested in the subject of ghosts and hauntings or are experiencing disturbances that might otherwise be ridiculed, check out the conference website for more information and book your place at the conference here. Bustin' might make you feel good, but it's not cheap – a ticket to attend all three days of the conference will set you back $345. And that might be the scariest part of all.

Dumplings 'N' Massage at Horse Bazaar
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

Dumplings ‘N’ Massage at Horse Bazaar

icon-location-pin Horse Bazaar, Melbourne
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When it comes to comfort foods dumplings are pretty high on the list. The team at Horse Bazaar are taking dumplings to a whole new level of cosy by offering a dumpling and massage combo on Tuesday nights.  Every Tuesday night at Horse Bazaar is Dumplings 'N' Massage night where you can get three dumplings and a ten-minute massage for $15 (plus online booking fee). There are six flavours to choose from ranging from Horse Bazaar's classic pork and vegan dumplings to stranger concoctions like fried cheese, Nutella and nuts and the very experimental 'Aussie breakfast' dumpling (that's egg, bacon and Vegemite).  Your massage will be delivered by resident masseuses from Soul Aquarian Therapy who will work the knots from your back as you work the dumplings into your mouth.  Make the worst day of the week just a little bit better – Dumplings 'N' Massage is on every Tuesday at Horse Bazaar. Bookings are a must and can be made online.

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Cosi fan Tutte Opera Australia 2019
Photograph: Georges Antoni
Theatre

Così fan tutte

icon-location-pin Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank
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This largely traditional production by noted Scottish director David McVicar will make its Melbourne debut in 2019, with a trio of brilliant Australian leading ladies: Jane Ede as Fiordiligi, Anna Dowsley as Dorabella and Taryn Fiebig as Despina. Canadian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson makes her Australian debut with this Opera Australia staging of Mozart's much loved comedy all about two men taking a bet on their wives' fidelity. No, it's not the most progressive of works. See what else is in Opera Australia's 2019 season.

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
Film

Shazam!

If you think superhero movies are essentially about overgrown children (boys, to be exact, despite some recent lip service to the contrary), Shazam! is here to prove you absolutely right. Be ready, though, for it to win you over with its goofy Freaky Friday–ness: It’s a story in which young Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a wayward 14-year-old foster kid with serious abandonment issues, suddenly becomes a full-size man with abnormally pumped biceps, lightning-spouting fingers, a ridiculous white cape and a giggly sense of invincibility. (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Zachary Levi plays it perfectly, with bounding, immature glee.) Sneakily, the movie both pokes fun at itself and redeems the genre with guilelessness and heart—which isn’t a first. Still, if you’re evoking the lovably awkward Christopher Reeve, you’re doing it right. Swiftly, director David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) gets the quasi-hallucinogenic origin nonsense out of the way: There’s an ancient cave in another dimension, where an ultraserious wizard (Djimon Hounsou, loving it) needs to find a hero. Initially, in the film’s 1974-set prologue, a boy fails this test—he’ll become the bad guy (Mark Strong, doing his bald-villain thing). Then it’s Billy turn: “Gross,” he says, when commanded to grab the wizard’s magic staff. But the transformation works, and the movie explodes into its riotous midsection, thanks to It breakout star Jack Dylan Grazer. He plays Billy’s painfully neurotic foster brother Freddy, crippled and e

Time Out says
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Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle
Film, Drama

Gloria Bell

Film review by Joshua Rothkopf Los Angeles women have no better avatar than Julianne Moore – film after film, she turns her complexity into a gift to the city’s quiet and desperate. Moore is brittle and close to self-ruination in Todd Haynes’s majestically chilly Safe; zonked out on pills (and guilt) in Magnolia; a distracted lust object in Short Cuts. You really have to go back to Gena Rowlands’s immortal turn in 1974’s A Woman Under the Influence, spitting and fidgeting on her Hollywood lawn, to find someone as good. So it really should be a Marvel-level event that Gloria Bell sees Moore adding to her LA pantheon in a major way. Don’t let the movie’s deceptively banal title fool you—this is as complete and full-bodied a performance as you’re likely to see all year. Subtly, Moore etches in the details: Gloria has been divorced for 12 years. She seems fine with that, shooing away the neighbour’s cat that keeps slipping into her apartment when she’s working her blah insurance job. (Anyone who belts out Olivia Newton-John songs in her car would never think of herself as a cat lady.) Gloria loves to dance, and it’s at these disco nights, the silver foxes prowling, that Moore cuts loose with her most heartbreaking work, every song an emotional dip and a rebirth. Chilean director Sebastián Lelio, an Oscar winner for his trans-compassionate A Fantastic Woman, has been here before, quite literally: his homegrown 2013 film, Gloria, was a first run of this material, which he now r

Time Out says
Baby dinosaur at Melbourne Zoo
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Dinosaurs at the zoo

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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Working in a secret lab, scientists at Melbourne's main three zoos have discovered a way to clone dinosaur DNA, found inside mosquitoes trapped in amber. They've filled in the missing sequences using frog DNA to create moving, roaring dinosaurs, which you can see for 100 days throughout the zoos. What could possibly go wrong? OK, we might have got a little bit over-excited about the prospect of dinosaurs at the zoo. These dinosaurs are large-scale models of these ancient beasts, but they will be roaming around at Healesville, Werribee and Melbourne zoos for 100 days. If you're lucky, you might see a keeper waking a sleeping dinosaur, or come face to face with a moving prehistoric creature. At Melbourne Zoo you can experience Dino Park, where dinosaurs made by Erth Visual & Physical Inc come to life.  At Werribee Open Range Zoo, you calk walk through the new Zoorassic river trail. There are nine life-sized dinosaurs to see. The wide open plains will also be opening after dark for an adults-only dino experience. Over three nights Werribee is opening its gates for Dino Files, an evening event for over 18s who want to walk, eat and drink with dinosaurs. Grab a cocktail and meet the dinosaurs on the zoo’s river trail (including a mighty 15 metre-long tyrannosaurus rex) before enjoying a round of dino pop culture trivia or comedy show. And Healesville Sanctuary has ten examples of megafauna (think giant kangaroos, giant crocodiles and giant wombats) in its MegaBeasts exhibiti

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Rosslynd Piggott NGV exhibition 2019 supplied
© The artist
Art

Rosslynd Piggott: I Sense You But I Cannot See You

icon-location-pin The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne
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Rosslynd Piggott is one of Australia's most diverse contemporary artists, working seamlessly across painting, drawing, photography, textiles and installation to create her unique multisensory works. Presented 21 years after her last survey exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, I Sense You But I Cannot See You brings together more than 100 of Piggott’s works, many of which have not been seen in Australia before. Highlights include Collection of air 2.12.1992-28.2.1993, which saw Piggott travel Europe for three months capturing vials of air from 65 locations, and a group of engraved glass sculptures created in collaboration with artists on the Venetian island of Murano.

Photo: Marvel Studios
Film

Captain Marvel

Superheroes save the world on a regular basis, but their movies aren’t nearly as courageous: for every ingenious Black Panther that departs from the billion-dollar formula, you get ten timid time-wasters. Captain Marvel, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first female-led installment, means a lot symbolically – especially to young girls who resonate with Gal Gadot’s confident portrayal of Wonder Woman. But you can’t help but wish the watershed moment arrived with a more richly imagined central character. Even within the MCU itself, you can locate fiercer, more complex women (Elizabeth Olsen’s tortured Scarlet Witch comes to mind), and while Room and Short Term 12 star Brie Larson is certainly capable of expressing wire-taut uncertainty, she’s a bit stranded in the rubber suit, playing a role that gives her scant opportunity to be human. It seems beneath her. That disconnect is too bad since Captain Marvel, co-scripted by Mississippi Grind directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (plus an army of story writers), tries hard to floor you with its freshness. Sometimes that effort is too obvious, as it is with the film’s utterly unnecessary first 20 minutes: a spew of Trekkian world-building that introduces planet Hala, the Kree, the Supreme Intelligence, the evil Skrull (maybe take notes) and, only slightly less mystifying, Jude Law as a martial-arts master. Eventually our hero (Larson), an alien supersoldier, plunges through the roof of a Blockbuster Video into a very James Cameron–lik

Time Out says
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High Tea Live
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

High Tea Live

icon-location-pin Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank
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On the first Sunday of the month Arts Centre Melbourne host High Tea Live, a traditional high tea with a different live act every month. Performances range from jazz to broadway and it's all paired with a traditional three-tier cake stand of sweet and savoury tea favourites. Make sure you leave room for the scones though – these fluffy, golden nuggets are served still warm from the oven.  Held upstairs in the Arts Centre Melbourne's Pavilion function space, High Tea Live is just fancy enough to impress without feeling stuffy. The sparkling wine on arrival is a nice touch, as is the free-flowing tea and coffee that staff will happily top up for you throughout the musical performance. Note that High Tea Live seats guests at eight-person tables. If you're not feeling up to meeting new people then make sure you book in with seven of your friends. The 2019 High Tea Live line-up kicks off with a family event called High Tea Party. Kids and their parents will enjoy snacks (yes, mum and dad still get that glass of bubbly) before getting to bop around with Andrew McClelland's Starting School, Anna Go-Go and All Day Fritz. Other High Tea Live sessions includes Lady Be Good (an Ella Fitzgerald-inspired event with Nina Ferro), What the World Needs Now (a high energy celebration of the 60s with Melissa Langton and Mark Jones), Exposing Edith (where Michaela Burger and Greg Wain will showcase the songs of the legendary French singer Edith Piaf) and Michael Cormick sings the hits of Broad

National Anthem Buxton Contemporary 2019
© the artist
Art

National Anthem

icon-location-pin Buxton Contemporary, Southbank
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Why does the desire for a single and unambiguous national identity persist in Australia? Why, when our country is home to people from all variety of cultural backgrounds, of all sexualities, genders, abilities and ages, do we still seek to flatten out that richness and diversity? The 24 artists who are showing work in this exhibition curated by Kate Just all deal with critical questions of national identity, challenging racist, homophobic and misogynistic ideas about Australia's identity. There are 11 artists from Michael Buxton's collection – Brook Andrew, Daniel Boyd, Juan Davila, Destiny Deacon, Tony Garifalakis, Tracey Moffatt, Callum Morton, Raquel Ormella, Mike Parr, Tony Schwensen and Paul Yore – alongside 13 leading artists who have all made their mark on this particular social and artistic debate: Abdul Abdullah, Kay Abude, Hoda Afshar, Tony Albert, Archie Barry, Richard Bell, Ali Gumillya Baker, Janenne Eaton, Eugenia Lim, Hoang Tran Nguyen, Steven Rhall, Christian Thompson and Siying Zhou. This exhibition celebrates the first anniversary of collector Michael Buxton's impressively designed Buxton Contemporary gallery, alongside dual exhibition A New Order.

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People wandering around garage filled with plants
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Markets

Wandering Jungle x Hotel Esplanade

icon-location-pin The Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda
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Melburnians love an indoor plant. Whether you’re team monstera, fiddle leaf, peace lily or Zanzibar gem (one of the most indestructible beings on Earth), the indoor plant trend has really taken off. Even the Espy is getting on board and hosting huge indoor plant sale this autumn. Plant and party specialists Wandering Jungle are teaming up with the Espy to host a free, two-day after dark plant sale this May. From 4pm to 10pm each day plant-crazy punters can drop into the Espy to explore a truckload of plants for sale from Wandering Jungle while also having a boogie. That’s because these guys don’t just host plant sales; they host plant discos where you can dance to live local DJs, drink custom cocktails and even grab a bite from one of the Espy’s restaurants. The Wandering Jungle team are big on making sure you find (and keep alive) your perfect new plant, so they’ll even give you tips to keep your new frond healthy. Cash and EFTPOS facilities are available for all sales but unfortunately no dogs are allowed at this event.

Film, Family

Dumbo

Review by Phil de Semlyen Let’s tackle the baby elephant in the room first: how does Disney’s beloved Dumbo look in a live-action movie? Happily, the teeny pachyderm is a suitably heart-melting presence in Tim Burton’s relatively orthodox redo of the 1941 animation classic. All giant expressive eyes and beach-towel ears, he’s a computer-generated creation that exudes picture-book warmth. It’s only when flying that he seems a bit clunky. Then again, maybe that’s the point. He is, after all, the least aerodynamic character to fly in a movie since Brian Blessed wobbled through Flash Gordon.
 The fact that you know his story inside out presents a challenge that Transformers screenwriter Ehren Kruger tries to overcome by introducing swathes of new human characters. Danny DeVito plays pompous impresario Max Medici, whose travelling circus is going a bit Grapes of Wrath in the dust bowls of the Midwest. Money is short and his last hope is the magical baby elephant tended to by damaged WWI veteran Holt Farrier (an oddly forgettable Colin Farrell) and his two willing kids, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins). 
Both are grieving for their mom, providing an obvious connection with Dumbo when the baby elephant’s own mother is sold. In truth, Burton, that great lover of scrappy outsiders, struggles to mine much beyond ponderous sincerity from these sluggish early scenes. Even a cast of oddball circus regulars – strongman, mermaid, snake charmer – fails to fire the director's i

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Theatre, Musicals

Muriel's Wedding The Musical

icon-location-pin Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne
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Adapting a canonical Australian film into a stage musical? Who you gonna call? Simon Phillips! He pulled it off with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; surely the director could do the same for that daggiest of screen heroines, Muriel Heslop. Both films leant heavily on internationally famous pop songs from the ’70s, both virtually burst at the seams with the kind of kitsch that cries out for a musical number, and both have remained adored cultural touchstones, even for those who only recall them from their original cinema release, back in 1994. So the question sits large on this production’s shoulders: is it as good as the stage adaptation of Priscilla? The answer is no. No, this one is way better. Perhaps it is the source material. PJ Hogan’s film, despite the superficial similarities to Stephan Elliot’s more raucous and frankly crasser sibling, is a finely balanced dramedy, often profoundly sad and sharply satirical amongst all the comic mayhem. Hogan and Phillips are responsible for the adaptation, and they’ve very carefully modulated the tone and shifted the emphases so that Muriel’s journey from zero to hero fits more snugly into the traditional structure of a Broadway musical, without sacrificing the film’s nuance and edge. The first major change we notice is the look: where the film was drenched in the pastels of a past decade, the stage show pops with block colours, blindingly sunny and over-lit. Muriel (Natalie Abbott) sticks out immediately among the buff bods and p

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Barnum Comedy Theatre 2019 feat Todd McKenney photo credit: Jeff Busby
Photograph: Jeff Busby
Theatre, Musicals

Barnum

icon-location-pin The Comedy Theatre, Melbourne
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Long before Hugh Jackman donned a top hat and tails, the story of circus innovator and entertainment impresario PT Barnum was brought to life on stage in a musical. Barnum premiered on Broadway in 1980 (starring Jim Dale and Glenn Close) and had a string of successful productions around the world in the decades following. Now it's headed back to Melbourne in a new production that's promising to bring the spirit of the big top to the Comedy Theatre, melding circus with showstopping musical numbers, penned by Sweet Charity composer Cy Coleman. (Sorry, the show does not feature 'This is Me'.) In the title role is Todd McKenney, who's no stranger to sharing roles with Jackman – he originated the role of Peter Allen in homegrown musical The Boy from Oz before Jackman took the show to Broadway. He's joined by musical theatre star Rachael Beck, who'll play his wife, Charity. The show will be directed by Tyran Parke, who'll bring all of Barnum's most famous wonders to life – including the world's oldest woman; the magnificent elephant, Jumbo; and Swedish nightingale, Jenny Lind – with the help of the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA).

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Tom Nicholson: Public Meeting ACCA 2019
Image courtesy the artist. Photograph: Christian Capurro.
Art

Tom Nicholson: Public Meeting

icon-location-pin Australian Centre for Contemporary Art - ACCA, Southbank
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Tom Nicholson’s drawings, sculptures and social practice installations hang in the National Gallery of Australia and have been exhibited at biennales around the world. Yet until now, there has never been a large-scale exhibition of his work. That’s about to change, as the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art presents Tom Nicholson: Public Meeting as part of the gallery’s annual Influential Australian Artist series. Featuring key pieces from his career so far as well as new commissions, Nicholson uses historical materials and the visual language of art and politics to explore the relationship between history and collective action and to question, reconfigure and re-imagine ideas around public monuments.

Theatre, Drama

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

icon-location-pin Princess Theatre, Melbourne
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The first rule of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is that you don’t talk about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Safeguarding spoilers is an expected responsibility for anyone who attends the Potter-verse’s first on-stage outing. There’s even a hashtag: #KeepTheSecrets. But in truth (as far as theatre critique is concerned, at least), JK Rowling needn’t have worried. This marathon, five-hour spectacle has a plot so dense and sprawling, so wonderfully, unashamedly elaborate, it would take many thousands of words more than any theatre review to even scratch the surface. While we may have been sworn to secrecy about Cursed Child’s plot, we can reveal that the hype – and rarely has a piece of theatre ever generated such fever-pitched buzz – is entirely deserved. And not just because of the quality of the production. The masterminds behind the show – led by Rowling, playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany – have not merely set out to put on a play, but rather craft a rich and detailed immersive experience. To this end, Melbourne’s Princess Theatre has undergone a top to bottom $6.5 million makeover, transforming its interiors to match a Hogwartsian, Potterfied aesthetic. If this sounds like an unnecessary extravagance, it’s probably an indication this play isn’t for you. The success of Cursed Child, which has smashed box office records on Broadway and the West End, is powered by its unapologetic exclusivity. Those without any prior knowledge of Harry and co will be

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Photo: Claudette Barius/Universal
Film, Horror

Us

Film review by Joshua Rothkopf You lean forward while watching Us, the new horror film from Jordan Peele, since his last one, Get Out, rewarded that kind of attention. So, when his movie tells us early on that there are thousands of miles of tunnels under the United States with “no known purpose,” you squirrel that away in your brain, knowing it’ll be important later. When Peele shows us a TV commercial for that weirdly faceless 1986 publicity stunt Hands Across America – or when there are a bunch of bunnies in cages or an apocalyptic Bible quote on a sign – those details get stored away, too. But none of it quite adds up to the nightmare in your head. Us is too confidently made, too expert in its scene-to-scene command, to call it an example of sophomore slump. Still, after the film reveals itself to be the home-invasion thriller it is (and then the lesser Invasion of the Body Snatchers it becomes), you feel a slight letdown. Peele, as ever, blends comedy and screams like a champ – muscles he toned on TV’s radical Key & Peele – and his actors are terrific. After a brief mid-’80s prologue in which a lonely kid (Madison Curry) in a Michael Jackson T-shirt encounters something awful in a beachside carnival fun house, she becomes the grown-up Adelaide (a finely haunted Lupita Nyong’o), now with two children of her own and a dad-joke-dispensing husband (Winston Duke). For some reason, they’ve bought a summer house by that same beach, and it’s where Adelaide must return – unless

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Vinod Prassana playing the bansuri
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Southbank Dawn Raga Series

icon-location-pin Hamer Hall, Southbank
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Start your day with a relaxed mind at the Southbank Dawn Raga Series, a free Arts Centre Melbourne event happening from April 26 to June 21. It’s a monthly event where you can enjoy a range of classical Indian music, from the meditative sounds of the sitar to the exciting beats of the tabla – a traditional Indian percussion instrument that is sure to lift your spirits for the day. Three Melbourne-based musicians are lined-up to attend the series: Jay Dabgar (tabla), Vinod Prassana (bansuri) and Hari Sivanesan (sitar). They will be joined by international sitar star Pandit Purbayan Chatterjee. This is your opportunity to get more in touch with your spiritual side and head into work with a sense of calm. There are three dates available. On April 26 the event will be held at the Arts Centre Melbourne, while on May 24 and June 21 you'll find it at Hamer Hall (in the St Kilda Road foyer). All events start at 7.30 am and don’t forget to bring your mats or towels to fully enjoy the experience. The Southbank Dawn Raga Series is free to attend but bookings are essential. 

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Alexander Calder Radical Inventor NGV supplied image
© Calder Foundation, New York / Copyright Agency Australia
Art

Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank
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It’s not an exaggeration to say Alexander Calder changed the face of modern art. Known as “the man who made sculpture move”, his gravity-defying mobiles are instantly recognisable. Now, in conjunction with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Victoria presents the first retrospective of Calder’s work at an Australian public institution. Bringing together more than 100 of the artist’s works, from childhood pieces to three-dimensional wire portraits and the mobiles and “stabiles” (grounded sculptures) with which he made his name, at the heart of the exhibition will be an immersive canopy display of Calder’s hanging mobiles, including 'Jacaranda' (1949), and the landmark 'Black Mobile with Hole' (1954).

Heisenberg Melbourne Theatre Company 2019
Photograph: Justin Ridler
Theatre, Drama

Heisenberg

icon-location-pin Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank
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Melbourne has seen Simon Stephens’ Birdland and his record-smashing adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. But this 2015 play takes a step away from those large-scale works to tell an intimate story of a 42-year-old woman (played by Offspring star Kat Stewart) who falls for a much older Englishman (Peter Kowitz). The Melbourne Theatre Company production will be directed by Tom Healey. “After the scale and epicness of Curious Incident, this very intimate, bittersweet romantic comedy seemed kind of out of left field,” Melbourne Theatre Company artistic director Brett Sheehy says. “I loved it, sent it to Kat Stewart, and there was this immediate email straight back to me saying ‘yes’.”

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Bingo Academy at Tokyo Tina
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

Bingo Academy at Tokyo Tina

icon-location-pin Tokyo Tina, Windsor
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Tokyo Tina is entering Melbourne's overstuffed brunch scene, but it is doing things a little differently. This year they've launched 'bingo academy' – a rather illustrious title for what is essentially a boozy, Japanese-style brunch with some bingo thrown in.  Every Sunday the venue runs two bingo brunches complete with Bloody Marys, bottomless Aperol spritzes, bubbly and beer. Feast on Tokyo Tina's sumptuous brunch menu including okonomiyaki, smoked duck bibimbap and Tina's own twist on a brunch favourite, a bacon and egg bao.  The bingo itself will be hosted by the giggle-inducing Granny Bingo trio, who will give you a new appreciation of the age-old game. Plus you can win prizes like restaurant vouchers, temporary control of the jukebox and bragging rights. Tokyo Tina's bingo academy is on every Sunday. Tickets are $69 per person. 

Things to do, Pop-up locations

Sugar Republic

icon-location-pin Myer Melbourne, Melbourne
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Last winter, a pop-up museum dedicated to all things sweet landed on Smith Street. Open for only eight weeks, Sugar Republic eventually sold more than 25,000 tickets – but for those who missed out, never fear. Sugar Republic is back!  This Instagrammable event has arrived at Myer in Bourke Street Mall. Several different sensory rooms will be taking over Myer's sixth floor, and we can guarantee they will satisfy every kind of candy lover.  The Sugar Republic team are expecting to build on their previous pop-up with a host of new rooms and interactive installations to play with. There will be a giant rainbow ball pit, a cookie house to relax in, a licorice playroom, a big gum bubble and candy-filled swing, a confetti shower and plenty of lollies to enjoy as you wander through (including some old-school favourites including Wizz Fizz, Hubba Bubba and Arnott's biccies).  This time around, the Sugar Republic team have introduced after dark adults-only sessions which kick off at 6.30pm on Thursday and Friday nights.  Tickets are on sale now and will need to be purchased in advance online. Prices start at $30. In the meantime, take a look at the last time Sugar Republic set up shop in Melbourne.

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Image from James Bond Casino Royale
Photograph: Sony Pictures
Film, Special screenings

Casino Royale in Concert with the MSO

icon-location-pin Hamer Hall, Southbank
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When Daniel Craig took over from Pierce Brosnan as everybody's favourite spy, the British secret service underwent a significant transformation – or at least on screen. Casino Royale, the 2006 James Bond film that was Craig's first entry in the series, took on a decidedly gritty tone after the excess of Brosnan's later movies, and picked up stellar reviews for refreshing the franchise. In fact, Casino Royale was the first Bond film in decades to not open with the signature gun barrel sequence; that comes a little bit later. And don't worry, you still get to hear Monty Norman's famous and enduring Bond theme in the film alongside David Arnold's original score – just not until pretty late in the film as Casino Royale is a bit of an origin story. The Bond theme kicks in only when Bond has finally gone full-Bond. Nicholas Buc will be conducting this performance by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, who'll play as Bond leaps from towering building to towering build, and from bed to bed. On screen, Craig is joined by Judi Dench as M, Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre, and Eva Green as Vesper Lynd.

Art

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits

icon-location-pin Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
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Even if you’re more pro-Republic than a Peter FitzSimons bandana, there’s no denying the impact and ongoing appeal of Britain’s royal families. Over the ages England’s kings, queen, princes and princesses have been responsible for everything from divorce (Henry VIII’s desire for a son is to blame) to white wedding dresses (before Victoria white wedding dresses were unusual), while their desire to stick union flags into far-flung corners of the world had permanent and frequently destructive political effects. Bendigo Art Gallery will be home to five British dynasties and more than 500 years worth of history when Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits opens in March. The exhibition features more than 150 works from the National Portrait Gallery in London, many of which will grace Australian shores for the first time. And just like the real royals themselves, the portraits didn’t fly in on the one jet. “Because of the size, scale and intrinsic value you can’t send them all on one plane,” curatorial manager Tansy Curtin explains, “we have to make sure they don’t all go down!” The southbound line-up includes all the major monarchs – you’ve got Henry VIII and his revolving-door wives; his flame-haired daughter Elizabeth I; Charles I; the “mad king” George III; and Queen Victoria. The exhibition has scored “the Ditchley portrait” (named after lands belonging to the painting’s commissioner, Sir Henry Lee), a neck-craning work of Elizabeth I that stands at 2.5 metres high – ea

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Sidney Nolan Ned Kelly Geelong Gallery 2019
Sidney Nolan, 'Ned Kelly', 1946, from the Ned Kelly series 1946–47
Art

Sidney Nolan: Ned Kelly

icon-location-pin Geelong Gallery, Geelong
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There aren't many images from Australian art history that are quite as famous as Sidney Nolan's series of paintings depicting Ned Kelly and stories of his famously ferocious Kelly Gang. Nolan completed the paintings over 12 months in 1946 and 1947 at Heide, Sunday and John Reed's Bulleen house and storied haven for Australian artists. While at work, he created one of the most recognisable images of any Australian artist: Kelly's helmet, rendered as a simple black box with a slit cut out for vision. The National Gallery of Australia holds 26 of the 27 paintings in the series and is sending them on the road, with Geelong the only stop in Kelly's home state. The paintings have been exhibited in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of the Art, but are rarely seen in Australia outside of Canberra.

Tricolour photograph of the Milky Way galaxy
Photograph: Aperture Vintage / Unsplash
Things to do

Planetarium Nights

icon-location-pin Scienceworks, Spotswood
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Now I don’t know about you, but I would personally like to be well-informed when aliens invade earth and claim their place as our overlords. In this regard, the Planetarium at Scienceworks might be able to help. This autumn, the Planetarium will be offering guests the chance to explore the cosmos with a series of after-hours and adults-only film screenings on the huge planetarium dome. Every Friday night (except Good Friday) those over 18 can explore everything from black holes to fluorescent coral. You won’t go spacing out with these shows, either, as they’re loaded with amazing visuals and stellar content. Each night features two screenings, one at 7.30pm and the other at 9pm, with films varying from month to month. Some of the films being screened include Moon: Worlds of Mystery, Distant Worlds – Alien Life, DARK, Einstein's Gravity Playlist and Journey to the Centre of the Milky Way. Plus the bar will be open if you fancy a drink with your trip into space. Planetarium Nights are on every Friday until May 31.

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Il Viaggio a Reims Opera Australia 2018
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre

Il Viaggio a Reims

icon-location-pin Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank
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Have you ever wondered what would happen if Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh met? You can see that scenario play out in Damiano Michieletto's production of Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims, the centrepiece of Opera Australia's 2019 Melbourne season and the first ever production of the opera to be staged in Australia. The opera itself has a relatively simple plot about a group of VIPs travelling to the coronation of the French King Charles X, but Michieletto's production, which is headed to the Metropolitan Opera in New York after Australia, takes place in a gallery where famous artworks burst out of their frames and interact with one another. Daniel Smith will conduct a predominately Australian cast with singers including Lorina Gore, Julie Lea Goodwin, Warwick Fyfe, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and newcomer Shanul Sharma. See what else is in Opera Australia's 2019 season.

NGV Friday Nights audience
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

NGV Friday Nights

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank
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The NGV's Friday Nights series is back for another round, and this time they’re pairing a string of gigs alongside the new Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality exhibition. Few things go hand-in-hand like music and art, and NGV Friday Nights’ set-up is the best way to take in the latest NGV exhibition after dark while enjoying the best in local and international acts. Performing in the NGV's Great Hall every Friday night until mid-October, this season's line-up will feature the likes of Ngairre, Rainbow Chan, Husky, Slum Sociable, the Audreys, Young Franco, Sui Zhen and heaps more. See the full line-up on NGV's website. This year, the NGV has teamed up with the dumpling heroes at Hutong Dumpling Bar. A selection of their signature dumplings will be available to purchase at NGV Friday Nights at the NGV Gallery Kitchen. 

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Generic jazz image with saxophones
Photograph: Creative Commons
Music, Jazz

Melbourne International Jazz Festival

icon-location-pin Around Melbourne, Melbourne
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Now in its 22nd year, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival has grown to include a huge number of events for jazz enthusiasts young and old. Every year the festival descends on the city's live music venues for concerts, free events and arty late night parties.  Each year the festival strives to produce a diverse program: you'll find top jazz headliners alongside emerging artists and local musos. The festival is all about creating an inviting environment for everyone to appreciate jazz – not just the hardcore cool cats.  Headling this year's festival is 14-time Grammy winning pianist and jazz great Herbie Hancock, who will play two shows at Hamer Hall. Hancock joins more than 350 Australian and international artists who will perform in over 25 venues during the 10-day festival.  Hit the website for the full program and to purchase tickets. RECOMMENDED: The best jazz clubs in Melbourne.

Babydrag with Morgan McMichaels
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Babydrag

icon-location-pin Sircuit Bar, Fitzroy
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Upcoming drag king and queens get the chance to practise their shows and refine their acts every Thursday night at Melbourne's favourite LGBTQIA+ venue (as voted by Time Out readers), Sircuit. Bio queens, drag queens, trash queens and drag kings all perform, and the event is hosted by famed drag queen Missy La ’Minx. It's a chance for up-and-coming performers to get experience, and for audiences of course it's a night of fantastic drag.  The bar offers $5 pints from 7pm until 10pm, and entry is free. 

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Rice Paper Scissors
Photography: supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

Vegastation

icon-location-pin Rice Paper Scissors Fitzroy, Fitzroy
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If you love eating but don’t love eating animals then it can be tricky to find a degustation that suits you. Not so at Rice Paper Scissors. On Saturday, May 11 (and again on Saturday, June 15) the Fitzroy restaurant is hosting Vegastation – a vegan degustation event. Everyone who books in for the vegan degustation is treated to ten courses highlighting dishes from South East Asia, all of which come sans animal products. The menu features a mix of tried-and-true vegan favourites from Rice Paper Scissors as well as some new treats to keep diners on their toes. Because the vegan lifestyle extends beyond just food, the Vegastation will also give you the chance to try vegan beers, cocktails and organic wines. The ten course degustation will set you back a reasonable $45 per person and sittings are available all day on both dates.

A New Order Buxton Contemporary 2019
Photograph: Christian Capurro
Art

A New Order

icon-location-pin Buxton Contemporary, Southbank
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It's now been a year since Buxton Contemporary, collector Michael Buxton's impressively designed contemporary art gallery, opened in Southbank. It's celebrating that anniversary with dual exhibitions: National Anthem curated by Kate Just and A New Order curated by Linda Short. A New Order brings together painting, drawing, sculpture, video and installation from 12 artists whose work is included in the Buxton Collection. All of them have some relation to a pretty broad central theme: order and chance, and the push and pull between the two. There's Rosalie Gascoigne’s 'Conundrum', constructed from yellow reflective road signs; Daniel von Sturmer's 'The Truth Effect', which features small video projections design to test the mind and the eye; and Daniel Crook's video 'An Embroidery of Voids', inspired by Melbourne laneways. Other artists include: Stephen Bram, Tony Clark, Emily Floyd, Diena Georgetti, Marco Fusinato, John Nixon, Rose Nolan, Mike Parr and Constanze Zikos.

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Art

Hans and Nora Heysen: Two Generations of Australian Art

icon-location-pin The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne
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Father and daughter artists Hans and Nora Heysen helped shaped the course of 20th century Australian art. Both accomplished artists in their own right, Hans is recognised as one of the pioneers of Australian landscape painting, while Nora was an established portraitist and still life painter who became the first female winner of the Archibald Prize and Australia’s first female war artist. Yet, until now, there has not been a major exhibition incorporating both their works. The NGV is changing that, bringing together 270 works from the artists, including Hans’ famous landscape Driving into the light 1914-21, letters, sketches and preparatory studies, and furniture and homewares from the Heysen family home in South Australia.

Cheeses for cheese making class at Henry and the Fox
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Cheese Making Masterclass at Henry and the Fox

icon-location-pin Henry and the Fox, Melbourne
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If you've ever wanted to make your own cheese, this is the masterclass for you. Henry and the Fox is offering a series of masterclasses to teach you how to make all kinds of cheese from around the world – and yes, tasting is encouraged.  Classes offered include everything from brie to tallegio to peccorino, halloumi and mozzarella, and each class is marked with a level of difficulty.  Each class is $89 per person, and they run for three hours. The classes include a glass of chardonnay or pinot noir on arrival, plus a shared cheese board. You'll also get to take home your cheesy creations at the end. 

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Branford Marsalis
Photograph: Palma Kolansky
Music, Jazz

Branford Marsalis and the ACO

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Branford Marsalis (yes, brother of Wynton) is known as one of the finest jazz musicians in the world, and he is coming to Melbourne for what promises to be a riveting performance of Latin American jazz alongside the Australian Chamber Orchestra. The show includes Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Fantasia for Saxophone and Orchestra, Sally Beamish’s Under the Wing of the Rock, Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires and Ginastera’s Concerto for Strings. The show will be Marsalis's first collaboration with the ACO and is a must for jazz fans. 

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Film, Comedy

Little

Girls Trip's Regina Hall and Black-ish's Marsai Martin both star as Jordan Sanders - Hall as the take-no-prisoners tech mogul adult version of Jordan and Martin as the 13-year-old version of her who wakes up in her adult self's penthouse just before a do-or-die presentation. Insecure's Issa Rae plays Jordan's long-suffering assistant April, the only one in on the secret that her daily tormentor is now trapped in an awkward tween body just as everything is on the line. Little is an irreverent new comedy about the price of success, the power of sisterhood and having a second chance to grow up - and glow up - right.

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Akachochin sushi class
Photograph: Andrew Themistokleous
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Sushi Masterclass at Akachochin

icon-location-pin Akachochin, South Wharf
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Calling all the sushi lovers out there! South Wharf’s Akachochin has announced a sushi making masterclass which will be run by the restaurant’s head chef Seyong Park. The masterclass will give punters a hands-on experience of the entire process of making sushi – from choosing the perfect fish to the skilful slicing and preparing of high-quality pieces, right down to choosing the correct combination of sauces and condiments. Fresh ingredients will be made available throughout the class while the head chef teaches you how different types of sushi – the pressed ‘cake’ variety as well as sushi rolls – are put together. You won’t just be learning how to roll the seaweed, but also get to learn how your sushi can be taken to the next level. Akachochin’s head chef learnt the ways of sushi and sashimi over many years and you will have the opportunity to have all your questions answered during this workshop. After the class, punters will get to enjoy their meal on the restaurant’s waterside terrace that boasts beautiful views of the Yarra. Japanese wine and beer will be served to tie the whole experience off nicely. No prior experience is necessary and you can book into any of the three available dates for the masterclass on May 11, June 8 and July 13. It costs $89 per person and you'll get to take a new recipe book home with you. 

Melbourne Book Market
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Markets

Melbourne Book Market

icon-location-pin Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
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The famous weekly Fed Square book market shut up shop in 2017, much to the despair of Melbourne's bibliophile community. But the closure was only a temporary one, with the free market now open at Queen Victoria Market every Sunday till August 25. Whether you eat, sleep and breathe books or are just curious, the market has over 5,000 new and second-hand titles to browse from. From sci-fi to non-fiction, the Melbourne Book Market has every genre presented by a revolving cast of veteran Melbourne booksellers. Tweed jackets are encouraged, but not compulsory. There will be around 20 pop-up stalls giving bibliophiles plenty of options to spend all their life savings on, including stalls by the founding members of the book market. After deciding on your next bedtime read take some time to stroll around the market and check off your grocery list with the fresh produce or go into one of the cafés and satiate your hunger. For more information on the next market visit the Queen Victoria Market website or the Melbourne Book Market Facebook page.  

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