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Things to do in Melbourne this weekend

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

People watch a film from a hot spring
Photograph: Supplied
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Looking for the best Melbourne events this weekend? Take a look below for our favourites. 

Need more inspo? Check out our curated guide to all the fun things to do in Melbourne this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including free attractions, art exhibitions, theatre shows, activities for kids and so much more. Plus, if it's a rainy day, consult our guide to Melbourne's best indoor activities instead.

Things to do in Melbourne this weekend

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People watch a film from a hot spring
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Outdoor cinema

Bathe in Cinema

Peninsula Hot Springs, Fingal

Peninsula Hot Springs is Victoria’s first geothermal mineral springs and day spa. It’s here you’ll find more than 50 bathing experiences, including shared thermal mineral pools, wet and dry saunas, a hydrotherapy pool, Turkish and Moroccan hammams and the frequently Instagrammed hilltop pool, which boasts 360-degree views over the farmlands of Fingal.  Naturally, it’s very popular. One event that’s going to drive its popularity even higher is the Bathe in Cinema. This cinema lets you watch a film from the comfort of your own hot spring, spread out among the Bath House Amphitheatre, which is located on the Peninsula Hot Springs property.  The Peninsula Hot Springs Bathe in Cinema runs every Friday night at 8pm from February 14 until March 6. Guests can lay under the stars and stay warm with the heat of the hot springs. Movie selections will be announced on their Facebook page soon, but the first screening on Valentine's Day will be Notting Hill, starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts (look out for the Time Out reference in the middle of the film!)  The film screening is complimentary with bathhouse bathing (which starts from $25). Head in early to score a good spot in the amphitheatre as there’s no reserved seating.

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A woman in a head scarf with a blunt fringe poses with a stall of illustrated artworks.
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Markets

Brunswick Artist Market

The Spotted Mallard, Brunswick

This monthly artist market is set in the lush, art deco surrounds of the Spotted Mallard in the heart of Brunswick's Sydney Road. Here you’ll find dozens of artist stalls selling a range of local goods and a flea market on the bottom floor where you can hunt of gems. Whether it’s jewellery, paintings or ceramics you’re after, head down from 10am to support local crafters, listen to some live music and dig into barbecue eats. While you’re there, grab a coffee from Co-Grounds’ volunteer-powered coffee caravan where 100 percent of the profits go to charity projects in the Asia Pacific region. The theme is very much about giving with these guys: the market is an initiative of charity Co-Ground, with 100 per cent of profits from the market going towards their education and livelihood programs in the Asia Pacific. These markets are a holistic great for your your home and your fashion collection, with wholesome benefits for local artists and empowerment reaching communities as far as Vanuatu and the Phillippines. 

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Salome Victorian Opera 2020 supplied
Image: Supplied
Theatre

Salome

Palais Theatre, St Kilda

Salome falls in love with a prophet. When he rejects her, she cuts off his head. It’s not the most feel-good biblical story, but it makes for a hell of a spectacle. Iconic writer/embracer of scandal Oscar Wilde wrote the libretto to this opera (it’s in German), and there’s lust and terror all through the score by Richard Strauss – basically what you’d expect for sexual awakenings, murder, and betrayal. In this new production by Cameron Menzies, rising opera star Vida Miknevičiūtė takes on the title role. And yes, this is where you’ll see the infamous ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’.

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Outdoor cinema with screen
Photograph: David Caspar/Supplied
Film, Outdoor cinema

Barefoot Cinema

Werribee Park, Werribee South

Barefoot Cinema returns to Melbourne for a season of fun flicks.  This chilled-out summer cinema has already set up in Portsea at Point Nepean National Park, the Briars Homestead in Mount Martha and Elsternwick's Rippon Lea Estate. Now, for the first time ever, Barefoot Cinema heads west – to Werribee! Barefoot's Werribee season runs from February 19 until March 4 in the beautiful surrounds of Werribee Mansion. Films range from family-friendly comedies to fantasies, cult classics and documentaries. Whatever your niche, you can watch a film against a stunning backdrop and get stuck into food and drink from the on-site bar, various food trucks and the candy bar, where you can pick up all of your favourite movie-going snacks.  Highlights from Werribee's line-up include the Oscar-nominated Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit and Bombshell, as well as Dirty Dancing, Joker and the super fun Elton John biopic Rocketman.  Adult tickets are $22 and kids can get in for $15. There's also a VIP upgrade for an extra $20, which gets you into the comfy Jalna Lounge. Check out the website for the screening schedule. 

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The Importance of Being Earnest Malthouse Theatre 2020 supplied
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre

The Importance of Being Earnest

Malthouse Theatre, Southbank

Most people wouldn’t expect the always daring and provocative Malthouse Theatre to open a season with something as seemingly conventional and safe as The Importance of Being Earnest, but here we are. The way it’s being approached? Not what you’d call safe, and definitely not conventional. This production features a cast of just two (David Woods and Jon Haynes) working their way through every character in Oscar Wilde’s most celebrated comedy about polite society. Created by theatre company Ridiculsmus, the production played Melbourne back in 2006 to rave reviews, and is making a triumphant return for this special encore season. Because the play is all about role-playing and the lies we tell to maintain a social position, this highly theatrical take reveals something new in the text, and will draw out every laugh as Wilde's farce builds and builds and becomes more outlandish. “Because it’s performed entirely by David and Jon, they create a fantastic sense of theatrical deception and lying and the absurdity of how tangled you become when you start playing every character in an Oscar Wilde play,” Malthouse Theatre’s artistic director Matthew Lutton says. Wilde famously dubbed the play "a trivial comedy for serious people", and this production takes that catch-cry to the nth degree. So if you think you fit that description – or perhaps even if you're just a trivial person looking for a serious comedy – this could be the perfect theatrical treat to kick off your year. The produ

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Mikala Dwyer's Earthcraft 2020
Art, Installation

Mikala Dwyer: Earthcraft 2020

Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne

Mikala Dwyer has been fiddling around with unearthly forces for her latest Melbourne exhibition, Earthcraft 2020. Within the walls of Anna Schwartz Gallery, Dwyer has installed ten separate works that explore a utopian, if occult, version of 2020.  As a whole, the exhibition feels futuristically witchy, as if you’ve stumbled into a coven run by Apple. Geometric forms and motifs (a staple for Dwyer) are threaded throughout the exhibition and connect back to the Earthcraft title (which is inspired by the old English word “eorõcræft”, meaning geometry).  Dwyer’s giant silver orb ‘Sphere’ immediately sucks in eyes with its gleaming surface that make it less mirrorball and more otherworldly portal. Bookending Earthcraft are two hanging banners emblazoned with geometric patterns typical to Dwyer, and sure to baffle archaeologists after the fall of civilization. The futuristic mysticism continues in ‘Collapsed Line’, a collection of suspended, helmeted heads formed into a outerspace devil’s nest. Dwyer has seemingly even decided to take on Maurizio Cattelan’s infamous $120,000 banana with ‘Fall’, which features an apple hanging from a string. Earthcraft 2020 is at Anna Schwartz Gallery from February 8 to March 14.

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Black Ties Sydney Festival 2020 supplied
Photograph: Garth Oriander
Theatre

Black Ties

Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank

Avid Australian theatregoers know Ilbijerri Theatre Company pretty well as one of the country’s leading makers of Indigenous work. We’re probably not as familiar with Te Rēhia Theatre, one of New Zealand’s leading companies for Māori theatre. But this new show, to be staged in Arts Centre Melbourne's event venue as part of Asia TOPA festival, is all about the coming together of First Nations cultures and communities, which is why the companies have teamed up. It follows the nuptials of Māori woman Hera and Aboriginal man Kane, who lock eyes at a cultural awareness session and fall deeply in love. That much is simple enough, but there’s a wild (and properly funny) clash of cultures as the two families come together for the celebration.  The cast is made up of Indigenous veterans and relative newcomers, including Jack Charles, Mark Coles Smith, Lisa Maza, Tuakoi Ohia and Brady Peeti. And you’ll really feel the party vibes at the Pavilion event centre, with the show’s soundtrack of black anthems and wedding reception classics.

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A Serial Killer's Guide to Life Fantastic Film Festival
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Film festivals

Fantastic Film Festival

Lido Cinemas, Hawthorn

Horror, thriller, fantasy and animation are the focus of the Fantastic Film Festival, which takes over the Lido from February 20 to March 4.  The showcase of alternative and genre cinema has been curated with an eye on the way fantastic stories reveal truths about the time in which they are made. “It’s not just mutants, monsters, and apocalyptic bloodlust,” program director Hudson Sowada says, “although of course there’s plenty of that.” Opening night film Chained for Life is a good indication of the territory explored. British actor and disability activist Adam Pearson (Under the Skin), who lives with neurofibromatosis, stars as an actor in a horror film whose costar (Jess Weixler) is conventionally beautiful.  Two films in the line-up deal with racial oppression: Zombi Child, about a Haitian teenager who reveals her family secret to her friends, and documentary Horror Noire, which traces the history of African-American artists in Hollywood through the horror genre, from caricature, through exploitation to the likes of Get Out. Violent but philosphical Polish film The Mute involves two Christian knights in the early Middle Ages who set off to christen the inhabitants of a pagan village hidden deep in the mountains. A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life is a blackly comedic road movie with shades of Thelma and Louise. A special screening of Australian sci-fi metal-musical Sons of Steel will mark 30 years since its release. Other highlights include a film about German serial ki

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Photograph: Claudette Barius
Film

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

4 out of 5 stars

Little good came out of 2016’s Suicide Squad, but one of its few bright points was Margot Robbie’s anarchic Harley Quinn. Now she gets another shot at the spotlight in this spin-off directed by Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs), who lets her heroine’s mania guide her through a story that’s scrappy, weird and ultimately fun as hell. Quinn has broken up with her long-time beau, the Joker, and now faces a seething Gotham underworld unprotected. She must scramble to survive her enemies, particularly crime kingpin Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor), aka Black Mask, and his right-hand man (Chris Messina), introduced via a scene of shocking sadism. She makes a deal with Roman that should keep her alive but it puts her up against disillusioned cop Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) and the idealistic Danah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), a singer at Roman’s club. They’re all after a young orphan (Ella Jay Basco as the character who, in the comics, becomes Batgirl). Oh, and someone’s shooting mob guys with a crossbow. The mysterious Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) may or may not be involved. You’ll need that deep breath you just took, because the film’s first act mirrors Harley’s incoherent, time-hopping narration in its explanations of who’s who and what’s what. But once that is untangled, Birds of Prey is wildly entertaining. McGregor goes full psycho as Black Mask, a foppish "trustafarian fuckwad", all Elton John suits and Skeletor masks. But it’s really the ladies’ show. Robbie’s turn alon

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Billy Elliot the Musical 2019 supplied image Sydney Lyric
Photograph: Alastair Muir
Theatre, Musicals

Billy Elliot the Musical

Regent Theatre, Melbourne

It's time to don your ballet shoes and practice your plié – Billy Elliot the Musical is on its way back to Australian shores for a tenth anniversary tour. The British musical blockbuster is opening at the Sydney Lyric in October, with four freakishly talented youngsters sharing the title role: Omar Abiad (12, from Brisbane), River Mardesic (10, from Melbourne), Wade Neilsen (12, from Newcastle) and Jamie Rogers (12, from Canberra). They're joined by Australian musical theatre stalwart Kelley Abbey as the tough-as-nails ballet teacher Mrs Wilkinson, and Justin Smith as Billy's father. The musical is set against the background of the 1984/85 UK coal miners' strike and tells the story of Billy, a miner's son who dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer. Lee Hall, who wrote the popular 2000 film upon which the musical is based, adapted the story for the stage with musical superstar Elton John, who penned the score. Elton John said: "Billy Elliot for me is one of the most rewarding and creative works of my career. I have very fond memories of the Sydney production in 2007 as it was the first city outside of the UK we mounted the show and found many incredibly talented children who would go on to carry the show through its successful Australian run." After opening on London's West End in 2005 – where it scored a five-star review from Time Out London – the show had its Australian premiere in 2007, winning a record-equalling seven Helpmann Awards including Best Musical.

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Torch the Place Melbourne Theatre Company 2020 supplied
Photograph: Justin Ridler
Theatre

Torch the Place

Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank

Benjamin Law, the journalist, columnist and writer behind SBS’s The Family Law, is making his playwriting debut with this comedy about family and the art of letting go at Melbourne Theatre Company. “I think Ben is such a polymath; terrific in all of the spaces he works in,” MTC's artistic director Brett Sheehy says. “I’m a great fan of his television writing, I’m a great fan of his column writing, but also his analysis writing; that Quarterly Essay he did was extraordinary. So it was really exciting that he came into our orbit and agreed to come on board to create a play.”  Torch the Place is set on the Gold Coast, not far from where Law was raised. A family of siblings come together to celebrate their mother’s 60th birthday and help to clean up her house. But her hoarding habits prove particularly difficult to overcome. Fiona Choi, Michelle Lim Davidson and Diana Lin star in director Dean Bryant’s production. “It looks at the funny side of her hoarding but also digs much deeper into the reasons for her holding onto all of this stuff, which all has a meaningful place in her life. Finally, the play is sort of about a woman who unconditionally loves her children, and how does she hold onto those children when they inevitably move away and create lives for themselves.”

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Cast onstage in performance of Shrek the Musical
Theatre, Musicals

Shrek the Musical

Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne
3 out of 5 stars

This is a review of the Sydney season of Shrek the Musical You’ve got to feel for the actor tasked with bringing the world’s most famous ogre to life on stage. Not only does it take around two hours to get into the elaborate prosthetics required to transform into the character (and we can only imagine what it must feel like to sweat into a facefull of silicone for the two-hour show that follows) but animating that enormous green face has got to be an enormous challenge. It’s just one of the many difficulties inherent in adapting a much-loved animated film for the stage, and admittedly one of the more successful elements of this musical version of the 2001 film Shrek. Ben Mingay contorts the facial greenery into all sorts of convincing expressions, and although he could push his physicality a little bit further, he sings gorgeously and is a believable presence, centring this spoof of fairytale tropes. For those unfamiliar with the source material, it concerns the titular green ogre, whose swamp – where he lives in blissful solitude away from torch and pitchfork-wielding villagers – is suddenly invaded by a mixed bag of fairytale characters, evicted from their homes by the villainous Lord Farquaad (Todd McKenney). To get his swamp back, Shrek agrees to go on a quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona (Lucy Durack), who Farquaad intends to marry. Shrek is an unlikely hero and Fiona has lived almost her entire life locked high in a tower guarded by a ferocious dragon (vo

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Double Delicious - Sydney Festival 2020
Theatre

Double Delicious

The Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford
4 out of 5 stars

This is a review of the Sydney Festival season of Double Delicious Double Delicious is the perfect title for this nourishing night of storytelling and food by Contemporary Asian Australian Performance. Perfect because it has the double-punch of engaging your tastebuds as well as your emotions, and because the five storyteller-cooks all share their experiences of living with two cultures: Australia, where they all currently live, and their Asian heritage. It’s also an apt title because the food that emerges from that fusion is properly delicious. First up is Korean chef Heather Jeong, who shares her love of the rituals of kimchi alongside the story of her sometimes difficult relationship with her father, eventually serving up a dish that’s not at all the kind of refined cuisine you might expect from a chef of her talents. Actor Valerie Berry shares a story of her family migrating from the Philippines, and the way her mother used food to stay anchored to her culture. Dancer and choreographer Raghav Handa talks about his attempts to connect with India, and how living a fulfilled single life presents a unique cultural challenge, and Benjamin Law ruminates on life on the Sunshine Coast in the 1980s and ‘90s as one of the only Asian-Australian families around, while picking up cooking techniques that his ancestors have been practicing for hundreds of years. The audience all sit at large round tables, like at a wedding reception. As each story ends, a group of waiters whisk into

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The Seen and Unseen Asia TOPA 2020 supplied
Photograph: Ifa Isfansyah
Theatre

The Seen and Unseen

Victorian College of the Arts, Southbank

In 2018, award-winning Indonesian artist Kamila Andini screened her film The Seen and Unseen at Melbourne International Film Festival. An internationally acclaimed portrait of childhood painted with contemporary Indonesian culture, the film is now being turned into a live performance work by Andini. It's promising to be a haunting and night of performance, meditating on life, grief and hope. Commissioned by Asia TOPA, The Seen and Unseen brings together Andini with Indonesian choreographer Ida Ayu Wayan Satyani. They're being joined by Australian theatremakers Adena Jacobs, Eugyeene Teh and Jenny Hector to create a unique, cross-cultural theatrical experience, performed by a cast of chld performers from Bali's Komunitas Bumi Bajra. 

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Day Dream at the Strand
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Pop-up locations

Day Dream

The Strand Melbourne, Melbourne

Need a break from shopping till you drop? Until March you can pop into a free pop-up light experience room for a 90-second recharge. Day Dream was created by Phillip Bucknell and Jobe Williams and comprises a fairly small room with beanbags in each corner. Up to four people can enter the room at a time to experience the show. Take a seat on a beanbag, look up, and soon the show begins. Colours pulse and chase each other across the 20,000 lights embedded in the walls and ceiling, while a trance-like techno beat plays. There are four different variations – End of the Rainbow, Into the Wild, Deep Space and Summer Solstice – and the show changes as the season progresses.  The room is open from 11am-3pm, Tuesday through Saturday. It's free, but there might be a bit of a queue. 

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Animalia in sand by Graeme Base
Things to do

Animalia in Sand

Boneo Discovery Park, Fingal

Many children in Australia learnt their ABCs with a little help from Animalia. The elaborately illustrated picture book by Graeme Base takes readers on an alliterate, zoological journey through the alphabet, from aardvarks to zebras.  Now you can see the pages from Animalia brought to life in sand. Sand Sculpting Australia has taken inspiration from the beloved kids book and turned all 26 pages from the animal alphabet into massive sand sculptures.  This is the first time that Animalia has been recreated in sand, with 15 sand sculptors from around the world using more than 3,500 tonnes of sand to create the works. The sandy sculptures also feature an augmented reality component. Using an app, guests can discover hidden stories about each creature, by scanning the accompanying sign.  Animalia in Sand is on now until the end of April at Boneo Discovery Park on the Mornington Peninsula. In addition to the exhibition, the park also has pedal boats, adventure activities, workshops and ten hectares of wetlands and nature trails to explore.

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Birrarung Marr
Photograph: Roberto Seba
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

National Sustainable Living Festival

Around Melbourne, Melbourne

Sustainability might have become a bit of a buzzword lately, but the National Sustainable Living Festival has been flying the flag for decades. The organisation has been around for more than 20 years, encouraging Australians to adopt more eco-conscious lifestyles.  The 2020 festival runs throughout the entire month of February and will feature sustainability experts from Australia and across the globe.  Expect lots of talks, workshops, films, and art and design events aimed at getting as many people as possible addressing the current climate emergency.  Queen Victoria Market will host some of Australia’s leading sustainability initiatives and entrepreneurs during the festival, including workshops on how to compost to a group of volunteers offering to repair your broken items. On Saturday February 15, the festival will feature a zero-waste art installation, where you can watch an artist create an art piece by recycling plastic waste. The installation will demonstrate how to avoid waste and tips for minimising your footprint.  Monash University’s ‘Recycling Integration Unit’ will also be on site on Wednesday, February 19, for onlookers to see waste being transformed into new objects in an effort to be sustainable with plastic.   The 'Our Waste: How Did We Get Here" panel discussion on February 27 will feature experts talking about our relationship with consumption and waste, while on February 8 you can join the First Nations Climate Justice walk in the Royal Botanic

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Michael B. Jordan in Just Mercy
Photograph: Jake Netter
Film, Drama

Just Mercy

4 out of 5 stars

A trainee lawyer helps death row inmates in this stirring drama based on the work of attorney Bryan Stevenson. Michael B Jordan (Creed, Black Panther) is on fine form as the young Harvard graduate who offers free legal services to men like Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who’s been sentenced to death for murdering a white woman in Alabama in 1986. The more Stevenson probes the case, the more preposterous the ‘evidence’ begins to appear, but he faces opposition from racist cops and DAs. It’s an inspiring tale that’s told in a traditional fashion, with lots of plain speaking to make sure audiences are receiving its messaging loud and clear. But the steady hand of director Cretton (Short Term 12) is aided by a strong cast who keep the tone just the right side of sentimental. Jamie Foxx is terrific as the condemned man who’s almost lost all hope, buoyed only by the solidarity of his fellow convicts (including O’Shea Jackson Jr). Brie Larson underplays it nicely as Stevenson’s colleague, while Rafe Spall injects dark humour as a district attorney whose breezy manner is a thin veil over his prejudice. And it’s hard to imagine anyone but the brilliant Tim Blake Nelson playing troubled convict Ralph Myers, on whose testimony the conviction is based. The frustrating injustices and what feels like a prolonged execution scene mean this isn’t always an easy watch, but it’s an ultimately heart-warming one that argues passionately for justice, community and kindness – timely indeed.

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Agatha Gothe-Snape, 'The Outcome is Certain' MUMA 2020 supplied
Image courtesy of the artist and the Commercial, Sydney.
Art

Agatha Gothe-Snape: The Outcome is Certain

Monash University Museum of Art, Caulfield East

Agatha Gothe-Snape is one of the most original and thoughtful artists working in Australia at the moment, always questioning how we approach and understand contemporary art in novel ways. This survey at Monash University of Modern Art covers more than a decade of her work, stretching back to 2008. It includes wall drawings, powerpoint presentations, sculpture, video, augmented reality, works on paper and collaborations. There’ll also be two new major artworks, about which we know very little. But you can be sure to expect something thought-provoking, which will make you reconsider your position as an audience member, and in keeping with Gothe-Snape’s minimal aesthetic.

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The Feather in the Web Red Stitch 2020 supplied
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre

The Feather in the Web

Red Stitch Actors Theatre, St Kilda

It’s difficult to describe what this wickedly funny play by Nick Coyle is really about. It starts in one place but takes so many detours on its way to its end point that you mightn’t recognise the play itself – or its extraordinary protagonist Kimberly – by the time it concludes. Helpmann nominee Declan Greene is directing the Melbourne premiere for Midsumma Festival, after the play premiered to rave reviews at Sydney's Griffin Theatre in 2018. It’s a determinedly queer play about an outsider trying to make her way in a seemingly insane world.

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Home I'm Darling Melbourne Theatre Company 2020 supplied
Photograph: Justin Ridler
Theatre

Home, I'm Darling

Southbank Theatre (Melbourne Theatre Company), Southbank

Melbourne Theatre Company is kicking off the year with plenty of belly laughs, thanks to this hit British comedy, which picked up Best New Comedy at this year’s Olivier Awards. It follows a couple in the 21st century who have decided to live a completely authentic 1950s lifestyle. “It throws up situations that are incredibly funny but also deeply poignant and moving in many ways,” MTC artistic director Brett Sheehy says. “It really looks at the clash of their chosen ‘50s lifestyle against the 2020s, and what the frisson between those two time periods means in terms of values. How much have our values really changed over that period of time?” Nikki Shiels plays Judy, the woman who has chosen to step back in time, while Kath and Kim star Jane Turner plays her mother, who used to be a hippie feminist and is outraged that her daughter has chosen to be a stay-at-home housewife. Director Sarah Goodes is helming a cast that also includes Peter Paltos, Toby Truslove, Izabella Yena and comedian Susie Youssef.

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People shopping at Arts Centre Melbourne Sunday Market
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Markets

Arts Centre Melbourne Sunday Market

Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank

Arts Centre Melbourne isn't only great for the odd show or even for a meal and a tipple at the Barre. In fact, every Sunday the grounds of the arts precinct's hub come alive with market stalls selling everything from handmade leather wallet to locally made art by the city's designers and small business owners.  Situated a short walk from Flinders Street Station, everything on offer at the market has been locally made, and the market also features a great range of food stalls if you want to shake up your Sunday brunch. Head over to the Arslan gozleme stall for some Turkish pastry layered with delicious spicy lamb or cheese and spinach, or make a stop at the poffertjes stall for some Dutch pancakes.

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The Westin High Seas 2020
Things to do, Food and drink

High Seas

The Westin Melbourne, Melbourne

We in Melbourne love our high tea. We've had all-cheese high tea, all-chocolate high tea, and even a monochromatic high tea. Now the Westin is bringing back its nautical twist on the concept with an all-seafood high tea. For 2020, the Westin is pairing up with Healesville gin brand Four Pillars for a gin-inspired menu. Savoury treats include oysters with Four Pillars Rare Dry gin and red snapper dressing, Port Phillip Bay scallops with Four Pillars orange and mustard glaze, Balmain bug sandwiches, yabby sesame toast, as well as Humpty Doo barramundi scotch eggs with lemon myrtle aioli. To top it all off there's even a gin botanicals ice cream sandwich for dessert.  Skip the sparkling wine and do as sailors do with a gin cocktail. There's the Wave Racer (Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin, sour rhubarb, orange, bay leaf and fizz), the Downbound (Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin, fino, bergamot and finger lime) and a classic gin and tonic with Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin, Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water and orange.  It's $89 per person to take part in this special high tea. High Seas runs Monday to Sunday from 5.30pm at the Allegro Restaurant, and Saturday and Sunday from 11am until 4pm in the Lobby Lounge. The tide will roll out on March 31, so make sure you hit the deck before then. 

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Little Women
Photograph: Wilson Webb/Sony Pictures
Film, Drama

Little Women

5 out of 5 stars

Greta Gerwig has directed only two films that are solely her own but she’s already become a brand. That’s in evidence within the first five minutes of Little Women, a huggably self-deprecating take on the Louisa May Alcott classic. Brashly confident Jo (Saoirse Ronan, from Gerwig’s debut film Lady Bird, still uncorking those soulful stares that outclass the competition) sits in the office of a New York publishing house. Because it’s the 1860s, she has to pretend she’s trying to sell the work of a friend, presumably a male one. But a parental editor (Tracy Letts, also from Lady Bird) sees through this and has mercy on her. He reads, pencil in hand. "Make sure she’s married at the end – or dead," he concludes, somewhat approvingly. Jo, elated, runs down a city block, just like Gerwig did in Frances Ha. If this isn’t the Little Women you remember, either on page or screen, that’s understandable. But it’s likely the one you felt, and that’s more important. Gerwig, who should be celebrated as both an evolving screenwriter (the bold adaptation is hers) and a shrewd formal stylist, cuts to the thematic essence of the novel – sisterhood and coming of age, but also nostalgia and mourning your own past – and finds a visual language for it. Alcott’s saga of the four March sisters has been divided and restitched by Gerwig into two interwoven halves. Girlish energy suffuses the warmly lit scenes of their Massachusetts teenhood (Daddy’s away, fighting the Civil War), days chockablock with

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Horn Please
Photograph: Peter Tarasiuk
Things to do, Food and drink

All-you-can-eat vegan at Horn Please

Every Sunday in summer the modern-Indian North Fitzroy diner Horn Please will be hosting an all-you-can-eat vegan dinner night from 6pm. Don't fear! It won't be a sad affair where there is a huge trough of dahl and mountains of stale bread. Instead, there will be a roster of six vegan curries, two snacks, rice and vegan naan for you to gorge yourself on. The menu will include dishes like a yellow dahl; potatoes and cauliflower curry; chana masala; red and black bean curry; eggplant curry; a roasted butternut squash curry; spinach fritters; and General Tso's cauliflower. The best news is that it will only set you back $20 a person, but don't forget to book, or you will definitely miss out.

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Crowd at Zoo Twilights
Photograph: Ian Laidlaw
Music, Music festivals

Zoo Twilights

Melbourne Zoo, Parkville

We'd be lion if we said that Zoo Twilights wasn't our summer highlight.  The concert series kicks off in January and attracts some pretty big names in music. Kicking things off on January 24 is Aussie duo Confidence Man supported by party starters Wax’o Paradiso. The next night audiences will be treated to a special performance from Iva Davies and Aussie music royalty Icehouse.  Influential Jamaican reggae troup Toots and the Maytals will also hit the stage this summer,  as well as a run of Aussie favourites like Missy Higgins, the Cat Empire, Methyl Ethel, Meg Mac and Julia Jacklin. ‘I’m Not in Love’ singers 10cc are also gracing the line-up, as is UK art pop pioneers Stereolab. Randy Newman, whose inescapably hummable 'You've Got a Friend in Me' anchors the Toy Story film series, will hit the stage as part of his Australian tour. The festival will close on Saturday, March 7 with a performance from living legend and soul king Mavis Staples.  Topping the line-up, of course, are the Zoo's wild residents. All proceeds from the Zoo Twilights summer concert series will be going back towards the zoo's conservation work, including work to save the critically endangered mountain-pygmy possum from extinction.  No Zoo Twilights night is complete without a gourmet picnic – pre-order a hamper with your tickets or check out the Taste of Twilights food zone on the night for street eats from some of Melbourne's best food trucks. Zoo Twilights tickets also include exclusive zoo entry f

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Jojo Rabbit
Photo: Kimberley French/Fox Searchlight
Film, Comedy

Jojo Rabbit

4 out of 5 stars

Get your cringing over with now: the guy who directed Thor: Ragnarok, New Zealand’s gifted Taika Waititi, has made a movie about an adorable Hitler Youth whose imaginary buddy is Adolf himself (Waititi plays Hitler). Honestly, the news is good – it’s high time to rethink this filmmaker from the ground up. Breathtakingly risky but worthy under scrutiny, Jojo Rabbit dates back long before Waititi’s Marvel success – to 2012, when the circulating screenplay, an adaptation of Christine Leunens’s sombre novel Caging Skies, was celebrated as brilliant but unfilmable. (Waititi’s real subject is difficult boyhood; his second feature was called Boy.) Jojo Rabbit has a child’s perspective: that of a naive, lonely ten year old, Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), who, in the mincing voice of Waititi’s cartoonish Hitler, is the “bestest, most loyal little Nazi I’ve ever seen.” If you hope to roll with the film's laughs, you’ll have to embrace this intentionally immature set-up – one that shows us a frenzied Jojo running down the street in his brown shirt to the German version of the Beatles’ 'I Want to Hold Your Hand'. Otherwise, the anachronisms will play harshly. Waititi has conceived his Third Reich with deliberate broadness: there’s a strutting kids-camp counselor (Sam Rockwell), a vicious secretary (Rebel Wilson) and a towering geek of a Gestapo agent (Stephen Merchant), all of whom nail their comic parts with po-faced perfection. Should we be laughing at all this, though? Very rarely does

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The Great Australian Play Theatre Works 2020 supplied
Photograph: Jack Dixon-Gunn
Theatre

The Great Australian Play

Theatre Works, St Kilda

Patrick White Award-winning playwright Kim Ho can only do so much in the face of national cuts to arts funding. The plan: to write a historical play retracing the steps of Harold Bell Lasseter, a prospector who insisted there was a great reef of gold in the heart of the country. The problem: the five adventurer characters created for the play are trapped in Ho’s new Australian masterpiece, and they’re coming face to face with all the myths we tell ourselves about Australia and the fabric of our local identity. Indie avant-garde director Saro Lusty-Cavallari steers this journey into a world of the past, via Nazi dingo scalpers, con-men, and ancient evil to arrive at an imagined future.

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29
A woman in a head scarf with a blunt fringe poses with a stall of illustrated artworks.
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Markets

Brunswick Artist Market

The Spotted Mallard, Brunswick

This monthly artist market is set in the lush, art deco surrounds of the Spotted Mallard in the heart of Brunswick's Sydney Road. Here you’ll find dozens of artist stalls selling a range of local goods and a flea market on the bottom floor where you can hunt of gems. Whether it’s jewellery, paintings or ceramics you’re after, head down from 10am to support local crafters, listen to some live music and dig into barbecue eats. While you’re there, grab a coffee from Co-Grounds’ volunteer-powered coffee caravan where 100 percent of the profits go to charity projects in the Asia Pacific region. The theme is very much about giving with these guys: the market is an initiative of charity Co-Ground, with 100 per cent of profits from the market going towards their education and livelihood programs in the Asia Pacific. These markets are a holistic great for your your home and your fashion collection, with wholesome benefits for local artists and empowerment reaching communities as far as Vanuatu and the Phillippines. 

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

Planetarium Nights

Scienceworks, Spotswood

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 season, 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 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 Europe to the Stars, Chaos and Order, Ticket to the Universe and Capcom GO! Don't miss December's screening of Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon where you'll be able to listen to the entirety of Pink Floyd's seminal 1973 album while colourful, psychedelic visuals are projected over the full dome.  Plus the bar will be open if you fancy a drink with your trip into space. Planetarium Nights are on every Friday until December 27.

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31
Orange bellied parrot for Werribee Zoo
Photograph: Zoos Victoria
Things to do, Walks and tours

Australian Threatened Species Tour

Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee South

What does it take to save a species? Budding conservationists now have the chance to go behind-the-scenes with threatened species keepers at Werribee Open Range Zoo and witness first hand how they’re saving our Aussie animals from extinction. Werribee Zoo is ground zero for some of Australia’s most important conservation programs. It houses critically endangered species like the plains wanderer bird (there are less than 1,000 left in the wild), the orange-bellied parrot (less than 50 left in the wild), and the eastern barred bandicoot. On the hour-long tour, you’ll join the front line in the fight for wildlife, helping keepers identify birds from leg bands and documenting animal behaviours from video footage like a total pro. If you ever dreamed of being a zookeeper as a kid, this one’s for you.  The new tour is part of a growing trend in the animal industry that’s moving away from offering visitors direct contact with animals and instead focusing on the conservation and welfare of our much-adored Aussie critters.  The tour runs from 9.15am to 10.15am on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. It costs $50 per person or $45 for Zoo Members. 

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Games and drinks at Summertime Social
Things to do, Pop-up locations

Summertime Social

Federation Square, Melbourne

From January 3, Fed Square’s Skyline Terrace is hosting the Summertime Social – an outdoor pop-up featuring a large communal lawn, bookable caravans and plenty of summer-appropriate food and drink.  On the rooftop lawn you can have fun with giant games (yes, there will be Jenga) or relax with live music on Sunday afternoons. For a more chilled out group outing, there will be decked out huts and luxe converted caravans to sprawl out in. The caravan booking even comes with food (like ploughman’s platters, pies and potato salad) included. Now to the important information – the drinks. Summertime Social has three cocktails on tap (Aperol Spritz, Passionfruit Caprioska and Miami Iced Tea) all of which are $6 between 4-6pm weekdays. On really hot days you can get around a frozen Margarita, Mango Daiquiri or simply order an Esky containing your choice or four cans of beer or wine. Kids are welcome too, with a dedicated children's menu, family picnic baskets and peanut butter and jelly ice cream sandwiches (those over 18 can also partake in boozy ice cream flavours). Additionally, on weekends, Summertime Social offers bottomless brunches. The square’s rooftop has been getting a work out lately. During winter 2019 it hosted the Winter Village pop-up featuring igloos, mulled wine and even snow. Summertime Social is being run by the same team behind the Winter Village (that is, behemoth hospo group Australian Venue Co) so you can expect a similar level of fun, sans snow. Summertime

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33
A still from the film 1917 featuring George MacKay
Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Film, Drama

1917

5 out of 5 stars

A pure adrenaline hit of a movie that takes place mostly in the lethal glare of daylight, Sam Mendes’s stunning, sorta-single-take 1917 hits its greatest heights when darkness falls. A single British soldier dusts himself off from a glancing wound, wanders to the window of a broken-down house and, in one invisible cut, emerges magically into the skeletal, hellish remains of a French town. The abandoned settlement glows with orange hues as Thomas Newman’s score hits a rare crescendo. It’s at once an epic piece of filmmaking, the launchpad for the second half of the movie, and possibly the greatest “person walks into a town” moment in cinema since Claudia Cardinale strolled into Once Upon a Time in the West. Needless to say, in a film that only stops to reload, the soldier is soon running like hell. Once Upon a Time on the Western Front – as you could subtitle Mendes’s nerve-fraying rollercoaster of a war movie – is a simple men-on-a-mission drama dressed up with all the technical bells and whistles at the director’s disposal. The men are Lance Cpls Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), who are summoned into the trenches for a hurried briefing with Colin Firth’s General Erinmore. The entire German army, it turns out, has hit reverse to the tune of about 8 miles, holing up behind the Hindenburg Line and waiting secretly for an unsuspecting British attack that will cost the lives of 1,600 men, including Blake’s brother. The mission? To deliver a message to

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Photo: Hilary B. Gayle/Lionsgate
Film, Drama

Bombshell

Bombshell is a revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time; Fox News, and the explosive story of women who brought down the infamous man who created it.

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Classic Cinemas
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Outdoor cinema

Classic Rooftop Cinema

Classic Cinemas, Elsternwick

Classic Cinemas holds the claim to fame as is the longest continuously operating cinema in Victoria. It boasts ten indoor screens and, in addition, has announced the new Classic Rooftop, with nightly 9pm screenings all through summer 2019-2020 and into autumn.  The rooftop cinema has comfortable director's chair seating on staggered levels, while sound is delivered through headsets. Melbourne loves a rooftop bar, and the Classic Rooftop naturally has one too. The inaugural season kicks off with as big a bang as you could wish for with a week of screenings of the climactic Star Wars flick, The Rise of Skywalker.  New releases that follow include camp classic in waiting, Cats, Greta Gerwig's new version of Little Women, Guy Ritchie's new gangster flick The Gentlemen, and a one-off session of Leonard Cohen documentary Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love.  Justin Kurzel's adaptation of Peter Carey's novel True History of the Kelly Gang screens on Friday January 10. Bombshell with Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie, and the Tom Hanks heartwarmer A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, will get showings, as will Taika Waititi's absurdist WWII satire Jojo Rabbit and the award-winning queer French romance Portrait of a Lady on Fire.  Love a retro movie? Classic Rooftop Cinema will have Retro Wednesdays in January playing Labyrinth (on David Bowie's birthday), 10 Things I Hate About You, hilarious 1987 fairytale The Princess Bride and Spike Lee's incendiary 1989 drama D

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Keith Haring, 'Malcolm X' 1988
Art, Paintings

Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines

NGV International, Southbank

After the success of a joint exhibition of work by Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei in 2016, the NGV is bringing together another pair of art legends for its 2019/20 summer blockbuster. Who doesn't love a two-for-one deal? Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat's careers burned bright and fast in the 1980s, rocking the New York art establishment. Both are known for the huge impression they made with their street art, and both died young: Basquiat from a heroin overdose in 1988 at just 27, and Haring from an AIDS-related illness in 1990 at 31. The exhibition features more than 300 of their works presented side-by-side, ranging from paintings to sculptures and, of course, public works. Both artists made work with strong social and political messages, particularly about racism and the AIDS crisis, and each had his own distinctive visual style, which will be central to this exhibition. Expect to see plenty of Haring's dancing figures (which Melburnians should be familiar with given that they feature in a mural he painted in Collingwood in 1984) and Basquiat's crown and head motif.  In fact, one of the key works in the exhibition is Basquiat's 'Untitled (1982)', which features a distressing but brightly colourful image of a black skull. The painting sold for $110 million in 2017, making it the most expensive American painting ever. The exhibition features Basquiat and Haring's collaborations with each other, as well as work with Andy Warhol, Grace Jones and Madonna. It's all being pu

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37
Mini Mega Model Museum child playing with dinosaurs
Photograph: Benjamin Healley
Things to do

Mini Mega Model Museum

Melbourne Museum, Carlton

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be like Alice and eat something to become huge, or drink something to become tiny? What would the world look like to a giant? What does it look like to a cat?  You can find out at Melbourne Museum's Mini Mega Model Museum, which plays with scale in more than 300 objects displayed in tiny and oversized galleries. There are model specimens to examine in the Zoomological Laboratory, hyper-realistic wax food in the life-sized cafeteria to play with and a fully furnished mini-mansion to pore over. The mini-mansion took more than 40 years to create, and museum visitors could spend hours appreciating every tiny detail.  Kids can learn about model making and try their hand during the Mini Mega Makers Workshop. And for some very large-scale critters, have a stroll through the museum's Dinosaur Walk. 

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A taco
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Pop-up locations

Fiesta de Tequila

Howler, Brunswick

Brunswick bar Howler is turning its sights towards sunny Mexico for summer – and beyond.   Howler has relaunched its Fiesta de Tequila pop-up bar, serving a selection of specialty tequilas, cocktails and tacos every Friday to Sunday. This isn't the first time that Howler has hosted the tequila and taco pop-up bar but this year the team is aiming to make the bar a more permanent weekly fixture. Because, if we're honest, tequilas and tacos are an all-year fave. Between 5pm and 6pm Friday and Saturday evenings, Howler is serving $5 tacos (smoked brisket, black bean or achiote chicken) as well as honest-to-goodness $5 frozen Margaritas. Missed happy hour? You can still score the tacos for $6.50 until 9pm Friday and Saturday, and between 3pm and 7pm on Sundays.  Howler is also shaking up a mix of tequila cocktails ranging from hearty Paloma Mimosaa to Micheladas (a little like a Mexican Bloody Mary) and the dangerous sounding Jalepeño Margaritas.  The Fiesta de Tequila bar is open from 5pm to 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 3pm to 7pm on Sundays.

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39
Two people holding plates of seafood, including prawns, mussels and whole crab
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

Uncle Iggy's Crab Shack

The Boatbuilders Yard, South Wharf

[Sponsored] There’s just something about summer that makes seafood tastier. The folks at the Boatbuilders Yard definitely think so too, and are bringing back their summer crab shack for the season. From January 24 until March 1, head into the Boatbuilders Yard to check out Uncle Iggy’s Crab Shack and feast on authentic Southern-style crab boil. New to crab boils? Here’s the low down. Crab boils are social events where people come together to eat a large (and often communal) serving of boiled crabs and other seafood. The term also refers to the spice mix (often containing cayenne pepper, hot sauce and garlic) used to flavour the water the crabs are boiled in. The seafood feasts are popular in America’s south and you better believe the Boatbuilders Yard is dead set on recreating the experience here in Melbourne.  Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Boatbuilders Yard will be serving up plates of the spicy boiled seafood starting at $24 a person. Expect to chow down on crab (of course) as well as prawns, mussels and oysters, plus plenty of traditional sides. You’ll be wanting something icy cold to wash that down with, of course, so Boatbuilders will be wheeling out a list of summer-appropriate drinks and cocktails. The specially created drinks menu includes Creole Bloody Marys, boozy Pink Lemonade, Long Island Iced Tea and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer for that extra kick of Americana. For die-hard seafood lovers, we suggest booking into one of the Boatbuilders Yard’s Crab Shack Super Session

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Moonlight Cinemas Melbourne
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Outdoor cinema

Moonlight Cinema

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne

There's nothing quite like a film under the stars in the evening cool of the Botanic Gardens. Settle back with friends and family for a movie this summer at Moonlight Cinema. The alfresco theatre has announced its dates for the 2019-2020 summer season, with films running from Thursday, November 28 until Sunday, March 29. Punters can expect a mix of acclaimed Oscar hopefuls, kids' favourites, festive faves and retro screenings to satisfy the nostalgic urges. There will be screenings of the Elton John biopic Rocketman, JLo's star turn in Hustlers, a 20th anniversary screening of The Matrix, Joaquin Phoenix's thrilling Joker, Stephen King's Dr Sleep, Disney blockbuster Frozen 2, the new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, as well as Pulp Fiction, Love Actually, Dirty Dancing and Die Hard. You can check out the full program here. As always, the Moonlight Cinema food truck and bar can supply you with comestibles, but you're welcome to BYO food and drinks, too. A pop-up Tia Maria bar will even be serving Espresso Martinis (essential for long movies) and Tia Popcorn Frappés.  Those looking to splurge can opt for the gold grass experience where you'll sloth out on bean bag beds with a premium view of the big screen. You don't even have to get up for movie snacks or drinks as waiters will happily take your order.  Screenings kick off at sundown (around 8.45pm from December to February and 8.15pm in March) and tickets range from $18-$40.

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41
Sinofuturists, Lu Yang
Photograph: Supplied
Art, Digital and interactive

Sinofuturists

Multiple venues

Multimedia artists including Lu Yang, Howie Lee and Alex Wang will combine immersive gaming environments, traditional Chinese music, digital avatars and civic ethics in a series of boundary-pushing works and discussions for the Sinofuturists program, part of Asia TOPA 2020. Sinofuturism is an artistic movement popularised by simulation artist Lawrence Lek with his 2016 video essay Sinofuturism (1839-2046 AD). Though this framework, the artists visiting Australia will explore how technology can offer new modes of expression, and what this means for our future realities.  Until March 22, Feedback Loops transforms ACCA's galleries into an immersive environment of live performance, video, installation, interactive gaming and artificial intelligence with six artists speculating on the past, present and future. As part of this exhibition, Lu Yang’s motion capture performance Electromagnetic Brainology will explore sexuality, religion and mortality using hyper-pop and kitsch environments. Two Live AV performances will converge on Melbourne Recital Centre as part of the program. Alex Wang and Chill Chill’s performance will guide the audience through an Orwell-inspired unreal nightmare and cyberoptic vision of modern China on Thursday March 26, while on March 27 Howie Lee and Teom Chen’s collaborative performance incorporates the movement of the audience and traditional instruments using the latest technological tools to create a reactive world that strips the barriers between perfor

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Photo: Sony Pictures
Film, Drama

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

3 out of 5 stars

A hush comes over a New York City Chinese restaurant during the most magical moment of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. It’s a scene that could have come from director Marielle Heller’s previous film, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, in which she found pockets of cosiness within a chilly city. Fred Rogers (a spookily serene Tom Hanks), better known as children's TV star “Mister Rogers”, is chatting with Lloyd (The Americans’ Matthew Rhys, tightly wound), a distracted Esquire profiler whom he’s come to care about. Fred suggests that they remember, just for a minute, the people who “loved us into being”. Lloyd blinks but goes with it, and the apparatus of this Hollywood movie grinds to a halt. Heller gives us the full minute. You lean in; maybe you even close your eyes. It’s a special film that makes you succumb, like that, to the comforts of memory and gratitude. Unfortunately, the scene is also a reminder that, even in the best-case scenario, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was always going to be competing with a spell that was already conjured in a Pittsburgh TV studio on the cheap, week after week, for decades. There’s little excavation here, no impulse to complexify this strangest of celebrities, a gifted listener and child whisperer who calmed adults just as effectively. (Morgan Neville’s inspiring 2018 documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbour? went further into Rogers’s methods and mission.) Hanks, in his twinkly-eyed wheelhouse, is supportive – it’s a supporting role – w

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Summer Cabin at Melbourne Star
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Pop-up locations

Melbourne Star’s Summer Beach Box

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, Docklands

What could be a better summertime activity than taking a 30-minute flight in Melbourne Star’s cool, temperature-controlled cabin? This summer, Melbourne Star’s cabins will become pop-up summer beach boxes featuring pool toys, refreshments and a blissfully cool 21-degree temperature controlled space 120 meters above Melbourne. During this flight, you'll also enjoy 360-degree views of the port, towards Melbourne CBD and all the way out to the shores of Mornington Peninsula. By nighttime, you can enjoy a spectacular sunset with views of the city along with audio commentary playing in the background, revealing the hidden stories and history of the viewable landmarks. Summer Beach Box bookings also include a cheese platter and a complimentary drink for each guest. The Summer Beach Box experience is available daily from 11.30am to 8.30pm, until February 29, 2020. Bookings must be made five days in advance The flight starts at $29 per person for a group of eight or $200 for an intimate two-person flight.

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Gut Feelings Exhibition
Things to do, Exhibitions

Gut Feelings: Your Mind, Your Microbes

Melbourne Museum, Carlton

When is the last time you really considered your gut health? Or thanked the tiny microbes that live your intestinal track and digest your food, boost your immunity and keep you healthy? Scientists are learning more every day about the fascinating community of microbes that live inside each and every one of us. There are more microbes inside the human body than there are stars in the Milky Way, and they weigh up to 2kg.  Melbourne Museum's Gut Feelings exhibition will change your mind about the tiny creatures (yes, they're alive!) that you share your body with. The interactive exhibition is a multi-sensory experience, with things to touch, hear and see.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Theatre, Drama

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Princess Theatre, Melbourne
4 out of 5 stars

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

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Giraffes at Sunset Safari
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Walks and tours

Sunset Safari at Werribee Open Range Zoo

What do zoo animals get up to when all the daytime visitors have headed back to their cars? Quite a lot, it turns out, with many African animals most active at dusk. That makes Werribee Open Range Zoo's Sunset Safari the perfect time to see giraffes, rhinoceroses, elands, zebras, scimitar-horned oryxes, hippopotamuses and other incredible African animals.  Visitors pile onto the safari buses and travel out to the 45-hectare open savannah section of the zoo. Sunset is the best time to see the magnificent creatures who live here, and safari guests will get to see all kinds of cool African wildlife at their most active. 

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47
Ben Oliver leading a Drinking History Tour
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Drinking History Tours

Around Melbourne, Melbourne

One of the best ways to learn about Melbourne is on foot, with an experienced guide pointing out nooks and crannies you might otherwise miss and telling entertaining stories about Melbourne's colourful past. But walking and learning are thirsty work, no?  Enter Drinking History Tours, which will take you on a tour down laneways, up alleys and through hidden parts of Melbourne or Fitzroy to teach you about the city's hidden gems and secret histories. And most importantly, the tours include stops at three fantastic Melbourne bars along the way.  The Melbourne tour takes in Federation Square, the Forum, the MCG, AC/DC Lane, the Old Treasury Building, Chinatown and more. The tour stops at three bars en route, and there are snacks at the second bar and a full dinner at the third. You'll learn fascinating stories about Melbourne's seedy past, including tales of murder, brothels and a centuries-old unsolved mystery. The Fitzroy tour starts at St Patrick's Cathedral and includes the Royal Exhibition Building, the Spanish Club, Brunswick Street, Johnston Street and laneways in between. You'll learn about Fitzroy's seedier side, including the epic battle between Squizzy Taylor and his archrival, as well as fun facts about the suburb's art and music scene. It also stops at three bars along the way: an old Melbourne stalwart, a reinvented hipster hangout and one of Melbourne's best cocktail bars. There's also a Whisky Bars and Gin Joints tour where guests explore three whisky or gin

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A stock image of a bubbling cauldron.
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

The Wizard’s Cauldron

Polly, Fitzroy

While you won’t find the most famed greasy-haired potions masters or boy wizard at this creative drinking experience, you will have a lot of fun at the Wizard's Cauldron if you’re keen on the occult. Channel the powers of your coven idol, from Sabrina to Hermione and any of the kids from Wizards of Waverly Place, and brew devilish concoctions in your cauldron. Like any brave young witch or wizard, you’ll have to master the dark arts to unlock the secrets to perfecting your brew. Wand and robe will be supplied upon entry at the Wizard's Cauldron, and your golden ticket also covers the cost of a warming glass of mead or mulled wine plus two boozy magical potions created with the help of your potion master. The 90-minute potion-making experience is happening at Polly's Bar in Fitzroy. Sessions are available Wednesday to Sunday.

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Stay Gold Comedy
Photograph: Supplied
Comedy, Stand Up

Stay Gold Comedy

Stay Gold, Ashburton

Live in Brunswick and don’t want to leave your special area? Good; they’ve brought the comics to you! This is the best comedy room more than a few kilometres out of the city, offering the Brunswick neighbouring suburbs a local option. This early Sunday show is held in one of Melbourne’s coolest newest live music venues. Stay Gold Comedy takes over the front bar every week and offers $5 tinnies with the restaurant serving up modern souvas and charcoal chicken. End your week right, with even more beers and a look at the best new and experienced comedians from Melbourne.

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Weekend Summer Sessions
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

Weekend Summer Sessions

Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne

Melbourne’s Adelphi Hotel is collaborating with the Campari Group to bring weekend session celebrating 100 years of Aperol, meaning you can spend your summer arvos splayed on the hotel’s rooftop pool deck, Italian-style.  Sip your way through the heat with classic aperitivo offerings like Campari and soda, Prosecco, Peroni and of course Aperol Spritzes galore, in addition to a range of non-alcoholic options. It’s only natural that this Aperol celebration also features food. There is a seasonal snack menu from Adelphi’s signature menu available, as well as Om Nom Kitchen’s halloumi fries with chilli and lime crema.  Adelphi’s Weekend Summer Sessions run from Saturday, December 7 to Sunday, March 1. The bar is open from 12.30pm to 6pm, with happy hour running from  12.30pm to 1.30pm.

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Lekker
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

Lekker

1 Bourke St, Melbourne

What is a neo-bistro exactly? We're not quite sure, but according to Rob Kabboord, who until recently was chef de cuisine at Quay, it's a comfortable bistro with a sharper, sassier offering than its classic counterparts. Kabboord is spending his summer back in Melbourne at the Windsor Hotel's event space at 1 Bourke Street with Lekker, an Aussie-Dutch bistro offering a selection of snacks and a moderately priced tasting menu (6 courses for $85) at a seasonal residency. Expect dishes like smoked salmon cigars; a kingfish roulade with wakame, frisee and tarragon; a modern interpretation of snert (a Dutch split pea soup) with pork trotter, neck, belly and peas; a Black Forest cake; and even a return of Melbourne's most mourned cheese trolley – a callback to Kabboord's famed cheese selection at Merricote (RIP). To match the playful food is a smart and concise drinks list featuring aperitifs, local craft beers, sake and a well-priced, balanced wine offering will be available throughout the season.  Bookings are encouraged, but walk-ins will be welcome.

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53
A dimly lit dance floor of people are dancing.
Photograph: Ardian Lumi
Things to do, Exhibitions

Summer of Dance

Immigration Museum, Melbourne

When there’s nothing left to do but dance, boogie on over to the Immigration Museum where a season of dance-inspired events are transforming its galleries and courtyard for the summer. You’ll discover diverse participatory dance experiences, parties, residencies and performances for dancers of all persuasions. Amongst the exhibition program, Amrita Hepi’s residency in the Long Room kicks off with Dance Reel (until 29 February), a large-scale projection of moving images of contemporary dance projected across 19th-century walls and columns.  On Friday, February 14, you can feel the love with Latin Valentine, a night of dancing, music and much more inspired by the Mexican tradition El Día del Amor y la Amistad (the Day of Love and Friendship). 

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Art

KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness

NGV International, Southbank

Even if you don't know his name, you're almost certainly familiar with Brian Donnelly's (aka KAWS) larger-than-life sculptures and paintings. Kaws take icons from cartoons and pop culture and reimagines them in vulnerable and unexpected situations. His signature? Their hands are marked with sharp crosses. This new exhibition at the NGV (which is running at the same time as the gallery's Basquiat and Haring blockbuster) features paintings, sculptures, graphic design and product design, covering the full spectrum of his creative output. Central to the exhibition is a monumental sculpture, which is his largest work in bronze so far. 

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Yarra River at Arbory Afloat
Bars, Cocktail bars

Arbory Afloat

Arbory Bar and Eatery, Melbourne

The giant floating pontoon has once again moored itself alongside Arbory’s permanent fixture beside platform 13 of Flinders Street Station. This year the bar will be taking inspiration from Miami in the '70s, with a pastel blue and pink colour palette and palm trees aplenty. The upper deck has been extended so there will be plenty of room to kick back, grab a drink and celebrate in your own private cabana.  Probably the most exciting part is the introduction of Arbory Afloat's own pool, which will be located on the upper deck level. Don't forget your bathers!

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Lido on the Roof
Photograph: Eugene Hyland
Film, Outdoor cinema

Lido on the Roof

Lido Cinemas, Hawthorn

Lido Cinema’s rooftop makes a triumphant return this summer for its fifth year under the stars.  Lido on the Roof will screen critically acclaimed summer releases including the new Charlie's Angels, Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford V Ferrari, Stephen King's Doctor Sleep, Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes, as well as Marriage Story, the new Noah Baumbach film starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver.  Other screenings include Great Gerwig's Little Women, Jumanji: The Next Level, Cats, Frozen 2, Bombshell and even a midnight screening on Wednesday, December 18 of the brand-new Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.  No need to BYO snacks: Lido's food and drink counter serves up great movie treats, from choctops and vegan-friendly popcorn to edamame and craft beers. Check out the full program to see what's showing and hit the Book Now button to buy your tickets. 

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Photograph: Parkland Entertainment
Film, Documentary

The Biggest Little Farm

A testament to the immense complexity of nature, The Biggest Little Farm follows two dreamers and a dog on an odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land.

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Black Star Pastry's strawberry watermelon cake on a table
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

Black Star Pastry pop-up

Jackalope Pavilion, St Kilda

Thanks to the fine folk of the JKLP Group who has brought us Jackalope Hotel and the Rain Room (which has been extended for another season), Sydney's insta-famous Black Star Pastry is popping up underneath the Rain Room from November 25 until Easter. This means you can grab a slice of Sydney's famous watermelon cake and eat it, too. For the uninitiated, the watermelon cake is a gluten-free layered cake made with almond dacquoise, rose-scented cream and watermelon, topped with strawberries, pistachios and dried rose petals. It's caused Sydney to line up for it and queue around the block, but luckily, we'll be able to preorder our slices for an express pick-up.  It's not just the watermelon cake that will be available, Black Star will be bringing us its raspberry-lychee cake (raspberry marshmallow and vanilla cream built on a rich, chocolate biscuit base), pistachio-lemon zen cake (pistachio ganache, white chocolate mousse, lemon curd and pistachio dacquoise) which is also gluten-free, and when it is Easter, its hot cross buns. Gearing up for a special occasion? Pre-orders vary in sizes and go up to four-tier wedding cakes. Are you picking up what we're putting down? Coffee from St Ali will also be available for those who want the full coffee-and-cake experience.

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Bombay Sapphire NGV placeholder
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Exhibitions

NGV Friday Nights during Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines

NGV International, Southbank

[Sponsored] The spirit of New York’s underground downtown art scene during the 1980s is flowing through the National Gallery of Victoria on Friday nights. With a little help from Bombay Sapphire, the latest NGV Friday Nights series is inspired by the gallery’s summer blockbuster exhibition, which celebrates the work of two of the most influential artists of the late 20th century, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.  Every Friday night from December 6 to April 10, DJs are spotlighting different moments in ’80s music from disco to post-punk, hip hop and new wave, mixed in with drag performances, New York City street food, classic cocktails from the Bombay Sapphire Gin Bar, and an '80s dance floor in the NGV Garden to wrap up each night. Explore the Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines exhibition after dark and lean into the fascinating corners of 1980s music and pop culture with curated beats, talks and interactive activities.  The December 13 event, New York Jazz and the Golden Age, features a jazz-infused DJ set from Loure, a set spotlighting the golden age of hip hop by DJ/producer Paul Gorrie and an exhibition talk by NGV curatorial project officer Meg Slater. On January 3, the gallery delves into Paris is Burning-era ballroom culture with Sass & the Ballroom. Danny Hotep will lay down a banging soundtrack of pure '80s sass followed by Melbourne DJ MzRizk piling on the funk, with a talk on art from the margins by Dr Quinn Eades from La Trobe University. In March a

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Shirin Neshat: Dreamers National Gallery of Victoria 2019 supplied
© Shirin Neshat
Art

Shirin Neshat: Dreamers

NGV International, Southbank

Iranian-born, New York-based artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat has been exploring the relationship between women, identity and Islam for more than 20 years. In Dreamers, her trilogy of black and white video installations, Neshat examines the world of the subconscious from the perspective of three women. In the first installation, 'Illusions and Mirrors' (2013), actress Natalie Portman encounters her doppelgänger while exploring the shadowy rooms of a ruined mansion, while the second, 'Roja' (2016), traces an Iranian woman’s attempts to connect with American culture. The third, 'Sarah' (2016), sees the protagonist in a dreamlike forest filled with processions of religious and military figures. “Shirin Neshat is renowned for her films depicting women grappling with identity and society,” says NGV director Tony Ellwood. “The Dreamers is an important trilogy, bringing together three works that are both topical and timeless in their exploration of the female experience.”

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An image is projected on a brick structure, depicting a group of young women dancing in white dresses in an arid landscape.
Photograph: Melissa Powell Photography
Things to do, Talks and discussions

MPavilion

Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne

Things are warming up in Melbourne, summer is soon upon us and MPavilion will once again be taking up residence at the centre of the Southbank Arts Precinct. With a focus on Australian design, the pop-up modern-day amphitheatre is home to over 400 free cultural events and interventions, lively talks, performances, workshops, installations and kid-friendly experiences. DJs and live music sets take over the pavilion every Friday night from November 15 for Summer Sunsets featuring Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS), DJ Sara Savage and more.  The Archibald Weekend, over November 30 and December 1, invites guest speakers including Art Gallery of NSW director Michael Brand, artist Lindy Lee and 2019 Archibald Prize winner Tony Costa and includes hands-on arts workshops.  Co-curated by Transitions Film Festival, Climate Emergency Cinema is an outdoor, bicycle-powered program of short films and award-winning feature documentaries celebrating grassroots action around climate change over three evenings – January 14, 21 and 28.  Canine fanatics can join Dog Walking Adventures. On the third Sunday of every month from November to March the team behind Tom + Captain Dog Walking Adventures embark on meanderings through the city with and a bunch of good boys and girls. BYO pup or just join the pack.  This is just a taste of the diverse program, which also includes Sound Bath Sessions, nature-based creative kids workshops with artist and next-gen crafter Beci Orpin, Indigenous arch

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Jess Johnson and Simon Ward Terminus Heide supplied 2019
Photograph: National Gallery of Australia
Art

Terminus: Jess Johnson and Simon Ward

Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen

It’s only relatively recently that artists have started embracing virtual reality as a medium, but New York-based visual artist Jess Johnson and New Zealand animator Simon Ward use the technology better than just about anybody in this exhibition of five works that take you into different realms. Some are curiously beautiful and relaxing, while others are a total sensory overload. And as with all virtual reality, the viewer is in complete control. There’s also a physical element to the exhibition, with the entire floor covered by a tesselated pattern relating to the worlds they conjure up in virtual reality. Terminus premiered at the National Gallery of Australia in 2018 and is now embarking on a national tour. Heide Museum of Modern Art is the first stop.

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Canvas bell tent with entrance open, showing interior of tent
Photograph: Ferne Millen
Things to do, Pop-up locations

Glamping at Terindah Estate

Terindah Estate, Portarlington

If you’ve visited the cellar door or restaurant at Terindah Estate, you’ll be well acquainted with its exquisite views of Port Phillip Bay. Now you can experience those soul-soothing waterfront views in a whole new light – literally – with the vineyard opening up one of its back paddocks for glamping. Barely five minutes' walk from the carpark are 15 canvas bell tents bookable every night of the week from the first of November until early May. The tents embrace the aesthetic of glamping – inside it’s all comfy soft furnishings, jute rugs and macramé ornaments.

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Ashes, Ned Kelly's Armour and MacRobinson's sweets
Photograph: Supplied
Museums, History

Velvet, Iron, Ashes

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne

Melbourne is growing and developing at a rapid pace, but how much do you really know about it? Now you can learn about some of the state’s most influential people, events and icons. Velvet, Iron, Ashes is an exhibition located in the State Library's newly refurbished Victoria Gallery. The exhibition will showcase more than 200 items from the Library's own collection plus additions from other major institutions and private collections. It gives visitors an opportunity to learn some illustrious stories about Ned Kelly, the Ashes Urn, Yalloum Power Station and even Nappie Wash.  Visitors can learn how fairy floss is linked to fancy dress, how the Freddo Frog is tied to one of the greatest air races in history, and what the Ashes Urn and Ned Kelly’s armour have in common. A retro-style Map-o-matic device allows visitors to print out a map, opening up a world of storytelling to a new generation of Victorians. The exhibition is open to all ages and runs from October 24, 2019, until July 12, 2020. It is free to attend. The Ashes Urn is exclusively loaned from Marylebone Cricket Club in London and will be displayed from November 2019 until February 2020, so don’t miss out on seeing it in the flesh.

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Installation view of 'Collecting Comme'
Art, Design

Collecting Comme

NGV International, Southbank

The National Gallery of Victoria has always been quite forward-thinking in its integration of design and fashion into its exhibition program, but it also has a hugely impressive collection of design, including a heap of pieces from Japanese label Comme des Garçons. The label is led by founder and designer Rei Kawakubo, who has been creating innovative fashion since the 1970s, and is continuing on that journey today. The NGV collection includes key pieces by Kawakubo, which are being shown in this free exhibition. They've been donated by Takamasa Takahashi since 2005, and together show how Kawakubo's designs challenged tradition to create a new fashion vocabulary. The pieces range from 1981, when Kawakubo first showed work in Paris, to recent designs from the 2014 'Blood and Roses' collection.

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Random International Rain Room
Photograph: Creative Commons / Alexandermcnabb
Art, Installation

Rain Room

Jackalope Pavilion, St Kilda

It’s pretty common to get caught in the rain while walking around Melbourne. What’s less common is to get caught in the rain while walking around indoors in Melbourne – and even weirder when you realise that the rain is inexplicably falling everywhere except on you. This August Melbourne will be the first city in the southern hemisphere to host ‘Rain Room’, an immersive artwork by London-based collective Random International. ‘Rain Room’ is one of Random International’s most famous works and has previously shown at the Barbican in London, MoMA in New York and at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai. Guests are invited into a darkened room filled with continuous rain. No need to bring an umbrella though because this rain won’t dampen your clothes or spirits. Thanks to motion sensors in the ceiling ‘Rain Room’ detects where visitors are and ensures a dry six-metre radius around guests. The artwork is being brought to Melbourne thanks to a collaboration between the currently closed ACMI and uber-luxe hotel Jackalope. For at least seven weeks (tickets can currently be purchased for dates between August 9 and September 29) you can experience the installation for yourself at the Jackalope Pavillion, a pop-up space on the corner of Acland and Jackson streets in St Kilda.  Tickets are available to the public from July 4.

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Courtesy of the artist and Bank Gallery, Shanghai
Tianzhuo Chen with Andrew Thomas Huang, 'Exo-performance / Beio' 2019 (still)
Art

Feedback Loops

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art - ACCA, Southbank

The real, the fictive and the speculative roll together as one in this exhibition that asks six Australian and international artists to sample and reinterpret real and imagined characters and events from their past and present in order to understand and speculate upon the feature. Incorporating elements of spirituality, mythology, philosophy and pop culture, the six participating artists – Madison Bycroft, Tianzhou Chen, Lu Yang, Sahej Rahalm, Justin Shoulder and Zadie Xa – use video, installations, interactive gaming, artificial intelligence and live performance in a way that challenges us to imagine how things could have been.

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Kid splaying at KAWS playtime
Kids, Exhibitions

KAWS: Playtime

NGV International, Southbank

Alongside the NGV's mega KAWS exhibition is something for the littlest art fans. KAWS: Playtime is a free and immersive exhibition for kids that includes a number of hands-on activities that draw inspiration from KAWS’ work, especially his BFF character, which is inspired by popular cartoon characters (including a certain blue-furred anxious character). The exhibition is on display from September 20 until April 13 at NGV International and it’s free to attend.

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Woman arranging vegetable stall
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Walks and tours

Preston Market Flavourhood tours

Preston Market, Preston

One of Melbourne’s largest and most delicious markets is now running tasting tours. Preston Market has launched Saturday morning food tours that curates some of the tastiest products on offer at this northside food hall.  The 2.5-hour tour walks guests through the market, introducing them to traders who will talk them through what they have on offer and how best to use their products in their own kitchens.  As well as getting to try organic produce, fresh seafood, deli items and Preston Market’s winning paella, guests on the tour will also get to try more unusual foodie finds like crocodile meat (which we’re informed can be cooked easily on a sandwich press if you want to jazz up your sad office lunch).  The Flavourhood tours run roughly twice a month, are $20 per person and include a progressive breakfast, coffee, Preston Market eco bag and a $5 market voucher. Tours are limited to ten people per tour and you can book online to secure your place.

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Petrina Hicks, Bleached Gothic 2019 supplied NGV
© Petrina Hicks. Courtesy Michael Reid, Sydney; and This is No Fantasy, Melbourne.
Art, Photography

Petrina Hicks: Bleached Gothic

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne

Petrina Hicks is one of the most instantly recognisable photographers working in Australia today, known for her large-scale, hyperreal works that co-opt the visual language of advertising and traditional portraiture to explore ideas around consumerism and the female experience. Yet, until now there has never been a major survey exhibition of her work. Bleached Gothic brings together more than 40 works from Hicks’s 15-year career, tracing her evolution from commercial photographer to awarded artist.

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Polixeni Papapetrou, Olympia NGV 2019 supplied
© The estate of Polixeni Papapetrou
Art, Photography

Polixeni Papapetrou: Olympia

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne

Polixeni Papapetrou was one of Australia’s leading contemporary photographers before her tragic death last year at the age of just 57. Best known for her images of children, particularly of her daughter Olympia and son Solomon dressed as characters from historical, artistic or imaginary settings, her work was frequently concerned with imagination, storytelling, childhood and issues of identity. Curated in conjunction with Papapetrou’s family, Olympia marks the first major museum retrospective of her work.

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Liquid Light NGV 2019
Image courtesy NGV
Art

Liquid Light: 500 Years of Venetian Glass

NGV International, Southbank

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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Roger Kemp: Visionary Modernist National Gallery of Victoria 2019 supplied
Photograph: Tom Ross
Art

Roger Kemp: Visionary Modernist

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne

His name might not be as well known as some of his contemporaries, but Roger Kemp was one of Australia’s greatest abstractionists. Best known for his large-scale tapestries that hang in the great hall of the National Gallery of Victoria, during his lifetime Kemp eschewed figurative and landscape art in favour of a more metaphysical approach that sought to “make visible the invisible”. Now the National Gallery of Victoria will host the first major retrospective exhibition of Kemp’s work since his death in 1987. Developed in conjunction with the artist’s estate, the exhibition includes several works that have never been shown publicly before, and traces Kemp’s evolution as an artist, from his early Cezanne-inspired sketches to the geometric, stained glass-like paintings by which he made his name.