Things to do in Melbourne this weekend
As a darkness builds at the centre of a world-renown dance company, its artistic director (Tilda Swinton), a young American new to the troupe (Dakota Johnson), and a grieving psychotherapist become entangled in a bloody, sighing nightmare.
You’ve never walked into a space as cacophonous as the Substation in Newport, showing Steven Rhall’s Defunctionalised Autonomous Objects. It’s noisy, overwhelming and there’s a twist at every turn. The exhibition is one of the Taungurung artist’s first major shows, after having shown both in group and solo exhibitions, albeit not quite to the scale of this show. His work is considered, it’s often tongue-in-cheek, and it’s often iterative. And it’s art like you’ve never seen it before – inciting curiosity with a questioning that’s often both smart and smart-arse.
The quiet seaside town of Queenscliff will be anything but quiet this November when the annual Queenscliff Music Festival returns. The line-up is chockers with big-name musicians and comedians – we wouldn’t be surprised if the festival sells out for its fifth year. Leading the line-up is Melbourne rock darling Courtney Barnett, country-folk favourite Kasey Chambers, the melancholic voice of the '90s the Whitlams, the hauntingly beautiful tunes of Sarah Blasko and bluesy rockers the Black Sorrows. The local talent continues with the likes of Dan Sultan, Jen Cloher and Ali Barter while the international artists include Bombino, Osaka Monaural and twin brothers Amistat (who are originally from Germany but have been in Melbourne regularly for several years – read more here). In the funny front, the Queenscliff Music Festival will have you cackling thanks to Anne Edmonds, Tom Ballard, Danielle Walker and Corey White. Kids are welcome too, with children’s entertainers, clowns, puppets, roving performers and free carnival rides.
Back in 2011, director Gale Edwards and designer Brian Thomson took Puccini’s smash hit La Bohème to the wild cabaret halls and streets of 1930s Berlin. The production was embraced by die-hard romantics, opera fans and newcomers alike, and is back yet again for Opera Australia's Melbourne season. The story, which follows a close-knit group of young, fiercely idealistic bohemians through first love to untimely death. La Bohème inspired Moulin Rouge, Rent and countless adaptations, including this Weimar-set production, starring international opera stars Maija Kovalevska and Yosep Kang alongside local favourites Jane Ede and Christopher Tonkin.
On Saturday, November 24, outdoor summer festival Beer Fest will be descending on Melbourne’s Moonee Valley Racecourse. Punters will be able to taste over 300 different kinds of small-batch craft beers, ciders, cocktails and wines throughout the day and munch down on food from some of the city’s favourite street food traders. Some of the brewers who will be stepping out for the festival include Southern Bay Brew Co, Fury and Son Brewing Company, Brick Lane Brewing Co, Thunder Road Brewing, Two Birds Brewing, Kaiju Beer, Hop Nation and heaps more. Entertainment-wise, Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson will perform live on the day, as well as Daft Punk tribute DJs, Discovery. There will also be a stacked comedy line-up, too, which will include Nick Cody, David Quirk, Sonia Di Iorio, Nick Capper, Kelly Fastuca and Stewart Bell. Tickets are set at a very reasonable $30 and are on sale now.
Lido Cinema’s rooftop makes a triumphant return this summer for its fourth year under the stars. Lido on the Roof will screen critically acclaimed summer releases including Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Claire Foy's turn as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider's Web, Joel Edgerton's powerful story about gay conversion camps Boy Erased and the newest Fantastic Beasts film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Press rewind and get stuck into Lido's '90s film offering with 1996's Romeo + Juliet and 1997's Romy and Michele's High School Reunion screenings. 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.
Boy Erased tells the story of Jared (Lucas Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe) at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a gay conversion therapy program - or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith. Boy Erased is the true story of one young man's struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity.
It’s unlikely that any photographer boasts a portfolio like Australian artist Polly Borland’s. It’s as chock full with celebrities as it is with fetishists – Borland spent five years documenting the surreal lives of adults who get their kicks by dressing up as infants. But it’s the wild diversity of her work that is perhaps its most distinctive quality. In Polyverse, the showcase of her new and recent work at the NGV, another facet of Borland’s photography will be on display. These otherworldly images feature human subjects distorted with stockings, gags and lumps of padding; smeared with make-up; bodies straining and restrained in poses that are both sexually charged and monstrous. It’s a collection that toes a fine yet powerful line between shock and awe.
Step outside your comfort zone and into one of the Melbourne Star’s cabins. Melbourne Music Week is turning the observation wheel into a musical lucky dip for one night only on Friday, November 23. Melbourne Star’s Musical Menagerie will feature ten different musicians on board ten different cabins alongside a limited number of audience members (a max of 15 people per cabin). Ticket holders won’t know who the musician is until they board, so it’s a great way to discover new artists. The sky-high line-up includes acts like Blasko, Drmngnow, Kalala, Tatafu and Amadou Suso among others. Everyone from acoustic artists to rappers and DJs are on the line-up, and tickets ($34) allows you two 30-minute rotations with different artists, plus a drink to take with you on your musical flight.
Arnhem Land-born, Melbourne-based rapper and dancer Danzel Baker’s career has skyrocketed in the past few months. Jack Latimore caught up with him for a quick yarn for Time Out. The one-time member of Indigenous dance troupe Djuki Mala scored two spots on the 2017 Triple J Hottest 100 and has played a string of festival gigs (with more lined up). Baker Boy sings in both English and Yolŋu Matha in tracks like ‘Marryuna’, ‘Mr La Di Da Di’ and ‘Cloud 9’. You can expect deadly dance moves from him and his stage brother boys Kian and MC Dallas Woods. He's one of Australia’s fastest rising stars, so if you want to see him rip up the stage at a local live music venue now’s your chance. After his original Melbourne tour dates sold out in less than a week, Baker Boy announced two additional shows on November 18 and 25.
More things to do in Melbourne this weekend
Find all the best art exhibitions in Melbourne over the next few weeks.
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Looking for a movie to see this week in Melbourne? Check out the latest releases in Australian cinemas, all reviewed by Time Out critics.