Things to do in Melbourne today
Whether you’re learning to make your way in the world as a writer or you’re just up for fascinating talks and good times, make sure you catch at least one of these eye-opening events. Time Out's top 5 picks of the Emerging Writers Festival Opening Night: Speaking Truth to Power The festival opens by championing those who can't always champion themselves, whose voices are silenced while the powerful fill the airways with lies and propaganda. Paola Balla, Vicki Couzens and Eugenia Flynn will speak at the opening night event, which is hosted by Izzy Roberts-Orr. It's free, but bookings are required. ACCA, 111 Sturt Street, Southbank 3006. Jun 19, 7pm. Free. Ways of Looking In this workshop, participants will look at a work from the NGV and write about it. Art historian and writer Nancy Langham-Hooper is hosting the workshop and will teach participants how to appreciate and write about visual art. NGV, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3006. Jun 21 & 23, 4pm. $30-$35. Ways of Listening This performance is part spoken word, part poetry, part music, part discussion and entirely captivating. Mama Alto, James Gales, Kiara Lindsay, Caitlin McGregor, Adalya Nash Hussein and Xanthea O’Connor will be performing. State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000. Jun 20, 7pm. $30-$35. 2222 What will the world look like in 203 years? More specifically, what will the State Library look like then? Six emerging writers have created this sound installation about the far futur
British dramatist Caryl Churchill has a knack for imbuing intimate scenarios with epic power, which certainly resonates with Red Stitch Actors Theatre, the small venue with a reputation for big storytelling. Written in 2016, Escaped Alone is a prime example; a simple conceit that unlocks an awesome vision exploring the existential terrors we hide beneath a veneer of everyday small talk. In a pleasant, sun-dappled garden, three women sit chatting over tea. They’re joined by a vague acquaintance, Mrs Jarrett (Julie Forsyth), welcoming her with inconsequential, middle-class conversations about favourite TV shows, the coming and going of shops on the high street, and the accomplishments of grandchildren. These pleasantries are so familiar, we’re lulled into thinking we know these people. But slowly, hints of their unique internal struggles rise to the surface. A series of soliloquies delve beneath the polite pretence, revealing emotional demons festering within. Sally (Caroline Lee) has an irrational, phobia-driven hatred of cats that provokes an obsessive need to search her home for feline invaders. Vi (Margaret Mills) is a survivor of domestic abuse, and yet is haunted by the violence she has inflicted against her attacker. Lena (Marta Kaczmarek), once a confident office worker, has been robbed of her career and personal agency by an agoraphobia she is unable to overcome. Most devastating of all, Mrs Jarrett, so outwardly mild mannered, is gripped by intense, ceaseless ange
It might not get cold enough in Melbourne to go ice skating on the river, but this winter you'll be able to try the next best thing. Skating At Festival is coming to Melbourne this June and July, opening a pop-up ice rink in the seaside suburb of St Kilda. Skating At is adding a slice of winter wonderland to St Kilda, installing an ice rink where you can skate gracefully (or not so gracefully) 'til your heart's content. The rinks are fine for skaters of all levels with skates included and 'kanga' skate aids available for littlies still finding their ice legs. You can find the St Kilda ice rink on the corner of Acland and Barkly streets, near Acland Court Shopping Centre. On Tuesday evenings head along for Skate and Date (featuring romantic tunes) or turn up (in more ways than one) on Thursdays nights to hear R'n'B tunes from the 90s and 00s. The rink is also wheelchair accessible and holders of carer or companion cards can attend for free.
There is something fascinating about seeing a world-famous skyline recreated in tiny Lego bricks. Ryan 'the Brickman' McNaught and his team have built some of the greatest cities in the world out of bespoke Lego for a new exhibition at Scienceworks. The cities are New York, Dubai, Tokyo, Sydney and London, and the exhibition showcases their histories for almost a thousand years, from castles and forts to skyscrapers and instantly recognisable landscapes. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a 3m by 4m to-scale model of lower Manhattan, built out of white Lego. Stories of New York are 3D projected onto the buildings for extra insight into the city's history. Lego fans can also have a go of building their own cities of the future in an interactive section of the exhibition. It took more than 1,900 hours and 1 million individual Lego bricks to build the exhibition. Catch it at Scienceworks until August 4.
Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo was established in 1985 by Princess Caroline of Hanover (in accordance with her mother, Grace of Monaco’s wishes) and has since become one of the world’s most exciting ballet companies. “For a ballet company, they’re so different to what we do, but they’re really creating ballet of the 21st century,” the Australian Ballet's artistic director David McAllister says. The Australian Ballet has invited the company to Melbourne with this new, critically acclaimed take on Swan Lake, choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot. His production is dark, sexy and features costumes by Winter Olympics designer Philippe Guillotel. “As Jean-Christophe always does, he approaches it from a very contemporary angle,” McAllister says. “It’s the same Swan Lake story – the white swan versus the black swan – but in this production they’re played by different people.”
Working in a secret lab, scientists at Melbourne's main three zoos have discovered a way to clone dinosaur DNA, found inside mosquitoes trapped in amber. They've filled in the missing sequences using frog DNA to create moving, roaring dinosaurs, which you can see for 100 days throughout the zoos. What could possibly go wrong? OK, we might have got a little bit over-excited about the prospect of dinosaurs at the zoo. These dinosaurs are large-scale models of these ancient beasts, but they will be roaming around at Healesville, Werribee and Melbourne zoos for 100 days. If you're lucky, you might see a keeper waking a sleeping dinosaur, or come face to face with a moving prehistoric creature. At Melbourne Zoo you can experience Dino Park, where dinosaurs made by Erth Visual & Physical Inc come to life. At Werribee Open Range Zoo, you calk walk through the new Zoorassic river trail. There are nine life-sized dinosaurs to see. The wide open plains will also be opening after dark for an adults-only dino experience. Over three nights Werribee is opening its gates for Dino Files, an evening event for over 18s who want to walk, eat and drink with dinosaurs. Grab a cocktail and meet the dinosaurs on the zoo’s river trail (including a mighty 15 metre-long tyrannosaurus rex) before enjoying a round of dino pop culture trivia or comedy show. And Healesville Sanctuary has ten examples of megafauna (think giant kangaroos, giant crocodiles and giant wombats) in its MegaBeasts exhibiti
There might never be another time in western history like the late 1960s. It was a time of the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, revolutions, civil rights, social justice and monumental change. This exhibition comes from London's Victoria and Albert Museum and includes more than 500 objects. Highlights include John Lennon's real-life glasses and the uniform he wore on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, handwritten lyrics for "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", Mick Jagger's stage costume and a guitar the Who's Pete Townshend once smashed on stage. The handwritten lyrics to 'Revolution' show an insight into Lennon's songwriting process, with words that rhyme with 'revolution' scribbled down the left side of the page ('constitution', 'institution', 'revelation', 'dissolution', confusion', 'intrusion'...). It's not just objects, either. Seinheiser has developed a sound experience throughout the exhibition using film and video footage of the voices of the era. Visitors are given a headset when they enter the exhibition, and the soundtrack changes depending on where in the exhibition they are. One room is devoted to Woodstock, and headphones are taken off in here – video and audio of the festival have been cut together to create an immersive experience. It took more than two years to put together the exhibition, which has also toured in Montreal and Brussels. Visitors can't help but draw parallels from the turbulent times of the 1960s to the current politi
It’s easy to write off Darren Sylvester’s lucid, hyper-real photographs as simply commenting on consumerism. But Sylvester wants to be clear – the branded objects and banal scenes that regularly appear in his works aren’t intended to combat the commercialist agenda. “People sometimes don’t see any further than that – just think it’s about consumerism,” says Sylvester. “Well no, it’s not at all. I have no interest in any kind of consumerist topic or talk.” What Sylvester is interested in is far more relatable and can be seen in his new exhibition at the NGV's Federation Square gallery. Darren Sylvester: Carve a Future, Devour Everything, Become Something is a reflective showcase featuring 70 works, including 43 of the surreal, perfectly posed tableaus the artist is known for, as well as installations, sculptures and even an interactive dancefloor inspired by a Yves Saint Laurent makeup compact. Growing up near Byron Bay, Sylvester describes his childhood as lacking identity and (like many) he used TV to fill the cultural void. It was the aspirational quality of TV shows that he was drawn to – the impossibly happy families and eternal sunshine. Ever since the saccharine depictions of everyday scenes, branding and pop culture have formed the basis of his work, with the imagery serving to be instantly recognisable and relatable to the average Jane or Joe. “You want that genericness because I want the biggest possible range of people to read into them,” says Sylvester. In a co
A new batch of tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are going on sale on Tuesday May 7 at 11am. The tickets are for dates from February 5 to March 22. 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
Zahra Newman will star in this one-woman adaptation of Kenneth Cook’s 1961 novel, Wake in Fright. The novel was famously turned into a seminal 1971 film and was adapted into a miniseries in 2017. But Malthouse’s version will be rather different to those previous iterations, driven by a provocative soundtrack composed by art electronica band, friendships. Declan Greene will direct his own adaptation, uncovering the terrifying and toxic masculinity at the core of this story about a man who finds himself stranded in the fictional all-Aussie town of Bundanyabba. “It was always going to be a piece about words and storytelling,” Malthouse artistic director Matthew Lutton says. “Like a campfire, gothic piece of storytelling… I think the scariest way to create the Yabba is to hear it.” See what else is in Malthouse's 2019 season.
More things to do in Melbourne today
Find all the best art exhibitions in Melbourne over the next few weeks.
If the chill isn't enough reason to take your culture indoors, then something below should take your fancy. There are a stack of musicals, plays and ballets opening in Melbourne this June. We're particularly looking forward to Malthouse's fresh, one-woman take on Wake in Fright and Melbourne Theatre Company's lavish staging of Storm Boy.
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