Things to do in Melbourne today
And so it returns. The most (un)talked about immersive cinema experience returns to Melbourne. Attendees are given a nonspecific title for the experience, a dress code and a general theme. Closer to the time of the event, the location is revealed (or not! Sometimes a bus will take cinema-goers to the site). Underground Cinema has been in the live immersive cinema business for seven years and has recreated more than 30 filmic worlds. Arriving feels like walking onto a film set, full of actors, costumes and props (and an onsite bar). Attendees complete a task or take part in an event before the screening commences and the film is finally revealed. Past movies have included Gattaca, Let the Right One In, Children of Men, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Lords of Dogtown. This time the theme is La Guerre 2.0, and the message is in French: TÉLÉGRAMME URGENTIls arrivent. Nous devons agir rapidement mes frères et soeurs. Le temps est essentiel. Hâtez-vous maintenant. Vive La Résistance! Dust off your high school French for that one, and while you're at it, scour your closet (or a nearby op shop) for something to wear, as the dress code is 1940s. You should also bring "something to trade". Colour us definitely intrigued. Tickets go on sale on Monday, May 6 at 9am. Don't dilly dally – this experience is hugely popular, and it almost always sells out very fast.
Upcoming drag king and queens get the chance to practise their shows and refine their acts every Thursday night at Melbourne's favourite LGBTQIA+ venue (as voted by Time Out readers), Sircuit. Bio queens, drag queens, trash queens and drag kings all perform, and the event is hosted by famed drag queen Missy La ’Minx. It's a chance for up-and-coming performers to get experience, and for audiences of course it's a night of fantastic drag. The bar offers $5 pints from 7pm until 10pm, and entry is free.
If you’re currently tearing your hair out with climate anxiety we have good news. Science Gallery Melbourne is hosting a new exhibition that proves that the literal flaming garbage piles of rubbish society creates need not be put to waste. Disposable: Reimagining Your Waste brings together art, installations and events that aim to creatively address Australia’s (and the world’s) culture of excess and waste. Really, creativity is key to these works. Take the exhibition’s ‘Urinotron’ for example – this installation from French artists Gaspard and Sandra Bébié-Valérian takes urine and uses it to power electronic devices before recycling it back into water. Other highlights include ‘Trash Robot’ (a remote-controlled robot that will be collecting rubbish from the Yarra); ‘Sewer Soaperie’ (where Chinese-Fillipina artist Catherine Sarah Young takes solid grease waste from sewers and turns it into soap); ‘Eel Trap’ (a ten-metre long biodegradable installation by Indigenous artists Maree Clarke and Mitch Mahoney sitting on the Maribyrnong River); ‘Plastivore’ (an installation showing how mealworms can eat styrofoam and turn it into compost) and ‘Pollution Pods’ (a series of airtight rooms that simulate the air in polluted cities like London, New Delhi and Beijing). Artists Arne Hendriks and Mike Thompson will also be attempting to created Australia’s largest fat deposit or ‘fatberg’ (grease that is poured down the drain and soldifies in sewers). The largest ever fatberg found was i
It is such a great title. And in fact, the relocated Brisbane experimental theatre company the Danger Ensemble are good at titles. Their last show in this city was The Hamlet Apocalypse. It was a show that delivered what it said on the packet, and in some ways you could argue that Let Men Tremble does the same. Although just how much trembling happens will depend less on your gender and more on your stamina and proclivities: if unrelentingly declamatory agitprop theatre isn’t your thing, you may leave Theatre Works in a jelly-like state. Certainly, this is a deliberately uncompromising work. It positions itself not as an adaptation of but a freewheeling response to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel of shame and sin, The Scarlet Letter. Thus we get a telling of sorts of the story of Hester Prynne; her pregnancy out of wedlock, her refusal to name the father, her attempts to keep her child. We get the oppressive theocratic society in which she lives, and the insistent dogma spewed forth by men of the cloth. We get suspicious neighbours, and cries of witchcraft and fevered damnation. We get the point. Of course, the Danger Ensemble have no intention of telling the story of The Scarlet Letter, just as they had no intention of telling the story of Hamlet; if you’re looking for faithful adaptations of those works, you’re looking in the wrong place. This company are far more interested in the now, in the actors who inhabit the space and the narratives that come, seemingly unbidden,
Get ready to open up this winter season as the Immigration Museum introduces Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks, a collection of new exhibitions and experiences focusing on tattoos and the meaning behind them. There will be two main photography exhibits that focus on the intersection between ancient and modern tattoo practices as well as a series of contemporary installations curated by tattoo artist Stanislava Pinchuk, also known as Miso. Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World will explore the artistry and extensive history of Japanese tattoos, which has persevered despite the criminal stigma thanks to its association with the yakuza, the country’s most notorious mafia syndicate. Held in tandem with this is an exhibition exploring a traditional Samoan art form called Tatau: Marks of Polynesia, showcasing the works of both traditional tatau masters and emerging artists that are still practising this 2,000-year-old art form. Keep an eye out for a series of four installations titled Documenting the Body curated by Stanislava Pinchuk. These works will be located over all three levels of the Immigration Museum and will include works from Australian tattoo artists including Paul Stillen, Brook Andrew and Angela Tiatia.
Melbourne is one of Australia’s cooler cities (in more ways than one), but it’s still pretty rare to see snow within the city limits. That’s changing this winter, though, with Federation Square transforming into a frosty winter wonderland. The Skyline Terrace at Federation Square (the roof of the Fed Square car park) is home to the Winter Village: a (faux) snow-covered pop-up bar inspired by European winter markets. The pop-up is surrounded by snowy pine trees à la the Black Forest, while inside guests can enjoy an ice skating rink, 21 toasty warm private igloos and a mega igloo where it snows (inside!) every hour. You can stave off the winter chill at Feast Kitchen and Sip Bar. There are winter-themed treats to keep you warm or you can book a private igloo and get an inclusive food and beverage package. The Winter Village is also open until late on Fridays and Saturdays so you can really chill out with local DJs and after-dark events. Keen to skate? You can book into daily 45-minute sessions every hour. Prices start at $12 for kids and $24 for adults and include skates, locker hire, kangaroo skate supports and helmets if required. The Winter Village is free to enter and is open every day until Sunday, September 1. It's open Monday to Thursday noon-10pm, Friday and Saturday 11am until midnight and Sundays 11am until 11pm.
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
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 October 6.
The Ballarat International Foto Biennale brings exhibitions, workshops, screenings, portfolio reviews, discussions and social events to the historic Gold Rush town of Ballarat once more. Over two months the town will host 30 exhibitions, 70 open programs, outdoor public art and special screenings. This year, the festival will be jointly headlined by Chinese photographer-activist Liu Bolin and Indigenous Australian artist Dr Fiona Foley. Bolin is sometimes called “the invisible man” for his signature style of camouflaging himself within his images, prompting viewers to consider those who have been forgotten or marginalised. Foley’s work also brings attention to the disenfranchised, and highlights racial inequality in Australia. Who Are These Strangers and Where Are They Going? presents a mid-career retrospective of her work via site-specific installations and indigenous language soundscapes. Other program highlights include Bauhuas Foto, an exhibit marking 100 years since the establishment of the iconic Weimar school, and To the Moon and Back, which explores all things lunar in recognition of the Apollo moon landing 50 years ago. While those exhibits examine the ongoing impact of historic events, others deal with urgent political issues of the present moment. A History of Misogyny, Chapter One: On Abortion is a stark look at women’s reproductive rights by Spanish photographer Laia Abril; while Adi Nes’s homoerotic portraiture, often featuring Israeli soldiers, delves into qu
Initially launched to celebrate the NGV’s Escher exhibition Between Two Worlds from last summer, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins has decided to continue running its successful black and white afternoon tea experience. The Monochromatic High Tea is running at Sofitel’s first-floor café Sofi’s Lounge. Punters can enjoy sweet treats inspired by MC Escher’s black and white works, including black sesame waffle cones with salted caramel, passionfruit and coconut chiboust filling, flourless vanilla opera cake with blackened coffee gel, ash profiteroles filled with lime meringue, and a "Black Rose" raspberry sponge with blueberry jelly, raspberry, rose and white chocolate mousse on a hazelnut dacquoise base. All dishes are served on custom-made high tea stands, so you can tuck into charcoal scones and an assortment of finger sandwiches in true Escher style. Each dish has been crafted by Sofitel’s pastry chef David Hann. Guests will also receive a glass of sparkling wine, Madame Flavour loose leaf teas and espresso coffee for $55 per person. You can also up the ante by signing up for free-flowing sparkling for $65, or replenished sweets and savoury dishes for $70, or high tea with Taittinger Champagne for $85 per person. Monochromatic High Tea is available on weekdays until October 31 with two sessions at noon and 3pm.
More things to do in Melbourne today
Find all the best art exhibitions in Melbourne over the next few weeks.
There's an enormous range of shows on our stages over the course of this month, from spectacular solo performances (seriously, do not miss Deer Woman and Since Ali Died) to large-scale spectacles like Melbourne Theatre Company's Shakespeare in Love. If you prefer your theatre a little more interactive, head to A Midnight Visit, or if you need some song in your life, check out the new Melbourne production of Sunday in the Park with George.
If you love food and live in Melbourne, your 'must-try' list of new restaurants, cafés and bars probably takes up your phone's entire storage capacity by now. Luckily, we've put together a curated list of the newest, hottest and coolest restaurants our critics are raving about.
Guess what? Not everything in Melbourne costs a bunch of money. From art shows to coffee tastings, there are a bunch of things to do in this fine city that you can do for free – here are our favourites.
These are the best places to eat in this city right now: the freshest, most inventive and memorable venues, ranked by our expert local editors.
Here is Melbourne viewed through the bottom of a glass: from its world-beating cocktail lounges to its down-and-divey saloons. These bars represent the pinnacle of Melbourne drinking.
If you're looking for a break from the inner-city grid, there's no better cure than a day trip from Melbourne. The state of Victoria is full of friendly neighbourhood towns, whether you're in the mood for a winery tour, a road trip or a national park to explore.
Borrow your nanna's tartan shopping trolley and venture out to one of Melbourne's best markets for farm-fresh produce, designer homewares, vintage fashions and tasty street food.
From food to laneways, drinking to ghosts, these tours are the best way to get to know a different side of Melbourne.
We've scoped out the best activities Melbourne has to offer kids of all ages, and even a few that will keep the whole family entertained.