The best gigs happening in Melbourne this month
We're spoilt for choice in Melbourne when it comes to live music. Whether you're after an epic, big stage performance by an international act, or an intimate gig at a local live music venue, there's something on offer for everyone, most nights of the week. To help you choose, check out our curated list of gigs coming up this September in our gig guide round-up below. Want more music? These Melbourne gigs are on sale now. Support your favourite bands by buying vinyl at the best record stores in Melbourne, or throw shapes at some of our favourite nightclubs.
The best art and exhibitions in Melbourne this month
It's going to be a huge month in arts and exhibitions this September. As the weather finally starts to warm, we can choose between heading indoors to see some amazing exhibitions, or getting out and about to see some spectacular outdoor art pop ups. Are you ready to get amongst it? A new street art-filled walking trail has popped up with over 40 new works scattered throughout Melbourne's laneways, and you can discover Augmented Reality art pieces hidden in our streets with a new app developed with some of our best cultural institutions. Melbourne Museum has delivered a 360-degree, interactive digital art exhibition, exploring Australia's natural landscape – and now, you can even see it after dark. There's a fascinating immersive exhibition popping up at Golden Square, transporting you into the world of Buddhist practice, and Abbotsford Convent is turning into an immersive art installation by night. Spend some time with the Tate's collection of Kandinsky, Turner, Monet and more at a light-themed exhibition at ACMI, explore Bruce Munro's mini illuminated landscape at Heidi, or head to the NGV for Picasso and their much-loved Friday Nights. Get your fix of the best art, culture and exhibitions in Melbourne this month with a huge list of eighteen top picks below. Check out our list of things to do in Melbourne this weekend, or learn more about our street art culture and read our short history of street art in Melbourne.
The best of Melbourne theatre and musicals this month
Melbourne still buzzes through winter, and as the coldest months drag on, we still head indoors for the biggest season for theatre and musicals in a few years. Of course, the big hits are in town, with Dolly Parton's 9 To 5 continuing this month, along with a new production of Hairspray and Come From Away. Broadway's Hamilton and Harry Potter continue their successful runs, and the spooky West End hit, Ghost Stories, is ready to scare audiences at the Athenaeum. You can also check out some excellent local theatre productions, including MTC's Vietnamese Australian comedy Laurinda, Malthouse's kooky K-Box, and Suzie Miller's thrilling Anna K. Bangarra is also back with Sandsong – a must-see this September. For many more that should be on your hitlist, discover the best Melbourne theatre and musicals this September below. Want something else to do this winter? Check out the best art and exhibitions in Melbourne this month.
The best free exhibitions in Melbourne this month
As the cost of living rises, it's getting harder to find cool things to do in the city that won't break the bank. So, if you're keen on experiencing some of the best art that Melbourne has to offer, but don't want to bust out the credit card, don't worry – we've got you covered. Here's our guide to the best free art and exhibitions in Melbourne this month. Get amongst it, without spending a penny. For more ways to save a buck, check out our favourite free things to do in the city. Have some cash to flash? Here are 25 things to do for less than $25.
The best theatre at Melbourne Fringe this year
Wacky theatre, kooky show ideas and crazy cabaret form the heart of Melbourne's Fringe Festival. This year is no exception, with everything from a comedic Powerpoint investigation into whether the movie Grease was all just a fever dream, to a camp puppet retelling of why aliens from Uranus journeyed to Earth in order to befriend an influencer. So where do you start? Look no further, because we have eight of the best Fringe shows hitting theatres and performance spaces around Melbourne this October. Check it out below. Looking for more things to do at Fringe? Check out our list of the best music events and food pop ups this year.
We tried this hangover cure by a Melbourne brand – here's the verdict
Remember being young, naïve and convinced that you were immune from hangovers? You could knock back a disgusting mix of cheap vodka, goon and tinnies of VB with zero consequences – and oftentimes, you could do it again the next night, no problemo. If you're reading this wistfully, it's safe to assume those days are long behind you and your hangovers are now leaving you incapacitated for the next two business days. You've probably tried every hangover cure under the sun – hair of the dog, sculling a Berocca, eating a greasy breakfast, shooting back some pickle juice... the list goes on, and nothing seems to do the trick. Well, there's a new hangover remedy on the block: Tend-2, a 100 per cent natural and organic supplement that's TGA-approved and has been tested, manufactured and formulated right here in Australia. The capsules are the result of a three-year development process by co-founders Josh Samweil and Jake Boyle, who have been mates since high school. A box of two doses will run you $20, and it works like this: take two pre-drinking capsules before heading out on the town, and then two post-drinking capsules before going to bed. The duo is so confident in their product that they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on all orders. To see if this hangover remedy cuts the mustard, our team of editors bravely put their livers on the line with a booze-filled evening – here's how they fared. Photograph: Tend-2 Adena Maier, lifestyle editor What did I drink: Rum Manhattan,
Editor's picks: September
We get it. Sometimes there's actually TOO much to eat, drink and do in little ol' Melbs (what a good problem to have). Lucky for you, the Time Out Melbourne editors are out on the front lines sipping, snacking, seeing and playing – all so you don't have to. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it. Here are our favourite things we ate, drank, saw and did this month. Want a weekly update on what's new in Melbourne? Make sure you're getting our newsletter.
10 of the best free events at the Melbourne Fringe Festival
From October 6-23, our city will be inundated with independent artists, theatre-makers, comedians, dancers and risk-takers for Melbourne Fringe Festival. Best of all, this bold and gloriously messy celebration of independent art is packed with free events, so catching some of Fringe's top-notch shows can cost you nada. Check out ten of the best free Melbourne Fringe Festival highlights below – including the return of the glorious Fringe parade and block party. You can also peep the full Melbourne Fringe Festival program, including heaps more free events, to start planning your Fringe adventures. Or, check out the rest of our Melbourne Fringe Festival highlights.
The top regional galleries to visit in Victoria
Melbourne likes to think of itself as the cultural capital of Australia, but in reality, that title should go to the entire state, because we truly have an abundance of fantastic regional galleries. In every corner of Victoria, you can find a regional art gallery showcasing art spanning Australia's colonial and Indigenous history, through to works from the country's most exciting contemporary artists – not to mention the frequent and excellent travelling exhibitions. No car? Several of these galleries are also accessible by V/Line trains. Do you know where to find Melbourne's best street art? We do.
Gigs on sale now in Melbourne
There's nothing worse than hearing about a gig the week before, and realising the tickets are completely sold out. So, why not be prepared and get ahead of the crowd? Here is our list of the best upcoming gigs in Melbourne with tickets on sale now. Hop online and snap up a couple for you and your mates before they disappear. RECOMMENDED: Our list of the best gigs in Melbourne this month.
A plane crash in complete darkness? My experience at Darkfield was both terrifying and enlightening
I'm not quite sure what to expect, as I wander down Little Bourke Street towards an abandoned carpark filled with four white shipping containers. The steel boxes are labelled with four names: Coma, Flight, Seance and Eulogy. They're part of Darkfield – an immersive sound-driven experience in total darkness, each of which evokes a different part of your innermost anxieties. Fancy experiencing a plane crash in surround sound? Or perhaps a spirit-filled seance, or a mind-trapping coma? All in pitch black? Well, I, for one, said yes. As I entered the shipping container marked 'Flight', I was met with a disturbingly accurate portrayal of a real plane cabin – the space kitted out with reportedly real seats, cabin windows and overhead bins sourced from an actual plane. (Hopefully still intact...) A set of drop-down screens feature a flight attendant, who welcomes mw with a kind of manic energy that sets the tone for what's to come. This is a spoiler-free space, so I won't go into the specifics of the 27-minute experience so as not to ruin the surprise – but I will say it's a pretty terrifying ride through time and space, with an ear-splitting soundscape that mimics the experience of screaming through the void as you hurtle toward the Earth... or do you? And that's the thing about Darkfield; the company likes to play with your mind. If you thought this was straight-up terror porn about a plane crash, you'd be wrong – instead, it dances the lines between reality and fantasy to leave y
Ten awesome Aussie films to see at MIFF this year
The Melbourne International Film Festival is back in 2022, with a bursting schedule of over 250 films on offer for budding cinephiles. In fact, there's so much on offer, it's hard to whittle it down to a manageable hitlist of must-see movies. So, where to start? More than ever, our local film industry is making waves overseas with a fresh batch of fascinating films hitting the festival this year – including a bunch of world and Australian premieres. In 2022, MIFF is jam-packed with plenty of awesome Aussie options – and here are our top ten. Looking for more favourites? Here's MIFF artistic director Al Cossar's top ten.
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Golden Plains is set to return to Victoria in March 2023 for yet another gathering of excellent musical acts all set within the best that nature has to offer. The sister festival to December's much-loved Meredith Music Festival is also held at the dazzling Supernatural Amphitheatre in Meredith, a small township just over an hour outside Melbourne. Golden Plains boasts one stage, no corporate sponsorship, a famed 'no dickhead policy', and eclectic line-ups that put scrappy local musicians beside international indie acts. The line-up for 2023 is yet to be announced, but is often comprised of a tasty selection of big-name headliners, off-the-radar talents, and local acts. Golden Plains will run over the weekend of March 11-13, 2023, with tickets only allocated via ballot. Enter the ballot now at the official website – and keep your fingers crossed. Looking for the Meredith lineup? Check out all this year's Meredith Music Festival details.
A Christmas Carol
Dickens' A Christmas Carol is coming to the Melbourne stage, and the production will feature none other than much-loved Australian actor David Wenham in the role of Scrooge. Set for a pre-Christmas season from November 12 to December 24, the smash hit staging of the timeless holiday story will be playing at the Comedy Theatre. A Christmas Carol was the most awarded play of 2021, sweeping the Tonys with five award wins. Two Tony Award winners themselves created the magical rendition: director Matthew Warchus (Matilda the Musical) and playwright Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). The production delivers striking staging, moving storytelling, and 12 traditional Christmas carols, including ‘Joy to the World’ and ‘Silent Night’. “A Christmas Carol is a ripping yarn," says Wenham. "This production is as compelling as it is surprising. I’m counting the days to get back on the stage in the role of Scrooge. It’s a story of hope, redemption and community. I guarantee the audience will leave the theatre feeling better about themselves and the world at the end of the show. A perfect story to be told at Christmas time.” The full Australian cast will be announced in the coming weeks. You can buy tickets now at the official website.
Following a successful season of Patricia Piccinini's hyperrealist installation, 'A Miracle Constantly Repeated', it is uber popular street artist Rone who will be the second artist in residence in the enigmatic ballroom space above Flinders Street Station. His new, immersive installation, 'Time', will be spread across 11 themed rooms, all featuring Rone's distinctive female figures flanked by vintage-style objects by interior set decorator Carly Spooner and a building team led by Callum Preston. Composer Nick Batterham joins with a haunting soundscape to accompany. “For years, I had heard all these stories about the mysterious ballroom above Flinders Street Station," says Rone, aka Tyrone Wright. "I always wondered how much of it was truth and how much was urban myth. I was desperate to get in there." “I find it fascinating that there is an entire wing of the building that was locked up for decades,” he says. “Once I discovered how important these spaces had been in the past, I knew I wanted to share that with people.” Over the past 20 years, Rone has taken over many a decaying weatherboard cottage for his show 'Omega'; the Alphington Paper Mill for extremely limited viewings of his collection of works, 'Alpha'; and the Star Lyric Theatre building in Fitzroy for his show, 'Empty'. In 2019 he even popped up in an abandoned 1930s mansion for 'Empire'. Tickets go on sale for Rone's highly anticipated installation 'Time' at 10am (AEST), Thursday September 29.
Aussie legend Paul Kelly is back with Melbourne's much-loved annual celebration of Making Gravy this December. The special one-off performance at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl returns again on December 9, and this time Kelly will be accompanied by Amyl and the Sniffers, The Beths, and Alex The Astronaut. Making Gravy has become a cult festive celebration since its first iteration back in 2017, and after a few years off, Kelly is back to deliver a swathe of songs from his four-decade-long, critically acclaimed career – including, of course, his 1996 classic 'How To Make Gravy'. Originally created for a Christmas charity record, the song has gone on to become an Aussie classic. It tells the story of a man who is in jail and knows he’ll miss Christmas with his family – and detailing his gravy recipe for his loved ones over the phone. Frontier Members can access the ticket pre-sale from Monday, October 3 (1pm local time), before a general public release on Wednesday, October 5 (1pm local time). Get in quick – and don't forget a dollop of tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang. Looking for more Melbourne gigs? Check out our gig guide.
Tick, Tick... Boom!
It was always Jonathan Larson's destiny to create his Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical Rent, but as a struggling artist in New York, trying to make his dreams come true, it might not have always seemed that way. And that's essentially what Tick, Tick... Boom! is all about; a semi-autobiographical musical mirroring Larson's journey hurtling towards his impending Broadway success. Punters would probably know it best from a recent film adaption by the same name, directed by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, and starring Andrew Garfield and Vanessa Hudgens – and eventually winning Garfield a Golden Globe for his turn as Larson in the film. But before that, it was Larson's hidden treasure – a musical left behind after he tragically passed away prior to the first performance of his enduring Broadway smash hit, Rent. Tick, Tick... Boom! is the story of a promising young artist struggling to realise his dreams in the Big Apple back in the early '90s. As time marches on (the tick, tick of the title ever-present), he must decide between fear and love – and fight for what he truly wants. Tick, Tick... Boom! is set to hit Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre from February 1, 2023, for only seven shows, before playing a limited season at QPAC’s Playhouse in Brisbane. Tickets are on sale now. Looking for more theatre in Melbourne? Check out our list of the best musicals playing this month.
Multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated artist Tyga is heading to Melbourne later this year as part of his largest ever Australian tour to date. Landing in Perth on December 13, the six-date Aussie tour run will then see Tyga visit Adelaide on December 14 and Brisbane on December 16, before hitting John Cain Arena in Melbourne on December 17. The tour will then finish up with a massive show at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney on December 18. He’ll be joined on stage by local artists Hooligan Hefs and Youngn Lipz. Audiences will be treated to a swathe of hit singles like quadruple-platinum single 'Rack City', triple-platinum single 'Faded' and double platinum single 'Ayo', as well as tracks from his most recent album Legendary. General public tickets will go on sale from 10am local time on Friday, September 30, at Ticketek. There will be a limited number of special meet and greet tickets available too, which will include a meeting with the rapper, a professional photograph together, early concert entry and access to merchandise. Looking for more gigs in Melbourne? Read our gig guide.
There’s no better way to ring in the new year in Australia than by getting loose at Falls Festival. The music and arts festival is one of the most hotly anticipated events on the festival calendar, and it has been going strong for almost 30 years – and in 2022, it's ditching its regional location in favour of a huge three-day event at Sidney Myer Music Bowl and surrounds across December 29, 30 and 31. This year party people at Falls Festival will be ringing in 2023 with an epic lineup including Arctic Monkeys, Lil Nas X, Penny Gou, Chvrches and Jamie XX. Arctic Monkeys will be heading down under following a headline slot at Reading & Leeds festivals, while Lil Nas X, hot off his 4x Platinum album Montero, will be playing his first ever live shows in the country at Falls. And now, just weeks after Lil Nas tweeted about wanting to collab with the Wiggles and petitioned for a joint tour, we can now confirm that the OG skivvy wearing gang have joined the Falls lineup. They're ready to wiggle and we just bet that Nas is ready to jump in the big red car with the colourful crew, head on down the old town road and drop some hot potato collabs. They will be playing alongside a raft of excellent local and international bands, including Amyl and the Sniffers, G Flip, Ocean Alley, and Rico Nasty. The Falls Festival will move homes this year, leaving its iconic Marion Bay and Lorne locations for the Melbourne CBD (after their new Colac location fell through) for the first time in Falls h
Big Fish Little Fish
If you’re done hitting up the clubs and you’ve traded benders for babies, but still rock it on the dancefloor, bring your brood of little’uns to this totally family-friendly rave. Family-conscious party starters Big Fish Little Fish will be taking over Abbot's Yard in Abbotsford on Sunday, October 9. While the big kids (yes, us adults) can dance to classic rave, techno, hip hop, and drum'n'bass, the little kids can check out the multi-sensory dance floor, including bubbles and foam, plus performers, themed craft, fancy dress and a play and chill area for babies and toddlers. This year's theme is 'Flower Power', so channel your inner hippy and dress up to the nines for this fun event featuring DJ Anthony Pappa – you may remember him from previous Big Fish Little Fish parties. Hit up the official Facebook page for more info, or book your tickets here.
Malthouse’s latest offering by its artist in residence, Ra Chapman, is a comedy about Lucy (Susanna Qian), who was adopted into an Australian family when she was four. Lucy finds herself back in her family home after being dumped and quitting her job, becoming increasingly attached to a now-empty cardboard box that used to hold her most treasured memories – before her parents threw them out. She meets a K-Pop star, Kim Han (Jeffrey Liu), who is seeking respite from the fame that comes with the job – but instead of a fling, Lucy ends off discovering a long-lost link to her Korean roots instead. Though K-Box was thoroughly enjoyable, nuanced, and incredibly well-acted, there are a few pieces of the story missing here. How did a famous K-Pop star end up in a small town in Australia? How did Lucy meet him, and what exactly is the story behind her break-up that left her so distraught? Unfortunately Chapman glosses over these important pieces of the puzzle – pieces the audience is left longing for, that would better flesh out Lucy’s character arc – in favour of over-laboured conversations that could have been edited down. The first half of the play seems to be more so about Lucy’s parents – played with delight by Maude Davey and Syd Brisbane – who are the runaway stars of the beginning of the show. By centering the difficult conversations about race, inter-cultural adoption, and belonging on them, we miss out on Lucy’s narrative in favour of the voices that have traditionally do
Boiler Room: Melbourne (Naarm)
Following events in major cities including Paris, New York, Barcelona and Berlin, Boiler Room is now making its way to Naarm, with a huge line-up including Mall Grab, C.FRIM, Lady Shaka, Lakota, Pretty Girl, salute and Yung Singh. Making a case for the elevation of localised club culture in Melbourne, Boiler Room: Melbourne (Naarm) is taking over a cavernous warehouse at PICA (Port Melbourne Industrial Centre For The Arts) on Saturday, November 26. The one-day party kicks off at 2pm, set to go well into the early hours. Boiler Room’s epic history within the club scene encompasses a jaw-dropping 4,000 events featuring 5,000 artists, with locations in 150 cities across the world – not to mention the millions of people who have witnessed iconic EDM moments from Carl Cox, Sama' and Honey Dijon. Tickets for Boiler Room: Melbourne (Naarm) will go on sale at noon on Thursday, September 8. Check out the official website for more details. Looking for more Melbourne gigs? Check out our Melbourne gig guide.
Join British physicist Professor Brian Cox for a brand new live show hitting Melbourne. Horizons – A 21st Century Space Odyssey is a dazzling cinematic journey, combining state of the art LED screen technology, jaw-dropping interstellar graphics, and Cox's fascinating commentary. Cox is known for making science a truly captivating topic without dumbing it down. He'll be appearing alongside comedian, actor and writer Robin Ince, who he currently co-hosts The Infinite Monkey Cage with on BBC Radio 4 – a witty, irreverent program that looks at the world through the eyes of science. If Cox’s past tours (and the topics covered on The Infinite Monkey Cage) are anything to go by, we can expect a fun, whip-smart discussion on all things scientific. “I loved the 2019 arena tour because it gave me the opportunity to discuss the most profound ideas, with tens of thousands of people in front of the most spectacular images of the Universe," says Cox. "When the tour was over, I immediately started thinking about how I could delve deeper, tell an even more profound story and make the show even more spectacular. I’m very excited about what has emerged!" "I hope the evening will make people think about how fortunate and precious we are, how strange and wonderful our Universe is, and the limitless future we have to look forward to if we make the right choices over the coming decades.” Brian Cox will be speaking at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday October 15. The e
Alt-J's original dates for September 2022 have now been rescheduled for 2023. Already purchased tickets will automatically apply to the new dates. British indie electronic legends Alt-J are to deliver an intimate and unforgettable evening for fans. While touring their fourth studio album, The Dream, the trio will take an evening off to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their life-changing debut album, An Awesome Wave, and perform the Mercury-prize-winning record in full. Long-time Melbourne fans can expect to enjoy classic hits from the album like 'Tesselate', 'Breezeblocks' and 'Fitzpleasure', as well as other major hits. Having amassed Grammy and Brit Award nominations, the best-selling debut album catapulted the band into global fame, earning them billions of streams, millions of fans around the world and countless accolades along the way. If you can’t make it to the special show, alt-J are also playing Margaret Court Arena the night after.
Breaking: Rone's next installation will be in the Flinders Street Station Ballroom
Melbourne street artist Rone will be taking over the Flinders Street Station Ballroom in October this year. Following a successful season of Patricia Piccinini's hyperrealist installation, 'A Miracle Constantly Repeated', which was part of this year's Rising program, it is uber popular street artist Rone who will be the second artist in residence in the enigmatic ballroom space above Flinders Street Station. The immersive installation, titled 'Time', will encompass 11 themed rooms, all featuring Rone's distinctive female figures accompanied by meticulously recreated period objects by interior set decorator Carly Spooner and a set building team led by Callum Preston. Evocative lighting and sound design by composer Nick Batterham will bring it all together to create a haunting reflection on a long-forgotten era when Melbourne's most mysterious heritage building hosted more than just a train station. Photograph: Rone In a chat with the artist (real name Tyrone Wright) yesterday, he told Time Out that the new exhibition has been three years in the making. Battling heritage overlays, government red tape, the strict requirements of international consortium Metro (who own the building), and all the restrictions that came with the pandemic, 'Time' hasn't been an easy ride for Wright, who calls the Flinders Street Station Ballroom his "white whale". "The pandemic actually caused the entire thing to collapse – I lost all my funding and had to start again, essentially. But before that
Vale Uncle Jack Charles: legendary actor, musician and Victorian Aboriginal elder
Uncle Jack Charles' family has given the media permission to use his name and image in relation to this news story. Boon Wurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Woiwurrung and Yorta Yorta actor and musician, Uncle Jack Charles, has passed away in Melbourne this morning. According to a statement from his publicist, Charles was sent off with a smoking ceremony at the Royal Melbourne Hospital after suffering a stroke. "We are so proud of everything he has achieved in his remarkable life," said the statement. "Elder, actor, musician, potter, activist, mentor, a household name and voice loved by all — as is demonstrated by his numerous awards, including this year's NAIDOC Male Elder of the Year." "He will live on in our hearts and memories and through his numerous screen and stage roles. May he be greeted by his Ancestors on his return home." Uncle Jack Charles was a Victorian legend of the stage and screen, beginning his career in the 70s by co-establishing Australia's first Indigenous-led theatre group, which was based in Melbourne. He went on to feature in a raft of critically acclaimed roles in films including The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978), Bedevil (1993), Blackfellas (1993), Tom White (2004) and Pan (2015). His earlier life was marked by the trauma of abuse, drug use and incarceration, and he was a Stolen Generation survivor who dedicated his later life to supporting Indigenous youth caught in the prison system. In a tweet earlier today, prime minister Anthony Albanese said: "J
Council progresses plan to add second gig venue next to St Kilda's Palais
Last night, Port Phillip councillors voted to consider a revised plan for transforming the carpark next to the Palais Theatre – dubbed the "St Kilda Triangle" – into a refreshed cultural precinct, adding a brand new music venue right next door to the famous theatre. Long the subject of debate, the Triangle has been the centre of various contentious plans, including a proposed $400 million lifestyle precinct dubbed "Chadstone by the Sea". The 2016 St Kilda Triangle masterplan also proposed a green space replacing the current carpark, sinking the carpark and adding an underground 'cultural space', as well as tacking a hotel and additional performance space on the back end of the current Palais building. It was also considered as a potential location for the NGV Contemporary, now set to be located in Southbank's Arts Precinct. Photograph: Port Phillip government website, 2016 St Kilda Triangle masterplan |A map of the St Kilda Triangle, currently a carpark Photograph: Port Phillip government website, 2016 St Kilda Triangle masterplan |The proposed plan in 2016 The Age reports this morning that Port Phillip councillors voted in favour of a basic feasibility study into the idea last night, noting that they've spent millions of dollars investigating the potential for the public space, but have only "achieved a carpark so far". Councillors voted in favour of the $378,000 study, to be delivered mid-next year, looking into the feasibility of developing a live music or perfo
MTC and Arts Centre announce new creative leaders
This year is shaping up to be a formative one in Melbourne's theatre scene. No little than a week or so after the Victorian Opera announced a new artistic director in Stuart Maunder, we've seen two key staffing announcements that are set to deliver a more diverse focus on our city's stages. It's perfect timing, following the release of 2021 Census data that shows we're the first English-speaking country in the world to achieve a 50% migrant population – with India set to overtake British migrants as the biggest group, and China dropping to third. First up, Melbourne Theatre Company announced that director, writer and dramaturg Tasnim Hossain – 2018 Women in Theatre Program participant, and director for MTC's 2022 First Stage writers’ program – has been appointed as the Company’s new Resident Director. "Tasnim is a brilliant mind and a talented artist," says MTC artistic director and Co-CEO Anne-Louise Sarks. "She brings with her broad experience developing new works, a deep network of artistic collaborators nationally and demonstrated leadership within the industry. She is a sought after director, dramaturg and writer for screen and stage so it's a total coup to have her join the Company." Hossain recently won the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Direction of an Independent Production for Yellow Face, and was shortlisted for the 2022 Griffin Award for her script Bombay Takeaway. "I am thrilled to be joining Melbourne Theatre Company’s artistic team under Anne-Louise’s leaders
An ancient Greek temple is popping up in the NGV garden this summer
A reimagining of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens is popping up in the NGV garden this summer. 'Temple of Boom', by Australian architects Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang, will replace the incredibly popular 'Pink Pond', which has been the centrepiece of outdoor events at the gallery for the past year. The Greek-style temple will be painted with overlapping large-scale artworks by Melbourne-based artists, evocative of the vibrant colours long-since lost from the facade of the original building from over two-thousand years ago. The fascinating new installation will act as a meeting place and colourful centrepiece for all of the upcoming NGV summer events, including a series of curated performances, programs and live music. Photograph: NGV "One of the most famous examples of classical architecture, the Parthenon in Athens, is often viewed as a potent symbol of Western art and culture," says Tony Ellwood AM, Director of the NGV. "This thought-provoking work by Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang invites us to consider how we create and imbue architecture with meaning, as well as how this meaning can shift across time periods and cultures." "A subject close to my own heart, this year’s NGV Architecture Commission reimagines an ancient Greek icon while celebrating all things Melbourne – architecture, art and music," says Steve Dimopoulos MP, Minister for Creative Industries. "It offers a place for the whole community to meet, connect, reflect – and even dance, while showcasing Vi
The cast for the Aussie premiere of 'Ghost Stories' has been unveiled
Do you like a side of fear and frights with your live stage play? Well the upcoming Aussie premiere of West End hit, Ghost Stories, is for you. Billed as equal parts live horror and humour, with a little magic thrown in, it's set to take over Melbourne this September for four weeks – and now the Australian cast has been revealed. Play School favourite and Star Wars' Captain Typho, Jay Laga'aia, is taking a break from Big Ted in order to scare the living daylights out of us, and he'll be joined by much-loved playwright and actor Steve Rodgers, actor-magician Darcy Brown, and Winners and Losers' Nick Simpson-Deeks. "I’m hugely excited to join the cast and creative team of Ghost Stories," says Simpson-Deeks, "and thrilled to be able to bring such a unique and rich theatrical experience to Australian audiences. It’s going to be phenomenal.""I saw Ghost Stories in London eight years ago," says Brown, "and thought it was terrifying and fabulous. Andy Nyman’s work as an actor and magician has inspired me for years. I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this production." Ghost Stories is a British horror-themed play written by Jeremy Dyson (The League of Gentlemen) and Andy Nyman (Derren Brown TV and live shows, Peaky Blinders) that has played in London for many years, including in the West End. The producers are keeping their spooky surprises a secret, but there will be scares aplenty – the show comes with a warning label that it's not for the faint of heart or those with nerve
Victorian Opera announces new artistic director
The Victorian Opera is today looking toward a bright future, with the brand new appointment of opera and theatre veteran Stuart Maunder AM to their artistic director post. Maunder has worked with the Victorian Opera on multiple productions in the past, as a director on Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and A Little Night Music, as well as co-producing productions with State Opera South Australia and New Zealand Opera. Maunder is well known for his prolific three decades in the opera and theatre arena. Between administrating and directing on Australian stages and holding senior positions at various opera companies, he has built an excellent reputation for championing Australian repertoire and talent. He served in senior management roles at Opera Australia from 1999 to 2008, before being appointed General Director of New Zealand Opera in 2014. He was appointed Artistic Director of State Opera South Australia in 2018. "I feel like I've come home," says Maunder. "How humbling and thrilling to be joining this great Victorian company. I've long admired Victorian Opera's bold repertoire choices, championing of new Australian work, formidable record of collaborating with other arts companies, commitment to showcasing Australian artists, and for pushing the boundaries of our extraordinary artform." "We will continue to build on the company's history of nurturing and premiering new Australian works and acknowledging and incl
MPavilion 2022 design revealed
This year's MPavilion design has been revealed, ahead of its 2022 program of events, commencing in November. The sweeping net-like design of Melbourne's ninth MPavilion was designed by Bangkok-based architecture practice All(zone), led by internationally acclaimed architect Rachaporn Choochuey. The bright orange canopy will be made from layers of bespoke nets and architectural fabrics and will be covered in a tech-forward, lightweight waterproof membrane made by French manufacturer Serge Ferrari. This groundbreaking mesh is as transparent as glass but 10 times lighter, allowing light to filter through the membrane while keeping punters under the canopy dry. Photograph: all(zone) “After being confined for such a long time, we began the project with the idea of celebrating ‘outdoor living’," says Choochuey. "We visualised rays of light flickering through layers of leaves that give a very relaxing ambience — like being under a big tree. We wanted MPavilion to be a place where people could meet, enjoy and live in the moment freely." "In a world where we increasingly encounter a shortage of resources and ever-changing social conditions, the lifespan of architecture in relation to its materiality should be reinvestigated. The intent of our design for MPavilion is to explore the potential of architecture to embrace a lighter and more casual spirit, and become even more sustainable and engaging.” Choochuey's design continues All(zone)'s work playing with transparency and light, an
The cast for the Aussie production of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' has been announced
The brand new Aussie cast for the upcoming tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is here! It has been more than 30 years since Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much-loved musical was performed in Australia, so we reckon it's well past time to revisit this classic show. Especially when it is starring Aussie musical theatre darlings Euan Fistrovic Doidge and former Australian Idol, Paulini. Joseph will open in Melbourne in November, which will be the first staging of this newly reimagined production outside of the UK. Euan Fistrovic Doidge will be stepping into the shoes (or rather, the colourful coat) of Joseph. Currently grabbing attention in the national tour of Cruel Intentions: the ’90s Musical, now touring Sydney after a hugely popular Melbourne run, Doidge is well known to Australian audiences having starred as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, Felicia in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and as Marius in Les Misérables. Fijian-born songstress Paulini needs no introduction to anyone who saw her soar to the final four in the first season of Australian Idol and top the charts with both her solo career and time with pop group the Young Divas. She has proven herself a powerful presence in musical theatre too, starring in The Bodyguard Musical, Saturday Night Fever, the 50th Anniversary of Hair the Musical. She will star as the Narrator in Joseph. “Euan and Paulini blew us away with their auditions for the show. They are both incredibly talented and I cannot wait to see
Meet the Melbourne queen repping in RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under Season 2
Whisperings about a second season of the Antipodean leg of RuPaul’s international reality drag competition series have been swirling for the better part of a year. Just recently, it was finally confirmed that RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under Season 2 will be dropping on Australian streaming service Stan from July 30, 2022. And now, we can finally spill the tea on which Aussie and Kiwi queens have been selected by Mama Ru herself to sashay onto our screens – and although the Sydney girls are out in force, we can reveal that Aubrey Haive is the one we have all our Melburnian hopes pinned on! Melbourne-based New Zealand-hailing queen Aubrey Haive (@aubreyhaive) will take the solo weight of Victoria's hopes in the fabulous State of Origin that is Drag Race Down Under. Haive is a drag newbie and originally hails from Timaru, New Zealand. After dabbling during the pandemic, Haive has seen a meteoric rise in the local scene, now looking to make drag a full time job. And with this new announcement, that's surely a shoe in. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Aubrey Haive (@aubreyhaive) Meanwhile, from Sydney, we have a huge run of talent. Leading the cavalcade of entertainers is the nicest queen on the local scene, the bubbly Hannah Conda (@hannahcondaofficial). An award-winning entertainer and one of the most well-known stars of Oxford Street, Hannah co-founded Drag Storytime in 2016. It’s an initiative where Hannah and other queens read to young childre
Geelong is getting a huge new $140 million arts centre
Geelong is set to host the largest regional arts centre in Australia, with a new $140 million precinct in the works. The Little Malop Street Redevelopment will deliver a 500-seat, 250-seat, and black box theatre, an outdoor atrium, and a host of new dining options to satiate hungry theatre-goers. The striking architectural design by ARM Architecture was inspired by the history of Geelong, as well as circus and theatre silhouettes, with a draped facade reminiscent of the curtains that grace a classic mainstage. As part of the ambitious project, there will also be specially commissioned artworks installed within the building's spaces by four extraordinary First Nations artists. Wadwaurrung artist Kait James and First Nations artists Gerard Black, Tarryn Love and Mick Ryan are set to evoke the new building's connection to country through large-scale pieces that pay homage to the stories of traditional peoples. Photograph: Geelong Arts Centre "The Geelong Arts Centre Little Malop Street Redevelopment has provided us with an incredible opportunity to connect with local First Nations Artists and showcase their work within the spaces of this important project for Geelong," said Joel McGuinness, CEO, Geelong Arts Centre. "We are deeply honoured to include their works in such an important building for the Geelong region and we can't wait to show you the completed works, once installed, later in the year." "The Little Malop Street Redevelopment will change the cultural landscape for
The cast for the Aussie premiere of the 'Cruel Intentions' musical has been unveiled
The brand new Aussie cast for the hotly anticipated upcoming tour of Cruel Intentions: The '90s Musical is here! Kirby Burgess, Drew Weston and Kelsey Halge will join Helpmann Award-nominated performer Francine Cain in the Australian professional premiere production of the hit musical, based on the oh-so-'90s movie, Cruel Intentions. (Read our review of the show here.) Musical theatre superstar Kirby Burgess will take on the role of the seductive schoolgirl Kathryn, made famous by pop culture legend Sarah Michelle Gellar. Burgess' illustrious career has seen her star in several screen-to-stage adaptations in recent years, including The Wedding Singer, Bring It On: The Musical, and as the much-loved Baby in the 10th Anniversary Tour of Dirty Dancing. "Cruel Intentions is the perfect send up of the '90s," says Burgess. "Kathryn is basically the villain, and while she does some very bad things, she’s demonised for being sexually liberated. I love that she takes a stand about this, with such great lines." Ryan Phillippe's character, Sebastian, will be played by Drew Weston, who has starred in MTC’s Hay Fever, Dream Lover and Mary Poppins, as well as having previously brought to life another iconic film role as Danny Zuko in Grease. He will be joined by Helpmann Award-nominated performer Francine Cain as Selma Blair's naive Cecile - a character made famous by *that* kiss. Soon-to-be breakout star Kelsey Halge will be the Annette Hargrove to Weston's Sebastian, the innocent virgin