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Nicola Dowse

Nicola Dowse

Nic Dowse is the arts editor for Time Out Melbourne. She joined the Time Out team in 2017.

Nic has a professional background in the arts, having majored in painting at university. As it turns out, she favoured writing about the arts more than actually being an artist herself, though she still finds time to doodle when not attending shows, gigs or exhibitions. She's also a big fan of communicating via GIF, and considers the medium an under appreciated art form.

Reach her at nicola.dowse@timeout.com or connect with her on social. Instagram: @nic.dowse Twitter: @nicoladowse

Articles (156)

The best flower delivery services in Melbourne

The best flower delivery services in Melbourne

We've all forgotten about an imminent birthday, anniversary or Valentine's Day present ‚Äď and we‚Äôre not proud of it. But, luckily, that's why same-day flower delivery services exist. Order from these florists and plant nurseries by around midday and they'll be delivered later that evening, and no one has to know that it was last minute.¬† For more gift ideas, see our guides to the¬†best florists in Melbourne, the¬†best chocolate shops in Melbourne¬†and the¬†best plant nurseries. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click¬†here. I'm looking for: FLOWER DELIVERY PLANT DELIVERY¬†

Where to sit in Melbourne's theatres

Where to sit in Melbourne's theatres

Melbourne is blessed with a wealth of theatres, from the grand old dames like the Princess Theatre, to the kooky hidden gems; no city in Australia can lay claim to as many in as good a condition as ours. But inside those venues, not all seats are created equal. Sure, there are some shows so spectacular and unmissable you’d happily sit anywhere, but most experiences in the theatre can be augmented by the best seats in the house. And occasionally ruined by the worst. So, without further ado, we give them to you. RECOMMENDED: How to score cheap theatre tickets in Melbourne.

The best scenic drives in Victoria

The best scenic drives in Victoria

There's nothing like hitting the tarmac and heading out for an adventure on the open road. Of course,¬†it's all about the journey, not the destination. With that in mind, we've rounded up some of the most beautiful drives across Victoria, from our famous, undulating coastal routes to snowy alpine highways.¬† Feel like a walk? Check out one of Victoria's best hiking trails. Or stay at home and enjoy a picnic at one of the city's nicest picnic spots. DO go chasing waterfalls ‚Äď here's where to find the prettiest waterfalls in Victoria.

Where to go whale watching near Melbourne

Where to go whale watching near Melbourne

Thar she blows! Whales are some of Earth's biggest creatures but they're also some of our most majestic. There's something magical about spotting a whale from the shoreline, seeing it breach or poke its tail through the briny blue. In Australia we’re lucky to have around 60 per cent of the global whale population living in our waters, meaning your odds of spotting one aren't too shabby. For Victorians, the prime whale watching season is roughly from May to October each year. While whales can be seen all along the state’s coast, you can improve your chances of getting a slice of the cetacean spectacular by visiting these locations. Looking to explore more of beautiful Victoria? Here are some of our state's most gorgeous natural wonders.

A beginner’s guide to pronouncing Melbourne’s suburb names

A beginner’s guide to pronouncing Melbourne’s suburb names

Fact: everyone who comes to Melbourne for the first time¬†will mispronounce Prahran. Our city certainly has its quirks, and one of those quirks is having sometimes illogical pronunciations. A few of Melbourne's suburbs are known to be particularly tricky to say, and we're here to help out. Please note we are but humble journalists¬†who love Melbourne ‚Äď not experts in orthoepy (betcha didn't know that word till now). This is only how we know these suburbs to be commonly pronounced. Don't @ us. How to pronounce Melbourne's trickiest-to-say suburbs ¬† Maribyrnong: Marrah bah-nong.¬† Prahran: Pra-ran or Pran.¬†Malvern: Moll-vern.¬†Caulfield:¬†Corr-field. ¬† ¬†Welcome to Pran Market Lalor: Lay-law. Controversially, we are calling it as lay-law not law-ler. Yes, the area was named after pollie Peter Lalor (who pronounced his name law-ler) but guess what Peter, the people have spoken and the area is these days commonly referred to as lay-law.¬† Toorak: Toor-rak. Mordialloc: Mordy-allick. Berwick: Bear-rick. Northcote:¬†North-kit.¬† ¬† The view from Ruckers Hill, North Kit.¬† ¬† Beaumaris: Boh morris. Apologies to any French speakers, we know it‚Äôs wrong.¬† Reservoir: Reser-vor.¬†Rhymes with door. You may also pronounce it as 'rezza'. Nunawading: Nun-ah-wodding. Wantirna: Wand-turnah. Truganina: Truhga nine-ah. Yeah, that one surprised us too. Greenborough: Greens-brah. Roxburgh Park: Rocks-brah Park. ¬† The famous Briiiiiighton Beach bathing boxes. ¬† St Albans: Snnnorbins. Kind of sounds lik

The best pub trivia nights in Melbourne

The best pub trivia nights in Melbourne

Fancy yourself a bit of a general knowledge whiz? Put your brains to the test at these pub trivia nights, where questions on anything from film to sport are supplemented by cool beers and food specials. Pub trivia isn't the only fun you can have while drinking ‚Äď check out our top bars for dancing, first dates and live music.

The best school holidays activities in Melbourne

The best school holidays activities in Melbourne

School's out for autumn! Looking for some fun and entertaining ways to keep the kids busy over the break? We've put together a list of the best family-friendly things to do right now, catering to a range of price points and ages. There are a few that you can do from the living room, too.  Need more things to do? Here’s what’s happening across Melbourne this week.   

Where to eat before a show in Melbourne

Where to eat before a show in Melbourne

It can be tempting to skip eating before a show, but that's a rookie error. There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as your stomach growling during a particularly silent scene, or being too hungry to appreciate your favourite band. And there’s nothing unusual about wanting to take the edge off your day before the show goes on. Save yourself the pain of having to buy plastic cups of beer or survive on box office peanuts: hit up one of these restaurants or bars before your next show. Spent all your money on the show? Here are some of Melbourne's best cheap eats. 

The best beaches in Melbourne

The best beaches in Melbourne

While Sydney rightfully has a lot of claim to some of Australia's finest beaches, Melbourne certainly isn't to be sniffed at. Whether you're keen on swimming, wading, beachcombing or just relaxing on the sand, the city boasts a number of gorgeous golden spots. Here are our pick of the best beaches in Melbourne. RECOMMENDED: Here are Melbourne's best picnic spots for al fresco dining This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

Haunted sites you can visit in Sydney

Haunted sites you can visit in Sydney

The paramount rule in any spooky situation is to not be the denier. The jock who says, ‚Äúghosts aren‚Äôt real‚ÄĚ is always the first one to get throttled by an angry apparition. So with open minds and¬†willing spirits, we invite you to explore Sydney‚Äôs most haunted sites. These former insane asylums, abandoned roads, converted gaols and chilly tunnels may not appear to be the stuff of nightmares in the sensical light of day, but one too many shadowy coincidences coupled with gruesome histories have inspired us to get our ghost-hunting gear together and investigate. If you want some wraith-watching advice from a pro, check out these spine-tingling ghost tours operating in Sydney. And if you need a moment of reprieve from the manic hunt, forget all these grisly tales while you get pampered at Sydney‚Äôs best spas. RECOMMENDED: The best underground bars in Sydney.

Do Melburnians really wear a lot of black? We asked an expert

Do Melburnians really wear a lot of black? We asked an expert

Melburnians wear an awful lot of black ‚Äď or at least that‚Äôs the stereotype. No matter the weather, residents of our fine city are known for looking as if we‚Äôre constantly in mourning or trying to make our high school goth phase last into adulthood. But do Melburnians actually wear more black than¬†people in other Australian cities? According to fashion commentator and editor at Voxfrock Janice Breen Burns, Melbourne really does have an ongoing love affair with the dark hue. Our love for all things 50 shades of black, she says, comes down to three things: our climate, our city and the early 1990s recession. "After the bling decade of the '80s ‚Äď the big shoulder pads, lots of jewellery, big heels, big hair decade ‚Äď the world was plunged into a deep recession," says Breen Burns. "Fashion around the world responded with this very sombre, draped, layered look, which favoured a lot of black, very little adornments ‚Äď it was almost monkish." Working as a fashion reporter during the '90s, Breen Burns saw first-hand how enthusiastically women in Melbourne took to the dark trend. "They just adored it. It‚Äôs slimming, it‚Äôs flattering, it can be non-conformist, it can be conformist, it can be anything you want it to be." But unlike cities with comparable fashion scenes (such as¬†London and Paris), Melbourne never lost its love for black. Black fit our own perceptions of who we were, and who we are as Melburnians. "We saw ourselves as the city of gardens and galleries where Sydney was more a

Things to do in Melbourne today

Things to do in Melbourne today

Wondering what to do in Melbourne today? We can help. Check out our curated guide to all the fun things to do in Melbourne right now and here's a list of things to do at home if you'd rather not venture out. Want more? Check out these great free things to do, or head outside on a hike or bike ride. Want to plan for the weekend? Here's our guide to this weekend's events.

Listings and reviews (450)

Golden Square

Golden Square

Golden Square car park has been used for many things in its lifetime, occasionally even for parking cars. During Rising, however, the inner-city car park¬†finds a new lease on life as it‚Äôs turned into a multi-level art precinct showcasing some of the most exciting contemporary artists around.¬† When you arrive at the car park (for those unfamiliar with it, Golden Square is located between Lonsdale and Little Bourke) you‚Äôre invited to start your journey on the rooftop. Here you‚Äôll be able to grab a drink from¬†a pop-up bar before exploring the exhibition‚Äôs artworks ‚Äď which include everything from melting ice sculptures to performance with kayaks. Artists involved in Golden Square include Scotty So, Atong Atem, Jenny Holzer, Patty Chang, Lu Yang and more .¬† Keep a special eye out for 'Parade for the Moon', a twice-nightly performative work by Jason Phu, James Nguyen, Nabilah Nordin and Veisinia Tonga that features a parade of people celebrating the moon and its importance across cultures. Tickets are on sale now, and you'll need to specify your arrival time on booking.¬†

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters

It‚Äôs been four years since the Foo Fighters toured Australia, though not for lack of want. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve been waiting, waiting, waiting for you motherfuckers to open up your borders and let us fucking play,‚ÄĚ said Dave Grohl, speaking on-stage during the band‚Äôs one-night-only performance at Geelong‚Äôs GMHBA Stadium. The concert ‚Äď the first in Victoria‚Äôs new Always Live major events series ‚Äď marked Australia‚Äôs first full-capacity stadium gig by an international act since the pandemic began, with drizzly skies (turned outright downpour) doing nothing to dampen the fervour of the 25,000-strong crowd. The Foo Fighters are developing something of a habit of relaunching live rock, having famously reopened New York at Madison Square Gardens in June 2021 following the lifting of most health restrictions. Like then, the GMHBA Stadium performance opened with the emotionally electrifying ‚Äď not to mention relevant ‚Äď ‚ÄėTimes Like These‚Äô before launching into two of the band‚Äôs best-known songs, ‚ÄėThe Pretender‚Äô and ‚ÄėLearn to Fly‚Äô. In a world of pop-rock and folk-rock and indie-rock, you can rely on Foo Fighters to deliver just pure rock ‚Äď the sort of sound that seeps into your bones and has the whole crowd moving as one, banging their heads and throwing up horns. Barely a moment went by in the mammoth, 2.5-hour long show in which the crowd (encompassing pre-teens through to middle-aged couples) weren‚Äôt frothing the mix of greatest hits and newer releases (notably ‚ÄėShame Shame‚Äô and ‚ÄėSky is a Neighborho

Happy End

Happy End

Malthouse Theatre’s artistic director Matthew Lutton is jumping ships temporarily to direct the anti-capitalist musical comedy Happy End. Created by Elisabeth Hauptmann, Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, the work originally only ran for seven performances when it premiered in 1929 Berlin, and it was largely ill-received at the time. The Guys and Dolls-esque show of gangsters in 1915 Chicago premiered on Broadway in 1977 (starring Meryl Streep, no less). Happy End is something of a musical rom com, with the story revolving around gangster Bill Cracker (Adam Murphy, Aladdin) and his unlikely romance with Salvation Army lieutenant Lillian Holiday (Lucy Maunder, Fun Home). The cast is rounded out by Ali McGregor (Lorelei) and Euan Fistrovic Doidge (Fun Home).  Happy End is showing at Arts Centre Melbourne with five performances only from March 23 to 26.

Frances Barrett: Meatus

Frances Barrett: Meatus

Do you know what a 'meatus' is? Even if you don't, we can guarantee you¬†are in possession of several meatuses. A meatus, you see, is an opening or passage that leads to your body's interior ‚Äď your ears are a meatus, as is your mouth, your nose and your, ah, party parts in your pants.¬† It's the humble but ever so important meatus, and their various functions and senses, that serves as inspiration for Frances Barrett's new exhibition at ACCA.¬†Meatus turns the Southbank gallery into a body of sorts, using sound and light to create spaces that "bleeds and leaks", just as you would expect in a real body. In doing so, Barrett looks to¬†get audiences listening with their entire¬†self (not just their ears) and reassessing the capabilities of the body. ACCA commissioning curator, Annika Kristensen, said: ‚ÄúMeatus is a radical reimagining of the art gallery ‚Äď transforming a space which traditionally presents visual experiences into a theatrical and enveloping environment in which sound becomes the primary object." The exhibition is led by Barrett in collaboration with¬†Nina Buchanan, Debris Facility Pty Ltd., Hayley Forward, Brian Fuata, Del Lumanta and Sione Teumohenga. Originally due to show in 2020 as part of the Katthy Cavaliere Fellowship,¬†Meatus is showing at ACCA from April 2 to June 19.¬† After you finish exploring the exhibition, grab dinner at one of these restaurants in Southbank.¬†

Looking for Alibrandi

Looking for Alibrandi

In good news for anyone who was a teen from the early 1990s to early 2000s, Melina Marchetta's beloved Australian novel Looking for Alibrandi is being adapted for the stage and will show at Malthouse from July 8 to 24. Comedian Vidya Rajan has adapted the work for the stage, with the production to be directed by Stephen Nicolazzo (Loaded, Merciless Gods and Body Horror at Melbourne Fringe 2021). "We have been developing this adaptation for the last two years," says Malthouse artistic director, Matthew Lutton. "We love Looking for Alibrandi, and director Stephen Nicolazzo has a vision that offers a new lens whilst bringing it sensually to life." Like the generation-defining novel, the stage production of Looking for Alibrandi portrays the 1990s Mediterranean-Australian experience with striking clarity, exploring systemic racism from a migrant perspective. The production stars Chanella Macri (Australian Realness),Lucia Mastrantone, and Jennifer Vuletic (Because the Night) as the Alibrandi women, with Ashley Lyons, Hannah Monson and Dion Williams rounding out the cast. Looking for Alibrandi is on at Malthouse Theatre from July 8 to 24.

Lorde

Lorde

It's been a hot minute since Lorde last graced Australian shores but¬†the wait is almost over. Lorde is returning to Melbourne for her Solar Power tour¬†in March 2023 to showcase her distinct pop ballads¬†at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.¬† While Lorde may have burst onto the scene with a dark and almost melancholic style of pop with¬†Pure Heroine¬†and¬†Melodrama, the star's latest album¬†Solar Power¬†appears far more¬†sanguine if its first single to be released (also called 'Solar Power') is anything to go by. Lorde says: "The album is a celebration of the natural world, an attempt at immortalising the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I‚Äôm outdoors. In times of heartache, grief, deep love or confusion, I look to the natural world for answers. I‚Äôve learnt to breathe out, and tune in. This is what came through.‚ÄĚ See Lorde as part of her Solar Power tour at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on March 10 or March 11, 2023.¬†

Ronny Chieng: Hope You Get Rich

Ronny Chieng: Hope You Get Rich

Comedian Ronny Chieng has had a busy couple of years. After his 2019 Netflix special (Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America!) went gangbusters, the performer has dived into Hollywood and scored a number of roles in films like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Crazy Rich Asians and Godzilla vs. Kong. Not to mention his regular appearances on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. But it looks like Ronny hasn’t forgotten about his humble beginnings back in Australia where he honed his comic stylings on the Melbourne stand-up circuit while he was a student, before landing his first big break as a Raw Comedy Award finalist during the 2010 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Somehow Chieng is also finding the time to come back to Australia, bringing his new show, Ronny Chieng: Hope You Get Rich, to east coast cities this autumn. The tour has already travelled America where it played to sold out audiences, and marks Chieng's first time performing live in Australia since 2019. Ronny Chieng: Hope You Get Rich is showing in Melbourne at the Palais Theatre for one night only on March 26. Tickets are available now. 

To Barbra, with Love

To Barbra, with Love

On April 24 in 1942, Barbra Streisand was born in New York City. Who knew then that she would go on to be one of the most successful artists of all time. With a career spanning more than 60 years, Streisand is responsible for a whopping 50 studio albums. Not to mention her work on stage and in film, which has made her one of the few stars to hold an EGOT (an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award). This April, the MSO is celebrating the 80th birthday of Barbra Streisand with To Barbra, with Love. The special concert features some of Streisand's best-known songs as performed by some of Australia's own powerhouse voices such as Katie Noonan, Caroline O'Connor (Chicago, West Side Story), Elise McCann (Merrily We Roll Along, Matilda) and Ryan Gonzalez (Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Jersey Boys).  To Barbra, with Love is conducted by Vanessa Scammell with direction from Cameron Mitchell. Come expecting a spectacular performance spanning Streisand's top songs including 'Guilty', 'Evergreen', 'Send in the Clowns' and 'No More Tears'. See To Barbra, with Love at Hamer Hall from April 21 to 23. Tickets are available now.

The Affordable Art Fair

The Affordable Art Fair

Art can seem exxy. It's not that it's trying to rort you, it's just that it's not always apparent how much time,¬†expertise and materials go into making a work. Having said that, there¬†are ways to purchase art if your discretionary funds are a little lacking.¬† The Affordable Art Fair pitches itself as having "revolutionised and democratised the art market" by curating art fairs around the world where works go for between roughly $100 to $10,000.¬† After it's last Melbourne outing in 2019, the Affordable Art Fair hasn't been able to run an in-person event in our fair city due to lockdowns (though we were treated to an online art fair in 2020). It's back this year, however, with the Affordable Art Fair on at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from September 1 to 4. This is amended from the fair's original March dates, with ticket holders from these dates able to roll their tickets over to the spring fair, should they wish. The¬†spring¬†fair will feature works from¬†dozens of Australian galleries, showcasing works that span the full gamut of visual art ‚Äď oil paintings right through to sculptures. If you're overwhelmed by the scope, you can join the daily guided tour which points out some of¬†the top picks for every budget as selected by the fair's director. There will also be interactive workshops, talks and live demonstrations. The Affordable Art Fair¬†is on at MCEC from September 1 to 4, with tickets available now through the website.¬†

Flux Job

Flux Job

The last two years have felt like an endless cycle of stopping and starting,¬†where time went a bit wobbly ‚Äď some weeks seemed to drag on forever, and yet months could go by without noticing.¬† It's in this environment that choreographer Lucy Guerin created her latest work,¬†Flux Job. Coming to Arts House for a limited season this March,¬†Flux Job sets four dancers against the aftermath of an unnamed devastating event, using the work to ask who are we when alone, and who are we when with other people?¬† This is a cinematic work of dance where you can expect techniques such as edits, close-ups and slow motion, toying with the pertinent themes of isolation and the danger of proximity.¬†Guerin has teamed up with theatre-maker Adena Jacobs for¬†Flux Job, producing a work where the dancers express themselves through movement as well as scripted¬†words. Flux Job¬†is showing at Arts House from March 16 to 20.

Black Cockatoo

Black Cockatoo

In 1868, Johnny Mullagh (born Unaarrimin) became one of the first people¬†from Australia to play¬†sport internationally when he¬†joined¬†the¬†Aboriginal Cricket Tour of England. A¬†Jardwadjali man, Mullagh was a skilled cricket all-rounder, playing 47 matches on the tour, scoring 1698 runs, bowling 1877 overs and taking 245 wickets. Though he faced racism and discrimination as an Aboriginal man in 19th century Victoria, Mullagh was an advocate for Indigenous rights and was in 2020 inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.¬† It's the story of Mullagh that serves as inspiration for¬†Black Cockatoo, a new play coming to Geelong Arts Centre this March. Written by Geoffrey Atherden (Motherand Son, Babakiueria) and directed by Wesley Enoch (Black Diggers),¬†Black Cockatoo¬†is a story about hope, strength, resistance and possibility ‚Äď not just cricket.¬† Following Mullagh and the rest of the team's tour of England they returned home and were not given the hero's welcome they deserved.¬†In the present day, a group of young activists determined to bring Mullagh's story to light break into the Wimmera Discovery Centre to expose the truth ‚Äď and in doing so, uncover a story of tragedy and triumph. The productions stars Joseph Althouse (Wunujaka), Colin Smith (Jagera), Mark Nannup (Yamaji/Noongar) and¬† Phoebe Grainer (Djungan).¬† Black Cockatoo¬†is on at Bunjil Place on March 19 and Geelong Arts Centre from March 22 to 26.¬†

Chase

Chase

After ten years of developing and performing the character, Carly Sheppard's Chase is coming to Malthouse in a performance that will likely offend, in one way or another, every audience member. Kamarra Bell-Wykes directs in this metaphorical train wreck that mows down Australia's colonial shame. Chase is Sheppard's bogan alter-ego, a character stitched together from Sheppard's youth growing up in Frankston that is used by the performer to mercilessly explore culture in Australia. No matter what the Frankston-born, YouTube-posting Chase does, it's impossible to look away as the character holds an unflattering mirror up to Australia. The production is playing at Malthouse for an extremely limited season, with only six performances planned. Tickets are available now.

News (473)

Melbourne is getting 1,500 e-scooters to help you zip around the city

Melbourne is getting 1,500 e-scooters to help you zip around the city

Melburnians will soon have an extra transport option to zip around the city. From February 1, Melbourne is teaming up with Lime and Neuron Mobility to provide residents and tourists with 1,500 e-scooters to ride on.¬† The e-scooter rollout is part of a one-year trial that will place the vehicles in three inner-city¬†council areas: Melbourne, Yarra and Port Phillip. Should it prove successful, the trial¬†could¬† be extended.¬† The new low-emission e-scooters can travel up to 20km per hour and can be accessed via the Lime and Neuron apps, similar to how you might hire a Lime e-bike.¬†The vehicles can be used in bike lanes, shared paths and low-speed roads but not on footpaths ‚Ästriders also must wear a helmet while riding and give way to pedestrians on shared paths.¬† Photograph: Supplied / Lime Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp said: "The trial will provide another fun new way to get to your next meeting, meet people after work or explore our stunning city." "It‚Äôs going to be exciting seeing flashes of neon orange and green on our streets, and we can‚Äôt wait to see people safely scooting about." The Lime and Neuron e-scooters begin rolling out across Melbourne from February 1. This grocery (and RAT) service¬†can deliver your order in just 15 minutes.

The illegally demolished Corkman pub has been resurrected as a public artwork

The illegally demolished Corkman pub has been resurrected as a public artwork

In 2016, Carlton lost one of its oldest buildings when two developers illegally demolished the Corkman Irish Pub (formerly the Carlton Inn). While we can't bring the pub itself back, we can remember it with a new public artwork memorialising the 160-year-old pub.  'Distant Things Appear Suddenly Near' is a new public art commission from Melbourne city council that recreates the façade of the Corkman hotel. Created by Irish artist, Sean Lynch, who says the artwork directly speaks to the notorious demolition of the building. "'Distant Things Appear Suddenly Near' places an emphasis on objects and understandings of spaces that have been marginalised in the continued growth of the contemporary city," said Lynch. The work also interweaves elements of another pubic work (specifically Hossein Valamanesh’s 'Faultline') and has an accompanying voiceover. The public work will live for the next 18 months at University Square in Carlton, just around the corner from where the pub itself once stood.  Here are more public artworks that you should know around Melbourne.  

Victorians are getting 250,000 free public transport vouchers this festive season

Victorians are getting 250,000 free public transport vouchers this festive season

Travelling into the Melbourne CBD is about to get a lot cheaper, with the state government giving away 250,000 free public transport vouchers this summer. To encourage people back into the city over the festive season and summer holidays, 50,000 public transport vouchers are up for grabs across five event categories. Those categories include Christmas, performing arts, galleries and attractions, dining, and shopping.  The vouchers are available from the PTV website from Thursday, December 16. Those successful in securing a voucher simply need to show it to staff when entering or exiting their station (or if stopped by a ticket inspector) while travelling on the valid voucher date. Vouchers can be used from December 18 onwards. Even if you miss out on a free travel voucher, you can still take advantage of free public transport across the network on Christmas Day and on New Year's Eve. The free holiday travel periods run from 3am December 25 to 3am December 26, and from 6pm December 31 until 6am on January 1. No special ticket is required on metro transport, simply don't use your Myki during those periods. If you're catching a V/Line service you'll still need to make a free booking to secure a spot. Metro trains and most trams will run all night on New Year's Eve as well. It's not all good news, however, with metro public transport fares increasing an average of 2.3 per cent from January 1, 2022. That rise means that daily fares in zone 1, zone 2 and zone 1 and 2, will be 20 ce

Circus Oz to close permanently after four decades of performing

Circus Oz to close permanently after four decades of performing

Circus Oz has announced today that it will cease operating following a poll that had company members reject reforms laid out in a government review.¬† Over the last two years, Circus Oz has undergone an internal assessment that looked at different artistic and business models that would allow the company to prosper, support performers and the art form, and entertain audiences. A vision to¬†achieve these goals was confirmed by the Circus Oz board. This year, Circus Oz underwent an independent review¬†commissioned jointly by Creative Victoria and the Australia Council for the Arts. This review highlighted "systemic issues holding back the company" and asked for certain reforms to be made (such as broadening membership criteria and introducing an entirely skills-based board) if Circus Oz wanted to continue to receive public funding.¬† Following this, Circus Oz company members¬†(a body that is made up mostly of former Circus Oz employees) were anonymously polled to indicate whether they would support the proposed reforms. The poll indicated that a formal vote to accept the reforms would fail ‚Äď meaning the company would lose vital government funding, leading to the decision to close Circus Oz for good after more than 40 years of operation. Circus Oz was launched in 1977 and had only recently announced its first show post-lockdown, an innovative city-wide production called Everything but the Circus. The board has released a statement stating: "After surviving the pandemic challenges and

Meet the NGV Triennial artist making sustainable PPE from food scraps

Meet the NGV Triennial artist making sustainable PPE from food scraps

The Earth‚Äôs environmental issues have been given the back seat in the face of the current coronavirus pandemic and after years of discouraging single-use items, they‚Äôve made a roaring, necessitous comeback in the form of masks, face shields and gloves.¬† But UK designer Alice Potts is proving that the two issues can work together, creating 'Dance Biodegradable Personal Protective Equipment (DBPPE) Post Covid Facemasks',¬†a series of 20 ‚Äúfully degradable‚ÄĚ face shields out of sustainable bioplastics as part of the blockbuster NGV Triennial exhibition. While the face shields really capture the 2020 zeitgeist, they aren‚Äôt what Potts originally planned to present for the blockbuster exhibition. Potts was approached to take part in the Triennial prior to lockdown, and the idea was that she‚Äôd present one of her sweat crystallisation works ‚Äď where she turns literal sweat into crystals and crystalline objects. ‚ÄúThen Covid happened and I think that changed everyone‚Äôs work and everyone‚Äôs practice,‚ÄĚ says Potts. ‚ÄúI had a massive fear that if I used people‚Äôs sweat and crystallised it, would Covid still be able to survive as a crystal?‚ÄĚ With that in mind, Potts turned her attention to the bioplastics elements of her practice ‚Äď material that looks and feels like plastic but is made out of organic matter like algae and seaweed (and in Potts‚Äôs case, made from discarded food waste). ‚ÄúI made it a challenge for myself, to develop materials with all the restrictions that were going on. So the [UK's]

Looking for Alibrandi hits the stage for Malthouse's 2022 season

Looking for Alibrandi hits the stage for Malthouse's 2022 season

Subscriptions are out but performances are back on at Malthouse Theatre, with the company shifting to a new model for its 2022 season.¬†Those keenly awaiting the¬†annual season launch are out of luck, with Malthouse moving away from¬†disclosing all its secrets at once in favour of rolling production announcements throughout the year ‚Äď the first¬†of which have just been revealed.¬† In 2022, Malthouse presents¬†ten¬†new Australian productions, shepherded in by the company's summer outdoor stage program¬†that's on from now until April. Lockdown-proof, digital productions that have been in the works while theatres were shut in 2021 are also in the works, including a massive, user-friendly and innovative archive of Malthouse's history called¬†M Stories and an incredibly in-depth and interactive digital version of¬†Because the Night¬†that essentially turns the watershed production into a video game that can be played¬†anywhere with an internet connection. Photograph: Supplied / TS Publicity That's before we even get to the indoor, in-real-life productions that are planned, the first of which is comedy Stay Woke¬†(Feb 25-Mar 13)¬†by Aran Thangaratnam. The work revolves around brothers Niv and Sai, who head off on a ski trip hoping to resolve their lifelong rivalry. But the holiday chit-chat turns political, with Sai's girlfriend Kate ending up in the middle of it.¬†Malthouse artistic director, Matthew Lutton, calls¬†Stay Woke an "astonishingly good and addictive comedy", with the work featuring¬†G

Melbourne to ring in the new year with Australia's largest ever drone display

Melbourne to ring in the new year with Australia's largest ever drone display

Melbourne's annual New Year's Eve midnight fireworks have a little competition this year. To help ring out 2021, Melbourne¬†is hosting Australia's largest ever drone display, with 350 drones¬†taking to the sky to wow audiences with a dazzling aerial performance.¬† The seven-minute drone swarm will take place over Dockland's Victoria Harbour twice on New Year's Eve,¬†before both the 9.30pm and midnight fireworks displays. Melbourne lord mayor, Sally Capp, said: "With 350 drones lighting up the sky ‚Äď this will be one of the first drone shows of this scale to ever take place in the southern hemisphere." The show comes from international drone art organisation Celestial, which has previously provided a drone performance for¬†Edinburgh's 2020 New Year's Eve celebrations, as well as for Amnesty International's 60th anniversary. Take a look at the Edinburgh performance below to get a sense of the scale and spectacle of the Melbourne event.¬† Melbourne will once again instate ticketed¬†celebration zones for the New Year's Eve displays, with zones planned in Alexandra Gardens, Docklands, Flagstaff Gardens and Treasury Gardens. These areas will feature family-friendly entertainment, food trucks, music and amenities, and you must be fully vaccinated to attend.¬† The New Year's Eve Street Feasts are also back for 2021, with eight precincts around Melbourne (including in Russell Place, Cohen Place and at Fed Square) to host food pop-ups from favourite local restaurants as well as live musi

Melbourne's theatres to dim their lights in honour of Bert Newton

Melbourne's theatres to dim their lights in honour of Bert Newton

Renowned Australian entertainer Bert Newton will be honoured by Melbourne's east end theatre district tonight in¬†memory of his contribution to the city's performing arts community. At 7.30pm on Thursday, November 11, some of Melbourne's most famous theatres will dim their lights for one minute as a tribute to Newton. The dimming of the lights is a tradition reserved only for those who've¬†gone above and beyond in contributing to the theatre industry, with participating venues (such as the Princess, Regent, Athenaeum and Comedy theatres) unanimous in their decision to grant this honour to Newton.¬† Born in Fitzroy in 1938, Bert Newton entered the entertainment industry at the age of 15 working for radio station 3XY which was based out of the Princess Theatre. During his career Newton¬†was also part of the great revival of Melbourne's theatre industry, and has performed most of the city's major theatres in productions of¬†Beauty and the Beast,¬†The Sound of Music,¬†The Producers,¬†Annie,¬†The Rocky Horror Picture Show and¬†Wicked. CEO for the Marriner Group, Jason Marriner, said: "Bert made an enormous contribution to the theatre, and we should be forever grateful that so many of his iconic performances were on the stages of Melbourne‚Äôs east end theatres.‚ÄĚ A state funeral service for Bert Newton AM MBE will¬†be held at St Patrick's Cathedral in East Melbourne on Friday, November 12 and will be live-streamed.¬†

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is being condensed into just one part

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is being condensed into just one part

If you've been hankering to see the full mammoth magical production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child¬†in Melbourne, you better book your tickets ASAP. From March 27 2022, the original five-hour, two-part production will close to be replaced by a one-part, reimagined production that will reopen at the Princess Theatre in May.¬† The one-part, reimagined production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child¬†comes from the play's original creatives, including Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and (of course) J.K. Rowling. Thorne and Tiffany said: "Revisiting the play has been an illuminating process of rediscovery; we challenged ourselves to find a new way to distill our story in the simplest and most truthful way possible." While not as long, the new version still follows the same story, in which¬†audiences return to Hogwarts 19 years after the seventh book ended.¬† Melbourne isn't the first city to debut the condensed version of¬†Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with the Broadway production reopening with the world premiere of the new one-part play on November 16, 2021. Toronto and San Francisco will also host the reimagined play, while the West End and Hamburg productions will continue with the original two-part format.¬† Those wanting to see the original two-part production of¬†Harry Potter and the Cursed Child can book tickets now for performances until March 27, 2022. Tickets for the reimagined one-part play go on sale November 19 for performances from May 2022 ‚Äď or you can sign up for th

Vaccinated Victorians can now travel to NSW without quarantining

Vaccinated Victorians can now travel to NSW without quarantining

Been missing family and friends in NSW? From November 1, fully vaccinated Victorians can freely travel to Sydney and regional NSW. That means you can hop on a plane or in the car from today and travel to NSW without having to quarantine. Previous to November 1, all Victorians (regardless of vaccination status) were required to spend 14 days in quarantine if entering NSW. However, Victorians aged 16 and over who are not fully vaccinated cannot enter NSW for recreation purposes or a holiday from November 1. All travellers must apply for a permit to enter or re-enter Victoria, with different restrictions in place depending on your vaccination status. From November 1, Victoria (as well as NSW and the ACT) is also allowing fully vaccinated Australian citizens or permanent residents to return from overseas without having to quarantine. You can also depart Australian for international destinations from the same date, so long as you are fully vaccinated and get tested and receive a negative result within 72 hours of your departing flight.  Confused about what's currently open in Melbourne? Here's everything you need to know.   

Hit Broadway musical An American in Paris is coming to Australia

Hit Broadway musical An American in Paris is coming to Australia

The dazzlingly romantic musical¬†An American in Paris is finally making its way to Australian audiences. The Australian Ballet, alongside GWB Entertainment, is bringing the Tony Award-winning musical comedy to Australia in 2022, with seasons locked in most major Australian cities.¬† An American in Paris is based off the Gene Kelly-starring 1951 MGM film of the same name, in which a young American World War II vet falls in love with a French woman in (you guessed it) Paris. The enthusiastic dance numbers are backed by a score composed by George and Ira Gershwin, and include songs like 'I Got Rhythm' and 'Love is Here to Stay'. It's a lively, lavish and delightfully romantic production that premiered on Broadway in 2015 (the Time Out¬†New York team even got to peek behind the scenes) before going on to play on the West End, Tokyo and Beijing ‚Ästwinning four Tony Awards along the way.¬† Expect a mix of ballet and Broadway, with director and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon bringing¬†An American in Paris to life.¬†David Hallberg, artistic director of the Australian Ballet, said: "An American in Paris has been adapted for the stage by one of the world‚Äôs most in-demand choreographers and we have a great and long-standing relationship with Christopher. It‚Äôs exciting to be collaborating with him again, but this time on a musical, and we welcome the opportunity for a number of our dancers to perform in this incredible production and broaden their skills as artists.‚ÄĚ An American in Paris wi

Sidney Myer Music Bowl to reopen on October 30 with a concert for thousands

Sidney Myer Music Bowl to reopen on October 30 with a concert for thousands

Mark it in your calendars: live,¬†in-person music will return to Melbourne on October 30. The state government has announced that a concert for "several thousand people" will be held at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on October 30, subject to approval from the chief health officer, with smaller gigs also planned around to happen¬†simultaneously¬†around the state.¬† The line-up for the concert is still to be announced, though it is expected to showcase Victorian talent.¬†The concert forms part of Victoria's "vaccinated economy" trials, which will test event settings that are attached to the state's 80 per cent double vaccination target ‚Äď which we should hit around November 5.¬† Flemington Racecourse will also be taking part in the trials, with up to 10,000 guests expected to be permitted for the¬†Melbourne Cup Carnival's¬†final two days, Oaks Day and Stakes Day. Crowds will be permitted so long as Victoria has reached its 80 per cent double-dose target, with those wanting to attend needing to be fully vaccinated and wear a mask.¬† Similar trials are currently underway at venues such as cinemas, salons, churches, gyms, caf√©s and hotels in regional Victoria. Musician Georgia Maq is helping reopen Melbourne by working as a nurse vaccinator. ¬†