10 more highlights of Melbourne Festival
We’ve narrowed down the behemoth line-up to a hit list of essentials
1 Please, Continue (Hamlet)
Dutch provocateurs Roger Bernat and Yan Duyvendak took inspiration from a real life murder case and Shakespeare’s tragedy to create this unique fusion of theatre and legal trial. Three actors (cast locally) will play the characters of Hamlet, Ophelia and Gertrude, alongside real-life barristers, a judge, and court psychologist, in a ‘mock trial’ of Hamlet for the murder of Polonius. Near the end of the performance, 12 audience members will be selected to form a jury. “If only we could start doing this around the world, I think justice would be better,” says artistic director Jonathan Holloway, who programmed Please, Continue
(Hamlet) for his second Melbourne Festival. à Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004. 1300 182 183. www.festival.melbourne/2017/. $30-$59. Oct 5-9.
2 All the Sex I’ve Ever Had
Canadian company Mammalian Diving Reflex describe their remit as “entertainment for the end of the world.” Their last show in Melbourne was Haircuts by
Children (featuring ten-yearolds giving adults haircuts) and their forthcoming show involves local over-65s talking about their sex lives. And yes, we will sit for two hours and listen to our more experienced elders talk about sex. Mammalian Diving Reflex write in their company statement: “We trust we’ll get through this century in one piece, we just have to get out of the way and let our natural tendencies of generosity unlock and redistribute the world’s abundance.” We like the cut of their jib. à Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004. 1300 182 183. www.festival.melbourne/2017/. $30-$69. Oct 12-15. 3 Under Siege This epic choreographic spectacle, with set and costume design by Tim Yip (of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame), depicts the 2nd century BC war between Chinese warlords Xiang Yu and Liu Bang. Dancer and choreographer Yang Liping created the work for stadiums – and only later, when she was invited to tour it outside of China, did she shrink it down for a more conventional theatre staging. Ms Yang is generally considered China’s ‘first lady of dance’; she shot to international fame in 1986 for her folk-inspired dancing, and is currently a judge on China’s So You Think You Can Dance.
Under Siege blends contemporary dance with traditional Chinese forms, including Kung Fu and Peking Opera. àarts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004. 1300 182 183. www.festival.melbourne/2017/. $30-$109. Oct 5-8. 4 All of My Friends Were There In their participatory theatre show Funeral, the Guerilla Museum simulated a funeral tribute for one audience member each night. In this new show, premiering as part of Melbourne Festival 2017, they use the same model but shift to into birthday celebration mode, taking the audience through the highlights of one life through song, dramatisation and performance. à Theatre Works, 14 Acland St, St Kilda 3182. 03 9534 3388. www.festival.melbourne/2017/. $49. Oct 5-11. 5 The Season This new play by Tasmanian Nathan Maynard draws on his history to create an intergenerational portrait of one family gathered together for the annual mutton bird harvest. Trevor Jamieson ( The Secret River) will star, alongside an all-indigenous cast, directed by Isaac Drandic. The Season premiered at Sydney Festival in January 2017, and has since played at Hobart’s Ten Days on the Island and Adelaide Festival. à Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt St, Southbank 3006. 03 9685 5111. www.festival.melbourne/2017/. $30-$59. Oct 12-15.
Did you know that the frontman of electropop group Hot Chip is also a solo singer-songwriter?
6 House of Mirrors Melbourne artists Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney created this befuddling labyrinth for Dark Mofo 2016. The installation is designed in such a way that visitors can often see others in the maze, but not themselves. Several steps in, it becomes impossible to maintain a sense of direction – and that’s when the confusion begins to set in. Here’s what Time Out Sydney had to say when they visited House of Mirrors at Sydney Festival 2017: “Navigating this maze of mirrors and optical illusions is especially fun after dark... and the experience is ever more disorienting if you’ve had a few cocktails beforehand. We were told it’s possible to complete the maze in 60 seconds – but where’s the fun in that? Our tips are to spend a bit of time playing with the illusions, then to stumble around until you creep yourself or your companions out, before finding your way back out again.” à Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004. 1300 182 183. www.festival. melbourne/2017/. $10. Oct 5-22. 7 Alexis Taylor You know Alexis Taylor as the frontman for UK electropop group Hot Chip – but did you know that he is also a solo singersongwriter? His third solo record Piano, released last year, sets aside pop affectations completely to focus on just piano and voice. It is a sombre, delicate collection of songs written in tribute to his friends who have passed away. Taylor will perform in the Melbourne Recital Centre’s Salon, playing songs from Piano, as well as a few reinterpretations of his own writing and songs by other artists. à Melbourne Recital Centre, 31 Sturt St, Southbank 3006. 03 9699 3333. www.festival.melbourne/2017/. $30-$49. Oct 12-14.
8 Like Running Water
Like Running Water is a one-nightonly musical event masterminded by Melbourne muso Ella Thompson, whom you might know as one half of electro-pop duo GL or as the co-frontwoman of pop group Dorsal Fins. She also is a lauded solo artist (it’s virtually impossible not to dance to her track ‘I Go On’). Thompson has teamed up with a host of other up-and-coming female musicians, including electro-pop artist Sui Zhen, pianist Clio Renner and visual artists Honey Long and Prue Stent, to explore the deconstruction of pop music. Self-described as a “multi-sensory experience”,
Like Running Water will feature strings and a woodwind quartet. à Melbourne Recital Centre, 31 Sturt St, Southbank 3006. 03 9699 3333. www. festival.melbourne/2017/. $29. Fri Oct 20. 9 Germinal This show attempts nothing less than the evolution of the universe, from the first glimpse of light to our contemporary world – in just an hour.
Germinal is the brainchild of French artists Halory Goerger and Antoine Defoort, of performance collective L’amicale De Production. It begins with an empty stage, darkness and four actors. In the opening scenes they discover light, microphones and speakers, effectively creating the show as they construct their world. As things get more complicated and the characters face social interaction, societal expectations and their own mortality, Germinal gets to the core of what it is that makes us human and how community can be maintained in our modern world. à Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt St, Southbank 3006. 03 9685 5111. www.festival.melbourne/2017/. $30-$69. Oct 19-22. 10 Caravan While the Melbourne Festival is an opportunity to see large-scale theatre, dance, art and music from all over the world, it’s also a chance to celebrate the local artists who are telling stories that reflect who we are and contributing to Melbourne’s thriving culture. Two such artists are Susie Dee and Nicci Wilks.
Caravan is written by four lauded local playwrights and long-time collaborators Patricia Cornelius, Melissa Reeves, Angus Cerini and Wayne Macauley, and will be performed in a caravan in the Malthouse Theatre forecourt. Susie Dee has built a reputation over the last decade for bold and uncompromising works. In Caravan, Dee and Wilks will navigate a difficult mother-daughter relationship, in a show that will take place over the course of one evening. ■ à Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt St, Southbank 3006. 03 9685 5111. www.festival. melbourne/2017/. $30-$59. Oct 5-22.
House of Mirrors