Arts & Culture
They don’t call Melbourne Australia’s
cultural capital for no reason.
On any day and at any time, you can find an event or exhibition to enchant and inspire.
Art on Show
Take some time to explore The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. This expansive gallery in Federation Square focuses on Australian art. While the permanent collection is always interesting, there are a number of temporary installations on show. The work of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists who take their customary symbols and techniques and re-interpret them are on show at Past Legacy: Present Tense (until January). Previously seen at the Venice Biennale, The Pool (until 18 February) is an architecture exhibition that examines culture, landscape and architecture through a singular object, the swimming pool.
On the Stage
One of the Melbourne Theatre Company’s most anticipated productions is the adaptation of Mark Haddon’s book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (11 January – 18 February). This is the first time this acclaimed production from the UK’s National Theatre will be seen in Australia. At Arts Centre Melbourne, David Campbell takes to the stage in Dream Lover – The Bobby Darrin Musical (from 27 December), which promises to capture the glamour and passion of the big band era. A favourite is returning to the stage with the musical version of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (from 21 January) coming to the Regent Theatre. mtc.com.au artscentremelbourne.com.au marrinergroup.com.au
Day at the Museum
The newest exhibition at Melbourne Museum is absolutely fascinating. Inside Out (23 December – 11 February) is an immersive experience where visitors journey through frozen moments and abstracted everyday environments. Your unseen host will guide you through the adventure. At the museum’s Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Marramb-ik (I Am) (1 December – 18 February) explores the role of storytelling in the First Peoples’ culture using the contemporary medium of comics.
There are laughs, music and great storytelling during the theatre adaptation of Cressida Cowell’s much-loved book, Emily Brown and the Thing (3–14 January). It’s suitable for kids aged three and older. If they’re a bit bigger, they’ll love the colour and movement of The Unbelievables (3–13 January), combining jaw-dropping magic, circus tricks and spectacular ballroom dancing. The acrobats of Gravity & Other Myths are bringing their hair-raising stunts to A Simple Space (3–14 January), where seven performers and one musician push their physical limits. Whether you’re 12 or 52, you’ll be gasping at the spectacle. All shows are on at Arts Centre Melbourne.
Step Back in Time
If you’re captivated by the city, check out Melbourne: Foundations of a City at the Old Treasury Building. The exhibition brings together paintings, pictures and maps that show the evolution of Melbourne from European settlement to 1900. Also on display is Christmas at the Old Treasury (until 6 January), showcasing intricate, homemade decorations of the 1920s. At the State Library Victoria, Writing the War: personal stories from WWI brings together the letters, photographs and diaries of seven ordinary Australians who were sent to fight overseas. oldtreasurybuilding.org.au slv.vic.gov.au
The Beat Goes On
See a favourite act or discover the next big thing on a night out enjoying Melbourne’s thriving live music scene. The Tote, where the beer is cold and the music is loud, holds a special place in the hearts of Melbourne’s rockers. Booths line the dance floor at Ding Dong Lounge, where the entertainment can range from electronic up-and-comers to soul bands. For more than 20 years, the Evelyn Hotel has hosted live music seven nights a week. You might see a local band launching an album or a showcase from an indie label. thetotehotel.com dingdonglounge.com.au evelynhotel.com.au
Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia Robert Blackburn
Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Word on the StreetJanet (32), CoburgI hadn’t been to Melbourne Museum for years, but a friend suggested we check out Nocturnal, the adults-only Friday night event that happens once a month. It was very cool. We wandered through some of the collections, grabbed a drink, listened to one of the experts talk about space and saw a really cool band. It reminded me that there’s so much to see there.w museumsvictoria.com.auNocturnal Cesur Sanli
Arts Centre Melbourne Robert Blackburn
State Library Victoria Cameron Murray
Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy
The Tote, Collingwood Tahlia Palmer