Top 10 Melbourne Culture On this week 21/02/2021

Be a worse person.


10) Come From Away

21st February onwards

What: Come From Away tells the remarkable true story of thousands of stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland, Canada that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Don’t miss this breathtaking new musical written by Tony and Grammy nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by this year’s Tony winning Best Director, Christopher Ashley with musical staging by Tony nominee Kelly Devine. Newsweek cheers, “it takes you to a place you never want to leave!”

Why: Reminisce about a time when the slamming shut of borders was a simple act of racism rather than a sane response to an apocalyptic pandemic.


9) National Sustainable Living Festival 

21st-28th February

What: The National Sustainable Living Festival is the largest and longest-running sustainability-themed event in Australia. The festival aims to inspire and provide solutions to the sustainability and climate challenges currently faced, both now and into the future. The month-long program showcases local and international sustainability and climate thought leaders presenting critical understandings, observations and insights to help inform and guide the stark choices that now stand before all Australians. Cutting-edge sustainability and innovative climate change solutions will be presented in both virtual and in-person formats throughout the month of February, with live-streamed presentations, interactive discussion forums, and digital workshops on a variety of topics.

Why: Assuage your guilt about being a consumptive, wasteful a***hole with a couple of pamphlets and feigned interest.


8) The Adventures of Frog Boy: Launch Party

26th February

What: Experience a launch party for the release of photobook and poetry collection ‘The Adventures of Frog Boy’ by Rana The Frog. A night of music, performance, art & good company.

Why: Essentially reading a stranger’s diary whilst getting drunk.


7) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

25th February onwards

What: The magic has begun in Melbourne’s East End Theatre District. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a “wildly imaginative continuation of J.K. Rowling’s wizardry saga” (The Hollywood Reporter). Prepare to experience a thrilling new adventure that the Herald Sun Melbourne calls “Spellbinding – Like nothing on earth”.

Why: We haven’t read or seen it yet. Fingers crossed “the cursed child“ isn’t some reference to Rowling’s latest fun opinions concerning the transgender community.


6) Imaginaria

21st February onwards

What: Are you ready to step into the future? Imaginaria at The District Docklands brings you a celebration of imagination, technology and play. Fully interactive bespoke sounds, scents and lights activate in response to your movement as you walk, slide and glide through the dreamlike landscapes. Walk into a giant inflatable bubble, navigate a futuristic light maze or jump into a cosmic abyss. Check your shoes in at the departure lounge and prepare to venture into another dimension.

Why: If you can imagine something more olfactorily powerful than athlete’s foot it will help.


5) MMeets: Signal Issues

24th February

What: Signal issues is a performative, guided installation commenting on our relationship to space in the light of a society increasingly governed by surveillance, power and control. Since COVID-19, cities and communities are faced with new obstacles in determining how we negotiate public space and social interaction. Spatial Practitioners, Athiqah Ahmed and Dasha Tolotchkov, invite you to a performative viewing of a series of experiences that interrogate our behaviour in social spaces. Through choreographed movement blended with objects and dialogue, the performers inhabit and transform the carpark. Questioning issues of surveillance and power, the performance takes the audience on a collection of manipulated encounters that project the question: Who is in control?

Why: In the middle of the performance, drop your pants and take a huge s*** on the floor. It’s up to you whether this serves as a comment on control or lack thereof, but it’s sure to liven things up a bit.


4) Victorian Opera: The Sleeping Beauty

23rd-26th February

What: The classic fairy tale you know and love. It’s the one about the princess who pricks her finger on a spindle and falls into a deep sleep. For centuries, the kingdom slumbers. The only one who can save them is a handsome prince and his revitalising kiss. Composed in the aftermath of World War I and the Spanish flu pandemic, Respighi’s opera was a tale for a world on its knees. It’s the call for resilience and celebration that we all need right now. Victorian Opera presents this opera as it was intended. Magical larger-than-life puppets and charming music draw you into a wondrous dreamscape in this revival of our acclaimed 2017 production. Embrace the child within and join a resilient community emerging out of dark times with hope. It’s time for reawakening.

Why: Attempted mass murder, rape, puppets. Get all your child’s deep-seated psychological traumas sorted in one easy night. To make absolutely sure, whack them across the head a couple times.


3) Macbeth: Shakespeare Under the Stars

22nd February-6th March

What: Out, damned spot! Settle in for a night of murder and mayhem at the Gardens, positioned at the very heart of the action. Bear silent witness to the unravelling doom of a couple who kill together and die apart as you watch The Australian Shakespeare Company’s visceral rendition of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s darkest and most streamlined tragedy. Revel in the warm summer weather as the backdrop of Melbourne Gardens inspires an interplay of shadows that conjures the play’s supernatural tones and evoke the earthy environment of this psychological thriller. The continual seduction of the underworld in this play creates the conflict of morality versus maximum power – what’s done cannot be undone.

Why: Dream of a time when getting a promotion was as easy as just murdering someone.


2) Compose Queer

26th February

What: Compose Queer is an initiative to empower young queer composers. They have sourced four composers, providing them with a paid opportunity to compose for Divisi Chamber Singers and Sally Whitwell. At the heart of this project is the composers themselves, having the opportunity to write a new piece in a professional context, working with one of Australia’s leading musicians and a live ensemble.

Why: Find out whether a unique perspective actually results in tolerable contemporary art.


1) Transitions Film Festival 

23rd February-15th March

What: In a year of unprecedented disruption and upheaval, there has never been a more vital time to understand our world and imagine a better future.  The Transitions Film Festival returns this February with an enthralling program of world-changing documentaries about the existential challenges, creative innovations and heroic pioneers that can help us envision a new normal. Covering a huge range of mind-expanding themes including the wonder of nature, environmental activism, social and economic justice, ethical business, and creative innovation, this year’s Festival will change the way you look at the world.

Why: Remember when it was just films that changed the way you looked at the world rather than mass death and redundancy? Good times.

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