Do you feel like your brain is in a cultural rut? Like you haven’t fed it anything of worth, and it’s currently subsisting on a diet of Bachelor In Paradise, group chat drama and crappy office gossip?
We’re here to assist you. Here’s 10 things to get amongst this June around Australia that’ll a) give you primo date/dinner conversation that makes you seem really, painfully cool and b) gets you in and around some high brow stuff you might have missed if it wasn’t for us.
1. DANCE: Verve (Melbourne)
A performance featuring the choreography of three resident Australian Ballet choreographers – Tim Harbour, Stephen Baynes and Coryphée Alice Topp – Verve is being touted as an “explosive performance”, and it definitely sounds like it’s one for anybody who doesn’t usually vibe the rigidity of ballet.
2. THEATRE: Blackie Blackie Brown (Sydney)
From the mind of Nakkiah Lui, one of Australia’s most prominent young social commentators, comes this politically-charged comedy from Sydney Theatre Company about a superhero with the mission of killing all the descendants of the men who massacred her ancestors. Sound wild? It absolutely will be – STC is predicting viewers will be “laughing out loud one second, squirming in your seat the next”.
3. ART: Zero (Hobart)
Zero – essentially an art movement formed by a few artists the 1950’s from Düsseldorf, Germany – was about “a zone of silence and of pure possibilities for a new beginning” according to founder Otto Piene. This exhibition brings together some of the key international figures of the movement like Yves Klein and Marcel Duchamp for the first time in Australia.
4. LITERATURE: Laura & Emma
Laura is as upper crust as you can get in NYC – born into old money, Upper East Side living etc etc. Except in 1981, she has a one night stand with a man and winds up pregnant with Emma. This novel spans the ever-changing ’80s and ’90s NYC scene from the eyes of Laura and her spirited daughter Emma as she grows up. It’s a total page-turner and has thought-provoking takes on plenty of 2018-relevant issues.
5. HISTORY: Cartier: The Exhibition (Canberra)
300 glittering Cartier items, each with their own historical value, are currently on show at the National Gallery of Australia. Cartier’s history is filled with royalty, Hollywood celebrities of old and aristocrats, so even if you don’t care about sparkly things there’s plenty to learn about at this massive exhibition.
WHEN: until 22nd July.
6. THEATRE: Stalking The Bogeyman (Sydney)
I went to a play at the Old Fitz Theatre a few months ago and it’s a bloody good time – the theatre is underneath a great pub in Sydney’s Inner East. Stalking The Bogeyman is Red Line Productions (which operate out of the Old Fitz) latest. Based on a This American Life podcast episode, it explores the fallout when the person who sexually abused a man 25 years prior moves into his neighbourhood.
WHEN: 23rd May – 23rd June.
7. LITERATURE: Sing, Unburied, Sing
This Jesmyn Ward novel was published in September 2017, but the hype has really been strongest in the last couple of months. The heartbreaking story of 13 year old Jojo and his fractured family is told from different perspectives, and focuses on race, drug abuse, love and neglect. It will absolutely ruin you and then piece you back together. It’s a phenomenal and important read.
8. THEATRE: Wild (Melbourne)
A play from Olivier-winning playwright Mike Bartlett, Wild is a dark, comic twist on the Edward Snowden scandal, exploring privacy and surveillance in the digital age. Get on it quick – it wraps 9th June.
WHEN: until 9th June.
9. DANCE: Dark Emu (Sydney)
Bangarra Dance Theatre‘s first work of 2018 sounds like a doozy – inspired by Bruce Pascoe‘s book of the same name, the performance explores the life force of flora and fauna, and is directed by Stephen Page.
WHEN: 14 June – 14 July.
10. ART: Adelaide Biennial (Adelaide)
If you’re down in RADelaide, hit up the Adelaide Biennial for 2018. The theme this year was ‘Divided Worlds’ and spans across the Art Gallery of South Australia, Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, JamFactory and The Santos Museum of Economic Botany in the Adelaide Botanic Garden. You’ll have to hurry though, it wraps early June.
WHEN: until 3rd June.Image: Bangarra Dance Company