Get up close with a deranged, murderous bride at a theatre show in an old warehouse, order the steak at Cremorne’s new all-day European bistro, learn how to score free business-class upgrades, and watch classic Aussie flick The Castle while floating in a hot spring. Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Ellen Fraser will be checking out this month (you can follow along here).
Until September 15, a North Melbourne warehouse will be transformed into the 36-room choose-your-own-adventure theatre show that is A Midnight Visit, in the vein of New York’s acclaimed Sleep No More. No two nights will be the same. My advice? If a deranged, murderous bride in a blood-stained dress asks you to follow her – do it.
Cremorne’s new all-day European bistro Frederic opens on the 16th, by restaurateur siblings Nathalie, Edouard and Antoine Reymond. Expect a sophisticated setting in tones of maroon and muted green behind a heritage-listed brick facade. The focal point of the menu will be steak, so if you’re after something snackier, head next door to laid-back little brother Fred’s.
Cult pop artist KAWS is perhaps best known for his colourful, cartoonish, limited-edition vinyl toys and giant sculptures. Now, after attracting adoring crowds in Hong Kong, stampedes in China and $22 million for a recent painting, he’s opening a huge new NGV show on the 20th.
Or take a road trip for your art fix – the Ballarat Foto Biennale (one of the country’s pre-eminent photographic festivals) and the Archibald Prize at TarraWarra Museum of Art are both happening this month.
Despite what you might have heard, scoring a free business-class upgrade takes more than a cheery disposition at the check-in counter. Knowing this, the team behind stylish, tech-led luggage label July (which just opened its first physical store) is hosting a series of talks from local travel experts. First up? “The Points Whisperer”.
Get ready for imaginative takes on traditional Filipino cuisine as two award-winning chefs – one from boundary-pushing Manila restaurant Toyo Eatery (which ranked 43rd in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants this year), the other from esoteric South Melbourne fine diner Lûmé – put on an adventurous degustation dinner. Think calamari noodles with coconut and taro, lamb adobo and a leche flan with pineapple.
For a less carnivorous fine-dining fix, get tickets to chef-yogi Paolo Arlotta’s (Vue de Monde, Tipo00, Kinfolk) Herbivorous Nights. The intimate vegetarian feast is all about the seasonal and the sustainable, presented in unexpected ways. Past dishes include endive with caramelised buttermilk and shiitake essence, and eggplant tiramisu with cardamom.
On September 12, you’ve got two-and-a-half hours to eat all the oysters you can stomach at beachside pub the Bleakhouse Hotel. When you’re done with the briny molluscs, move onto unlimited mussels and barbeque crab. The booze is free-flowing, too.
And master the art of the margherita at Italian diner Tipico’s hands-on class on the 21st. It kicks off at 10am with an espresso, then you’ll craft the perfect dough, work your way through toppings and pop it into the oven. Grab a vino and evaluate the results – charry, chewy base? Check. Salami under cheese? Controversial. There’ll be passata and pasta classes in future, too.
For the second year running, the 10-day literary jamboree that is the Melbourne Writers Festival is curated by writer and broadcaster Marieke Hardy. Hear from the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction winner Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Canadian novelist Patrick deWitt (French Exit), Scottish crime queen Val McDermid, and Ireland’s John Connolly.
On September 13, you can watch (and quote along to) Aussie classic The Castle while floating in a hot spring under the stars at Bathe in Cinema on the Mornington Peninsula. And another gem, Wes Anderson’s sensational The Grand Budapest Hotel is screening free at Fed Square on the 7th.