Melbourne Festival returns

By James Manton

The Melbourne Festival returns to the CBD this month as it boasts acts and pieces that explore humanity and the world we live in.

Artistic director Jonathan Holloway launched this year’s event – his second – with it running over 65 events during the 19 days.

The most prominent piece of the festival is likely to be New York performance artist Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, which explores popular music in America through each decade from 1776 to 2016.

The House of Mirrors is also likely to attract much attention from festivalgoers as Melburnians have the chance to discover the 40 tonnes of steel and 15 tonnes of glass put together by Melbourne artists Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney.

Yang Liping brings her critically acclaimed theatre production, Under Siege, to the Melbourne Festival this year as she retells the old Chinese tale of Farewell My Concubine with stunning visuals and like few productions seen before.

Two of Australia’s rising music stars come together to discuss the experiences that shaped their lives and music as half-Asian Australians in In Between Two.

If jaw-dropping acrobatic feats with a deeper, conceptual undercurrent appeals to you, then Backbone performed by Adelaide’s Gravity and Other Myths is a must-see during the festival as it explores human strength in all its forms.

The Festival Lounge at the newly renovated Forum Theatre is also worthwhile checking out, giving you the opportunity to talk to artists and fellow festivalgoers while enjoying a drink or two.

And finally, it will be difficult to walk around the city without noticing the yearly Art Trams, sporting different designs from different artists throughout Melbourne.

The Melbourne Festival runs from October 4-22.

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