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Eleven things to do around Canberra this weekend (11–13 October)

Zoe Pleasants 14 October 2019

Pialligo Estate’s Oktoberfestival is on 12 to 13 October from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Photo: Supplied.

It is a busy weekend in Canberra coming up. While Floriade is winding up (it closes this Sunday with its annual Dogs’ Day Out), Opera Australia’s West Side Story and Bell Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing both open at the Canberra Theatre, Windows to the World starts this weekend and the National Gallery is launching its new learning gallery this Saturday. Both the National Portrait Gallery and National Museum are hosting after-hours events this Friday night, the Museum’s event is part of its DreamWorks Animation Exhibition and the Portrait Gallery’s event is part of its Women in Vogue exhibition. Pialligo Estate is celebrating Oktoberfest all weekend and South.Life in Tuggeranong is celebrating its recent expansion with a foodie event this Saturday.

All weekend

Oktoberfestival

Where: Pialligo Estate
When: Saturday & Sunday 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Pialligo Estate is celebrating Oktoberfest this weekend with bratwursts, Kranskies, schnitzels, a pig on a spit and premium Zierholz beer on tap. Come dressed as Mr & Ms Oktoberfest in your finest Lederhosen and Dirndls, flex your muscles in beer barrel races or the Hammerschlagen or join in some yodelling. Tickets for each day are $20 and include a commemorative stein of beer and entry to all competitions and games. Entry for kids is free and there will be a Kinder Zone to keep them entertained. Book here.

West Side Story

Where: Canberra Theatre
When: Friday 7:00 pm, Saturday 2:00 & 7:30 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm & 5:30 pm
Opera Australia’s s production of the iconic musical West Side Story arrived in Canberra this week and officially opens this Saturday at 7:30 pm. It will be showing until the end of the month. West Side Story was a revelation when it was first performed on Broadway in 1957 – it kills off its three leads, includes extra-marital sex and a rape scene. While these themes would hardly shock an audience today, the musical is still revered and has been adored for generations. It features the classic songs Maria, Tonight, Somewhere, America and I Feel Pretty. The plot is a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet. It is set in the Upper West Side neighbourhood of New York in the mid-50s where two gangs, the Jets (second-generation immigrants) and the Sharks (new arrivals from Puerto Rico), are battling it out for street domination. It doesn’t end well. Created by Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins, this production is directed and choreographed by Joey McKneely. Tickets from $99.90 for adults and $89.90 for concession, book here.

Bell Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

Where: Canberra Theatre
When: Friday 7:30 pm, Saturday 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm, Sunday 4:00 pm
Bell Shakespeare is in town with its latest production, Much Ado About Nothing. Claudio and Hero are deeply in love with each other while Beatrice and Benedick swap sassy insults to hide their feelings for each other. When Claudio is tricked into thinking Hero has been unfaithful, he is consumed by envy and rejects her at the altar. Shocked by what has happened, Benedick and Beatrice confess their love for each other and join forces to set things right. Will truth and honesty win the day? Will love conquer all? Directed by Bell Shakespeare’s Associate Director James Evans and starring Zindzi Okenyo as Beatrice, this production explores the struggle for identity and self-knowledge in a male-dominated world. Tickets from $78.50 for adults, $68.50 for concession, $42.50 for under 18s, book here.

Windows to the World 

Where: Various Embassies
When: Saturday & Sunday
Gain exclusive access to some of Canberra’s iconic embassies and high commissions over the next two weekends. Look through the Windows to the World to experience different cultures, beautiful gardens and intricate architecture without the price tag of an overseas holiday. This Saturday the Embassies of Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and the Federal Republic of Germany are open along with the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Government House and Parliament House. This Sunday the Embassies of Mongolia, Romania, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Kosovo, the Republic of Slovenia and the State of Qatar are open. View the program and book tickets here. Be quick! Quite a number of the tours are already sold out.

Elle Machpherson

Elle Macpherson, 1995 photographed by Andrew Macpherson.

Women in Vogue

Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Portrait Gallery is celebrating 60 years of Vogue Australia with an exhibition that showcases amazing portraits from the Vogue Australia archive including iconic portraits of Kylie Minogue and Elle Macpherson. The exhibition also includes rare examples of Vogue magazines from the early decades which will be on display alongside bold photographs of 21st-century women. The exhibition runs until 24 November. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for concession and entry is free for under 18s. Book here.

Seamless

Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Friday 5:30 & 6:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday 12:00 pm & 2:30 pm
The Australian Dance Party is performing Seamless this weekend at the Portrait Gallery. Originally created in 2017, the work challenges fashion as an industry driven by profit, advertising and fast trends which encourages consumers to treat clothes as disposable items, and in response seeks to imagine a new ‘vogue’. The Australian Dance Party has been reimagined the work to celebrate the Gallery’s Women in Vogue exhibition and will be performing it as part of the Gallery’s Fashionably Late event on Friday night and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Friday

DreamWorks Up Late

Where: National Museum of Australia
When: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Join the DreamWorks characters at the National Museum for some after-hours fun this Friday night. There will be a meeting of mega-minds with a panel discussion featuring senior lecturers Thomas Magill and Dan Miller, and former student James Lucas from the Academy of Interactive Entertainment. The academy is Australia’s most awarded 3D animation, game design and visual FX educator, and it has a campus right here in Canberra. After the discussion, explore the DreamWorks Animation exhibition or relax with a drink in the inflatable lounge. There will also be a screening of Megamind (2010), the story of the most brilliant (though least successful) supervillain the world has ever known. Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for concession and $25 for Museum Friends. Book here.

Fashionably Late

Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Over spring, the Portrait Gallery is keeping its doors open late for Friday evening soirees, starting this Friday. Take a guided tour of the Women in Vogue exhibition, enjoy the ambient electronic sounds of Aphir and Peach Lane and the Australian Dance Party’s performance of Seamless. Free entry, a ticket for the Vogue exhibition required for the tour.

Saturday

South.Point's new dining precinct

South.Point’s new dining precinct, launching on Saturday 12 October. Photo: Michelle Kroll, Region Media.

South.Life Launch

Where: Anketell Street, Tuggeranong
When: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Anketell Street in Tuggeranong has been expanding recently with a number of new cafes and restaurants, and more outdoor dining spaces. To celebrate, the precinct is hosting a foodie event this Saturday featuring the tasty delights of new and established food retailers from within the centre and on the street. There will be free Thomas the Tank Engine train rides, face painting and giant inflatable food items for the kids, 500 exclusive gift bags up for grabs and the chance to win a $500 gift card. More details here.

Tim Fairfax Learning Gallery and Studio Launch

Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: 10:30 am – 4:00 pm
The National Gallery is opening the Tim Fairfax Learning Gallery and Studio this Saturday, a place to learn about and create art. To celebrate, the Gallery will be running art-making workshops, hosting performances and talks and running family tours throughout the day. Draw from life in the Bodies of Art exhibition, craft your own poem for Urs Fischer’s burning sculpture Francesco, or pose for a family snap in the Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia exhibition.

Sunday

Carnivorous Plant Sale

Where: National Arboretum
When: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
The National Arboretum is hosting a sale of very hungry carnivorous plants this Sunday. Supplied by the Australasian Carnivorous Plant Society, a not-for-profit society that promotes the cultivation, conservation and education of carnivorous plants. Pick one up at the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion.


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