24 October 2019

Fourteen things to do around Canberra this weekend (25–27 October)

| Zoe Pleasants
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The Out and Loud Choral Festival

The Out and Loud Choral Festival is coming to Canberra for the first time. Photos: Supplied.

A busy weekend coming up full of festivals, music, movies and theatre. The Out and Loud Choral Festival is coming to Canberra for the first time, the You Are Here Festival returns after a year’s hiatus and the Canberra Narra Candle Festival will be celebrating Japanese culture this Saturday. The Canberra International Film Festival is presenting a three-day event celebrating the collaboration between Alfred Hitchcock and Ingrid Bergman, and the Dickson shops are hosting a free outdoor movie night this Saturday. It is the last weekend to see Opera Australia’s Westside Story at the Canberra Theatre and Daryl Somers in The Producers at the Gungahlin Theatre, while the Street Theatre is showing a locally written and produced play, Fragments, this weekend. Fragments tells the story of eight young people navigating high school. The Canberra Zombie walk is on this Saturday and both the National Portrait Gallery and Questacon are having after-hours functions this Friday night.

All weekend


Where: The Street Theatre
When: Friday 7:30 pm, Saturday 4:00 pm & 7:30 pm, Sunday 4:00 pm
The Street Theatre’s latest production, Fragments, is a play by local author and playwright Maura Pierlot. It tells the story of eight young people navigating high school and beyond, each working hard to keep it together and present the best version of themselves while struggling with self-doubt and even self-loathing. There’s the bubbly girl who tells people she’s ok, the high achiever who suddenly becomes intense, the young teen with the fake Instagram account and the uncommunicative boy. The play meshes these stories together to explore the mental health issues experienced by young people. Directed by Shelly Higgs and featuring an ensemble cast of young actors, this is theatre designed to get you talking. Tickets are $35 for adults, $32 for concession, $30 for under 30 and $25 for students. Book here.

Out and Loud Choral Festival

Where: Various venues
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Canberra is hosting the Out and Loud Choral Festival this weekend. The festival started in 2001 and since 2007 has been held every three years across Australia and New Zealand. It celebrates pride in the LGBTIQ+ community through music. Canberra’s own Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire will be performing along with choirs from Auckland, Sydney, Fiji, Timor Leste, Brisbane, Darwin, Western Australia and Melbourne at the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and Old Parliament House. And there will be a Gala Concert on Sunday 5:00 pm at Llewellyn Hall featuring combined choirs. Check out the program here. The festival is also featuring two guest performers – Sarahlouise Owens and Christopher Lincoln Bogg – who will sing in the James Turrell Skyspace of the National Gallery on Friday and Saturday at 4:30 pm and at the Gala Concert. Tickets to the Gala Concert are $35 for adults, $30 for concession and $24 for kids aged 5 to 15, book here.

Canberra International Film Festival

Where: Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive
When: Friday 7:30 pm, Saturday 7:30 pm & Sunday 2:00 pm
This weekend the Canberra International Film Festival is presenting a three-day prelude ahead of a full retrospective film festival next year celebrating the collaboration between Ingrid Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock was notorious for mistreating his actresses but with Bergman, he seemed to have met his match. Both Bergman and Hitchcock did some of their best work when they teamed-up between 1945 and 1949 to make these films:

  • Spellbound (1945)—a psychological thriller co-starring Gregory Peck—Friday, 7:30 pm
  • Notorious (1946)—a suspense masterpiece co-starring Cary Grant—Saturday, 7:30 pm
  • Under Capricon (1949)—a Technicolor drama set in convict-era Sydney—Sunday, 2:00 pm

Spellbound and Notorious were major box-office successes, nominated for many Oscars and still applauded by critics today but Under Capricon, an expensive Technicolor production, failed commercially and virtually disappeared from view for many decades but is today finding new fans. Tickets to each screening are $20 for adults, $17 for concession and a three-film pass for $45, book here.

Pricks and Bones

Pricks and Bones, an interactive audio-installation, is part of the You are Here Festival. Photo: You are Here website.

You Are Here Festival

Where: Various venues
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
The You Are Here Festival returns this weekend to inundate the city with independent and experimental art. The Festival began in 2011 as part of the Centenary of Canberra and was funded for three years. It continued until 2017 but took a break last year to re-think how to do things. It is returning this year with a curated three-day program of mostly new works including music, dance, hands-on workshops, spoken poetry, installations, discussions, a dinner party, community making, sleep training, projection art and much more. Check out the program here.


Spring Long Lunch

Where: Pialligo Estate
When: 12:00 noon–5:00 pm
Pialligo Estate is hosting a long lunch in its olive grove this Friday to celebrate the seasonal fruits and vegetables of spring. The lunch will include an oyster bar, a sharing menu designed by the Estate’s Executive Chef, Pialligo Estate Regional wines, tea and coffee. Gin and other drinks will also be available for purchase. And if a long lunch isn’t enough, kick-on to the after-party at the new Pialligo Fields bar featuring live music from Steve Amosa and TuchaSoul. Tickets for the lunch are $99, book here.

Fashionably Late

Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: 5:00 pm –8 pm
The Portrait Gallery is keeping its doors open late again this Friday for another of its spring soirees. Take a guided tour of the Women in Vogue exhibition, enjoy indie rock artist Hope Wilkins and acoustic songstresses Adriana & Bianca and Kim Yang, or get a new hairdo, inspired by the exhibition, courtesy of CIT hairdressers. Free entry, a ticket for the Vogue exhibition required for the tour.

Questacon After Dark

Where: Questacon
When: From 6:00 pm
Questacon is celebrating the start of spring with one of its adults-only Questacon After Dark events. Take a tour of Questacon and ask all the questions you want without being judged by a 10-year old. Witness mind-blowing demonstrations, enjoy some liquid nitrogen sorbet, take a turn on the freefall slide, or unwind in the pop-up bar under the Moon. The Atomic Cafe will be open for food and drinks beforehand, with burgers (beef, chicken, or vegetarian) available for pre-purchase with tickets. There are two sessions: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm and 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Tickets are $38, book here.


Farrah’s Liquor Collective Wine Tasting

Where: 8 Townsend St, Fyshwick
When: 9:00 am–5:00 pm
Stock up your wine cellar ahead of the festive season this Saturday at Farrah’s Liquor in Fyshwick. There will be a hundred wines to sample and discounts for bulk purchases.

Canberra Zombie Walk

Where: Glebe Park
When: 2:30–5:30 pm
The Canberra Zombie Walk is on again this Saturday. The undead will take over the city spreading their infection, celebrating Halloween and raising money for the Brain Foundation. Turn yourself into a zombie, monster or ghoul and head to Glebe Park, or get made up at the park by the experts, then shuffle through the city with the hordes. There will be prizes for the best-dressed kids and adults. At the end of the walk, there will be monster mash with local bands and artists performing at Garma Place and an after-party for adults at Reload Bar. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids, book here.

Music 4 Mental Health

Where: Polish White Eagle Club
When: 2:00 pm–6:00 pm
Canberra’s indie-pop choir Mixtape Chorus is hosting a free event to promote the benefits of singing, music and community for mental health. Experience these benefits first-hand as you learn a song with Mixtape Chorus! Also on the lineup is Endry, JAYNE, Evan Buckley and Scoob McGoon.

Canberra Narra Candle Festival

Where: Lennox Gardens
When: 4:00 pm–9:00 pm
Canberra’s annual celebration of Japanese culture is on this Saturday night at the Canberra Nara Candle Festival. In its 16th year, this festival celebrates the sister city relationship between Canberra and Japanese city, Nara. There will be over 3000 shimmering candles, Japanese food, arts and crafts – calligraphy, lantern making, origami and furoshiki – markets and stalls.

Dickson Movie Night

Where: Woolley Street Courtyard, Dickson
When: From 4:00 pm
Dickson’s Wolley Street is hosting a free outdoor cinema this Saturday. Grab some takeaway from one of Dickson’s many restaurants and settle in for two classic martial art movies—The Karate Kid (1984) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). Get there early to claim one of the limited seats or beanbags, or bring your own picnic rug or chairs. There will be popcorn, icecream and lollies available at the cinema. The Karate Kid starts at 4:30 pm, settle in from 4 pm and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon starts at 7:15 pm, settle in from 7:00 pm. No bookings required, just turn up!


A Mad Hatters High Tea

Where: Pialligo Estate
When: 11:00 am & 2:00 pm
Pialligo Estate is hosting its Mad Hatter’s High Tea again this Sunday—choose from two sessions. Enjoy a glass of sparkling wine, a tasty spread of treats and tea and coffee. Book a table for two or ten and don’t be late for an important date. Tickets are $60 per person, book here.


Where: Pialligo Estate
When: 12:00 noon–3:00 pm
Pialligo Estate is also hosting Gintopia this Sunday, an event designed to get you ready for gin season – summer. Hosted in the Estate’s new Fields bar, this event will showcase premium gin brands Four Pillars, Underground Spirits and Archie Rose including the opportunity to taste Archie Rose’s latest gins, produced in collaboration with Sydney Opera House –Inside Gin and Outside Gin. With Pialligo’s custom Gintonica Bar, you’ll be able to choose your own gin adventure with a range of botanicals and smorgasbord of garnishes. Free entry, drinks start from $10.

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