Enlighten Festival kicks off this weekend, bringing its light and splendour to the Parliamentary Triangle. What with the Night Noodle Markets, live entertainment, and the usual enthralling visuals, expect the NGA, Questacon, Old Parliament House, and all the spaces in between to come alive over the next two weeks.
Musically speaking, Music by the River has the Canberra Symphony Orchestra celebrating some of the great male composers from across the centuries, all in the picturesque setting of an evening by the water. Melbourne queer bubblegum punks Cry Club bring their ‘Robert Smith’ tour to Canberra this week as well, showing off the high-energy stage presence and no-holds-barred attitude that’s earning them recognition around the country.
Elsewhere, cricket fans have an exciting few days ahead of them as Manuka Oval plays host to the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup. England, Australia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Thailand, Pakistan and the West Indies will go head-to-head across five matches. Why not catch every game?
If you’re in need of a laugh, Monty Python’s Spamalot arrives at the Canberra Theatre this weekend, and Kathy Lette brings her Big Night Out to The Playhouse on Wednesday. As ever, there’s plenty going on around the city this weekend across music, theatre, markets, culture … you name it. Let’s dive in.
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre
When: Thursday and Friday at 7:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 pm and 7:00 pm.
It’s the Monty Python musical! Fans of the legendary British comedy troupe will feel right at home with Spamalot – the surreal and hilarious stage show that follows the adventures of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. The 2018 production honours the home-made style of Python’s original works, and there’s an invitation to book seats on stage to fully immerse yourself in the anarchic, satirical storytelling.
Where: Exhibition Park In Canberra
When: 8:30 am to 10:00 pm Friday and Saturday, 8:30 am to 6:30 pm Sunday.
It’s that time of year again. The Canberra show means many things to many different people – a rite of passage for youngsters, a nostalgia trip for older folks – and there certainly is something for everyone in this year’s program. With family tickets available for $52.40, you can get through the gates to check out the showbag pavilion, market stalls, Sideshow Alley, animal attractions and all sorts of entertainment.
Where: Manuka Oval
When: Thursday at 7:00 pm, Friday at 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
Some of the world’s best cricketers descend on Manuka Oval this week for the Women’s T20 World Cup. The short form of the game has become a spectacle since it was introduced nearly two decades ago. Altogether, seven different nations will go head to head in five matches at Manuka. It’s about as much cricket as you could possibly squeeze into three days and you can bring the whole family with tickets starting at just $5.
Where: Various locations around the Parliamentary Triangle
When: Various times. Illuminations are active every day between 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm.
Canberra’s biggest and brightest weekend, the annual festival of light returns to the Parliamentary Triangle this weekend. The program is expansive to say the least, with happenings scattered across Questacon, the National Gallery, Old Parliament House, and even more far-flung spaces such as the National Film and Sound Archive. There’s a lot to unpack, so head to enlightencanberra.com for the full rundown.
Where: Reconciliation Place
When: Friday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm. Saturday and Sunday from 4:00 pm to 10:30 pm.
Though they form part of the Enlighten program, the Night Noodle Markets have taken on a life of their own. Roam around an open field of nourishing food and drink options from a smorgasbord of Australian vendors. The luminous surrounds of the festival give the markets a unique atmosphere, meaning that even if you have to wait in line for that sweet, sweet Superbao, you’re not likely to find yourself bored.
Where: Pialligo Estate Glasshouse
When: Thursday and Friday at 6:00 pm.
Shakespeare by the Vines takes over the Pialligo Estate Glasshouse for this splendid dinner and theatre event. Kick back in a stunning venue and enjoy perhaps Shakespeare’s best-loved comedy, all the while being wined and dined with spectacular Canberra produce.
Where: UC Refectory
When: 8:00 pm start.
Star of The Secret Is Out and Dancing Queen, Alyssa Edwards returns to Australia for her biggest shows yet. Arriving just in time for Mardi Gras, this is your chance to catch this captivating performer in the flesh as she tours around the country on The Supreme Tour. Tickets are on sale for $51.05 via Moshtix with the option to upgrade to a VIP Meet & Greet package.
Where: Transit Bar, Akuna Street
When: 8:00 pm to 11:30 pm.
Haven’t heard of Cry Club yet? Consider this your introduction. Their uncompromising live shows have earned the ‘bubblegum punk’ duo a reputation as one of the country’s hottest acts, as well as a slot on this year’s Splendour In The Grass lineup. Their headline appearance at Transit Bar this Friday, in support of their recent Morrissey-maligning single ‘Robert Smith’, might be your last chance to catch them in such an intimate setting. Get down early to catch locals Peach Lane and Neko Pink.
Where: Nishi Gallery, New Acton
When: 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Fire Fight, featuring 30 artists from around the region, has been an enormous success. Run by a team of local art producers, the exhibition has featured works from the likes of Luke Chiswell, Musonga Mbogo and Sophie Dumaresq to name but a few. Proceeds from each work sold head directly to WIRES Wildlife Fund. You might never again get the chance to see such a wide range of Canberra artists exhibited in one place for such a worthy cause.
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre
When: 7:30 pm.
Vancouver indie rock legends The New Pornographers stop in at the Canberra Theatre this Friday. Don’t be alarmed by the name, this band create masterfully layered music supporting nuanced and enduring songwriting. This is a rare trip to our shores for this acclaimed band and an even rarer opportunity to see them in the nation’s capital. Support from local art-pop artist Pheno is a welcome surprise in the opening slot.
Where: National Film and Sound Archive
When: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
CLIPPED.TV has curated a series of nights around the country to premiere music videos from emerging and established musical artists. It’s a simple concept, but the impetus it gives the artists to create is an unexpectedly nurturing way to bring the music community together. Hope Wilkins, BIILMANN, Citizen Kay and more have contributed clips for the event.
Where: Queen Elizabeth II Park, Queanbeyan
When: 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
The Canberra Symphony Orchestra feature in the fourth annual Music by the River event, and they’ll be bringing a host of orchestral classics with them. Pieces from Mozart, Vivaldi, Haydn, Elgar and more are set to feature, giving an insight into some of the greatest male composers from across the centuries. Tickets are available for reserved seating in the panoramic amphitheatre, but entry to the grassy riverbank surrounds is totally free. Bring a camping chair and a picnic rug and settle in for an evening of fine music.
Where: Transit Bar
When: 8:00 pm – 12:00 am
Canberra’s hip-hop community are banding together this weekend in support of bushfire relief. International star Genesis Owusu heads up a talented roster of local MCs that prove Canberra’s status as an underrated musical hotbed. Tickets are available for $22.50 via Moshtix with proceeds going to the Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal (FRRR) and the Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES)
Where: sideway, East Row
When: 10:00 pm to 6:00 am
Fancy a night on the town? One of Canberra’s youngest venues, sideway is celebrating its first birthday this weekend, and everyone’s invited. With DJ sets from some of their favourite artists, the team behind sideway are pulling out all the stops. It’s going to be a big one.
Where: Lowe Street, Queanbeyan
When: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Canberra’s western neighbour brings its own multicultural flavour to the fore this weekend. Expect market stalls, delicious food from around the world, entertainment, and a special kids fringe area at this family-friendly event. Entry is free, and you’ll be welcome to roam around Lowe Street experiencing everything that Queanbeyan’s multicultural community has to offer.
Where: Kambri, ANU
When: 6:00 pm
Hot Chip is perhaps the most successful enduring pop band to emerge from the British Isles this century. Guitarist Al Doyle typically splits his time between Hot Chip and another world-conquering electronic outfit in LCD Soundsystem, but he still managed to find a moment to chat with us about curry, Netflix and growing older in a rock and roll world. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to catch such a legendary group in our little Canby.
Where: The Playhouse
When: 8:00 pm to 9:15 pm.
Australian-born author, screenwriter, journalist, party girl and all-round bonne vivant, Kathy Lette shares all in this intimate speaking appearance. From Puberty Blues to Menopause Blues, and tales of love, lust, men, marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, mastitis, sexist bosses, teenage-daughter-wrangling, ageing, toyboys, making the Queen laugh, and everything in between, Lette brings her whole story to the table with wit and warmth.