17 August 2023

Things to do in Canberra this week (18 - 24 August)

| Travis Radford
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Miss Peony

Miss Peony 牡丹小姐 is a bold new multilingual comedy of beauty pageants, unrealistic expectations, family and the need for connection. Photo: Supplied.

Bold new multilingual comedy Miss Peony 牡丹小姐 is showing at the Canberra Theatre Centre this week, alongside a show bringing some of Queen’s greatest hits alive on stage.

There’s also a special weekend ahead for honey lovers with Australia’s only working honey sommelier bringing a special tasting experience to the Canberra region.

And it’s the last chance to catch the Canberra Writers Festival before it leaves town. Plus, two Indigenous documentary screenings, an art play class and much more.

Last chance

Joe Brumm in conversation with Beejay Silcox. Image: Canberra Writers Festival.

Bluey creator Joe Brumm will join Canberra Writers Festival artistic director Beejay Silcox in conversation on Saturday 19 August. Image: Canberra Writers Festival.

Canberra Writers Festival

When: Until Sunday 20 August, various times
Where: Various locations, view full program here
Cost: Various prices, book here.

Bluey creator Joe Brumm, award-winning author Thomas Keneally and journalist Stan Grant are just a few of the more than 120 Australian (and some international) storytellers converging on Canberra for the five-day Canberra Writers Festival. This year’s theme is ‘Power Politics Passion’, with 74 events, 60 conversations, 12 masterclasses and more over the life of the festival.

Friday to Sunday

Bee guy

Head beekeeper at Parliament House Cormac Farrell with the bees and their golden nectar that is producing a range of products, including honey vodka. Photo: Supplied.

Canberra Region Honey Weekend

When: Friday 18 to Sunday 20 August, various times
Where: Various locations, see full program here
Cost: From $85, book here.

Experience the flavours of Capital Region honeys across three days of honey tastings. All sessions run for two hours and will be complemented by a grazing board for guests to experience a honey and food pairing. Honey Merchant founder and Australia’s only working honey sommelier Jessica Locarnini and local beekeeper Nemori Honey Bees are behind the inaugural weekend.


Radio Redfern, 1989.

The Radio Redfern program played a pivotal role in informing and educating people about First Nations responses to 200 years of colonisation. Photo: NFSA.

88.9 Radio Redfern Screening and Panel Discussion

When: Saturday 19 August, from 6 pm
Where: National Film and Sound Archive, McCoy Circuit, Acton
Cost: $10 to $12, book here.

Set against a backdrop of contemporary Aboriginal music, 88.9 Radio Redfern explores the people, attitudes and philosophies behind the lead-up to Australia’s bicentennial year. The documentary screening will be followed by a panel discussion with key figures involved in the development of Radio Redfern, hosted by Torres Strait Islander journalist and broadcaster Rhianna Patrick.

Australian Defence Force Academy Open Day.

The annual open day will feature exciting demonstrations and displays and the opportunity to speak with current staff and cadets. Photo: Australian Defence Force.

Australian Defence Force Academy Open Day

When: Saturday 19 August, 9 am to 4 pm
Where: Australian Defence Force Academy, Northcott Drive, Campbell
Cost: Free, no booking required.

The Australian Defence Force Academy will hold its annual public open day this Saturday. Prospective Navy, Army and Air Force candidates will have the opportunity to learn about life and study at the Academy and receive application process guidance. Staff, including existing midshipmen and officer cadets, will be available to speak to, and demonstrations and displays will also be held.

Art Play for curious adults

Why should kids get to have all the fun? Curious adults are invited to come and explore their art practice. Photo: Tuggeranong Arts Centre.

Art Play for Curious Adults

When: Saturdays (until 16 September), 10 am to 12 pm
Where: Woden Library, Corinna Street, Phillip
Cost: $35 to $180, book here.

Explore the last 200 years of dynamic art practice through a variety of mediums. Drop in for a stand-alone class or sign up for a six week block, where you’ll experiment with abstraction, repeat pattern, the spiritual, the botanical, combining text and imagery for layered storytelling, and contemporary portraiture. The classes are led by interdisciplinary artist Blaide Lallemand.


Red Hill Playgroup.

Join the Red Hill playgroup every Monday from 9:30 am at Red Hill Primary School. Photo: File.

Red Hill Playgroup

When: Mondays (until week 9 of the school term), 9:30 am to 10:30 am
Where: Red Hill Primary School, Astrolabe Street, Red Hill
Cost: Free, no booking required.

Red Hill Primary School has launched a new playgroup program in its 63rd year of operation. The Inner South school, which has earned a reputation as one of Canberra’s largest and most diverse primary schools, started the group to provide a nurturing and stimulating environment. It is based on the belief that play is crucial in laying the foundation for a child’s growth and development.

Wednesday onwards

Miss Peony 牡丹小姐

When: Wednesday 23 to Saturday 26 August, various times
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Circuit, Canberra
Cost: $69.90 to $79.90 plus transaction fee, book here.

Miss Peony 牡丹小姐 is a bold new multilingual comedy of beauty pageants, unrealistic expectations, family and the need for connection. The play follows Poh Poh (grandmother), a former beauty queen who doesn’t care that her grandaughter Lily lives in a new country and a new century. Poh Poh pushes her granddaughter into entering the highly competitive Miss Peony beauty pageant.


Documentary screening: The Last Daughter (2022)

When: Thursday 24 August, 6 pm to 7:30 pm
Where: National Library of Australia, Parkes Place West, Canberra
Cost: Free, book here.

This special screening of The Last Daughter will feature a live discussion with its creator afterwards. The new Australian documentary about love, loss and reconnection follows Indigenous woman Brenda on her journey to uncover the truth about her path and reconcile two sides of her family. Along the way, she uncovers buried secrets, government lies and connections to family and culture.

Queen: It’s a Kinda Magic

When: Thursday 24 August, from 7:30 pm
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Circuit, Canberra
Cost: $65.50 to $76.50 plus transaction fee, book here.

Queen: It’s a Kinda Magic returns for its first Australian tour in two years. Watch the spectacle, grandeur and extravagance of Queen and Freddie Mercury come alive on stage and in concert, with big sound, big screens, crazy lighting and outlandish costumes. Expect a night of non-stop rock anthems, including ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘We Are the Champions’, ‘Radio GaGa’ and many more.

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