Melbourne Festival Top Picks 2012

With over 70 works in the program for the 2012 Melbourne Festival, it can be daunting choosing which shows to attend (especially on a budget!). The festival officially kicks off on Thursday October 11, and in the lead up to opening we have selected 5 picks for the festival to help you decide!

Outgoing festival director Brett Sheehy has put together his fourth (and final) Melbourne Festival featuring 18 world premieres and 33 Australian premieres in a 17 day program set to take Melbourne by storm.

“For my final Melbourne Festival program, I have sought to showcase the newest works from sone of the finest artists I’ve been honoured to work with over the past ten years”, Sheehy said.

Melbourne Festival have a free iPhone App to help you plan your Festival Calendar and this year the Melbourne Festival have collaborated with internationally renowned festival producers Strut and Fret to create the new Foxtel Festival Hub: a custom designed hub, club, performance space and bar in the hear of the Festival precinct.

For more information visit 

Top Picks:

Never Did Me Any Harm

Never Did Me Any Harm
This powerful, poignant and exciting blend of dance and theatre (co-presented by Force Majeure and STC) is a captivating work featuring distinctively Australian humour.

On a stage recreating a suburban Australian backyard, seven performers transition from parent to child and back again in a series of monologues and playful dance interludes, woven with inspired digital projection work and audio of real-life interviews with parents and children.

Tue 9 – Sat 13 Oct at 7pm
Thu 11 & Sat 13 Oct at 1.30pm

More info

After Life

After Life. Image by Mark Allan

This fusion of music, theatre and film is based on the acclaimed 1998 Japanese film of the same name. Six vocalists provided textured vocals accompanied by a 23-piece orchestra and are blended with an intriguing element of documentary.

As the characters struggle to choose a single, defining memory, their stories are intercut with footage of real people contemplating the same decision.

Thu 11 – Sat 13 Oct at 7.30pm

More info

Freeway – The Chet Baker Journey

Freeway Chet Baker - Tim DraxlInternationally renowned cabaret artist Tim Draxl brings the music of Chet Baker to life in this homage to West Coast Jazz of the 1950s.

“Freeway: The Chet Baker Journey catalogues a childhood, a jazz sensation, a drug habit (including drug related incarcerations), and an eternal wanderer – right through to his tragic end in Amsterdam aged 58. There’s no melodrama, only raw honesty” – Rowan James,

Tue 16 – Sat 20 Oct at 8pm
Sat 20 Oct at 4pm

1hr 15min no interval

More info 

 An Enemy of the People

An Enemy Of The People. Image by Arno Declair

Last year Schaubühne Berlin sold out its modern interpretation of Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler at the Melbourne Festival. This year the prestigious German theatre ensemble returns to present a bold new slant on Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People in a world premiere season co-commissioned by Melbourne Festival and the prestigious Avignon Festival.

Sun 21 Oct at 5pm
Mon 22 Oct at 7.30pm
Tue 23 Oct at 11.30am & 7.30pm
Thu 25 – Sat 27 Oct at 7.30pm

2hr no interval

More info

The House Of Dreaming

House of Dreaming

This work is an interactive piece of tactile delight for the young and the young at heart. Melbourne’s revolutionary Arena Theatre Company have constructed a fabulous full-sized house using an innovative combination of robotics, performers, projections and motion-sensitive detectors. The House of Dreaming will come alive as patrons journey through an evocative, ever-changing landscape at MTC’s Southbank Theatre, The Lawler.

Tue 23 Oct, 6pm – 9pm (last session 8pm)
Wed 24 – Sat 27 Oct
9am – 12pm (last session 11am)
1pm – 5pm (last session 4pm)
6pm – 9pm (last session 8pm)

Sessions every 30min
Duration up to 1hr

More info 

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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