Melbourne theatre shows to see this winter

While you’re waiting for your session of  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child this winter, why not discover more of Melbourne’s magical theatre scene? From Shakespeare and ballet to fun musicals and circus, there are all sorts of shows to fire up your imagination.

A wide shot of a heritage theatre lit up at night

Harry Potter is just the tipping point for theatre in Melbourne

Come From Away

On 11 September, 2001, thousands of people unexpectedly found themselves in a small Canadian town when their planes were diverted from disaster. Come From Away tells the story of how they were embraced by the locals and formed lifelong friendships. This unlikely, uplifting musical was a Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation, so get in quick for tickets.

Melbourne Theatre Company

The MTC’s 2019 season continues with an adaptation of the much-loved Australian novel Storm Boy. This all-ages play features amazing life-size puppets. Next up is the West End adaptation of Tom Stoppard’s Oscar-winning period rom-com, Shakespeare in Love, which should be a hoot. Then it’s the world premiere of Golden Shield, a legal thriller about international communication in the digital age.

The Australian Ballet: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

After its sell-out premiere 2017 season, and two Helpmann Awards including best ballet, this adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s fun, fabulous tale returns. The Australian Ballet: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a sensory feast of delightful dancing, colourful costumes and sets, puppets, projections and illusions. Young and old will love this escape into the imagination.

Much Ado About Nothing

How long have people been exchanging sassy insults only to realise they’re actually in love? At least since the late 16th century, as Shakespeare’s timeless romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing reveals. See Beatrice and Benedict go at it in this Bell Shakespeare production that plays up the laughs while also revealing darker themes.

A large spire structure lit up at night, above a busy city street outside a performing arts centre

Catch Much Ado About Nothing at the Arts Centre

A Little Night Music

Victorian Opera are loosening their collars for Stephen Sondheim’s bittersweet musical comedy A Little Night Music. Best known for the song Send in the Clowns, it’s picked up everything from a Grammy to a ton of Tony Awards. Make a date with this class act that explores love’s many facets, from youthful flirtation to heartbreaking regret in the autumn years.

Thoroughly Modern Millie

A small-town girl arrives in New York during the Roaring 20s looking for a rich husband. Of course her plan goes awry, and not just because she falls for a guy without a dime to his name. Adapted from the 1967 movie, Thoroughly Modern Millie’s a fun-filled musical that scooped six Tony Awards for its Broadway debut in 2000.

Bring It On The Musical

If you’re thinking that a stage-musical adaptation of a 1990s film about young cheerleaders isn’t for you, consider this. Bring It On The Musical’s music and lyrics were written by no less than Lin-Manuel Miranda (yes, of Hamilton fame!). It’s played everywhere from Broadway to Melbourne, where it was such a hit last year that those cheerleaders are coming back. Their energetic, gymnastic dancing alone is reason enough to check this out.

A group of performers dressed as cheerleaders on a stage

Bring It On The Musical. Photo by Nico Keenan.

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo

Even if you’ve seen Swan Lake, you’ve never seen it like this before. Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo is coming to Melbourne to perform LAC, a fresh take on the ballet classic. This deep dive into the psyche blends dance styles old and new, with black-and-white set and costume designs evoking palace and forest. Expect the unexpected, as well as ballet’s timeless beauty.

Wunderage

Circus Oz and fellow contemporary circus troupe Company 2 are collaborating on a new show that invites young and old to dream. Wunderage is a wondrous, immersive experience with no seats or barriers. Thrilling physical circus feats, live music and laughs happen around, beside and above the audience at this world premiere. Until 30 June.

A group of circus performers in various quirky outfits

Wunderage by Circus Oz

Where to eat before or after the show

Planning to go potty for Potter at the Princess Theatre or bliss out with some ballet at the Arts Centre? Don’t do it on an empty stomach! Whichever show you’re seeing, get some tasty tips with our guide to pre and post-theatre dining in Melbourne.