19 September

MURDER: 1920s Gangster Rules is a real-life murder mystery game

MURDER 1920s Gangster Rules

Pause that Miss Marple re-run, people: it’s time to step into the real world. Secret Squirrel, who also run immersive, interactive film night Underground Cinema, have just launched a real-life murder mystery night that’s less Colonel Mustard, more Gatsby-era pearls and prohibition. You’re invited to come and unravel the plot.

Gangland kingpins, slimy henchmen, gamblers, blackmailers: the Black Pearl’s Attic will be transformed into a dark Chicago speakeasy, filled with professional actors bringing the story to life. Tensions in the criminal underworld are high, and someone has just been murdered. The police are closing in, but it’s up to those in the club to pin down the murderer.

Your role? Dress up, for a start. When you book a ticket, you’ll be assigned a special character, along with secret information that you’ll need to play the game. During the game, you’re free to bribe, blackmail and sleuth your way to the truth: unless of course, you’re the one with something to hide.… Read more

11 September

Melbourne will be the first city to host the UK Imperial War Museum’s WW1 Centenary Exhibition

WW1 Centenary Exhibition

Herbert Hillier sketched the battlefield of Gallipoli just hours after the first landing on 26 April 1915. It’s rough, but there’s no mistaking the columns of smoke rising above the water and the debris floating below. After a century, fragments of memory like these can still feel unnervingly close.

Hillier’s sketch – along with a German calvary helmet (pictured), prosthetic hand and fragments from the Red Baron’s fallen aeroplane – was unveiled this morning at the Melbourne Museum.

The reason? For the first time ever, London’s Imperial War Museum will send a specially curated exhibition to nine cities across the world – with Melbourne as the first stop. Reliving the personal stories, collective experience and huge implications of the First World War, the WW1 Centenary Exhibition will open in April 2015 to coincide with the centenary of the Gallipoli landings.

“The First World War changed the world; it cost 16 million lives and affected the lives of many more,” said Diane Lees, Director-General of the IWN over a video recorded in London.… Read more

10 September

Dame Nellie Melba’s Coombe Estate opens to the public

Coombe Estate blog

If there’s one thing to know about Dame Nellie Melba – arguably Australia’s most famous opera singer – it’s that the lady had style. Rising to prominence in the late 19th century, Melba also became known for her refined taste in art, fashion and décor, and for her lush, seven-acre gardens surrounding her home in Coldstream, just adjacent to the Yarra Valley.

Tomorrow, Coombe: the Melba Estate opens to the public as a gallery, providore and suitably high-class restaurant. The grounds are free to explore – as is the gallery – and for $20, you can take a guided historical tour (Wed-Sun, 11am & 2pm), which includes a morning or afternoon tea.

Our tip: put on your best party hat, grab some buddies and make a fancy day out of it. After you’re finished roaming the grounds, stroll into the home and admire the gallery. The collection includes Melba’s 14-piece Louis Vuitton luggage set, Hermes riding boots and Cartier handbags from Paris (we told you she had style). Inside the providore, you can pick up exclusive Melba memorabilia and jams, and in the adjacent restaurant, you better believe Peach Melba will make an appearance on the menu.… Read more

10 September

Work-Shop arrives in Melbourne

Work Shop

When Chester Garcia and Matt Branagan set up Sydney’s Work-Shop in June 2013, their mission was simple: to help people unleash their creativity, and to offer short creative courses that didn’t cost a week’s pay.

And that’s what happened. In collaboration with artists and experts, Work-Shop has fostered whole new clans of Sydney unicyclists, Ottoman-makers, street artists, tattoo illustrators, rappers and coffee-shop networkers.

Now, it’s Melbourne’s turn. This week, Chester and Matt opened doors alongside consulting art agency Juddy Roller, and kicked things off with a terrarium-making workshop with Instagram-famous Candy Sparkles. Last night saw a group of budding artists try their hands at abstract painting and drawing (pictured).

“What we’re trying to do is to get people to change their perception of what they’re capable of,” says Garcia. Do you think you’ve got what it takes to learn the harmonica (Thu Sep 11. 8pm. $30), or to master sleight of hand at the How to be a Houdini workshop?… Read more

8 September

Support Act launches Bandwagon fundraising drive for musicians in hardship

Posted by in Music, News

Support Act

We’re all familiar with the trope of the struggling musician – living off the meagre spoils of the last gig, scrounging coins for much-needed new equipment, car spluttering on the last drops of petrol to the next low-paying appearance.

But then, we’re also convinced that the moment a musician, band manager, producer or rock journo finds moderate success, then they’re financially secure for life. Rich, even.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Last Wednesday morning, members of Melbourne music royalty, Pozible staff and media gathered at Allan’s Billy Hyde CBD store to launch Bandwagon: the biggest crowd funding campaign yet for Australian charity Support Act. The organisation aims to help music professionals experiencing financial hardship, whether this is due to injury, illness or personal crisis.

“People think that if your song gets on the radio or you’re on Rage then you’re set,” says Hannah Findlay of rural Victorian band Stonefield.… Read more