Arrivals & Departures Cultural calendar: Coming up this year in Melbourne

Photo of Gemma Nisbet

The already considerable appeal of Melbourne's arts and culture scene for visitors will get a boost this year from a host of big-name events. 

Many of us are already well acquainted with the attractions of Melbourne's busy calendar of arts and culture events. But just in case you're looking for an excuse to book a trip this year, here are just some of the major festivals, shows and more on the horizon...

Witty words

The Melbourne Comedy Festival returns from March 29 (until April 23), with the likes of Arj Barker, Daniel Kitson, Jimeoin, Paul Foot, Stephen K Amos, Anh Do, Judith Lucy, Denise Scott, Dave Hughes, Tom Ballard, Matt Okine, Wil Anderson and Hannah Gadsby on the lineup. 

Later in the year, the Melbourne Writers Festival (August 25 to September 3) will feature established and up-and-coming writers from around Australia and the world. 

On stage

The Book of Mormon has proved popular since its Australian premiere in Melbourne in January, and currently has tickets available into July. Aladdin will come to Her Majesty's Theatre from April 21, followed by a production of My Fair Lady directed by Julie Andrews (who played Eliza Doolittle in the original 1956 Broadway stage show) in May, and The Bodyguard (based on the film starring Whitney Houston) in August.

Until April, The Arts Centre is presenting the brand-new Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts, an artistic celebration of Australia's relationship with contemporary Asia, while the venue will also host an exclusive production of Lord of the Flies from April 5-9 and the Australian Ballet's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from September 12-30.

In style

Sandwiched between the Melbourne Fashion Festival (until March 19) and Melbourne Spring Fashion Week in September will be The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture, a Melbourne-exclusive exhibition at the NGV. A collaboration between the gallery and the House of Dior, the show will mark 70 years of the fashion label. 

The NGV is also hosting the NGV Festival of Photography, which runs through to August and features exhibitions, film screenings, discussions and more.

Winter Masterpieces

This year's Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition series will see Van Gogh and the Seasons at the National Gallery of Victoria from April 28 to July 9, featuring paintings and drawings on loan from galleries around the worlds.

Also part of the series is the new Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The magic of Aardman exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Federation Square. It'll be on from June 29 to October 29.

Picture at top: Melbourne's Federation Square. Picture by David Hannah/Visit Victoria.

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