Polite Society’s Social Diary – June

There's plenty to relish this month, including a much-anticipated Lear, a feast of fromages and the return of the Archibald Prize

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L.A Dance Project’s Romeo & Juliet Suite employs Prokofiev’s stunning score, but that’s pretty much the only traditional aspect of this acclaimed new production. Firstly, the pas-de-deux roles of Romeo and Juliet will be performed by three couples during the season – male/female, male/male, and female/female. The staging, meanwhile, moves beyond the Joan Sutherland Theatre to unexpected places inside the theatre and backstage, with live footage of the peripatetic dancers broadcast back to the audience in their seats. It’s billed as the dance show of the year – and we’re inclined to agree. Sydney Opera House, June 5-9

In the wood-panelled confines of the Neilsen Nutshell at Walsh Bay, acclaimed Australian actor Robert Menzies will inhabit one of Shakepeare’s most unforgettable figures: the vain, tragically misguided King Lear. This production of Lear – the first by the Bell Shakespeare company for 14 years – promises to be spellbinding, with Menzies bringing all his experience and gravitas to the role. Melbourne audiences can catch it from July 5 to August 11 at Arts Centre Melbourne. King Lear, Neilsen Nutshell, June 14-July 20

The first two weeks of June in Melbourne is Rising, a festival of music, dance and performance that rewards an open mind and… endurance. You can dip in and out by attending events ranging from free audio art installations to theatre on treadmills, or you can commit to one of the all-day (and night) extravaganzas. Daytripper, for example, is an eight-hour day party, encouraging revellers to move between Melbourne Town Hall, Capitol Theatre and Max Watt’s, sampling everything from jazz-funk and glam rock to rap. Or you can immerse yourself in the heady days of rock, with 24-hours of rock documentaries (cult and obscure) chosen by British artist Jeremy Deller, also at the Capitol. June 1-16, various venues

If you love cheese – as in, really love cheese – you’ll want to head to the Cargo Hall at the Overseas Passenger Terminal for Bon Fromage, a three-day festival of French cheese. There are talks, cooking demos and masterclasses, but best of all, mountains of delicious, stinky fromages from some of the best producers en France. Bon Fromage, Sydney, May 31-June 2

He's probably the most famous street artist in the world – and who can forget his art-world japes, like the painting that shredded itself while being auctioned at Sotheby’s? Now Melburnians have the chance to see more than 150 works by Banksy this month, including an installation of his anti-theme park, Dismaland, and some of his most famous works (though, sadly, not the shredded one, which recently sold for $35.7million). The Art of Banksy, The District, Docklands, from June 12

Arguably Australia’s most democratic art award, the Archibald Prize for portrait painting is guaranteed to propel the winner onto the front pages of every newspaper – and it’s open to any artist in Australia. See the finalists and winner (alongside the winners of the Wynne Prize for landscape painting and the Sulman Prize for subject painting) at the Art Gallery of NSW this month, before the exhibition sets off on its annual regional tour. Last year, 29-year-old artist Julia Gutman won the main prize – only the 11th woman to win in 102 years. Will a woman top the crop again this year? Art Gallery of NSW, from June 8

 

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