Polite Society's November Social Diary

Stunning food and surrealism kick off the party season



By any measure, surrealist photographer Lee Miller had an extraordinary life. A fashion model, photographic portraitist, celebrated wartime photographer and, later, Picasso’s muse, Miller also created an astonishing catalogue of surrealist images. Many of these feature in the new exhibition of 100 of her photographs, Surrealist Lee Miller, at Melbourne’s Heide Museum of Modern Art. Says Head Curator Kendrah Morgan: “Miller was an exact contemporary of Heide founder Sunday Reed, and intriguing parallels exist between the Reeds’ support of avant-garde artists, and Miller and her husband Roland Penrose’s promotion of their creative circle of surrealists.” We’re also keeping an eye out for the release date of the new Lee Miller biopic, starring Kate Winslet, which premiered at Toronto film festival in September. Heide Museum of Modern Art, November 4 to February 25, 2024

Meanwhile, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia have combined to showcase two major summer exhibitions – Kandinsky and Louise Bourgeois: Has the day invaded the night or has the night invaded the day? This comprehensive survey of Kandinsky’s modernist works promises to be a real treat, complemented by Bourgeois’ stunningly emotional sculptures, including her huge, celebrated sculpture Maman, a bronze, steel and marble spider dedicated to her mother. Definitely a must-see. From November 4 at The Art Gallery of NSW

One of our favourite restaurants, Vue du Monde, has reopened after a refurbishment to its jaw-dropping location on the 55th floor of the Rialto, Melbourne, and we’re excited to sample the new menu from executive chef Hugh Allen. Notable is the installation of little spotlights over each table, all the better to photograph your food for your Instagram account (seriously).

Indie pop rock royalty Bloc Party and Interpol return to Australia for some select nights of early 2000s nostalgia. Playing from their incredible back catalogue (we listened to Silent Alarm and Turn On The Bright Lights so many times on our shiny new iPods back in the day), both bands will have the – probably 40-something – crowd in raptures. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, November 16 to 22

Australian crime aficionados rejoice: crime writers’ festival, BAD SYDNEY, is back on November 1 with a fight to the literary death, which will see four crime writers read from their latest books in four thrilling performances before being judged. There’s also a masterclass on how to write crime fiction, interviews with writers and the chance to pitch your very own crime novel to an agent… From November 1

Created for, and made famous by, the legendary partnership of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev in 1963, Marguerite and Armand is passionate piece of ballet exploring the tragic affair between doomed courtesan Marguerite and her lover Armand. This Australian premiere is part of a double bill alongside The Dream, an airy and romantic work created to celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth. This might be the perfect double-hander for a romantic date-night. Sydney Opera House, November 10-25

As we await the arrival of Moonlight Cinema for the summer season, we’re happy to catch a movie at Bondi’s Sunset Cinema, which is showing a selection of new and classic films under the stars. There’s Barbie (well worth another viewing), plus oldies-but-goodies such as Dirty Dancing (ditto), The Holiday and Love Actually. A licensed bar and food trucks add to the magic. From November 16