All the best theatre, concerts and family-friendly shows to see at the Geelong Arts Centre in August

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All the best theatre, concerts and family-friendly shows to see at the Geelong Arts Centre in August

Here are the shows not to miss at the Geelong Arts Centre this August.

With a plethora of entertainment once again adorning our favourite regional theatre, from a compelling tale of survival from a multi-award-winning playwright, a world-class puppet show, and a music hit-fest, this is your cue to get ready for a huge August of entertainment in Geelong.

Here are the shows not to miss at the Geelong Arts Centre this month.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

Our Top Pick For August: THEM

When:  Tuesday, August 2 – Saturday, August 6

Where: Studio 4

Described as ‘perhaps the most important piece of theatre you will see this year’, THEM arrives at the Geelong Arts Centre from Tuesday, August 2 to Saturday, August 6 as part of the beloved Geelong Arts Centre’s 2022 season, promising to take audiences into extraordinary circumstances to reveal our shared humanity in the ordinary moments that shape our lives.

Written by Samah Sabawi, writer of the award-winning Tales of a City by the Sea, and developed in consultation with people living in conflict zones and displaced by war,  the play tells the story of one young family as they face the decision of whether to flee their war-torn city.

Omar, Leila and their young child are counting down the days. Their friends enjoy fantasies of escape and the arrival of Omar’s sister brings a real chance to get out – but at what cost?

Who will leave, who will stay, and what will their choices cost them?

With unexpected tenderness, laughter, and song, the play was first supported by Melbourne Theatre Company’s Cybec Electric program before enjoying a sell-out extended season at the famed La Mama Theatre.

Based on the real-life stories of people displaced by conflict, this incredible piece of theatre, full of humanity, heart and humour could not be more relevant today.

Tickets here

Edward The Emu

When: Friday, July 29 – Saturday, July 30

Where: Costa Hall 

The award-winning creative team from Monkey Baa Theatre Company are back with a brand-new take on another much-loved tale, Edward the Emu. Based on the books by Sheena Knowles & Rod Clement, this is more than an adaptation. This is a unique imagining of two beloved picture books, Edward the Emu and Edwina the Emu, combining the plights of both emus in one heartfelt, clever and funny new tale.

Edward is bored with his lot. Being the only emu at the zoo has left him feeling glum and under the impression that the grass is greener in everyone else’s enclosure. Maybe being a seal, or a lion, or a snake might be a better option in life for a lonely bird? Convinced that the other creatures are more popular, Edward breaks ranks and goes to find the fun and along the way, finds Edwina!

Written for the stage by Monkey Baa’s Artistic Director Eva Di Cesare (Diary of a Wombat, Josephine Wants to Dance) audiences follow the emus as they hilariously navigate their own feathered existential crises, seeking to find their place in the world. Meanwhile, unaware of the birds’ internal worlds, their human keepers are in hot pursuit to restore order to the zoo.

With exceptional, world-class puppet creation from Bryony Anderson and Alice Osborne’s puppetry direction, an original score from composer/sound designer Nate Edmondson, set and costume design by Isabel Hudson (Best Stage Design of An Independent Production, 2020 Sydney Theatre Award), lighting design by Matt Cox and inventive storytelling from Di Cesare, the emus’ journey of hijinks and tenderness leads them to discover that the best thing you can be is …. you!

Monkey Baa Theatre Company has been creating classic, much-loved productions for young people for over 20 years. Edward the Emu carries on the vision to make theatre an intrinsic part of young people’s lives with the quality, humour and heart that has made Monkey Baa a favourite of families across Australia.

Please be advised that the 12pm on Sat 30 July is a relaxed performance and an AUSLAN Interpreted show.

Buy tickets here

VCE Drama Exam & Performance Workshop

When: Tuesday, August 9 at 9:30am

Where: Studio 4

In partnership with Drama Victoria, VCE Drama Exam and Performance Workshop arrives at the Geelong Arts Centre to help students edge that much closer to an A+.

Students will spend a day working closely with experienced VCE assessors to explore prescribed structures and discover strategies for success, this month working with Lachy Joyce.

Lachy will be facilitating the GAC/Drama Victoria VCE Drama Performance Exam Workshop. Lachy is an experienced VCE Drama teacher from Geelong and has worked as an assessor for the VCAA. He was nominated for the Drama Victoria Regional Drama Teacher of the Year award in 2020 and loves nothing more than devising interesting and provocative work with young people. Lachy is currently part of the Drama Department at The Geelong College where he enjoys working with some of Victoria’s most talented performing arts students.

Tickets here

VCE Theatre Studies Exam and Performance Workshop

When: Wednesday, August 10 at 9:30am

Where: Studio 4

In partnership with Drama Victoria, VCE Theatre Studies Exam and Performance Workshop also arrives at the Geelong Arts Centre to help students edge that much closer to an A+.

Students will spend a day working closely with experienced VCE assessors to explore prescribed structures and discover strategies for success, working with Janine McKenzie.

Janine McKenzie is an educator with over 25 years’ experience as a classroom drama teacher and speech specialist. Janine has extensive experience in facilitating VCE Theatre Studies workshops, developing a range of strategies designed to assist students to improve their skills, knowledge and creativity. Janine is a practising theatre maker, working as an actor, director, lighting designer and dramaturg with a range of theatre companies in Geelong, Melbourne and on the Surf Coast.

Tickets here

The Geelong Schools Music and Movement Festival Concert 2022

When: Tuesday, August 16 to Thursday, August 18 at various times

Where: Costa Hall

As part of Geelong Art Centre’s Creative Learning program, The Geelong Schools Music and Movement Festival Concert will be celebrating 74 years of creativity in Geelong schools.

The Geelong Schools Music and Movement Festival is a celebration of the creativity and passion which exists within the school community.

Primary and Secondary students are invited to take centre stage to sing and dance, dazzle with circus tricks, and play in rock bands and orchestras for their peers, parents and friends in celebration of the arts.

Each school has been allocated to a specific session which you can see via the website.

More info here

There’s A Sea In My Bedroom

When: Tuesday, August 23 and Wednesday, August 24 at various times

Where: Studio 4

In a collaboration between the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Family Magic program, There’s a Sea in My Bedroom arrives at Geelong Arts Centre this August.

Weaving together captivating storytelling with an exquisite score performed by musicians from the Australian Chamber Orchestra, There’s a Sea in My Bedroom is an immersive introduction to live classical music, capturing the magic of a child’s fantasy world.

David is frightened of the sea. He does not like it at all, not one bit.

But one day he finds a conch shell at the beach and takes it home – and he hears the sea trapped inside.

‘Come out, sea, come out,’ he says softly. ‘I won’t hurt you.’

Returning to the stage following a sell-out Sydney Opera House premiere season in 2019, this exquisite performance weaves together captivating storytelling with a specially commissioned score from Australian composer Paul Stanhope, performed live by a string quintet of ACO musicians.

Based on the beloved children’s book by award-winning author Margaret Wild, this beautifully reimagined story promises to bring moments of joy, sadness, fear, magic, and laughter.

Tickets here

BLUE: The Songs Of Joni Mitchell

When: Saturday, September 3 at 1pm and 7:30pm

Where: Costa Hall

Call all Joni Mitchell fans, BLUE: The Songs of Joni Mitchell, is a beguiling night of melancholic songs, poetic storytelling and haunting vocals.

Australian cabaret chanteuse and musical theatre star, Queenie van de Zandt, renowned for her artful storytelling and raw, emotive vocals, brings to you the songs, stories and art of the musical legend that is Joni Mitchell. Renaissance woman, painter and poet, Mitchell created a soundtrack for the Woodstock generation.

“Joni is my favourite singer/songwriter and I’ve been wanting to do a show about her and her music for some time,” said Queenie. “She gave a daughter up for adoption early in her career and her music was so influenced by this experience. When I gave birth to my daughter, it felt like a perfect time to explore this mother and daughter relationship and the effect that becoming a parent has on your creativity.”

In BLUE: The Songs of Joni Mitchell, Queenie, along with her live band, explores her love of all things Joni. Using voice overs and intimate storytelling, Queenie takes us on a sonic journey through Joni’s life, loses and loves, affectionately reinterpreting her melancholy music, and intimately revealing the stories behind some of her most haunting songs such as A Case of You, Both Sides Now and Little Green.

BLUE has been touring to sold-out houses and rave reviews across Australia and in the US since 2017. Along the way, it has won a slew of theatre awards, as well as being nominated for the prestigious Helpmann Award for Best Cabaret Performer and the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Cabaret Production.

Tickets here

The Toni Childs Retrospective

When: Sunday, September 4 at 7:30pm

Where: Costa Hall 

Emmy winner and three-time Grammy nominated recording artist, Toni Childs, arrives in Geelong for a special two-hour performance as she celebrates her life’s musical works.

Toni will be performing hits and fan favourites from Union, House of Hope, the Woman’s Boat and Keep the Faith in the first hour of her show then the second hour will be an introduction to Toni’s new music, from two very special albums It’s All a Beautiful Noise and Citizens of the Planet.

Toni is a celebrated singer/songwriter known for her powerful voice, inspiring independent spirit and crafted storytelling. With fans in over 50 countries around the world, Toni has produced a list of international hits such as: Don’t Walk Away, Stop Your Fussin’, Walk and Talk Like Angels, Zimbabwe, Where’s the Ocean, Many Rivers to Cross, I’ve Got to Go Now and Because You’re Beautiful, to name a few.

Tickets here

Shake Rattle ‘n’ Roll

When: Saturday, September 10 at 8pm

Where: Costa Hall 

The only rock ‘n’ roll tribute show of its kind… prepare to be razzle-dazzled with ‘Shake Rattle ‘n’ Roll’ this September with the music you loved, the music you grew up with.

Following four sell-out seasons at Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne, Theaters across Australia and seen by over 263,991 audiences, Shake Rattle ‘n’ Roll will boast a dynamic cast of 15 singers, hottest award-winning Latin ballroom star dancers from DANCING WITH THE STARS, dazzling eye-candy costumes, mind-blowing staging, smoking-hot Jive, Latin Ballroom, Cha-Cha, Waltz, Fox Trot & Jazz dance routines will sizzle in this fully choreographed show and transport you back to those rockin’, boppin’, unforgettable 50’s & 60’s!

Hits include – Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley), Beyond The Sea (Bobby Darin), Save The Last Dance For Me (The Drifters), Grease Lightning Oh What A Night (Jersey Boys), Bye Bye Love (Everly Brothers), Twistin’ The Night Away (Sam Cooke), At The Hop (Danny & The Juniors), Sea Cruise (Frankie Ford), Put Your Head On My Shoulder (Paul Anka), La Bamba (Ritchie Valens), Lipstick On Your Collar (Connie Francis), It’s My Party (Lesley Gore), Shout (Johnny O’Keefe) & Much More!

Dust off those blue suede shoes, your favorite rock ‘n’ roll costumes and prepare to be razzle dazzled! Shake Rattle ‘n’ Roll will have you dancing in the aisles.

Hurry and secure your seats now… this show will sell out!

Tickets here

Benjamin Northey conducts Kaleidoscopic Splendour – Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Season 2022

When: Friday, September 16 at 7:30pm

Where: Costa Hall

The MSO brings a program of vivid melodies and kaleidoscopic colour to Costa Hall, joined by a rising star soloist Emily Sun.

With works spanning the 20th century, Miriam Hyde remains one of Australia’s most respected composers. At 21, she even debuted her own Piano Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra! Within a compact running time, Village Fair – subtitled ‘a ballet for orchestra’ – alternates buoyant and sprightly melodies with introspective and lyrical passages.

Currently based in London and teaching violin at the Royal College of Music, Emily Sun possesses an expansive resume with accolades such as the 2018 ABC Young Performer of the Year. Emily tackles Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s elegant and yearning Violin Concerto, expanded from thematic material he originally composed for film scores during the 1930s.

Antonín Dvořák’s cheerful Eighth Symphony emerged out of the composer’s desire to refresh his approach to the form. Composed over a whirlwind few weeks in his holiday home in the Czech countryside, the symphony seamlessly moves through passages of melancholy and vigorous joy.

Program and artists subject to change.

Tickets here

The King Of Rock & The Prince Of Pop

When: Saturday, September 17 at 8pm

Where: Costa Hall

The King of Rock & The Prince of Pop is a music-hit-fest starring Marty Rhone as Cliff, Mark Andrew as Elvis that is heading to Geelong’s Costa Hall on Saturday 17 September.

2022 marks the 45th Anniversary of the premature passing of the KING of Rock & Roll. To acknowledge this most noteworthy milestone we bring together an Australian music legend and one of the world’s most renowned ‘ELVIS’ performers to honour rock royalty.

You’ll hear Suspicious Minds, Viva Las Vegas, Jailhouse Rock, Devil Woman, Wired for Sound, Young Ones, oh, and a couple of bonus tracks called Denim & Lace and a Mean Pair of Jeans. Every song performed is a mega-hit swathed in gold; a non-stop, mind-blowing visual experience.

Tickets here

Geelong Arts Centre is supported by The Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, Major Artistic Partner Deakin University and Innovation Partner Costa Asset Management.