Top 5 spots for arts lovers in Melbourne

Her Majesty's Theatre is a Victorian-era building that hosts blockbuster shows such as Muriel's Wedding, adapted from the Australian film of the same name.
Her Majesty's Theatre is a Victorian-era building that hosts blockbuster shows such as Muriel's Wedding, adapted from the Australian film of the same name. ST PHOTO: AKSHITA NANDA

EAST END THEATRE DISTRICT

What: The first stop for many is the Princess Theatre, where Harry Potter And The Cursed Child is running, but Melbourne's East End has five other theatres which host blockbuster shows off Broadway, as well as top Australian theatre, live music, comedy festivals and other performing arts events.

Apart from hosting the hottest shows in the city, the theatres in this district are a favourite with Instagrammers for their historical architecture.

Landmarks include the Regent Theatre, rebuilt after a World War II fire, and the Forum theatre, known for its Gothic-Romanesque facade and interior, which looks like an outdoor amphitheatre.

Also good for photographs are the Victorian-era Her Majesty's Theatre, the Athenaeum and the Comedy theatre - all on a protected heritage list.

The theatre district is also the place for foodies, with numerous nightclubs, restaurants, hipster cafes and bars that are favoured spots for brunches, pre-theatre dining or nights on the town.

The official tourism website of Victoria state, Visit Victoria, has several self-guided itineraries to get the best of art and food while exploring the area. Where: East End When: Year-round Info: Details of shows and ticketing at eastend.melbourne. See suggested itineraries at www.visitvictoria.com

LANEWAYS


Graffiti of fictional superheroes, and wall murals of realistic jungles, complete with flowers and wildlife, are some of the surprises around every corner in Melbourne's central business district. ST PHOTO: AKSHITA NANDA

 

WHAT: The Victorian-era lanes or laneways in Melbourne's central business district are open-air museums, with numerous street artists having transformed old walls into urban art. Graffiti of fictional superheroes, and wall murals of realistic jungles, complete with flowers and wildlife, are some of the surprises around every corner. Book one of the numerous laneway tours on offer or amble along at your own pace, starting with Croft Alley in the heart of Chinatown.

WHERE: Central business district

WHEN: Year-round

INFO: www.visitmelbourne.com/regions/melbourne/twist/laneways

NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA


The works of British artist Julian Opie on display at the National Gallery of Victoria International in Melbourne. ST PHOTO: AKSHITA NANDA

WHAT: Spread out over two buildings a few kilometres apart, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is the 16th most-visited museum in the world and welcomed 3.2 million visitors last year. NGV Australia houses historic and contemporary art from Australian artists while NGV International showcases art from around the world, including the moving portraits of British artist Julian Opie. Look out also for the fascinating Designing Women showcase until end September at NGV International, which pays homage to icons such as architect Zaha Hadid.

WHERE: NGV International is at 180 St Kilda Road; NGV Australia on Federation Square

WHEN: Open daily, 10am to 5pm. Reduced hours during some public holidays.

INFO: www.ngv.vic.gov.au

LYON HOUSE MUSEUM


Built in 2008, this is the private residence of architect Corbett Lyon and his wife, computer scientist Yueji Lyon, and was designed to be both a family home and a public museum showcasing the Lyon's extensive art collection. PHOTO: DIANA SNAPE

WHAT: Built in 2008, this is the private residence of architect Corbett Lyon and his wife, computer scientist Yueji Lyon, and was designed to be both a family home and a public museum showcasing the Lyon's extensive art collection.

The couple started collecting in 1990 and focus mostly on Australian artists, established and emerging. They own more than 350 works by 50 artists, including cartoonish sculptures by Melbourne-based Christopher Langton and quirky installations by Callum Morton, who creates mini-cities brought to life by everyday sounds.

Sign up for a tour around their dining room and living room - even the couple's bedroom - on select days.

WHERE: 219 Cotham Road

WHEN: Selected Mondays and Tuesdays. See lyonhousemuseum.com.au for details.

INFO: All visits must be pre-booked - call +61-3-9817-2300 or e-mail museum@lyonhousemuseum.com.au. Admission is A$25 (S$25) per person and A$6.50 per student for school groups. Not more than 25 in a group.

HOUSEMUSEUM PUBLIC GALLERIES


 An enormous mirrored globe by Australian artist Brook Andrew. PHOTO: HOUSEMUSEUM PUBLIC GALLERIES

WHAT: Adjacent to the Lyon Housemuseum is a new A$14.5 million public art museum built by the Lyon family and opened last month (March 2019). The first exhibition, Enter, runs until July 21 and includes a field of over 2,000 flower-like sculptures by Australian artist Patricia Piccinini, plus an enormous mirrored globe by Australian artist Brook Andrew. A great spot for that perfect holiday shot.

WHERE: 217 Cotham Road

WHEN: Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 5pm

INFO: Entry is $15 for adults, $12 for students. See lyonhousemuseum.com.au for details