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Travel Notes

The Northern Territory’s biggest festival of arts and culture, the Darwin Festival returns in August with 18 days of mind-bending performances, free family fun, captivating cultural works and laugh out loud moments. To whet the appetite of expectant audiences, the Festival has announced six incredible highlights of the 2017 event.

Three stand-out shows will be taking over the Darwin Entertainment Centre during the Festival. With incredible costumes and clever set design, Opera Australia’s take on Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro follows the madcap farce of a wealthy Spanish family and is equal parts high drama and quality comedy.

Younger audiences will delight at the jaw-dropping acrobatic tricks and flicks as Circa goes Troppo, or join Sydney Dance Company for an electric evening of dance with their double bill, Frame of Mind.

Over at the Lighthouse in Festival Park, things get a little more raucous. A Night at the Musicals will see drag divas Jonny Woo and Le Gateau Chocolat Les Misérmassacre all the musicals you know and love. If you’re after a night of ballsy ballads, slaughtered show tunes and shady shenanigans, then these fierce queens are the ticket.

Unique stand-up and razor sharp satire rolled up in a rock‘n’roll aesthetic is what New York’s undisputed queen of the underground, comedian Penny Arcade will bring to the Lighthouse stage in her new show, Longing Lasts Longer. For the little ones, City of Darwin Teddy Bears’ Picnic returns for a free day of family fun at a special new home at Darwin Cenotaph on The Esplanade.

Darwin Festival Acting Artistic Director, Felix Preval says the 2017 program is an eclectic mix of energetic experiences for all. “These early offerings are just a taste of what audiences can expect from the expansive program we have planned for 2017,” says Preval. “With over 80 events, spanning a huge range of genres from cabaret, comedy, music, theatre, visual arts and dance, there’s going to be something for everybody to enjoy at the 2017 Darwin Festival.”

“The Territory Government is proud to support Darwin Festival and its mission to bring the best local, national and international music, comedy, cabaret, dance, theatre and art to the NT,” says Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss MLA. “The shows and performances offer an exciting glimpse into what we can expect in 2017 and I can’t wait to see what else will be delighting us this August.”

“Darwin Festival provides a great experience for locals and creates wonderful tourism opportunities for interstate family and friends to enjoy our beautiful city in the dry – with tickets starting to go on sale, I encourage everyone to get to as many shows as possible in 2017. ”

The full program of cabaret, theatre, comedy, dance, visual arts, words and ideas, music and family fun that Darwinites and visitors alike swarm to will be announced on Wednesday 21 June. Early release tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.darwinfestival.org.au for details.

Image: City of Darwin Teddy Bears’ Picnic – photo by Elise Derwin

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