Chapel Off Chapel
Midsumma
#VAL – A Camp-Fire Kiki with Mother

Work out how you’re going to fit this show into your schedule – it’s not to be missed. A perfect cabaret, utterly fabulous. ★★★★★★★★★★” (OUTinPerth)

It’s cabaret in its truest form; big, bold and a little bit loose! Tour de force performer and self proclaimed national treasure “Australia’s John O’Hara” (School of Rock, Wicked, Priscilla – Queen of the Desert) returns in his brand new cabaret; #VAL. A fabulously honest and hilariously heartbreaking homage to the mothers of our queer community, #VAL is a true celebration of joy, love and acceptance that will definitely leave a speck of glitter in your undies.

#VAL explores the very specific, layered and precious relationship that queer kids have with their mothers… women who often know their children are different before they do themselves. These women, warriors and living legends continue to walk alongside their babies on the winding quest and sometimes bumpy road to equality for all. They have stories to tell.

In an evening of unconditionally loving and at times, just plain awkward tales, John will sing (and possibly dance) his way over the rainbow, weaving in and out of experiences with his own mother, Val… who’s recent popularity has seen her claim her own hashtag. Set against the fantastically epic hits of the 80s, 90s and now, #VAL promises the ultimate mixtape of camp pop anthems, impossibly cool classics and an outrageous power ballad or two.

See you around the camp-fire… Everyone’s welcome.

When? 21 – 22 Jan. Mon – Tue 7.30pm
Where? Chapel Off Chapel – 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran
Tickets from $30.
Book tickets

Midsumma
Father Figure

A tribute to the legend that was George Michael.

An evening dedicated to the music of the legend that was George Michael. Sit back and relax as rising cabaret artist Andy Johnston (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Twink Ascending) shares how the late pop icon taught him to understand love, heartbreak and pride. With a live three piece band bringing to life hits such as Careless Whisper, Freedom! ’90 and Father Figure, this show is a must for all music lovers!

Andy explains “George Michael’s music helped me to understand what I was feeling when I had my first major heart break, what it was like to feel love again and what it meant to express pride as a gay man! His style is timeless and iconic and his lyrics are pure poetry! I simply want to pay tribute to that and celebrate how music can teach us so much about ourselves and each other”.

Father Figure is presented by Don’t Be Down Productions (Twink Ascending, Strangers In Between, It’s Not Me It’s Lou).

When? 23 – 25 Jan. Wed 7.30pm. Thur 9pm. Fri 7pm.
Where? Chapel Off Chapel – 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran
Tickets from $30.
Book tickets

Midsumma 1
He’s Every Woman

“Awestruck… An utter delight… This show would entertain anywhere in the world” (The Plus Ones)

Following their sell-out Melbourne Cabaret Festival debut season, Justin Clausen (whose powerhouse vocals were heard in the GREEN ROOM AWARD nominated “The Lady is a Tramp” alongside Dolly Diamond) takes on some of the best songs made famous by some of our favourite divas, with his BFF piano-man ‘genius’ Jamie Burgess (who entertains aboard P&O’s Pacific fleet, appeared alongside Tash York in ‘Adulting’, and with Amity Dry in ’39 Forever’) at the keys.

So grab yourself some ‘Bolli and nibbly things’ – there’s a fully licenced bar – and settle in for an hour of power ballads, party songs and Proud Mary’s and keep an eye out for guest appearances from Cher and Celine Dion!

When? 8 – 9 Feb. Fri – Sat 7.30pm.
Where? Chapel Off Chapel – 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran
Tickets from $29.
Book tickets

Midsumma 2
The Rest Is Drag

Praise for Darwent & Gray’s The Rest Is Drag (Melbourne Fringe Festival 2018)
Thoroughly enjoyable” ★★★★ – AU Review

Sexuality is complicated in or out of costume, in this new musical comedy from Darwent & Gray.

Michael is a non-binary drag queen struggling to keep the passion alive in their new marriage. Claire is a quick-witted drag king with a committed lady lover. When this best friend/double act suddenly find themselves falling in love, they are forced to reassess everything they thought they knew about their sexuality, and untangle a complicated mess of love and relationships.

From rising queer writing duo Darwent & Gray (2017’s Bed Reckoning, 2016’s The Adulteresses), The Rest Is Drag premiered at Melbourne Fringe Festival 2018 at The Butterfly Club. Now returning by popular demand, this hilarious and heartfelt blend of cabaret and musical theatre questions traditional understandings of identity, and the ways in which everyone, even queer people, can restrictively define themselves by labels.

Starring Jack Beeby (Six Inches Uncut), Anna Burley (Ira Luxuria), Daniel Kim and Jess Cook, and featuring an entirely original score, The Rest is Drag is the polyamorous/pansexual/non-binary musical you’ve been waiting for! Bring your friends! Bring your lovers! Use it to come out to your conservative parents!

When? 24 – 26 Jan. Thur 7pm. Fri 9pm. Sat 7pm.
Where? Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran
Tickets from $22.
Book tickets

Midsumma 3
What a Drag! 2019: A Night of a Thousand Madonnas

What a Drag! Is back!

Come celebrate all things Madonna at Chapel Off Chapel with Melbourne’s most fabulous drag queens for one night only. Hosted by the stunning Rhubarb Rouge with DJ David Virgona.

Now in its fifth year, What a Drag! is back with Melbourne’s most fabulous drag queens uniting to celebrate the art of drag and the queen of pop’s 60th birthday performing some of her most iconic hits.

EXPRESS YOURSELF and come as your favourite Madonna incarnation. All ticket proceeds and donations will raise funds for Thorne Harbour Health (Formerly VAC) and JOY 94.9.

The most fabulous night of drag in Melbourne for a great cause. A night not to be missed.

When? 9 Feb 9pm.
Where? Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran
Tickets $5.
Book tickets

Midsumma 4
Ace of Hearts

Touching, heartfelt and totally ridiculous!

Welcome to 2019 – the age of sexual liberation.

But a world of freedom brings new expectations. Kiera couldn’t follow the rules, and was cast aside.

Now, with new friends to lead the way, Kiera is determined to play the game, and she’s willing to sacrifice anything to avoid being outcast again.

Kiera’s new friends are horrified to discover that she is not only a virgin, but has never even been kissed. Danielle; who’s slept with countless men and women, resolves to show Kiera how it’s done.

But when Kiera still hasn’t kissed anyone hours into a night out, Danielle wonders if something more is going on. So Andy; the hot gay bestie, takes the group to the wildest queer club in town.

Written by Hayden Dun and Natasha Pearson, Ace of Hearts is a musical about asexuality and finding your place in today’s sex-crazed world. Ace of Hearts challenges the notion of heteronormativity, sexual expectations and the importance of sex in modern relationships.

Hayden Dun is a Melbourne based composer/pianist whose piano and orchestral music has been performed in Melbourne, Canberra and Germany. Natasha Pearson is a Melbourne based composer/songwriter whose works have featured in new musicals and chamber ensemble concerts both locally and internationally.

When? 1 – 10 Feb. Fri 1 – Sun 3 Feb 7.30pm. Fri 8 – Sat 9 Feb 8.15pm. Sun 10 Feb 7.30pm.
Where? The MC Showroom, L1, 48 Clifton St, Prahran
Tickets from $24.
Book tickets

Midsumma 5
Press Play

“A Queer Apocalypse” by Tooth n’ Fang.

Two women hide inside a lonely motel room on a forgotten road. Celebrating and mourning their last night together, they discuss love, sex, drugs, and the afterlife. Shifting between memory and surreal fantasy, their discussions spin into an intricate web of lust and longing, asking the question: is this the end of the world? Press play to find out.

Press Play is a savage journey into queer intimacy, magical realism, and ancient mythology. Witnessing the often misconstrued representation of queer femme bodies in performance, the work delves into these portrayals and offers a raw and honest high-voltage duet. Their dialogue, a seemingly endless game of questions and dreaming, blends with vivid imagery to create a compelling and ferocious story of love and loss. Who are they? Why have they come here? Where will they go? Step into this twilight world and maybe you, like them, will find the answers amongst the stars.

Collaboratively devised, Press Play is a world premiere from Allanah Avalon and Lucas Olscamp, co-founders of the newly founded arts collective Tooth n’ Fang. Tooth n’ Fang is a group of international artists devoted to unearthing and unleashing the raw and sharp. Blending dramaturgy, experimental design, and multidisciplinary art making, the collective produce work that is both poetic and brutal.

When? 6 – 9 Feb. Wed – Thur 7.30pm. Fri – Sat 6.40pm.
Where? The MC Showroom, L1, 48 Clifton St, Prahran
Tickets from $20.
Book tickets

Midsumma 6
Her… The Photographic Series

From the maker of The Video Suitcase Walk REBOOTED, comes an intimate photographic series.

HER… The Photographic Series is a black and white photographic series of the one person dear to my heart, my partner, lover, and muse. I am trying to show what she is to me. The photographs are somewhat private but staged delicate moments.

Through these snaps of time I hope to capture her essence. I can show her to you here in these pieces, and hope you see something that’s really alluring, but only I know her perfume, the way she feels lying next to me, or how her laugh and smile lights me up from within.

I give you,
my HER. Come along to this intimate exhibition and experience HER… with your dearest one!

When? 23 Jan – 1 Feb. Opening Wed 23 Jan 6 – 11pm. Exhibition Wed – Thur 5- 10pm. Fri 5- 11pm. Sat midday – 11pm. Sun midday – 10pm.
Where? Grey Cells Green, 50 Chapel St, Windsor
This event is FREE

Midsumma 7
Queer Pool Party

We owe those beaches nothing!

Generously sponsored by the city of Stonnington, Queer Pool party’s making a comeback for Midsumma Festival 2019. Join us as we get wet ‘n’ wild and celebrate the queerest time of year with sunshine, eye candy and a recovery sesh, before you slide on to the Railway for Happy Hour. That’s right, EVERYONE’s invited. Bring your daddies, besties, lovers, human pets, aunties & guncles.

Gender and or sexuality inclusive. Come get undressed and partake in some mildly competitive water sports presented by Water Polo Victoria. Tap your feet to our Poolside entertainment, or simply sunbathe the day away on homo hill.

Free soft drinks and sausage sizzle for herbi’s & carni’s. limited spaces available… Arrive early so you don’t miss out! This is a FREE EVENT, booking required.

When? Sun 27 Jan 1 – 5 pm.
Where? Prahran Aquatic Centre, 41 Essex St, Prahran
This event is FREE but requires registration
Register here

Midsumma 8
Sodomy

A tangental exploration of the dark swamps of Prahran.

Come along on a journey with Cam Knuckey as he talks about the sordid history of Prahran. From boy floggings, baby farming, brothels, rapes and murders to the trials in the Prahran Court, explore the relationship of the gays of the period in contrast to the high life and Town Hall Balls and Banquets of the rich establishment that sat and judged them.

Sodomy was rife in the colony from the moment the British arrived here.

So all over Britain they rounded up “fallen women” and sent them out here to distract the men. It just didn’t work.

Bushrangers were outside the law. Despite being the folk heroes that they were, some certainly weren’t straight (“Captain Moonlight” mourned his shot male lover).

Later, amongst the black swamps and flooded streets, in the grip of alcohol and poverty, unwanted newborns were dropped into cesspits, baby farms moved in, brothels flourished, domestic abuse and murder stalked the streets and alleys of Prahran.

Whilst Chapel Street grew into a shopper’s dream of department stores and the well to do landowners, developers, councillors and magistrates attended banquets and Mayoral Balls at the Town Hall.

Although the newspapers never mentioned the sodomy, “unnatural practices” and other euphemisms were used. The Police and the Courthouse waged a silent war on “gay” men whose exposure meant ruin, both social and financial, including sentences of hard labour and flogging at the hands of a criminal called “The Flagellator” who also doubled as “The Hangman”.

Meanwhile in 1910, commenting on the nightlife of the gardens in Greville Street, the Head Gardener said, “one would hardly credit what disgraceful orgies took place on the open ground!”

The battle over the replacement of the fences surrounding the gardens raged in the Council, letters, petitions and newspapers for months.

Across from the park Leggett’s Ballroom held up to 6,000 well dressed dancers most nights, with free entry during WW2 for thousands of US Military nightly. (Blankets were supplied for those soldiers who needed to stay the night !)

Those fences never got replaced…

When? Sun 27 Jan 1 – 5 pm.
Where? Prahran Mechanics Institute, 39 St Edmonds Rd, Prahran
This event is FREE but requires registration
Register here

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