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Don’t worry about your kids becoming bored on the weekends because you can make memories in Melbourne with our Activity Guide. We’ve done all the hard work searching for ideas – so all you need to do is decide where to go first!

IN THE CITY:

The CBD offers a variety of interesting and exciting activities all year round. Check out what’s happening now:

  • IMAX is releasing an exclusive documentary SEA LIONS: LIFE BY A WHISKER 3D.Narrated by award-winning actor Sam Neill, this classic coming-of-age story tells the tale of Otto, a young Australian Sea Lion pup, and the Marine Park Ranger dedicated to saving her species. Presented in immersive 3D, the movie features stunning footage of the uninhabited wilderness of the Great Australian Bight and to the lush kelp forests off the Californian coast. Visit https://imaxmelbourne.com.au/ for more.
  • Looking for an exciting and educational day out? Take your family to one of Melbourne’s three biggest zoos where they can meet all sorts of animals! With everything from lions, to giraffes and Australian bush animals you’ll be sure to have a fun day out. Plus, don’t miss the new Dino Lab where your little ones can explore the giant dinosaurs and learn about their extinction. Visit Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Zoo. Go to https://www.zoo.org.au/
  • Ride the Scenic Railway around the perimeter of Luna Park where you can catch the view of St Kilda beach or enjoy the range of children’s rides on offer. If you’re more of a thrill seeker, have a go on the Enterprise or Supernova to get your heart racing! Visit https://lunapark.com.au/
  • Catch the best views of the city on the Melbourne Star. The giant ferris wheel takes you 120 metres into the sky to see 360 degree views of the busy port, city gardens and streets and views towards Mount Macedon and the Dandenong Ranges. Go to https://melbournestar.com/
  • Walk amongst creatures of the deep at the Melbourne Aquarium. With everything from sharks to seahorses to the Mega Croc, you are guaranteed a fun day out. Plus, don’t miss the Ice Age 4D Cinema! Go to https://www.visitsealife.com/melbourne/

  • If your kids are interested in science, then Scienceworks is a must! With loads of live shows and self-guided activities, your kids will be sure to discover something new! Check out the new show Colour Uncovered! to learn about how and why we see colour or stop by one of the Planetarium shows! Go to https://museumsvictoria.com.au/scienceworks/
  • Discover the rare and beautiful plants in the Royal Botanical Gardens of Melbourne. Jump on a bus tour to explore the gardens or visit the new Arid Garden which is over 100 years in the making! Visit https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/
  • Take a stroll down Hosier Lane to admire the artwork of some of Melbourne’s most talented graffiti artists.
  • Discover fresh produce and speciality shops at the Queen Victoria Market. Located on Queen St in the CBD, browse through hundreds of stalls covering 17 acres!

REGIONAL VICTORIA:

Looking to get out of the city for a day? Go for a drive through the beautiful countryside of Victoria where you will stumble upon a number of activities to entertain your family.

  • Summer is here, it’s the perfect time to be with your family and friends making the most of the warm summer evenings – immerse yourself in a magical world of myth and make believe!  Be captivated by a show of world class knights jousting on war horses – as you sip on a cold beer and all enjoy wood fired pizzas together. This summer’s ALL STAR program includes our favourite characters from Alice in wonderland, the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and the White rabbit! Robin Hood and his crew will be defending the kingdom against the nasty Sheriff! Rapunzel and her Prince will plan an escape from the evil witch’s tower! And do not forget to meet our dragons and the brave knights who compete for the title in our world-famous Championship Joust! Go to: https://www.kryalcastle.com.au

  • Your Mornington Peninsula adventure starts here, at the top of Arthurs Seat. Hit the ground running with our ground-based adventure activities – all included with General Admission! Experience the all-new Sky Scramble as well as our garden mazes, stunning formal gardens & boardwalks, Canopy Walk, epic Tube Slides & giant brainteaser puzzles! Embark on an exciting eco-adventure and get your adrenaline pumping with our exhilarating Grand Tree Surfing course. For the little climbers, our Nippers Tree Surfing course is suitable for ages 4 & up. We highly recommend pre-booking to avoid any disappointment. Visit our website for more information and to book your tickets! www.enchantedadventure.com.au

  • Fancy a ride on a century old steam railway? The Puffing Billy takes you on a 25km journey through the Dandenong Ranges, providing a relaxing day out with fantastic photographic opportunities. Pack a picnic and bring your family along for an enjoyable visit just one hour out of Melbourne. Go to https://puffingbilly.com.au/

  • The Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery offers a delightful day of fun with hands on chocolate making classes, a showroom featuring thousands of chocolate products and daily tasting sessions! Don’t forget the landscaped gardens and an orchard, where you can go for a stroll while enjoying a treat from the café. Visit https://www.gorci.com.au/

  • Take a drive along the Great Ocean Road to see the famous Twelve Apostles and the beautiful Loch Ard Gorge. Continue along to reach the Great Otway National Park to enjoy a day of adventure.
  • Spend a relaxing day at the Peninsula Hot Springs where you can immerse yourself in the Bath House or relax in the private baths. Seeking a bit of R&R? Indulge in a spa treatment or massage. Visit https://www.peninsulahotsprings.com/

  • Located at the foot of the Grampians, Halls Gap Zoo is Victoria’s largest regional zoo with over 160 species of animals to keep you entertained all day. Experience a close encounter with cheetahs and red pandas or visit the endangered Tasmanian Devil! With over 600 individual animals to check out, you are guaranteed a day of fun! Go to https://hallsgapzoo.com.au/

Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go to Hollywood.

This is the byline of the talented Becks sisters show The Sin-Sational Rita and Mae.

Old Hollywood 20th century social conventions, raunchy references, sexual innuendo, catchy Jazz tunes complimented by the sisters talented voices and great scripting, are all implemented in an hour performance, that is guaranteed to stick with audiences for much longer.

Golden Age films like Goin’ To Town (1935), Gilda (1946) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) is what sparked a passion and curiosity inside two young sisters who yearned to one day live their lives out on the stage.

And their dream became a reality.

Melody and Lucinda Beck are the leads in their own show The Sin-Sational Rita and Mae, playing real life Hollywood actresses Rita Hayworth and Mae West.

Rita Hayworth (1918-1987) was an American actress and singer born in Brooklyn, New York. Hayworth is known for being a WWII pin up girl and for her incredible career, starring in 61 films in just 37 years. She resembled all that the Hollywood industry yearned for female actresses to behave like.

Mary Jane ‘Mae’ West (1893-1980) spanned her career from New York to Hollywood as a singer, actress, comedian, playwright and screen writer. She is most famous for her comment, “I believe in censorship. I made a fortune in it.” West was a controversial figure, pushing social conventions and boundaries and creating a career out of being a Hollywood sex symbol.

The Beck sisters cleverly combined both characters into one performance, mimicking the Hollywood industry and juxtaposing Mae West who abided by social conventions with Rita Hayworth who was a provocative figure.

The show was just ten days into its course when I watched the talented girls perform at the small quirky theatre The Butterfly Club, off Little Collins street in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, for the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Both sisters are trained singers in Classical music, Jazz, Musical Theatre and Contemporary.

The show consisted of the right amount of old jazz songs, musical verses, historical references, conversation and sexual innuendo, usually from Lucinda.

Melody entered the stage in a tight Hollywood inspired velvet sleeveless gown, while Lucinda followed wearing a form fitting black dress and a fur throw over, mimicking her character of Mae West to perfection.

Melody purchased her dress from the US and Lucinda from London, and they both had their hair in tight curls to further reflect the old Hollywood era they were trying to represent.

Melody’s voice remained strong and powerful throughout the show. You could have heard a pin drop in the room when she sang, especially as she hit the high notes. Lucinda is equally as talented, perfecting that old Hollywood sexy movie star voice, that remained consistent and fluent throughout her performance.

The girls were born into a family of performers, whom they attribute their creative genius to with family has roots in the Wirth’s Circus, Australia’s most prestigious circus company, starting out back in 1882.

Their mother, Jenny Beck is also a singing teacher and the girls took lessons from their mother and other singing teachers, which is who they credit their talented voices to.

“We’ve grown up side stage and our parents were in the Gilbert and Sullivan society, so we were always in the wings and singing along and page turning. That’s part of how we learnt to read music as well”, said Lucinda.

The Sin-Sational Rita and Mae was scripted by Melody and Jenny Beck, who ensured the script flowed fluently and logically, despite neither Rita or Mae ever meeting.

“Mae paved the way for Rita and then Rita paved the way for Mae to come back in’, said Lucinda.

Initially the show was just about Rita Hayworth but they decided to combine both actresses, because “they just missed each other but were still moving in the same circles just not at the same times in Hollywood”, said Melody.
This logical decision resulted in a show stopping performance filled with old school Jazz songs that gave you an urge to sing along and transported you to a time and era of Hollywood celebrities, and censorship in the media industry.

“It still resonates today, a lot of what they represented. Like Mae West was ahead of her times!”, said Melody.

She further added,

“they’re both femme fatales but in very different ways. They’ve both have very different values and approaches but they were pigeon holed in the same place.”

Aside from their successful careers on the stage, both sisters are also singing teachers, and are heavily involved in the music industry outside of performing.

Melody lives a double life working as receptionist at a pool in Sydney during the day and writing cabarets, auditioning and performing by night.

Lucinda is also a voice over artist and professional hair dresser.

When asked where to from here the girls were bursting with ideas and excited about the future opportunities they have planned.

Both sisters have organised to perform at the Perth Fringe Festival and Melbourne Comedy Show with ambitions to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next August, the world’s largest arts festival founded in 1947.

Planning has already started for future shows with so much preparation going into each performance from scripting, drafting, editing, rehearsing all the way to costuming, which is a particular favourite of the sisters.

“A lot of this show involved compiling autobiographies and quotes from both actresses, including their movies and direct quotes and songs from their films. And then figuring out how to gel those together to make it a show that actually flows, and create a story”, said Lucinda.

Finding a talented pianist also went into planning for the show. Throughout the duration of the performance the talented Daniele Buatti performed magically, never missing a beat and accompanying the girl’s performance without overpowering their voices.

You could sense and see the passion on his face throughout his act, only ever rotating his eyes from his piano to his sheet music.

Daniele has worked with talents such as Australian actress, singer and comedian Queenie Van De Zandt and singer and actress Amanda Harrison. His role extends from a pianist to an accompanist, arranger and musical director.

You can find Daniele working in cabarets across Australia and notable dance schools in Melbourne such as Patrick Studios Australia and Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance.

Daniele taught himself how to play the piano after enrolling himself in two music elective classes in Year Nine. He also plays the flute, cello and guitar but is in no time looking to take them up professionally, over the piano.

“Two weeks prior to my first semester, I convinced my older brother to buy a keyboard and I spent every night practising, right up until the beginning of the semester. Before purchasing the keyboard, I had taught myself my theory, learnt how to read and was practising on a paper keyboard I made in Microsoft Paint!”.

He is also the Music Director for Melbourne’s very own Broadway Unplugged.

 

“I work to bring together a bunch of artists that are performing in industry musicals around Melbourne, accompanied by myself and a three-piece band.”

Launched in 2013, Daniele has run the event for the past five years. The show consists of performers taking the stage monthly at Melbourne’s very own Toff in Town, located in Swanston street. Daniele arranges the acts, backs vocalists, rehearses with artists and performs.

But Daniele’s talents don’t stop there. He also hosts and performs several times a month at an event called Be You, that celebrates up and coming talent, at Melbourne’s Jazz Café.

The Sin-Sational Rita and Mae was a show that celebrated talent, promoted great artists and provided audiences with an entertaining evening filled with great singing, humorous historical references and transportation into an unfamiliar era, all whilst commemorating the good that came out of this old Hollywood industry.

With such a strong talent on the stage, all you felt like doing what getting up and performing! Or in my case, wishing I had the talent to perform!

 

The joy both sisters receive from performing, appreciation for all those who attended and passion they feel when singing and acting is felt by everyone in the room, from audience members sitting in the front row right to the lighting director up the back.

Their excitement extends right out to post-performance when they mingle with the audience plastering a contagious smile on their faces, creating a positive, energetic atmosphere and environment for all those who attended.

Such a talented trio – and a brilliant performance that I definitely recommend going to watch.