FAC’S guide to a season of entertainment

When Frankston Arts Centre’s Head of Programming, Heidi Irvine, chose the works for the 2023 Season, she specifically looked for pieces that brought hope, passion, inspiration and joy as a counterpoint to the pandemic. Some favourite companies return and some new ones emerge creating a theatre season with something for everyone – drama, comedy, cabaret, dance and music, all with a common thread – storytelling.

The 2023 season begins Sunday, March 26 with Wallflowering.

A married couple who were once prize-winning ballroom dancers are now middle-aged. Times have changed and their divergent ambitions threaten to rock their boat. Dance is a metaphor for romance as well as the lens through which they see their idealised selves. Touching, funny, relatable and with some knock out dancing to boot, this is a great season opener.

Easter school holidays bring two very different shows:

Thursday, April 13: Are We There Yet? is a humorous, lively adaption of Alison Lester’s much-loved picture book following a family on their caravan odyssey across Australia.

Monday, April 17: Bunkasaurus, is a genuinely original physical theatre and shadow puppetry spectacular featuring two hilarious nincompoops bumbling around a box factory. Imagination and illusions abound.

Friday, May 5: First Nations company, Karul Projects presents Silence, an innovative, original contemporary dance production that shines a light on the notion of treaty. They use dance, physical percussion, theatre, projection and animation as the move through history. From the very dust, they rise. Powerful. Essential theatre.

Sunday, May 7: Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow is an annual favourite picking out the best of the comedy festival and sending them into regional Victoria. This show always sells out, so get your tickets early.  

Saturday, May 13: Garry Starr Performs Everything is a wacky, funny, smart, high energy physical theatre and observational comedy work that takes the audience on a journey through every form of theatre from Shakespeare to Japanese Noh.   

Saturday, May 20: Sydney Dance Company’s [ab] intra is a visually arresting, emotionally affecting contemporary dance piece looking at the intense nature of existence, impulse and the human visceral response. It features an engaging soundtrack incorporating cello and electronica.   

Friday, June 2: An Evening with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: Elgar’s Cello Concerto takes the audience back in time to Europe around World War One in a series of beautiful emotive pieces. The evening features five different works. Bring tissues. But don’t despair there’s a comedic piece in there.   

Wednesday, June 7: Euphoria shines a light on small town country living and all its eccentricities in this heart-warming new Australian play critics are lauding for its exquisite acting, brilliant direction and clever story. An outstanding must-see theatre piece.

Friday, June 23: shake and stir’s production of Roald Dahl’s The Twits is a hit with kids filled with equal measures of wacky humour and disgusting nastiness, but the real heart of the story is transformation through good intentions. There are tricks and pranks, mischief and mayhem in this hilarious family favourite. 

Tuesday, June 27: The Sunshine Club is an upbeat swinging Australian musical set in 1946 following an Aboriginal returned soldier who, despite serving his country, comes home to find some haven’t changed. He opens his own ballroom where he can dance with his girl and all are welcome. A real feel-good story celebrating simple pleasures. 

Friday, July 7: The Alphabet of Awesome Science follows a couple of mad professors (a word nerd and a science freak) as they race through the alphabet creating 26 experiments for 26 words in 52 minutes! High energy hijinks!

Tuesday, July 11: Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream is unlike any other theatre piece. It’s an existential deep dive into life and death and what matters in between. In a tour de force performance Jacob Rajan plays eight different characters. Hilarious and heart rending. Do not miss this.

Thursday, July 20: By a Thread examines the ties that bind us. Seven circus acrobats share space and 30 metres of rope in breathtaking routines that frequently lift them right off their feet. Like falling dominoes, each affects the other.

Friday, September 8: Possum Magic is a thoroughly engaging, visually fantastic piece of theatre that faithfully brings to life an Australian classic. All kids must see it.

Thursday, September 28: Personal is insightful, funny and illuminating. Lost in Walmart, five-year old Jodee can’t understand why her mother doesn’t answer the lost child announcement. Then, she realises her mother is deaf. This play travels through Jodee’s life as the only member of an all deaf family.

Friday, October 6: The Divine Miss Bette is pure joy – a celebration of life, music and the impact of a spectacular personality – Bette Midler. With back up dancers and a live band, this performance will surely captivate.

Thursday, November 16: Otto and Astrid’s Joint Solo Project is a satirical crazy rock cabaret featuring a hilariously dysfunctional brother and sister who are punk pop rock stars. They want to tour solo, but no one wants to tour with them. So, they only have each other much to their chagrin. A whole different kind of musical comedy – sharp, witty, fun.

Book at thefac.com.au or phone 03 9784 1060

Peninsula Essence, The Essence of Art on the Peninsula – January 2023