The 2020 season will be Arts Centre Melbourne’s seventh year presenting performances and events as part of the Midsumma Festival program.

In The Rise and Fall of Saint George (23 and 24 January) Australian music icon Paul Mac teams up with playwright Lachlan Philpott and director Kate Champion to tell a story of community solidarity and freedom through song and electronica. The work was inspired by a much-loved mural of George Michael in Sydney’s Inner West that was destroyed in a series of attacks the day after the YES result in the Marriage Equality campaign.

Award-winning cabaret artist, acclaimed musician and celebrated musical comedian Selina Jenkins tells the story of a life-changing decision in BOOBS (29 January – 1 February). Jenkins chose to have a voluntary double mastectomy, not as the result of illness but as a conscious decision about her own body and self-image.

The all-star variety show of epic proportions Midsumma Extravaganza (1 February) will return to Arts Centre Melbourne for the third year with a line-up like no other. Hosted by dazzling TV star Bob Downe and feel-good comedian Kirsty Webeck, they will be joined by Pangina Heals “The RuPaul of Thailand”, national stand-up superstar Tom Ballard, Melbourne cabaret icon Dolly Diamond and winner of the 2018 Adelaide Fringe Weekly Best Comedy Award Nath Valvo.

Wiradjuri artist Joel Bray uses his trademark confection of conversation, dance and all-you-can-eat audience participation in his immersive work, Daddy (4 -8 February). Exploring themes such as connection to culture and a quest for love in the Grindr era, he probes one of the paradoxes of our age: when so much is on offer, why are we left so hungry? From the sugar-coated idyll of childhood reminiscence to the glazed excesses of queer adulthood, his story proves that a sweet tooth is a dangerous thing.

Within the 2020 Midsumma Festival season Arts Centre Melbourne will also present two works in The Channel, Arts Centre Melbourne’s education hub.

St Martins in collaboration with Minus18 will present Escape Velocity: We Are Who We Are (8 February), a series of micro films produced by trans and gender non-conforming young people based in Melbourne. Presented in three phases over a year, Escape Velocity is a multi-disciplinary art project calling for society to build a collective momentum and become allies to trans and gender non-conforming young people.

The artists behind Romeo is not the only Fruit (Green Room Award Best Writing Nominee) and Lou Wall’s Drag Race, (Melbourne Fringe Best Performance Nominee, Best Emerging Artist Winner) will give a staged reading of an excerpt of a brand new musical Flat-Earthers: The Musical (31 January). The work brings together the world’s most iconic conspiracy theories in a brand new electropop musical comedy about how far we’re willing to go in search of #truth.

January 23 – February 8