Big West Festival is the leading community-based, contemporary arts festival in Melbourne’s West. A biennial festival, this year’s fabulous, nine-day extravaganza runs from 20-28 November, 2015. An amazing array of things to see and do. Top 5 Big West Picks below:

As Told By The Boys Who Fed Me Apples

Sandy is the only Australian horse to come home from the First World War, spending his final days in the Maribyrnong remount depot. Through Sandy’s eyes we experience the lives of three men who fought in that war. Sandy’s unknown story is told through the Major General mortally wounded at Gallipoli, a veterinarian on the Western Front, and the groom who brings Sandy home. Each strangely affected by their symbiotic relationship with the horse, the brutality of war and the heroic lives of men and horses that served are captured through physical performance and a unique poetic theatricality with haunting, original sound design.
November 24 – 28

The Graceful Giraffe Cannot Become a Monkey

A theatrical adaptation of Okot p’Bitek’s Song of Lawino and Song of Ocol, THE GRACEFUL GIRAFFE comments on the colonial past and contemporary African Australian experience through audio-visual collage, dance, music and new and original texts. Ugandan writer Okot p’Bitek first published Song of Lawino and Song of Ocol in 1966 as a stinging indictment of the legacy of colonialism on the African people. THE GRACEFUL GIRAFFE is a theatre production devised by SRE Pereira with members of the African community committed to creating theatre that is insightful and challenging and that reflects the contemporary Australian identity. THE GRACEFUL GIRAFFE is an exciting, vital production on the African Australian experience.
November 25 – 28


Join us on a guided walk along Nicholson Street, through public spaces and into the homes of residents as they perform accounts of their lives, daily rituals and personal histories against a backdrop of change: arrivals, departures, property developments, gentrification and progress. Dwell for a moment as we collectively celebrate and document the dichotomies of our suburb in its present glory. Created in collaboration with residents and locals of Footscray, NEIGHBOURS weaves together brady bunch mansion and humble cottage, unkempt yards and well-swept gardens, high-rise buildings and half-renovated homes, manicured hedges and unruly herbs.
November 20 – 22

A new comedy by renowned, award-winning Ethiopian writer/director Tesfaye Gebrehana, MEFETEHE follows a group of children who conceive a Revolutionary Plan to build recreational facilities they’ve only dreamed of. Facing off bureaucracy, peers, siblings, the weight of populist opinion and the fear of change, the play follows the intricacies of newly arrived cultures striving for the privileges enjoyed by others. MEFETEHE was developed in consultation with a range of Ethiopian cultural leaders and a cast of young emerging actors. Intended for an Ethiopian audience, this new work utilises side-splitting comedy to portray the pain and joy of emerging Afro-Australian cultures. MEFETEHE will be performed in Amharic and subtitled, in Flemington, the heart of Melbourne’s Ethiopian community.
November 22, 29

For Heaven’s Sake

Set inside a giant see-through cube, like a fish tank, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE lets you into the office and staff room of the Institute of Heaven. Three Angels staff the phones of the Department’s of Compassion, Punishment and Advice, each linked via an intercom system to the public on the other side of the glass. Members of the public are invited to share joys, secrets, sadness, vices or problems with their Angel of choice. Visual, poetic, ridiculous and profound, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE is presented by award winning company Born in a Taxi, reframes our perception of our faults and puts a humorous spin on the human condition.
November 21