The Butterfly Club is set to launch its most terrifying endeavour yet: A 3-day mini-festival to celebrate the unofficial Halloween-Melbourne-Cup-Extra-Long-Weekend. It’s sure to be a Fright Fest with 12 shows, a Halloween themed menu and spooky fancy dress in the sprit of Halloween.

The venue has a proud history of hilarious and spectacular Halloween parties. It’s a hands on endeavour for Tom Dickins of The Butterfly Club who, last year, on top of the venues regular programming, hosted a late night variety/cabaret show with a bunch of performers from the clubs community.

“We also had a guy coming in with a 3D scanner and printer scanning all patrons in their Halloween costumes and printing pint-sized copies for people to take home,” Dickins says.

“This year, with Halloween falling on the unofficial extra-long weekend for Melbourne Cup we thought it would be a good time to double down and see how many Halloween-themed shows we could cram into our two performance spaces. We pride ourselves on the breadth of our program, so this was the perfect opportunity to showcase cabaret, burlesque, comedy and theatre, all under the banner of Halloween. Unsurprisingly, performers were up for the challenge!”

Anyone familiar with the delightfully eclectic venue will agree that it is a weird and wonderful place that is intrinsically odd/spooky. Dickins concurs and says: “We are decorated in wall-to-wall kitsch, we are down a dimly lit alleyway and we play host to a range of bizarrely costumed folks every night we are open. Halloween is a natural fit for us. We will also take any excuse to don a ridiculous costume that contributes to the WTF-factor, so it doesn’t take much to get staff and performers on board.”

And the play list of performers and acts is sure to tantalize:

Early Burly is the venue’s monthly burlesque night curated by Miss Adelaide Everheart. Since it’s inception it has formed the nasty habit of frequently selling out and receiving rave reviews (sigh). This month it will be guest-hosted by the exceptionally talented Anya Anastasia, who just completed a phenomenal run of Torte e Morte at the Melbourne Fringe. She’ll be joined by Betty Blood, Kerry X and Minnie Andrews.

For the entire week, The Butterfly Club is thrilled to have John Thorn in his solo debut Background Boy. John has toured the world accompanying the likes of Meow Meow, Bob Downe and Spontaneous Broadway. The number of awards he has won and been nominated for is downright frightening, and this is the first chances for audiences to hear the stories of being a Background Boy.

The other headliner for the week is Michael Dalley, who has long enthralled audiences around the country and further abroad with ode’s to the shocking every-day experiences like “Shit Art From The Mornington Peninsula”. This is the world premiere of his solo cabaret. While he is thrilled with the two Green Room Awards he has won, he is still livid at not winning the other ten for which he was nominated.

The Big Hoo-Haa have been disappointing audiences at the venue all year long with the worst possible of offences: being constantly sold out, on a weekly basis. They recently took over our entire venue for Melbourne’s Very Haunted House during the Melbourne fringe – a 6-hour endurance event where they dripped with blood, and shocked the living daylights out of unsuspecting passers by. So when they do a Halloween show, we know it’s going to be good (terrifying).

Every Friday night, Trevor Jones fills the haunted corridors with the best and worst of music theatre and pop music. At one moment a member of the Lion King cast will join him on stage, at another he will be carousing the audience into a group-sung rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. It is loud, unabashedly camp and brilliant. The Halloween edition of Freaky Fridays will do all of this and more. Expect some Rocky Horror tunes to surface…

The Grand Guignol Automaton is the latest offering by The Laudanum Project. It is darkly macabre and deeply disturbing. It comes fresh from the Castlemaine Gaol. There are a lot of shows on around Halloween that promise to be dark but are actually schlock-filled comedy. This isn’t one of them. Prepare to be utterly destroyed by the darkness of this show.

Meanwhile, Adult Fairy Party is the polar opposite. It allows you to dress up as a (zombie) fairy, play pass the parcel, sing songs and connect with your nostalgia for being a child. All of this can be enjoyed with a glass of wine in hand, interspersed with exceptional renditions of cabaret classics by the inimitable Natasha York. Spoiler alert: You may end up with your face painted like your very own Zombie-Fairy.

So, says Dickins, whether you are intending it or not, the not-really-a-long-weekend-long-weekend of Melbourne Cup always ends up taking you to weird and wonderful places. I like to think that we are amongst the weirdest and most wonderful. If you feel like dressing up, if you feel like a cocktail, if you feel like seeing some of Melbourne’s finest performers across cabaret, comedy, music theatre, burlesque and theatre, we have you covered.

The Butterfly Club presents: Halloweekend
Dates: 30th of October – 1st of November
Time: From 5pm til late, each night.

**If you dress up as a zombie-fairy on Sunday, you’ll get cheaper tickets to Adult Fairy Party. If you dress Halloween-y on any night, you’ll get a lot of love from everyone in the building (Box office and Bar staff included).**