This month’s top events, plus a sneak peek at what’s on in November.
School of Rock:
From 31 October | Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne
Brent Hill steps into the role of the failed rocker-turned-substitute- teacher made famous by Jack Black in the cult 2003 film. Expect good times aplenty with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s entertaining production, which features a class of talented tweens ready to play hard.
Until 28 October | National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Japan opened its borders to trade in the 1850s after centuries of isolation, introducing Japanese aesthetics to the Western world. This exhibition includes works by artists influenced by the movement that followed, including painters Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Australian Arthur Streeton.
Melbourne International Arts Festival
3-21 October | Various venues, Melbourne
A full calendar of dance, music, art and theatre is on offer in the city this month. Even some of Melbourne’s famous trams will receive the artistic treatment.
Until 30 November | Trinity College, The University of Melbourne
This special exhibition, supported by the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School, features works for sale by Indigenous artists and students from Victoria and the Northern Territory, with proceeds helping to fund a new scholarship for a West Arnhem Land student.
25-27 October | The Coopers Malthouse, Melbourne
Be quick to catch the short run of this edgy production of Franz Kafka’s classic story about a man who turns into a giant insect. Starring baritone Simon Lobelson as the confused and unfortunate Gregor, it’s a chamber opera with a difference.
Next Month: Melbourne Cup
6 November | Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
Tune in to “the race that stops a nation”, when even non-punters find themselves parading trackside in fascinators or glued to screens around the country.
18 and 20 October | Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Following her triumphant act at Sydney’s Mardi Gras in March, the iconic performer is turning back time again at her flamboyant tour’s final Australian stop.
Sculpture by the Sea
18 October-4 November | Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, Sydney
Stroll the scenic two-kilometre path between two iconic beaches and enjoy the sight of 100 outdoor sculptures created by artists from around the world.
20-27 October | Various venues, Sydney
More than 500 injured veteran and active servicemen and women from across the globe will come to Sydney for the fourth Invictus Games, with its founder, the Duke of Sussex, and the Duchess of Sussex there to cheer them on.
Sydney International Art Series: David Goldblatt
From 19 October | Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
This retrospective of works by the recently deceased South African photographer – who captured images of his country during and directly after apartheid – is the first major presentation of his art in the Southern Hemisphere.
Windowrie Long Lunch
27 October | Windowrie Estate, Cowra
Home to one of the region's founding winemakers, the gardens of Windowrie Estate open to welcome wine lovers from across the country, with long tables presenting some of the best Windowrie drops and delicious Spanish-inspired dishes, ready to be devoured
Until 3 November | Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Catch Tina Arena giving her all as Eva Perón in the Sydney production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s multi-award-winning musical before the show heads to Melbourne.
Next Month: Spartacus
9-24 November | Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
This is definitely not your average ballet – there’s not a tutu in sight. Choreographer Lucas Jervies presents the famous tale of the gladiator who led a slaves’ rebellion against the Roman Empire.
Prime Minister’s XI vs South Africa
31 October | Manuka Oval, Canberra
A team comprising some of the country’s brightest young cricketers – hand-picked by the PM – takes on South Africa for this special annual match held in the heart of the capital.
Honour Their Spirit
5 October-11 November | Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Commemorating 100 years since the end of World War I, 62,000 hand-knitted poppies will be displayed in a tribute to the number of Australian lives lost.
25 October-11 November | Adelaide Festival Centre
Celebrating the best in food, culture, workshops, dance and theatre from across Asia, this festival promises to deliver an eclectic program, with notable shows including modern Chinese percussionists and disco-dancing seniors from Korea.
Cheesefest + Ferment
27-28 October | Rymill Park, Adelaide
The latest and greatest in the fragrant worlds of fromage and fermentation will be on offer at this gourmet weekend event, with food personality Matt Preston on hand as the festival’s Master of Fromage.
Next Month Australia vs South Africa
9 November | Adelaide Oval
Join the green and gold army as the Aussie cricket team takes on South Africa in the second match of the one-day international series.
20-27 October | His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth
Featuring Teddy Tahu Rhodes in the title role, Mozart’s opera blends comedic breaks with melodrama and plays in Perth almost 231 years to the date it premiered in Prague.
Field of Light: Avenue of Honour
From 4 October | Mount Clarence, Albany
Coinciding with the end of Anzac centenary commemorations, this immersive work from artist Bruce Munro will pay homage to the 41,000 troops who departed from Albany to serve in World War I.
Next Month: Shania Twain
30 November | Perth Arena
Hitting our shores for the first time in almost two decades, the That Don’t Impress Me Much country-pop hit-maker will dazzle Perth before heading around the country.
Good Food & Wine Show
26-28 October | Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Culinary cohorts Darren Robertson, Maggie Beer and Matt Golinski front the hungry masses on the last leg of this travelling food and wine extravaganza.
Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival
31 October-4 November | Various locations, Noosa
There are few more beautiful places than Noosa to swim, cycle and run in a triathlon but if you prefer less strenuous pursuits, there’s a full calendar of social activities to keep you occupied.
Travelling Film Festival
12-14 October | Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, Bundaberg
26-28 October | Mackay City Cinemas
Started by film critic David Stratton in 1974, this moveable feast of film gives regional Australia the chance to enjoy local and global cinema in a festival environment, with screenings, talks and workshops.
Next Month: The Designers’ Guide: Easton Pearson Archive
From 23 November | Museum of Brisbane
Trace the artistry of fashion duo Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson via a collection of 200 garments selected by the designers from 27 years of their brand’s life.
Barkly Muster Gold Rush Camp Draft
6-7 October | Jubilee Park, Tennant Creek
Bringing together stockmen, rough riders and cowboys, plus locals and tourists there for the spectacle, this annual event showcases traditional pastoral skills and outback culture.
Alice Springs Masters Games
13-20 October | Various venues, Alice Springs
Athletes from all over the Territory converge to participate in this friendly competition of 36 sports, including athletics, swimming, cricket and even tenpin bowling.
Devonport Food & Wine
1-31 October | Various venues, Devonport
Eat, drink and indulge your way through a month-long celebration of the region’s best, from casual food-truck fare to formal dinners.
The Music of James Bond
30 October | Wrest Point Entertainment Centre, Hobart
Kate Ceberano, Michael Falzon and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra make the sky fall as they re-create iconic James Bond songs.
Royal Hobart Show
25-27 October | Hobart Showground, Glenorchy
The nation’s oldest agricultural show is back with plenty of rides, activities and entertainment, including a rodeo and fireworks.