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Review: Opening Gala at The Brunswick Ballroom

If you are looking for a great night out to experience both Melbourne's local talent and award winning international acts, The Brunswick Ballroom is the new place to be!

Review: Opening Gala at The Brunswick Ballroom
Photo by Nicole Cleary

The opening of a new live performance venue during a worldwide pandemic may at first seem like an oxymoron.... However The Brunswick Ballroom defies the odds and truly proves that the live performance scene in Melbourne is back in business baby! This recently refurbished Sydney Road venue, located in the old Metropolis Hotel, has been spectacularly re-envisioned with inspiration drawn from the iconic 90's Prahran music institution The Continental Cafe. The Brunswick Ballroom truly is a "diamond in the rough" with its grand staircase leading up to the ballroom and the magnificent stained glass domes that evoke Australian artist Leonard French's work. It is sure to have a long future as one of Melbourne's premier live performance venues, enriching Melbourne audiences with an eclectic array of domestic and international cabaret, music and comedy.

At its opening gala performance last Thursday, The Brunswick Ballroom did not disappoint... with legendary performer and composer Eddie Perfect and equally talented and hilarious "new kid on the block", Margot Tanjutco acting as MC's. Both also performed and were joined by Melbourne based cabaret and jazz singing gender transcendent diva Mama Alto, award-winning actor and singer Bert LaBonté, indigenous performer, composer and songwriter Jess Hitchcock, award-winning writer and performer Ash Flanders, acclaimed actor, singer, composer and lyricist Vidya Makan and Green Room award winning singer, songwriter and comedian Jude Perl. An audience could not wish for a more consummate bunch of performers if they tried!

Ranging across a plethora of different music genres, we were treated to an evening of unique standing ovation performances that really highlighted and showed the diverse landscape of music The Brunswick Ballroom will host. Whether it was Perfect's song about Melbourne's Frankston Line, Perl's unique experience of living in a share-house at age 35, Makan's composition about being a featured extra on a movie set, Mama Alto's sultry jazz tones, Hitchcock's simply sublime vocals or Tanjutco's story of an affair she had with a Victorian era lesbian ghost, all performers were equally talented, unique and gifted.

Multi-award winning theatre director and writer Dean Bryant gave excellent direction which allowed each performer's unique skills to shine and the musical direction by award winning Isaac Hayward was a testimony to his musical brilliance. With the addition of the chic venue ambiance, friendly and attentive wait staff, yummy food and a couple of glasses of bubbles, the overall experience at The Brunswick Ballroom was one of sheer joy and a reminder as to why Melbourne is the live music capital of the world.

If you are looking for a great night out to experience both Melbourne's local talent and award winning international acts, The Brunswick Ballroom is the new place to be... plus with upcoming performances by Ross Wilson, Kate Ceberano, Jeff Martin and a variety of Melbourne International Comedy Festival acts, The Brunswick Ballroom's line-up will cause any music or comedy lover to salivate!

For more information on The Brunswick Ballroom visit

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