5 intriguing shows to catch at Chapel Street’s PROVOCARÉ Festival of the Arts

PROVOCARÉ, the most talked about festival in Melbourne, will open soon. Here’s our top picks from the program.
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Reuben Kaye. Supplied.

Chapel Street Precinct is gearing up to host what festival-goers anticipate will be one of the most intriguing and provoking festivals of the year — PROVOCARÉ Festival of the Arts.

From July 5-15, PROVOCARÉ is designed to challenge audience members’ perceptions with work by some of the world’s most ‘dramatic’ visual and performing artists.

‘Following the huge success of our inaugural festival in 2017, this years line up is sure to provoke even more debate,’ said John Lotton, Executive Chairman of Chapel Street Precinct Association.

From intriguing exhibitions to enigmatic theatre productions, here’s five highlights from the festival program.

1. Reuben Kaye

Proclaimed by British Theatre Guide as ‘the evil love child of Liza Minnelli and Jim Carrey,’ Australian cabaret performer Reuben Kaye has titillated audience members across the globe.

The winner of three categories at the 2017 Adelaide Fringe Festival, Kaye took home the top prize for Best Cabaret. Laced with bawdy humour, Kaye’s production erupts with energy as he showcases his powerful voice.  

Presented by PROVOCARÉ, Kaye will perform his one-man show at Chapel off Chapel from 7-15 July. Book now to guarantee yourself a glittery time!

2. The Death of Walt Disney

MKA Theatre in association with PROVOCARÉ Festival of the Arts delivers A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay about The Death of Walt Disney by Lucas Hnath.

Described by the New York Times as ‘a blackly comic inversion of the public Disney persona,’ this stage show is a subversion of the public’s perception of the much-loved creator.

This highly anticipated production will premier in Australia at MC Showroom, Prahran, from 11-14 July. Tickets are selling fast so book now!

Spencer Tunick’s RING – Munich Opera Festival 2012 from Bureau Mirko Borsche on Vimeo.

3. Return of the Nude by Spencer Tunick

World renowned photographer and installation artist, Spencer Tunick will create site-specific photographic installation involving several hundred naked bodies in Return of the Nude.

Utilising the nude body as raw material Return of the Nude will trigger conversations on the impacts of the human body in urban landscape, and delve into the ideas of the individual versus the collective community.

Such ground-breaking work allows for the reflection of social and environmental issues that consume our modern lives.

Tunick has made national headlines in recent weeks over a location dispute with the Woolworths Group over a sought after installation location. In a positive turn of events the dispute has been resolved with a win-win conclusion for all parties.

The artist welcomes everyone to participate regardless of age, race, gender, ability or body shape. Volunteer registrations are still open with the installations taking place from 7-10 July. Register now!

4. Empty Bodies

Featuring Australia’s elite emerging circus performers, Empty Bodies is circus-drama fusion that examines the human journey through birth and death. Director Zebastian Hunter guides graduates from the National Institute of Circus Arts through a combination of physicality and text.

Empty Bodies is a new work devised in collaboration with renowned Australian playwright, Stephen Sewell and is showing at NICA National Circus Centre from 5-14 July. Limited season so book now!


Chapel Street in partnership with local art galleries will again team up this year to provide ArtWalk: a guided tour of the art in the galleries and laneways that stretch along Chapel Street through Windsor, Prahran and South Yarra.

Last year ArtWalk sold out completely, so best to book tickets early! The guided expedition will reveal the history behind street art and illuminate the local contemporary art scene.

Chapel Street Precinct presents PROVOCARÉ Festival of the Arts. Visit PROVOCARÉ to learn more.