Get your sequins on for ‘Rhonda Butchmore’s Fabulous Guided CouTours’ and learn the inside story on the biggest old dame of the local theatre scene, the Melbourne Arts Centre. It’s led by movie-star redheaded trivia expert, Rhonda Butchmore, and her affable tuxedo-clad 2IC, Joy FM’s Kyle Minall. You’ll pass an easy pre-show hour getting the backstage goss of what lies behind the greasepaint and access to some never-before-viewed sites, as well as earning a free drink for the price of your ticket!
In its second year, Rhonda and Kyle negotiated with management to allow the community to venture through the cultural wilds of pink velour carpet — from beige to burgundy and back again — with nary a backstage door missed.
With a warm, inviting personal style, they regale you with secret theatre history tales of dogs, horses, weather emergencies, dressing room potted-histories of drag and queer performing arts. You will learn of the the custom production of Rhonda’s famous iconic Australian landmark costumes, all while being entertained by their intimate banter. Not to mention the 380,000 Mexican marbles wall.
Following Rhonda’s red sequinned shoes, you’ll stand where the stars stood as you gain access to under-, backstage and stage doors. Learn what lies beneath the grassy knoll between Hamer Hall, then take your final steps into never-before-seen spaces on the roof. (Where you may have found the set for your next B-Grade sci fi home movie.)
Last stop is the pièce de résistance. You’re lead to the golden, upside-down ice cream moment that caps the evening. Save your battery for some fabulous selfies with your hosts, plus views over St Kilda Road to the Shrine of Remembrance, the lights of the MCG, and the gathering theatre throng below. You really have seen things theatrical you never knew existed.
Rhonda and Kyle share their love of theatre, Melbourne arts history, backstage lore, and a flair as personal co-hosts that will make you feel up close and personal with the secret stories that lie behind the red curtain. Book quickly — it’s selling out fast.
Dancemindwork is a performing arts graduate who loves unique theatre in alternate spaces which builds community.
‘Rhonda Butchmore’s Fabulous Guided CouTours’ runs 20-31 January at Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Midsumma 2016. Purchase tickets now.
A special mobility access show runs Saturday 30 January at 4.30pm.
The Plus Ones were invited guests of Arts Centre Melbourne.