Summer Arts Long Weekend

Labour Day Long Weekend

7 - 10 March, 2014

The Summer Arts Long Weekend celebrates the contemporary arts in Melbourne. From local to international artists, the program transforms the museum garden into a meeting place for friends and families to enjoy theatre, comedy, music, and a kids program of cooking and gardening, not to mention Con Christopoulos' (Siglo, The Supper Club, The European) pop-up dining experience, Pagoto.

Pagoto Pop-Up

Renowned restaurateur Con Christopoulos' first pop-up, Pagoto, is open for the last time this summer, all weekend over Labour Day. Pagoto opens with the gates two hours before the first performances of each day (6pm Friday March 7; 12pm Saturday March 8; 12pm Sunday March 9; and 10am Monday March 10). Meaning ice-cream in Greek, the dining experience pays tribute to the flavours of Greece, evoking childhood memories, and the cultural space of the Museum. 

program highlights

Socrates Now is a one man, internationally acclaimed play. With over 300 performances in 15 countries, Socrates Now invites a modern audience to take a seat in the court of Athens and be judge and jury as Socrates (played by Emmy award winning, New York based actor, Yannis Simonides) goes on trial for his life. Made famous and then infamous through his arguments, and arguing to the end, Socrates proves his often quoted adage that “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Socrates challenges the audience through exploring the ramifications of their judgement. This interactive experience provokes thought and debate on the issues of ethics, citizenship, truth, justice, and the relevance of Socrates’ thought in society today. 

Saturday afternoon sees the first Melbourne performance of Melisma Ensemble with their spiritual and uplifting Byzantine chant. The comedy night kicks off with leading improvisors The Bear Pack, comprised of Sydney comedy duo Steen Raskopoulos and Carlo Ritchie. In Melbourne for a one off performance, they are followed by local legend George Kapiniaris. Comedian, actor, and producer, Kapinaris performs a candid show with his trade mark humour and entertainment.

Sunday afternoon commences with an artists panel, showcasing new works by George Raftopoulos and Michelle Mantsio. In the evening, Arnold Zable, the award-winning Australian writer, story teller and human rights advocate holds a special performance with award winning singer/songwriter Anthea Sidiropoulos.

The Family Day on Monday March 10 includes free workshops in cooking with Sweet Greek Kathy Tsaples, who with a special Easter class demonstrates the process of dying and patterning red eggs. Following in the afternoon is a Greek language performance of Socrates Now.

7 March 8pm:          Socrates Now - Australian Premiere

8 March 2pm:          Melisma Ensemble

8 March 8pm:          The Bear Pack - Improvisation duo Steen Raskopoulos and Carlo Ritchie

8 March 8pm:          George Kapiniaris - Zorba The Freak

9 March 2pm:          George Raftopoulos and Michelle Mantsio - Hour with the Artists

9 March 3pm:          Transformation - International Women's Day Art Exhibition by the Food for Thought Network

9 March 6pm:          Arnold Zable with Anthea Sidiropoulos - Journeys to Ithaca

9 March 8pm:          Socrates Now

10 March 11am:     Sweet Greek Kathy Tsaples - cooking workshop  

10 March 5pm:       Socrates Now - Greek session

For tickets, head over here.


Socrates Now - 7 March 8pm, 9 March 8pm, Students Performance 10 March 5pm

Performing for the first time in Australia at the Summer Arts Long Weekend, The Apology of Socrates is a delightful and quite humorous dramatization of the famous philosopher’s defence and his rebuttals to aguilty verdict and sentence to death. In the Apology, reported to us by Socrates’ disciple, Plato, the wise man of Athens firmly and eloquently defends himself – rather than apologizing in the contemporary sense – against politically motivated accusations of not believing in the gods of the state, and of corrupting the Athenian youth.

Yannis Simonides channels the eccentric yet magnetic personality of Socrates and offers a profoundly social, political, but above all human work which captivates the audience with the humour, immediacy and simplicity of its theatrical rendition.

Melisma Ensemble - 8 March 2pm

Melisma Ensemble performs sacred Byzantine chant - the music of the Eastern Orthodox tradition - a living, vibrant, purely vocal tradition, with roots in antiquity and a rich history of development through Byzantium to modern times.

Based in Sydney, Melisma bring their uplifting chant to Melbourne for the first time as a one off performance at the Summer Arts Long Weekend. Intricate, ornate vocal melodies float through the audience, weaving a rich tapestry of sound, all the while grounded and held together by a powerful, enveloping bass drone.

Melisma debuted in 2012 with a sell out concert at St. Mary's Cathedral Crypt and has also performed at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre as part of Sydeny's Sacred Music Festival. 

The Bear Pack - 8 March 8pm

Sydney Improvisers Steen Raskopoulos and Carlo Ritchie bring their act down south for a one off performance.

Raskopoulos wooed audiences in 2013, winning the Best Newcomer award for the Sydney Comedy Festival and nominated for Best Newcomer at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

George Kapiniaris: Zorba the Freak - 8 March 8pm

George Kapiniaris performs his Greek/Australian bilingual one man show. Supported by a very special surprise guest this show proves to be 90 minutes of non stop laughter about growing up Greek in Australia.

Kapiniaris is one of Australia's best loved comedy, music and TV stars who had a starring role in the hugely popular "Wogs Out of Work" stage show alongside Nick Giannopoulos and has appeared on the classic TV show Acroplis Now as well as Underbelly, Kick, Joker Poker and The Flying Doctors. 

Hour with the Artists: George Raftopoulos and Michelle Mantsio - 9 March 2pm, Free

Artists George Raftopoulos and Michelle Mantsio discuss the processes and inspirations behind their latest works.

George Raftopoulos' predominantly autobiographical paintings reach for universal themes of hope, longing, fear, love and desire. With a strong sense of colour regardless of pigment, and applying elements of collage in exploration of the portrait, the works examine the longstanding depths and layers of mythology in society.

Michelle Mantsio presents her work Brothers: the slipknot, an installation that explores the visual representation of dialogue. The artwork, which involves audio visual elements and sculpture, investigates how conversation between two brothers can be presented. Through the exploration and experimentation of pattern and rhythm as a translation of their conversation, the work investigaes what passes between them. 

Arnold Zable: Journeys to Ithaca - 9 March 6pm

Acclaimed Australian author and storyteller Arnold Zable weaves tales of journeys to Ithaca accompanied by award winning singer/songwriter Anthea Sidiropoulos. Zable first journeyed to Greece in 1973, and over the years has spent time on Ithaca, home to the legendary Odysseus. Drawing upon his novel Sea of Many Returns, the stories of his wife’s Ithacan family, and his travels on both the island and the mainland, his tales encompass the modern day odysseys of those who have sailed to the ends of the earth in search of new lives, and those who remained on the island. The tales are echoed in the haunting songs performed by Anthea – songs of the sea and of travellers, songs of the dawn and of that aching longing for home that afflicts so many islanders. These are journeys with a contemporary relevance, as people worldwide continue to search for a better life, a refuge, yet can never overcoming their aching nostalgia for the homeland.  

Sweet Greek Kathy Tsaples: cooking workshop - 10 March 11am, Free

Kathy Tsaples' recipes are about celebrating life: taking traditional food, cooking it today, and passing it on to future generations. At the Family Day of the Summer Arts Long Weekend, Kathy leads a class for families to share the fun and delight of cooking together. With a season focus on Easter treats, the class will commence with a taste of Loukoumades (Greek dounuts), followed with a workshop on the process of boiling and painting red eggs, and finishes with a demonstration on how to make some of Kathy's regional pastries. Kids are encouraged to join in with the red eggs, and leave with a treat to take home.

With her shop at Prahran Markets, and her recipes featured in Gormet Traveler, ABC radio national and more, this free workshop is sure to fill quickly!



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