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Melbourne’s about to cop some of the most hard-hitting theatre from around the world

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Brace yourselves, Melbourne, because it’s about to get real. While Sydneysiders might fiercely debate which of the country’s two biggest cities has the best coffee, there’s no argument as to who has the most vibrant arts and culture scene.

Victoria’s capital has again lived up to that lofty claim with some of the world’s most powerful productions about to touch down in their city.

Without leaving our shores, Big World, Up Close will take you on a tour around the globe, exploring and uncovering some of the most in-demand and highly regarded modern theatre from India, New York and the United Kingdom.

The program consists of three intimate performances brought to you by Arts Centre Melbourne and kicking off on August 22nd.

Pike St

Written and performed by Nilaja Sun and directed by Ron Russell

We’re stoked to announce that the OBIE-award winning Nilaja Sun is making her much-anticipated return to Australia with her new show, Pike St.

This latest production is close to home for Sun, set in the tough suburban neighbourhoods of Manhattan’s Lower East Side where she grew up.

It’s an incisive, at-times hilarious, at-times heartbreaking story about a struggling family as they prepare to batter down the hatches for an impending storm.

But among Pike St’s dark clouds are unmistakable rays of hope and humour that have won Sun widespread critical acclaim.

Guru of Chai

An Indian Ink production

On the surface, Guru of Chai is a story about a humble tea-merchant who’s forever changed when an abandoned girl stuns a Bangalore train station with her breathtaking singing. But this Indian Ink production is so much more than its storyline.

Jacob Rajan is a modern day wonder, taking on no less than seventeen distinct characters as he plays out a thrillingly romantic tale of magic and love in a 21st century India that lurches between rapid modernisation and ancient traditions.

With elements of fairytale, drama and comedy, Guru of Chai is nothing short of a captivating show.

Black T-shirt Collection

Written and performed by Inua Ellams

Inua Ellams presents the incredible tale of two foster children who on paper couldn’t be more different – “one gay, one straight, one Christian, one Muslim.”

However, it’s these very differences that bind them together.

Black T-shirt Collection follows the two foster brothers as they create a t-shirt brand in a Nigerian marketplace that takes them on a head-spinning global adventure.

It’s a compelling exploration of religion, capitalism, consumerism and the high cost of success – and one you simply shouldn’t miss.

Big World, Up Close runs from August 22 – September 17 at Fairfax Studio. You can see all three shows for $90 (+ $8.50 transaction fee), two shows for $80 (+ $8.50 transaction fee), or if you think you can somehow choose between these three unmissable performances, you can purchase individual tickets.