Melbourne Festival round-up

Set with lettuce salad on white background. Fresh Romaine Lettuce , Cos Lettuce, Red and Green Oakleaf lettuce Vegetable salad isolated on white background.

Lettuce might not be the most obvious subject to choose as a theme for an arts festival – but if you know anything about Melbourne then you will understand why, there, it is actually an entirely apt topic to pick.

At the start of the last century the village had almost 150 market gardeners who were growing and selling produce.

Only three survive today so the community is striving to celebrate their heritage by researching and recording memories of the industry in its heyday before it is too late.

With the help of a £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant, For The Love Of Lettuce will eventually create a large online archive and the initial findings of the research will be shown at the Festival during the art trail on September 16 and 17.

The funding has meant that festival organisers have been able to commission three artists to make three new pieces inspired by the market gardening industry and there will also a specially designed garden incorporated into the art trail. You can read about one of the artists involved with that over the page.

As well as the two-day art trail, which will involve around 120 artists in 70 venues, Melbourne Festival also stages a series of concerts and performances throughout September.

They kick off on September 1 with singer songwriter Matt McGuinness and the MLC; followed by Melbourne’s own mixed voice choir A Choir’d Taste on September 8 and 9, and a Funhouse Comedy Night on September 15.

There is poetry from Jo Bell on September 21, opera singing with Jonathan Viera on September 23, drama courtesy of the Cast Ensemble Youth Theatre on September 28 and award winning choir Chorus Amici on September 30.

For more details of all events go to http://www.melbournefestival.co.uk