The Exotic Lives of Lolo Montez

The Exotic Lives of Lola Montez

Finucane & Smith   

From Patrick White Playwright Award Winner Jackie Smith & world famous cabaret stars Finucane & Smith comes the story of the wildest showgirl of the nineteenth century. Lola Montez.

She horsewhipped the editor of the Ballarat Times (for a bad review). Swung down mineshafts on a single rope with champagne in hand. Escaped arrest dressed only in her jewels. Showered with gold nuggets and insults. Swathed in scandal. Her erotic Spider Dance was “the most libertinish and indelicate performance that could be given on the public stage” (Sydney Morning Herald 1855).

In 1855 the wildest showgirl of the nineteenth century, Lola Montez, toured Australia & its goldfields.  The scandal is legend.

From award winning creators of the smash-hit national touring legend Caravan Burlesque, the internationally adored Glory Box and the haunting drama The Flood, comes a brand new drama decked in couture black lace, a thousand true lies, jaw-dropping dance, multi-award winning storytelling, sultry song and a death scene or three.

The Exotic Lives of Lola Montez.

Starring triple Best Actress Winner (and direct descendant of Lola herself!) Miss Caroline Lee and Parisian dance siren Holly Durant, directed by the international Queen of Provocative Variety Moira Finucane, Lola is a wildly contemporary dreamscape steeped in Australian history and the extraordinary lives & freedom of one of the world’s most adventurous women. Created in partnership with Her Majesty’s Ballarat

Showing at the Dunolly Historic Precinct Town Hall, Sunday 10 September, 3pm.

Booking online at
Tickets $25 per adult


Songs of the Trees

All of nature, including humanity, is a network, and the greatest connectors within the network are trees.

Listening to trees, as the seasons pass, as they change and adapt, gives us not just wonderful knowledge about our world, but also enriches our spiritual understanding.

American-based British biologist David George Haskell talks to Genevieve Barlow about how to listen to the “Songs of Trees”.

This event will be held in the beautifully restored Old Court House, in the tiny gold rush town of Dunolly, a 50-minute drive from Bendigo in the direction of Maryborough.

In the hospitality tradition, we have developed with the Historic Precinct committee, you will be offered morning tea (with homemade scones!), after the event, when there is also time to meet David and he’ll be signing books.

This is a unique venue, and a very special place to hear this special writer.

Friday 11 August 10.30am Dunolly Historic Precinct Court House Cnr Bull and Market Sts Dunolly. For inquiries about ticketing, please contact the Capital box office: (03) 5434 6100.

Full Price:  $22    Concession:  $19


The Court Sessions

With assistance from the Victoria Law Foundation., Bendigo Writers Festival’s outreach program heads to Dunolly on Sunday 21 May for an afternoon of stimulating discussions about crime and punishment.

Session 1               2-3pm Dunolly Town Hall

Meet the writer Terry Smyth introduces his book on Denny Day, The Life and Times of Australia’s Greatest Lawman, who brought the Myall Creek massacre to trial.Sulari Gentill introduces her debonair artistic gentleman sleuth, Rowland Sinclair, the hero of her historic crime fiction series.

Session 2             3.30-4.30pm Dunolly Town Hall

Session 2 commences at 3.30pm Truth Stranger than Fiction: Terry Smyth and Sulari Gentill discuss their interest in colonial Australia , how ethics, the law and society have changed, what lessons are to be learned from the past and the joys and difficulties of writing about history.

3.15pm Afternoon tea

A free pre-event historic building tour is available  commencing at 1pm at the Court House in Market St.

Tickets $25 includes both sessions and afternoon tea. Book at or call box office on 5434 6100.

Bendigo Coachlines will run a bus from The Capital, 50 View St Bendigo. Bookings essential. Call 5446 3144.


Art and Culture on ANZAC weekend

ANZAC Day weekend in Dunolly will be filled with art and culture. The weekend begins on Thursday 20 April at 8pm in the Precinct Town Hall with Shirley Valentine, a true, touching and wonderfully funny show presented by The Capital Theatre, Bendigo. Tickets $25 are available online at go to events or at the door on the night.

The Tiny Towns Arts Trail commences on Saturday 22 April and continues till Monday 24 April 10am-4pm. From Clunes to Avoca, Dunolly and Bealiba, enjoy creative, unique galleries, public spaces, cafes, wineries and surprises! Information available at

A Day in Dunolly with Organs of the Goldfields

Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Inc. stages an annual ten day summer Festival of Classical Music in the historic buildings and locations in Ballarat whilst showcasing the region’s heritage to visitors from many parts of Australia.
Leading Australian and international musicians present a wide ranging program of fine music during 24 different 60 minute recitals. Supporters can also attend popular festival meals which are offered in unique venues.

Monday 16 January

Recital 6

10am and repeated at 12 noon St John’s Anglican Church, Dunolly.

Recital for Organ and Trumpet Rhys Boak organ and Bruno Siketa trumpet

An early Fincham mechanical action organ in a heritage goldfields church.

Morning tea available in the former Sunday school in support of St John’s before the 10am recital and also between 11am and 12 noon.

Recital 7

10am and repeated at 12 noon Dunolly Historic Precinct-Town Hall

Babaganoush Gypsy Ensemble followed by a visit from Queen Victoria.

Babaganoush report that their audience members often find the urge to dance irresistible.

Heritage listed buildings in Dunolly include the Historic Precinct which contains the recently restored former Court House, early jail and police stables.