The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience, Melbourne – Theatre Experience Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Perfectly timed with the recent release of Bridgerton Season 3, Part 1, and the upcoming Part 2, is The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience. This immersive theatre event has taken place around the world in various cities across USA, Canada, and now it’s finally here in Australia, exclusive to Melbourne!

When I heard that The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience was coming to our shores, I knew I had to go! It was something I had hoped would come to Australia but never thought would, let alone be held in my own city.

There’s no specific dress code and you don’t have to be period accurate, so I, like many, planned my outfit, which indeed is part of the excitement! I mean, who doesn’t like the idea of dressing up and impressing the Queen!?

While I do enjoy the romance and drama of every season, the one thing I absolutely adore about Bridgerton are the costumes! They’re colourful, vibrant, detailed, are all handmade and stunning! Representation is also an important part of Bridgerton which I really appreciate. Despite the show being set in the English Regency era, Bridgerton is culturally diverse, inclusive, and this is all thanks to the team at Shondaland. This immersive theatre experience warmly and passionately reflects the values of its initial streaming counterpart.

After binge watching Part 1 of Season 3, I was ready to attend. Feeling inspired for my own outfit, I wanted something that represented part of my culture. I picked out a beautiful blue flowy dress with Chinese dragons on them, had a blue lotus shaped tiara, a blue feathered fan with a hanging lotus to match, and a jade green and gold accented circular dragon pendant.

Arriving early, I discovered there were two lines that separated the VIP and GA ticket holders. VIP ticket holders have priority entry and GA follow suit after. VIP patrons are granted a complimentary cocktail and there are Bridgerton themed drinks available for your choosing. There are also light snacks on offer if you are feeling a bit peckish throughout the evening. Whilst I didn’t try the cocktails this time around, I did manage to eat a small zesty lemon cake which was delicious! Compliments to the baker!

The entry to the Bridgerton Experience space is a beautiful archway adorned with gorgeous purple flowers, much like the Bridgerton house in the series being covered with wisteria. Upon entering, you’ll find that at edges of the venue are places to acquire snacks, refreshments, and accessories.

That’s right! There’s a Modiste ready to assist you just in case your head, hands and arms are in a ‘state of undress’ and need a tiara, a hand fan and gloves, coming in various designs and colours. There are also many photo opportunities available and I highly recommend getting your photos done prior to getting any drinks or gracing the chequered dance floor with your presence.

The photo ops include a well-lit pillar embraced space filled with flowers and hanging beads, an elevated platform with a red curtain, a red lounge chair beneath a picture frame with giant pots of flowers on either side, and even a special set up lead by Activity Valet and excellent phone photographer Jake Keen who assists with having your portrait done. Your photo ends up appearing like a painting, with a digital copy to keep. Make sure to check out the display of the Queen’s costume too, which unlike the Queen herself, you will be able to get up close enough to see the detail.

Scattered around the venue and hidden amongst the well-dressed patrons are the lovely characters of The Queen’s Ball. The characters are played by a talented cast which include Lady Maria Branwell (Alexandra Vladimirov), Lord Wilfred Fitzwilliam (Nicolas Mena), Lady St Clare (Emily Lodge), Sir Harris (Carter Rickard), the Queen’s Vallet (Lachlan Purcell), The Bee/Lady In Waiting (Beth Cain), and The Queen (Claire Chihambake). With a unique touch under the direction of renown Australian show director Yvette Lee, alongside Resident Choreographer Hara Papoulias, contributing choreographers Alexandra Vladimirov and Neville Parry, stage manager Christine Young, and with the assistance of floating stage manager Rose Zita Falko who also doubles as a cast member.

These members of the Ton don’t just provided guests with a gorgeous floor show. Throughout the night they glide amongst the guests in the room, hand out Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, and even provide conversation should you be so inclined to speak with them. For those who love being involved, there are many opportunities to take to the floor and learn dance moves throughout the evening.

During one of the dance numbers, with music direction by David Clausen-Wisken, expertly performed throughout the night by David Youings on the piano and Rose Kavanagh on the violin, I found myself chuckling listening to Purcell as the Queen’s Vallet and Rickard’s Sir Harris, adlibbing hilarious banter exchange and commentary while we were all dancing. I was so amused, I laughed to the point where I forgot my dance moves!

As initially stated, like the show, this experience is culturally diverse and inclusive. Firstly, patrons of different generations were all in attendance. I had expected there would be a distinct age bracket in attendance and was happy to be wrong. There were some in gorgeous outfits with their own cultural touch including a girl that looked stunning in a formal black and bejewelled sari, I witnessed a family bring their grandma in a wheelchair who happily joined in on the fun, and a person with a disability gleefully spinning on the dance floor with patrons cheering for him. Witnessing all of this unfold before my eyes really warmed my heart. Bridgerton isn’t just a show, it’s a community, a cultural phenomenon, and I hope that it stays with us for years to come.

I was in awe during one of the dances where we had to all go through an archway, made of fellow patrons! I don’t even know the proper name for it, but it was the cutest little dance and running through the tunnel, when it was my turn to dash I couldn’t help but be in awe of such a wonderful moment. Perhaps back in 1813, this was a typical past time, but we never get the chance to partake in this kind of dances anymore, so I really appreciated this being part of the experience.

I also was so engrossed by the moments happening around me and was simply happy to take it all in, I didn’t pull out my phone to film once. Plus, gloves and mobile phones don’t mix! They’re slippery and didn’t exist in 1813! If you do want to film and take photos though, unlike a typical theatre show, you are more than welcome to do so at The Queen’s Ball to your heart’s content.

As it is The Queen’s Ball, the Queen does grace us with her presence. Gliding in at the appropriate time, the Queen appears during the evening to observe the guests. For VIP patrons, you are granted the opportunity to bow or curtsy to the Queen. After joining the line to greet the Queen, I swear my brain fuzzed up because I ended up bowing to Her Majesty instead of curtsying! Hopefully I did it gracefully, otherwise you may as well be reading the musing of the Potato of the Season.

When it came to the Queen declaring a Diamond of the Evening, I was delighted when a dashing queer man in a stunning black suit named Liam Roodhouse, was taken up onto the circular podium. I was so moved that I became teary, as I was reminded once again on how beautifully inclusive Bridgerton is. It’s not just about a girl in a pretty dress. This experience, as well as the series that it is inspired from, is so much more than that.

It wouldn’t be a Bridgerton themed event without a love story, and the love story that unfolds on the dance floor between Mena’s Lord Wilfred Fitzwilliam and Vladimirov’s Lady Maria Branwell is as adorable as it is exquisite. The way the two accurately dance and merge as one is a privilege to witness. I have no doubt that this is superb performance due to Yvette Lee’s magic touch.

You don’t have to be a fan of the show to enjoy The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience, but it helps! There are little details throughout that fans will greatly appreciate. Whether you’re going alone to make friends with fellow Bridgerton fans, show up with a group of friends, attend as a date or with your significant other, arrive with your family, want the perfect space to make a declaration of love, or desire to make the event a special celebration for a birthday or a hen’s night, The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience is a gorgeously produced, directed and choreographed theatrical immersive experience is a guaranteed good time.

You will feel like you’ve stepped into the show, and into another time. The best part is, although there aren’t any ticket stubs available as a memento of the night, you can take your copy of Lady Whistledown home with you. My only regret is, I wish I had a photo with the resident ‘Duke’!

So, what are you waiting for? Book your tickets, plan your outfits and be ready to be in the presence of the Her Majesty. I already have plans to go back, and hopefully I will no longer be a Potato the next time I attend, aha!

Presented by Shondaland, Netflix and Fever, locally produced by MG Live, with executive producer Paul Babaro at the helm, The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience is an event you must attend, and is exclusive to Melbourne, held in Brunswick until June 23rd.
For more information and ticketing, visit:

Gallery photography below by Eloise Coomber.

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