When you think of the Sydney Opera House you tend to think of big performance spaces, big acts and big performing arts companies. But next month the Opera House is doing something a little bit different and throwing open its doors to a select bunch of stellar independent artists and smaller companies for a new season of four intimate shows called 'UnWrapped' (May 9-13).
What's more, you can see each show for $45, and if you decide to take in two in one night – which is the best way to do a mini-festival of live performance – you can see both for $80.
The Opera House's head of programming, Fiona Winning says: “Great work is being created every day around Australia and too often it disappears after one or two seasons. We want to ensure that exciting new work reaches a wider audience and attracts the sort of attention that can lead to touring. It is an important part of the Opera House’s remit and we take it very seriously.”
So what great work will audiences be treated to?
First up is Mother's Ruin, Maeve Marsden and Libby Wood's riotous cabaret telling the story of gin – and the fierce women who drank it – through the ages. The show played a short season at last year's Sydney Festival where it scored a five-star review from Time Out. Our critic said: "If you don’t think a cabaret that quotes 18th century lawmakers can be hot as fuck, then you haven’t seen Mother’s Ruin."
Marsden and Wood are sharing the Opera House's Studio with dancer and choreographer Kristina Chan, whose acclaimed solo performance A Faint Existence returns to Sydney after premiering at Carriageworks in 2016. It explores the degradation of the environment and our reliance on natural resources.
In the Playhouse – right next door to the Studio – is Personal, Melbourne theatre-maker Jodee Mundy's show about growing up as the only hearing member of a deaf family. In the same theatre is Gideon Obarzanek and Brian Lipson’s Two Jews walk into a theatre…. The two performers play their own fathers and perform an imagined meeting between the pair.
Looking for more affordable performance in Sydney? These shows all cost less than $45.
Don't want to even open your wallet? Here are all the free things you can do in Sydney today.