A guide to Sydney's theatre scene
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Sydney Opera House
This Australian icon sits on Bennelong Point and is Sydney’s premiere venue for classical and contemporary music, opera, theatre and dance. As peaceful as it looks now, the House had a controversial beginning: while it was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, by the time the building was completed in 1973 its architect had been fired. Many have pondered the building’s design over the years, comparing it variously to shells, waves and even a family of swans. Utzon never revealed his vision, only that it involved spheres. The Opera House offers different tours that allow you to get intimate with the building, including some hosted in different languages and full ‘experience' packages. If you don't feel like shelling out, it's still free to sit on the steps for a quick lunch and walk by the water and gaze in marvel at those 1,056,000 pearly, self-cleaning Swedish tiles. Where to eat and drink near Sydney Opera House For the ultimate Opera House dining experience, book a pre-theatre dinner at Bennelong, or just pop in for a drink and a snack at the raw and cultured bar. Check out the Opera Kitchen, a harbourfront dining area that features a host of Sydney food identities including John Susman. Meander around to Bulletin Place for cocktails. Later in the evening kick the glamour up a notch at Hemmesphere and enjoy matched cigars and more cocktails into the morning. Backstage tour With access into areas normally reserved for stars and their minders, this tour will have y
Each year this western Sydney cultural hub hosts an exciting programme of theatre, dance, opera, circus, musicals and solo shows. The theatre is also a NT Live screening venue, so throughout the year you can catch London's National Theatre productions screened live in HD. Visit the Riverside Theatres website for the full 2014 program.
Worth visiting for the space alone, Carriageworks is the latest incarnation of the Eveleigh Rail Yards. Built in the 1880s, its cavernous interiors are faithfully preserved, giving it a limitlessness very different from the plush cocoons of most theatres. With a program of large-scale theatre, dance and installation works, and as a host of the experimental and cross-disciplinary theatre company Performance Space, Sydney Chamber Opera and Moogahlin Performing Arts, Carriageworks is gaining a reputation as the venue for the most progressive Sydney drama, dance and art.
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Eat and drink your way through Parramatta
Naturally Sydney’s “second CBD” Parramatta has a thriving food and drink scene. Thanks to the delicious cuisines of the many diverse communities who call it home, Parramatta is bursting at the seams with hole-in-the-wall eateries, heaving family restaurants, and a new in-flux of uber cool cocktail bars. But where to start? Never fear, we’ve got some hot food tips under our (expanding) belts for you. Kickstart your Parramatta food trip with robust coffee and memorable brekkie. Circa Espresso has got the breakfast goods with their signature Ottoman Eggs – a Middle Eastern-inspired egg and eggplant dish given that extra zing from garlicky labneh and crispy fried sage and leek. Try a caffeinated brew with a view at the riverside Armory Wharf Café with their Sriracha eggs – a blue swimmer crab laden breakfast of champions. Top it off with a mid-morning sweet treat and ignite your Instagram likes with one of Bay Vista dessert bar and café’s towering desserts. Parramatta (and neighbouring Harris Park) is so rich with fantastic Indian restaurants we devoted an entire feature to it. Head to Billu’s Indian eatery for their signature tandoori chicken and classic thaalis, or hunt down our pick for the best biryani in Sydney from Hyderabad House. Finish your tasty trip into ‘Little India’ with a rainbow-hued treat from Chatkazz sweets or a delightfully sticky gulab jamun from Taj Indian Sweets and Restaurant. As the sun sets take your full belly to one of Parramatta’s fun bars and brew
Join the launch party for the kooky new bar above the Marly
The team at the Marly are finally ready to unveil their absurdist new creation, Cuckoo. Designed in collaboration with Monster Children and International World Wide (the Norfolk, the Old Fitz), Cuckoo will be more than a new bar. They’re not giving too many details away, so to properly investigate what wonders await, you’ll want to ascend the stairs on October 18 and jump down the rabbit hole at the launch party. What can you expect from this curious new venture? They’re promising an uninhibited and raucous attitude. Think wood panelling and retro style – with just the right amount of kitsch mountain décor. Insta moments will abound: visitors will be able to test their skills on an epic indoor climbing wall, for instance. Crusty giant pretzels will be your primary bar snack, designed to be dunked in delicious condiments from the vast array housed in the “Condiment Kingdom”. Schnitzels will be the star of the main menu, and you’ll have the chance to sample a rainbow of schnapps in between bouts on the dancefloor. Cuckoo will be creating this beloved European concoction in house, and since cocktails simply can’t be ignored at a party, you’ll likely spot a few fruity distillations in your more elaborate drinks. If all this heady aband
See the Australian thriller Splinter in Sydney
This thriller by Hillary Bell follows a couple whose missing five-year-old daughter returns after nine months missing – with no scratches and no explanation. They're forced to grapple with the uncertainties of their past and move forward under enormously difficult circumstances. “There was this play that I read before it went into production at Sydney Theatre Company, which I loved but didn’t get to direct, and it stayed with me always,” Griffin Theatre Company's artistic director Lee Lewis says of Bell’s work. The original production played in Sydney in 2012, would usually count a play out of a major revival for at least a few more years, however, Lewis wanted to challenge that expectation during her time at Griffin. “There’ve been extraordinary plays that have been written over the last 20 years which aren’t old enough to be considered classics so we can’t do a ‘classic revival’, but we could just do the damn play again because it’s good.” Starring Hilary Bell’s sister Lucy Bell and Les Miserables star Simon Gleeson, this claustrophobic chamber piece questions how well we know our families. Splinter runs until October 12 at the Griffin Theatre Company. Further details and tickets are available here.