The best theatre in Sydney
Here's what Time Out Sydney reviewers are loving right now.
The best musical theatre in Sydney
Sydney loves a triple threat; here's our edit of the shows setting our stages alight right now.
The best opera in Sydney
From blockbuster, populist shows in stunning surrounds, to small and independent productions – an operatic experience is within your grasp.
Cheap theatre tickets in Sydney
A dose of culture doesn't have to bust your budget when you know the hacks and tricks to accessing cheap theatre ticket deals around Sydney.
Upcoming Sydney theatre productions
Fawlty Towers Live
Original Python John Cleese is bringing one of his most beloved works, the 1980s TV sitcom Fawlty Towers, to the stage – 41 years after it premiered on the BBC. Written by and co-starring Cleese and his then-wife actress Connie Booth, the series pitched its tent in the world's worst hotel, run by the world's rudest hotelier and his incompetent staff. Cleese's character Basil Fawlty and his establishment were inspired by a hotel that Monty Python's members stayed in while filming in the British riviera town of Torquay during the early 1970s. It's not so strange that Cleese would bring Fawlty Towers to stage – in fact popular improv-style dinner-theatre versions of it already exist around the world. But it is perhaps unusual that he's chosen to premiere the show in Sydney. The production, which is currently being cast by Cleese, is produced by Michael Coppel, Phil McIntyre and Louise Withers, and will spearhead a national tour through Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. Tickets for Fawlty Towers Live go on sale Feb 19 from 9am.
A guide to Sydney's theatre scene
What's on at...
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
Sydney Theatre Company
It’s Andrew’s final season, so one might expect him to throw caution to the winds and get some wish-list i tems out of the way. Overall it’s a rather demure season as far as Big Names, with the exception of Rose Byrne, who will be fronting Andrew’s production of David Mamet’sSpeed-the-Plow. But there’s plenty of top shelf local thesp talent – like Robyn Nevin, Sarah Peirse and Helen Thomson; and there are actors made popular on screen returning to the STC stage – including Lisa McCune, Ryan Corr, John Howard and Lachy Hulme. But there's no William Hurt, Phillip Seymour Hoffman or Steven Soderbergh. And we’ll miss Hugo, Rox and Cate. The big international star of the season is British director Rupert Goold (Enron, Macbeth), now artistic director of London’s Almeida Theatre. He’ll be bringing his hit West End production of Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III to Sydney. Also heading down under from the UK are 1927, with their take on the Golem myth. For an Australian classic, we get Louis Nowra’s Golden Age; for new work, there are premieres by Sue Smith (Kryptonite), Angela Betzien (The Dark Room), and a portmanteau of new works by emerging playwrights Melissa Bubnic, Michele Lee, Nakkiah Lui and Debra Thomas – with a fifth from veteran Hannie Rayson. The Secret River, arguably Cate and Andrew’s greatest programming achievement in their tenure, returns. For new international work: besides King Charles III from the UK, Upton is bringing Pulitzer Prize winner Disgraced, from the
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.
You might also like...
Guess who's back
Everyone from Steve Manfredi to Paul Merrony and even (in his youth) Matt Moran has been through the kitchen of The Paddington Inn. But its history is deeper than that – in 1860, the beloved hotel played host to the first ever meeting of the Paddington Council. For the last 30 years, the Paddington institution has been under the watchful eye of the family-owned nightlife empire Solotel. In the last six months, the pub, like Paddington itself, has been undergoing some major changes, and will reopen on September 8. It's been fully renovated by George Livissianis, the man behind the gorgeous décor at Cho Cho San, and the revived Dolphin Hotel, and now houses a new bar and dining room. And to go with the new look there's a whole new menu. Seasonal, produce-drive, simple and gorgeous, it's been created by head chef Justin Schott, a man who's arrived at the Paddington Inn via Rockpool and Kitchen by Mike. "We’re making as much in-house as possible – we are dry ageing the duck, and we’ll make our own cotechino as well as focaccia and gingerbread daily," Schott says. An à la carte restaurant at the back of the venue will be accompanied by more casual fare at the front bar. That menu is inspired by classic pub grub, with an elegant update. “The new kitchen will be open plan so diners will see it all going on. I can’t wait to get moving and add to the innovative food history of The Paddington Inn.” As well as a significant and interesting wine list, cocktails also play a starring r
Two countries, two cultures, seven cities: one festival
Confluence Festival of India in Australia is the most significant showcase of Indian arts and culture ever to be staged in Australia, taking place in seven cities across the country between August and November 2016. The festival program includes world-class dance, theatre and music as well as conferences and workshops on Indian innovation, politics and sport. Events are scheduled in Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. One of the festival’s key components is fostering bilateral ties, with joint performances and collaborations between Indian and Australian artists and thinkers.
Whether you’re still on your training wheels or you’re the next Robbie McEwen or Cadel Evans, the Spring Cycle is an event perfect for you. Proudly supported by Roads and Maritime Services and open to cyclists of all ages and abilities, The Spring Cycle is the ultimate city fun-ride. With ride options of 12km, 50km and 105km, each route guarantees riders the chance to cycle across Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge completely traffic-free! Say goodbye to the confines of cycling lanes and revel in car-less lanes as you cross the magnificent Harbour, bypassing the Opera House and zipping through the Rocks and Barangaroo. Starting in St Leonards Park and finishing up in either Pyrmont (12km ride) or Olympic Park (50km and 105km), enjoy post-ride entertainment as you relax and unwind in the presence of friends and family. Enter as a team, individually or take your kids free of charge. Early bird tickets are on sale now (end Aug 31).
Broadway Sydney's flash new second floor is open for business
If you’ve visited Broadway Sydney any time within the last year, you would’ve noticed that Level 2 has been undergoing a serious makeover. And now, after 12 months of redevelopment works and an expansion of 3,400 square metres, it’s finally been unveiled! The doors swung open on August 18 and the $55 million redevelopment is now showing off 30 new retailers in food, fashion and beauty. International brands you can now find at Broadway include H&M, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, Seed Heritage, Sunglass Hut, Calvin Klein Underwear, Napoleon Perdis and many more. If all that shopping has given you an appetite, you can sate it at Passiontree Velvet teahouse; Din Tai Fung; Zeus Street Greek; Chinese food experts Mr Wu; Turkish food kings Eat Istanbul; and Vietnamese street food vendors Bun Me, alongside familiar favourites like Soul Origin, Nando’s, Grill’d Healthy Burgers, Schnitz, Guzman Y Gomez, Hero Sushi and Cha Time. The newly renovated Level 2 is also pretty to look at – it's adorned in contemporary Australian art from Four Sydney-based creatives – illustrator and silkscreen printer Kate Banazi, emerging furniture designer Vincent Buret, textiles artist Victoria Garcia, and industrial designer Adam Goodrum.