A guide to Sydney's theatre scene
Latest news & reviews
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...
Leaf Supply is launching nationwide delivery
Sydney-based online plant boutique Leaf Supply has just launched nationwide shipping, along with a new range of botanical-themed pots, accessories and plant seeds. The small business, founded by florist Sophia Kaplan and plant and design store owner Lauren Camilleri, has made the green-gift giving game a little more interesting, with three pretty evergreen plants selected every month available to send your loved ones. The live plants are still only available for those in the Sydney metropolitan area, but they’ve stocked their website with a collection of goods available to be sent all over the country, like secateurs, watering cans, plant food, stands, and plant magazines. They’ve also curated a few special pieces that will certainly elevate your gardening interests like handmade ceramic pots, a bronze water mister, and candles. All products get a seasonal upgrade, so it’s definitely worth coming back to see what’s new. Want to start from the seed up? Co-founder Kaplan has put together special seed packs that are perfect to gift someone who’s just starting out in the gardening game. The packs are also beautifully illustrated, thanks to designs by Edith Rewa. With expertise and care guides provided for each plant they sell, even those with the blackest thumbs can’t get it wrong.
English Baroque with Circa
The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Brisbane-based performance company Circa are back to deliver a collaboration which mixes 16th and 17th-century music with acrobatics and contemporary circus. English Baroque with Circa is the third installment from the two companies, who previously teamed up to create the Helpmann award-winning performance French Baroque in 2015 and again in 2017 with Spanish Baroque to a sell-out crowd. The dazzling combination of contemporary movement with 500-year-old English masque and theatre music will premiere at the Canberra International Music Festival before heading on to Sydney's City Recital Hall, arguably one of the only concert spaces in the city with acoustics superb enough to match the tumbling commotion on stage. Artistic director Paul Dyer of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Yaron Lifschitz of Circa have created an inspired pasticcio with works from English composers Henry Purcell, John Playford and John Dowland woven together into one piece. Celebrated soprano Jane Sheldon, who starred in The Howling Girls with the Sydney Chamber Orchestra in 2018, will be sharing the stage with Circa acrobats and the Brandenburg musicians. Tickets start from $30, with $41 seats for under 30's. The Sydney season is only running for six shows before moving on around the country. If this performance is anything like the previous offerings from the duo, this daring collaboration will enchant from start to finish.
Hop down to Shangri-La Hotel for Easter high tea and garden cocktails
A fantastical Easter garden will pop-up in Shangri-La Sydney's Lobby Lounge throughout April with executive pastry chef Anna Polyviou. And what could be better than to fill said garden with delightful treats and heavenly cocktails? If you have always wanted to savour Polyviou’s signature desserts, Easter Garden High Tea will feature her cracked egg tart, indulgent chocolate pots, sticky hot cross buns and an elevated version of the old-school soft serve in a waffle cone. Accompanying these morsels, you’ll be able to drink a popcorn caramel Martini or a Spritz. Flutes of Chandon and Veuve Clicquot will also be on offer if you prefer bubbles. This special afternoon out costs from $75 per person or $55 for kids. If you’re looking for a more grown-up affair, experience the Cocktails in the Garden. Starting from $55 per person, you’ll be handed a picnic basket full of savoury bites, as well as a Belvedere Spritz, a flute of Chandon or a popcorn caramel Martini. Inside the basket, there will be cured meats, Australian cheeses, olives, fluffy quiches and fruit to accompany your refreshing cocktail. Want something a little fancier? For $85 per couple, there’s the option to drink a flute of Veuve Clicquot or Chandon. If you’re going all out, $115 shared between two will keep the cocktails or sparkling free-flowing for 90 minutes. Easter Garden High Tea is available in three sessions throughout the day starting at 11am, 1pm and 3.15 from April 1 to April 29, and cocktails in the gar
Mark Watson: The Infinite Show
Following a show which took last year’s Edinburgh Fringe by storm, British comedian Mark Watson returns to his adopted homeland and makes his long-awaited return to Sydney with a show about empathy. The Infinite Show is about the sorry state of the world and the comedian offers some suggestions for what we can do about it. The former Edinburgh Comedy Award Panel Prize winner brings his trademark twitchy charm and witticisms to answer the big question — if other people make up 99 per cent of the world, why can’t we understand them? He does this by asking audiences to write down something they find hard to empathise with on cards which come into play later in the show. If you’ve managed to catch Watson at one of a string of previous sold-out festival performances or spied him on telly in many UK panel appearances you’ll be familiar with his improv and high-joke rate. Watson's success in Australia goes way back to 2006 when he won a Barry Award for best show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, with his last Sydney Comedy Festival appearance in 2012 for the Information Show. He’s also published eight novels, so you can enjoy more Watson well after you’ve left the theatre laughing. Catch the show fresh from Melbourne on April 23-24 during this year's Sydney Comedy Festival.