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
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.
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Stockroom Restaurant and Stillery Cocktail Bar
Surrounded by the retail and tree-lined streets of Double Bay is the InterContinental hotel, a charming destination whose marble and gold interiors house a restaurant and cocktail lounge that any passer-by can experience. Enter the hotel via the regal, winding marble staircase and try the gin-focused menu at the sophisticated Stillery lounge. Or sidle into Stockroom Restaurant for a seasonally-inspired menu utilising the best of local produce, and a casual atmosphere. With more than 100 varieties of rare, vintage and limited-edition gin and an innovative menu of aromatic G&Ts, Stillery is your place to start. Each of their unique G&Ts is elaborately garnished with botanicals matched to the base gin's flavour profile. A Gin Mare, for example, is a savoury Mediterranean sipper that arrives crowned by ripe basil leaves, rosemary twigs and a juicy cherry tomato with fever tree tonic, adding botanical-enhancing flavour and aromas. You can settle in here with a long list of gin cocktails and accompanying tasting plates or head to the adjoining dining room for more. Stockroom Restaurant is offering a three-course menu paired with a Stillery G&T for $69 per person this autumn. Stockroom Restaurant’s Executive Chef, Alex Vilches, has designed the menu to pair nicely with the flavours of gin. Dishes are made with floral elements in mind, like the glistening kingfish carpaccio which arrives dotted with crunchy black sesame and delicate edible flower petals, the fresh and light bites
Two hours north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley’s Lovedale is a community well known for its produce and wineries (among them Wandin Valley Estate). It’s also the home of the Lovedale Long Lunch, where the region’s leading chefs and winemakers come together and work together once a year, sharing a table and freezer space. And it’s in Lovedale you’ll find the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, home to Redsalt – a restaurant showcasing the best of local produce all year round. Redsalt’s menu is under the direction of executive chef James Ashton, taking his lead from the seasons and sourcing local ingredients. Free-range poultry hails from a farm across in Thirlmere, while leaves of red elk, rocket and spinach come, we’re told, “from Gloria” – a grower whose property you pass on the way in. Among the starters, go for fois gras parfait, spread, country-style, across the sweet and soft brioche, which is baked in-house. Prawns grilled à la grecque come stacked over a cocktail sauce in the American Floridian style – a tomato base with horseradish, tarragon and a touch of mayo. Shrimp share the plate with softly charred cos lettuce that gives the dish smokiness, while pickled watermelon rind teases out the sweetness of the sauce. Mains are built around a grill concept, with a feature dish by Ross Lusted from much-awarded Sydney restaurant the Bridge Room – a grilled Wagyu loin with spinach butter, bone marrow, heirloom carrots, dried morels and a stick veal jus. But today, it’s the dry-a
Sculpture at Scenic World
When art escapes the galleries and gets out into the landscape, magical things can happen. There’s nothing quite like trekking through a Jurassic-era rainforest, rounding a corner and suddenly spying a cloud of red snowballs, a mosaic of mirrors, a convoy of toy trucks, or a squadron of ninja koalas. That’s the appeal of Sculpture at Scenic World – the element of surprise, delight, to have our senses confounded, our minds provoked – and the reason why the event is enjoying a sixth season in 2017. The exhibition, which kicks off on April 7 and goes for just one month, brings another dimension to Scenic World in Katoomba, and makes a visit especially appealing for parents who want to expose their kids to art as well as the great outdoors. Take the trip down the steepest railway in the world (the Scenic Railway), then make your way along Australia’s longest elevated boardwalk (the Scenic Walkway) to discover the exhibition. Thirty-five local, interstate and international artists have created works specifically to be installed in the rainforest along the Scenic Walkway. As part of this year’s Sculpture at Scenic World, there is a program of workshops for children called Sculpture for Small People that encourages kids to engage with the artists and their works. These are fun, educational workshops on Saturday and Sunday mornings that cost $15, including all materials, in which children can create their own artworks to take home – from ceramics and Easter Eggs to spider web