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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A perfect day at the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park
The Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park occupies an enviable position on Elizabeth Street, facing onto the green oasis of Hyde Park, near to the city's retail centre. Here, you have easy access to the Art Gallery, Darling Harbour, and an outstanding array of bars and restaurants. Check in and get exploring.
Treat yourself to a long Saturday breakfast
Everyone knows the best part of a hotel stay is the buffet breakfast the next day, and inarguably one of the most lavish in town is at Glass Brasserie in Hilton Sydney on George Street in the CBD. Well, now you can experience all the brekky trimmings, great coffee, and cheeky weekend brunch cocktails at their Saturday bottomless late breakfast without having to book a room. Available every Saturday, Glass Brasserie is offering their legendary buffet breakfast with some extra treats thrown in. From 10am-12.30pm you can enjoy the buffet plus unlimited barista coffee, bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Marys, all for just $49pp. So grab a tableload of your mates, book a surprise indulgence for your visiting relos, or just treat yourself to an exquisite solo feast – the late breakfast is the perfect way to kick off your weekend. Find out more about the Bottomless Late Breakfast in Glass Brasserie.
Sydney by Kayak
The most challenging part of the Sunrise Kayak and Coffee tour is getting up at 5am – but rising early gives you glassy waters and glorious photo opportunities that’ll make your hungover friends incredibly jealous on a Sunday morning. Instructor Laura Stone and husband Ben run weekly dawn tours that make the most of Sydney Harbour before most people turn and hit snooze. They set up single kayaks at Lavender Bay Boat Ramp ready for the 5.40am meeting time and while we’re learning the best way to hold our paddles, Laura is picking up everyone’s coffee orders from a local café. Each raft has a custom coffee holder, and the ceramic cups keep the brews warm until you’ve paddled under the Bridge. The harbour water is velvety smooth, and the kayaks are very stable so you don’t need to work hard to paddle around Luna Park and into position as the sunlight hits Sydney Opera House. Our fleet rafts up to enjoy the view, sipping flat whites through the salty silicone lids and snapping away with our phones. If you don’t want to risk dropping your own camera, there’s a photographer on each tour and you can purchase personal pics for $30. Though the kayaks have glass-bottom windows the water’s still too dark to reveal any sea life – however, we do spot a fur seal frolicking by Blues Point Reserve. After an hour or so of gentle paddling we glide over to Sawmillers Reserve to check out the shipwreck. The ferries don’t start until 8am, so there’s time to go slow. It’s one of the drie
Cake Bake and Sweets Show
You won’t find any Shake ‘n Bake at the Cake Bake and Sweets Show – this flour-covered expo only dishes out top tier sweet treats. There’s masterclasses, cake-decorating competitions, workshops and cooking demonstrations for home bakers, and plenty of taste-testing opportunities if dessert is your kryptonite. Over three days of baking events, you’ll get the chance to be tutored by international celebrity chefs and local baking stars. Pastry chef at Sydney’s Shangri-La Hotel Anna Polyviou will share her creative dessert skills, appearing alongside local Instagram dessert queen Katherine Sabbath and Benny Rivera from New York’s City Cakes. Throughout the show, learn how to temper couverture chocolate, whip together the smoothest buttercream, create sharp frosting edges and even construct a multi-tiered wedding cake. There will also be an exhibition space to taste the full carbtastic menu, explore new baking appliances and have cookbooks signed by your baking idols. Some savoury baked items will make the cut, and there’ll be an area dedicated to healthy baking, so you can go nuts on your cheat day without going into a sugar coma. You'll need to register for most classes and workshops, which are an additional cost on top of the entry ticket price.