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
Belvoir St Theatre
This once shabby tomato sauce factory is now the entirely respectable Belvoir St Theatre, home of company Belvoir, which stages productions in its intimate 350-seat Upstairs Theatre and its more intimate 80-seat Downstairs Theatre.
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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Summer festival of fun at Kingpin
This summer get a crew together and head down to Kingpin to enjoy festival style fun, all in the one place. For just $30 you'll score a festival pass, which allows you to mix and match Kingpin's all-star games and activities. Score a strike at bowling, aim and fire in laser tag or get your joystick on with 30 minutes of arcade game frenzy. All this gaming is going to require some fuel, so make sure you load up on drink and food specials. You can get a fruity Pimms jugs for just $25 and there are lots of ace options for groups, like the Mexican share plate which comes with build-your-own fajitas and tacos. There are also mega burgers, curly fries, Kentucky buffalo wings, southern fried chicken sliders and nachos. Plus, when you purchase your summer festival pass, you'll automatically be in the running for awesome giveaways. Prize packs filled with the sweetest summer swag includes Eskys, round beach towels, GoPros, wireless speakers, a $100 Sunglass Hut voucher and heaps more. Both Kingpin Darling Harbour and Kingpin Macarthur will be hosting the ultimate summer festival of fun offers every day from 10am-6pm, and both venues have fully licensed bars and themed music to keep you dancing as you play. Find out more about Kingpin's summer festival of fun.
The Burger Project is making your summer soft serve dreams come true
Summer is here and Sydney is heating up. Want to know the best way to cool down? A tasty soft serve ice cream is a pretty good option... And when they are only $2? well that's even better. Head into Burger Project – at World Square Centre, Bondi Junction, MLC Centre, Gateway Sydney and Macquarie Centre – to get your hands on a deliciously rich soft serve cone. They are usually $4.50 but every weekend throughout January you can get your hands around one for a cool couple of bucks. The soft serve is churned in-house daily and made using fresh dairy cream and milk, with all natural flavourings. Choose from real vanilla bean or Valrhona chocolate, swirled into a crunchy waffle cone. Meaning the hardest decision you'll have to make this summer may just be the age-old question: chocolate or vanilla?
Hotel Bondi launches a new summer menu
Hotel Bondi has just launched a new summer menu, which is perfect for digging into after a day at the beach or closing out your weekend on. Starters include Baja fish tacos, flash fried calamari or a bucket of Crystal Bay prawns. Freshen things up with a salad, like the ocean trout ceviche with ruby red grapefruit and cucumber or seared yellow fin tuna with seaweed, pickled radish and avocado. They also have a brand new fire pizza oven, from which they'll be dishing out favourites like Hawaiian and Margarita, alongside sizzling additions like the carmalised onion and black fig pizza with goats curd and thyme, or the chilli prawn with tomatoes, spring onion and lemon. You'll also find pub classics like a parmesan crumbed veal schnitzel with pickle and fennel slaw, or the Bondi grilled Angus burger. Also keep your eye out for $15 weekday specials of chicken parmi and fries, a 200g ebony Angus top sirloin with mash or fries or a beer battered dory with chips and tartar. The bistro's extended summer hours mean you can get dinner or lunch Mon-Fri noon-3pm and 5-10pm and Sat & Sun noon-10pm. So get down and enjoy a slice of summer at Hotel Bondi.