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
Sydney Fringe is turning Parramatta Rd into a cultural precinct
In 2016 the Sydney Fringe is pushing back against lock-out laws, with a "call to party" – and a plan to create a new pop-up cultural precinct called 'Off Broadway'.
Helpmann Award nominees to see in July
One interstate shows that has yet to arrive in Sydney, and one 5-star musical that's getting an encore season.
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.
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Winter at North Bondi Fish
Things are changing at North Bondi Fish, Matt Moran’s sprawling seafood restaurant with its famous ocean views. The venue has had a spruce up and new head chef Zac Sykes (Coogee Pavilion, the Fish Shop) has revamped the menu with fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce. “My favourite dish at the moment is butter poached cuttlefish, fennel and lemon balm risotto with nori powder,” says Sykes. “I love using cuttlefish as it has great flavour and just like Aussie calamari, it’s sustainable, so you know it’s not overfished in any part of Australia.” Head into North Bondi Fish on a Thursday or Friday night and you can try one of Sykes’ #notjustfish creations, where he favours the likes of pork belly with braised cabbage and polenta or slow-cooked beef shin over seafood. Enjoy the special with a carafe of wine for two people at $30 per head. Winter warmer cocktails are also available throughout the cooler months and include tasty adult treats such as an Irish Coffee or a Kentucky Toddy served in a teacup. Or pop on down for Aperitivo hours, Wednesday to Friday from 4-6pm. NBF are also hosting an after party for City2Surf. Tickets include a three-hour beverage package, food by Sykes and DJ Alice Q playing on the balcony from 9am. Now that’s what we’d call a fun run. Winter trading hours are Wednesday to Sunday, noon till late.
Rock Lily Trivia Tuesdays
Rock Lily, the music-comedy-entertainment venue on Level 1 at The Star, Pyrmont, has a trivia night every Tuesday, from 7.30pm. There’s no cover charge, pizzas are just $10, there are $15 beer jugs and parking is free if you spend $15 in one go. Now here’s the kicker. Many pub trivias will give you $100 in bar credit as first prize. Hell, some will give you less. But at Rock Lily the prize is a cool $500 cash – every single Tuesday. Plus, there are prizes worth $100 and $50 for second and third place respectively, and spot prizes throughout the night. That’s right. Win the comp and half a K is yours for the taking, no strings attached. Mind you, with such a generous jackpot at stake, The Star are serious about the cardinal rule of trivia: namely, no phones, tablets, notes, newspapers or other forms of external assistance – on pain of disqualification. They monitor this closely, so hands off the phones, people. Teams can be as small as two and as large as ten. The smaller the team that triumphs the bigger the individual cut, but then the bigger the team the wider your knowledge base. There are two rounds of 20 questions. Good luck.
Heineken City Shapers Festival Sydney
We all dream of a whirlwind holiday, but the realities of jetlag and airport lounges are not always as romantic as you imagine them to be, which is why on Wednesday night Heineken treated special guests to a round-the-world experience that didn’t require passports. Hosted by Freda’s, Chippendale’s beloved party bar, guests were greeted by samba dancers and live percussionists before heading inside to experience a little taste of the world’s greatest cities, from Amsterdam (home of Heineken) to New York, Singapore, Rio De Janeiro and Berlin. First stop was Singapore where guests were treated to a cold, crisp Heineken and a box of freshly cooked Singapore noodles packed with juicy prawns and chicken. The next station was channeling Amsterdam with local Draught Ambassador Callum teaching guests about the art of a perfectly poured Heineken. Over at the New York corner, guests got to sample beef sliders and hot dogs, treat their ears to the soulful sounds of some live trumpet while enjoying a Manhattan made by the Freda’s crew. Adding some tropical vibes into a wintry evening in Sydney, the Rio stand's samba dancers helped amp up the party vibes for a visit to Berlin, where a DJ was pumping the party tracks. Because you always come home from a holiday with presents there was also a competition on the night to win two Heineken gift packs. All guests needed to do was answer the five questions displayed on the walls and hand their form to our friendly Time Out crew. Sure, we’d
Blackbird and Laugh Mob present Harbour Comedy Club
Blackbird laughing in the dead of night... Contemporary eatery Blackbird Café in Cockle Bay Wharf has joined forces with Laugh Mob to launch Harbour Comedy Club on Thursday nights. The new comedy club will present both Australian and international talent and kicks off at 8pm on Thursday July 28 with headliner Gary Eck, a veteran of the local scene whose credits include co-writing Happy Feet 2 with George Miller. Regulars at Harbour Comedy Club will include Edinburgh Fringe Festival award winner Brendan Burns, heavy metal comedian Steve Hughes, Al Del Bene and Tony Woods from the US, plus local heroes Neel Kolkhatar and Frenchy. You can reserve a table by emailing email@example.com. Entry includes a beverage on arrival and drinks specials will be available all night.