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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Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
Maybe you saw him on HBO's Treme, or one of his appearances on Conan, Leno, Kimmel or Fallon. Now, hot off the back of touring with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Trombone Shorty is coming down under to play Bluesfest and some special sideshows. Joined by his swinging band Orleans Avenue, Trombone Shorty brings brass and big band sounds to life on the stage with serious flair. The jazz and soul maestro isn't a stranger to big stages – he's played at the White House, alongside Madonna and helped out pop producer Mark Ronson on his albums – so you can expect some big vibes from him when he plays the Metro Theatre.
Barangaroo Ngangamay is an innovative, interactive artwork that gives you the chance to go on an journey of learning and discovery throughout Barangaroo Reserve. Using an app to place you within the context and history of the site, Barangaroo Ngangamay uses geo-locating to reveal intricate stories, songs and rock engravings scattered throughout the Barangaroo Reserve. The Barangaroo Ngangamay app includes five short films, which are unlocked by visiting sandstone artworks handcarved by Aboriginal elders Vic Simms, Steven Russell and Laurie Bimson. Each film shows the resilience and diversity of Barangaroo and the Aboriginal women who used to call the Reserve home. Created by renowned Indigenous multi-media artists Amanda Jane Reynolds and Genevieve Grieves, the work is the result of a collaboration between the pair and local Aboriginal communities and elders, developed to tell ancient and treasured stories of the world’s oldest living culture. The Barangaroo Ngangamay app is available to download for iOS and Android devices.
Help the homeless by eating kingfish poké
Hawaiian poké is a dish currently sweeping the world and Salmon & Bear seafood eateries in Zetland and Newtown are among the best places in town to eat it. Poké – basically a delicious raw fish salad – has been a highlight of Salmon & Bear since they opened, with tuna, salmon and sweet prawn varieties designed by chef Mark Jensen (who taught at the Sydney Seafood School for 15 years). Now Salmon & Bear have created a new kingfish poké: diced Hiramasa kingfish in a miso and sesame dressing served on a salad of kale, quinoa, fennel, tomato, sweet potato, carrot, Spanish onion and pepita seeds. To launch this new dish, Salmon & Bear wanted to support the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre’s First Response Program. The program ensures that anybody who is homeless leaves the centre with a pathway towards getting a roof over their heads. The kingfish poké costs $21, and $2 from every one sold will be donated to the First Response Program, until they’ve raised enough money to get 20 people off the streets. You get a tasty meal, plus the warm feeling of having helped someone in need. Nicely played, Salmon & Bear.
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