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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Just for Laughs
Now in its eighth year, Just For Laughs has become a comedy fixture for Sydney, presenting a largely Antipodean, UK and American line-up across Sydney Opera House, Enmore Theatre, Factory Theatre and City Recital Hall. Highlights from this year's program include English comedy stalwart Bill Bailey, who'll be bringing stand-up, sing-alongs and satire to the Sydney Opera House in his new show, Earl of Whimsy. You know him from his laugh-out-loud roles in Crazy Rich Asians, The Hangover and Community, but did you know Ken Jeong actually started his career as a doctor before moving to stand-up? He'll be reverting back to his foundations in comedy, with a one-off Opera House performance. Iliza Shlesinger, who was the first woman to win Last Comic Standing in 2008, and has four Netflix specials to her name and the hugely popular podcast, Truth and Iliza. Improviser extraordinaire Reggie Watts, who'll be using just has voice and looping pedals to create a hilarious musical performance. Whose Line is it Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops, who'll be bringing a touch of the Whose Line magic to Sydney in an improvised performance. Ryan Hamilton and Becky Lucas will also both take to the Opera House while Ismo, Kenny Sebastian and Mo Gilligan will hit the Factory Theatre for solo shows. Returning this year is the popular All-Star Gala (which tends to sell out), which will again be hosted by Dave Hughes and features Reggie Watts, the stars of Whose Line is
Head to Whirly Bird's aperitivo hour
Pyrmont's own cocktail and chicken devoted bar will be dishing out this new aperitivo hour every week. Inspired by the Italian tradition, you’ll be able to order up glasses of red or white wine, bitter amari or Resch's Draught for just $5. If you're after a cocktail, there will be a menu of bartender's picks. You can order up an Aperol Spritz, Negroni, Daiquiri or a Paloma. To go with your drinks, you can peruse a selection of $10 snacks, including salt and pepper silken tofu, avocado and edamame guacamole, chicken and chorizo croquettes and spicy jalapeño poppers. A highlight of the $10 menu is Whirly Bird's signature messy wings, which you can order in three different styles – chilli caramel with pickled radish, sesame and lime; satay with spicy peanut sauce and green onions; or classic buffalo wings, with honey and chilli hot sauce, blue cheese dip and celery. If you're in on Thursday night you'll also find $12 burgers, and every day you can get around the rest of the full Whirly Bird menu, which includes rotisserie chicken and porchetta, buttermilk fried chicken and salads. Whirly Bird's aperitivo hour goes down Sunday through Thursday from 5pm-7pm, making it the perfect spot for after work drinks or a pre-theatre bite to eat. Find out more about Whirly Bird.
Local guide to Double Bay with Kayla Lagesse, the Sheaf
The Sheaf has a legendary status as an Eastern Suburbs party pub. Visiting this Double Bay venue is practically a rite of passage for young people, and there's a line-up of DJs and live entertainment throughout the week. Their beer garden is one of the best places to be, day or night. One of the Sheaf’s biggest fans works there: duty manager Kayla Lagesse. Kayla, how long have you worked here?I have worked at the Sheaf for just over four years. I applied for a job as soon as I turned 18! I started out as a food runner in the bistro and have since worked my way up to bartender, then a bar supervisor, and now a duty manager. What do you love most about your job?Hospitality is one of the greatest industries to work in. There is always something exciting happening, whether it’s a big event or helping create a new cocktail list. I’m someone who enjoys eating and drinking, and I also value being able to provide guests with a great experience and tell a story through the food and drinks they enjoy. Plus, I have met some of my greatest friends, and so many people with interesting stories along the way. Who have you met?I know many of the customers that come in very well. A mother and infant son have come in for the past three years, and some of the baby’s first words were learning the staff’s names! There were two girls who came in on a Wednesday night and one of the girls’ boyfriends had just dumped her. They seemed a bit down, so I sent them over a couple of [complimentary] Cosm
Get around these chimney cone ice creams
Sydney has its very own dessert truck devoted to chimney cones, a traditional Hungarian dessert that takes grilled sugar dusted doughnut-like cones, fills them with ice cream, then tops it with sweet treats. Pimp My Chimney rolls around Sydney serving up the decadent, portable dessert, and now you can find it at a bunch of locations around the city and surrounds. You'll find them regularly at EQ Moore Park and in Blacktown, and also at one-off events including the upcoming Cabaramatta Moon Festival; Penrith Octoberfest and the Marrickville Festival. To keep your eye out for where you can get around the treat, follow the Pimp My Chimney Facebook. Once you track the dessert truck down, you'll be able to try one of the eight tasty chimney cones like the Naughty Nuts Nutella, Nutella brownies, vanilla ice cream and hazelnuts; the Cheeky Choc, cookies, choc fingers, flakes, sauce and ice cream; or the oozey doozy Caramel Baby, with honeycomb, caramel fudge, caramel popcorn, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Find out more about Pimp My Chimney.