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
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
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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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Writer and director Benedict Andrews (The Maids; The War of the Roses) is premiering his new play at Sydney's home of new writing, Griffin Theatre Company. Reuniting Andrews with stage and screen actress Marta Dusseldorp (Janet King), Gloria follows a famous actress as she prepares for her latest role: playing the survivor of a sadistic crime. Dusseldorp will lead an ensemble of eight that includes Meyne Wyatt, Chloe Bayliss and Huw Higginson, wrangled by Griffin's artistic director, Lee Lewis.
In collaboration with Bell Shakespeare and commemorating Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, FODI (Festival of Dangerous Ideas) presents Mercy – a panel and performance inspired by the iconic playwright’s The Merchant of Venice. In a reimagination of the 16th century courtroom scene, Mercy brings together both performers and academics to discuss the contemporary relevance and timelessness of human dilemmas such as mercy, justice and the law. By exploring these universal concepts, the panel will question whether our obsession with ‘justice’ blinds us from realising the potential for something better. The esteemed panel includes philosopher and author A.C. Grayling; South Sudanese child soldier-turned-lawyer Deng Adut; Shakespeare scholar and renowned feminist Germaine Greer and former High Court judge and human rights activist Michael Kirby. Performers include John Bell, James Evans, Andrea Demetriades, Brian Lipson, Damien Strouthos and Jacob Warner.
The Bank Hotel gets a charcoal barbecue
The Bank in Newtown has been a drawing crowds to the Inner West for decades. These guys know how to throw a party. Now the Bank is unveiling a new charcoal barbecue to have pride of place in the venue’s famous beer garden. It will be operated by a new head chef, Zac Smart (SoCal in Neutral Bay), who has devised a fresh menu based around the flavours emparted by barbecue techniques. But don’t expect the American style of barbecue that’s all too familiar to Sydney pub goers. Smart is more interested in the Latin American side of the equation, with flavours like house-made chimichurri and romesco sauce, chancaca and chillies. The menu features dishes such as cauliflower and spiced yoghurt; octopus and romesco; and half chicken and ancho, which are all cooked over charcoal. Small plates such as barbecue corn, tomatillo salsa and manchego, and the piquillo peppers with mushrooms and pinto beans, round out the dining experience. Try the new menu at the open launch party in the beer garden on Wednesday August 31, 6-8pm. Cocktails and food samples will be available and DJ Gonzo will be spinning the tunes. It’s also an opportunity to check out the beer garden’s design tweaks which channel a back-lane party vibe, with art by Sydney artist Lauren Webster.
Corbett & Claude opens at Rhodes Waterside
Brisbane pizza and cocktail legends Corbett & Claude have opened their first Sydney restaurant at Rhodes Waterside shopping centre. The newly opened restaurant joins the ever-growing list of cuisine retailers in the centre’s emerging food precinct. Focused on shared food in a relaxed atmosphere, Corbett & Claude serve delicious small plates (think grilled haloumi with peach-muscatel chutney and crisp chicken with chipotle aioli), gourmet pizza (all the classics and many more), pan-fried linguine and gnocchi, salad and of course, dessert. They’re also the first on-site bar at Rhodes Waterside, so you now have a place to drink away your buyer’s remorse and put your feet up after shopping til you drop. Choose from 12 on-tap craft beers (including C&C’s very own house lager) and an impressive selection of cocktails including C&C’s Winter Elixir (pampero blanco rum, peach and pear liqueur, ginger, mint and fresh lemon) and Mr Claude Espresso Martini (allpress espresso, liqueur 43, Kahlua and Ketel One vodka). Corbett & Claude join Lilly’s Espresso and Cucina, Mama’s Wok, Rhodes Phoenix Chinese Restaurant, Ribs & Burgers, Smokkim Korean BBQ, and many more.