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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Valentine's Day at Fratelli Fresh
Spread the amore this Valentine’s Day with an intimate Italian meal for two at Fratelli Fresh. With seven venues around Sydney where you can get premium pasta, charcuterie, salads, Italian wine, pizze and antipasti, Fratelli Fresh brings an authentic touch of Italy to dining in Sydney – seemingly effortlessly. Italian food is, after all, the food of love. You can choose from Fratelli’s à la carte menu or chef’s Valentine’s Day specials. One item not to miss on February 14 is the new Vanilla Panna Cotta: vanilla bean panna cotta, raspberry caramel coulis and chocolate biscotti. Or perhaps you’re planning a surprise picnic in the park? Fratelli Fresh has gourmet hampers that can complete your picnic basket. If cooking at home, visit the retail sections at Fratelli Fresh in Alexandria, Potts Point or Walsh Bay for fresh produce: fruit and vegetables, baked bread, cured meats and more.
Valentine's Day at The Star
Whether you want a full five-course dinner or a simple heart-shaped pizza, there is something for all lovers at The Star this Valentine's Day. Black Bar and Grill will be doing a four-course menu of spanner crab, Saikou salmon with housemade gnocchi, striploin Wagyu steak, and chocolate ganache with raspberry, mint ice cream to finish ($175pp). Over at Sokyo as usual they will be dishing out super-fresh nigiri, sashimi and robata grill, alongside a special Valentine's Day dessert of rose jelly, coconut dacquoise and white chocolate with fresh berries ($18 for dessert). Balla are offering a five-course menu: scampi tartare and caviar; risotto with calamari, green pea and squid ink; kingfish with Ligurian olive salad and lemon burrata; and veal fillet wrapped in prosciutto with sage and porcini mushrooms. For dessert they will be doing a vanilla semifreddo with raspberries and dark chocolate, and you'll also get bubbles on arrival, all for $139pp ($195 with matching wines). Then down at Pizzaperta, for just $30 a couple, you'll get a heart-shaped Margarita pizza, two glasses of Chandon and a Nutella-filled Italian donut. All deals are available from 5.30pm on Tuesday February 14. Find out more about Valentine's Day at the Star.