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Six top shows to see at Sydney Theatre Company in 2020

From award-winning musicals to plays on the bleeding edge – here are our picks of STC's bumper 2020 program

A View from the Bridge Sydney Theatre Company 2020 supplied
Photograph: Rene Vaile
By Time Out in association with Sydney Theatre Company |
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It can be difficult to know where to start when faced with a season of theatre like STC’s. Next year, our city’s biggest company has got major stars (hello Rose Byrne and Hugo Weaving), a big Broadway musical in the mix (seriously, Fun Home will break your heart), and a bunch of reimagined classics and gripping brand new stories. 

Everybody’s perfect year of theatre looks a little different, and STC has plenty of options for you to mix and match and create your own theatrical tasting menu. You can either get a full Season Ticket if you book six or more shows (and save 20 per cent on the full ticket prices), or a Mini Package of three to five shows. You can save even more if you’re under 30 (you can see three shows for just $144, or six or more for $45 each) or willing to catch preview performances (pay just $45 per show if you get a season ticket). 

If you find the choice a bit overwhelming and would rather leave it up to us, we’re happy to help with some recommendations. Here are our six essential picks of the season – shows that will have you laughing, crying and bolted to the edge of your seat.

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Triple X STC
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre

Triple X

Sydney Opera House, Sydney

This play by NYC-based Australian artist Glace Chase is a romantic comedy unlike any you’re likely to see on stage. It follows Scotty, played by Josh McConville, a Wall Street banker at the peak of his career who is on the cusp of marrying his fiancee. But he’s secretly having an affair with a trans drag performer, Dexie, played by Chase. It starts off as a purely sexual thing, but soon develops into love. This provocative and explosive comedy will be directed by Paige Rattray (behind the company's five-star staging of The Beauty Queen of Leenane). STC's artistic director Kip Williams says the play will leave audiences "with their mouths open in shock". 

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The Picture of Dorian Gray STC
Photograph: Rene Vaile
Theatre

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Roslyn Packer Theatre, Millers Point

Oscar Wilde’s novel about a man who makes a Faustian wish for eternal youth has been on stage plenty of times before. But this production might not be exactly what you expect. It will be performed by just one actor – the excellent Eryn Jean Norvill – and use the dazzling live video technology that Sydney Theatre Company artistic director Kip Williams has used to such strong effect in Suddenly Last Summer and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. It continues the collaboration between Williams and Norvill, who first worked together on a 2013 staging of Romeo and Juliet which reframed the action through Juliet’s perspective. So you can be sure Wilde’s story will be approached with a very contemporary eye.

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Fun Home Melbourne Theatre Company 2020 supplied
Fun Home. Photograph: Justin Ridler.
Theatre, Musicals

Fun Home

Roslyn Packer Theatre, Millers Point

Australian musical theatre fans have been waiting for several years to see Fun Home, a deeply moving, Tony Award-winning musical about a young woman discovering her sexuality and grappling with a difficult relationship with her father. She’s played by three actors at different stages of her life. Based on Alison Bechdel's graphic novel, the show has been lavished with praise – when Fun Home opened on the West End in 2017, Time Out London declared it the best new musical they’d seen since Hamilton. The Australian version will feature Lisa McCune, Maggie McKenna and Lucy Maunder.

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Wonnangatta Sydney Theatre Company 2019 supplied
Photograph: Rene Vaile
Theatre

Wonnangatta

Sydney Opera House, Sydney

One of the best Australian plays to premiere in recent years is Angus Cerini’s The Bleeding Tree. It started its life in the tiny Griffin Theatre before a season at Sydney Theatre Company. Like many audience members, Hugo Weaving was blown away and was eager to perform in one of Cerini's plays. This new work explores a real-life mystery, the 1917 Wonnangatta murders, from the perspective of two friends of the murder victim. Played by Hugo Weaving and Wayne Blair, the two men arrive on a farm to visit their friend, Jim Barclay. They learn he’s been missing for months, so they embark on a search across the gothic Australian landscape.

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A View from the Bridge Sydney Theatre Company 2020 supplied
Photograph: Rene Vaile
Theatre

A View from the Bridge

Roslyn Packer Theatre, Millers Point

Real-life acting power couple Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale are teaming up for Arthur Miller's masterpiece, a tragedy set in the shadows of the Brooklyn Bridge in the 1950s. They play Beatrice and Eddie, a married couple looking after their orphaned niece, Catherine. They’re not exactly living the high life, but they’re a pretty happy family until Beatrice’s two cousins arrive from Italy and unsettle the peaceful balance in an explosive way. Expect plenty of acting fireworks in this new version by STC's artistic director Kip Williams, whose 2016 staging of All My Sons remains one of our most memorable nights in the theatre – ever.

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