It hasn’t been too long since Sydney Festival featured a show by UK company Complicite’s artistic director, Simon McBurney. His five-star production of The Encounter, which landed here in 2017, used an extraordinary three-dimensional sound design to make the one-man show feel like it had a cast of hundreds. Now he’s back with a genuine ensemble piece.
Moira Finucane is Australia’s unofficial queen of burlesque, but she’s turning her attention to Asia for this show and drawing inspiration from Shanghai in the 1930s, when it was arguably at its most culturally revolutionary.
Counting and Cracking is an epic new play that will have its premiere as part of Sydney Festival. It brings together 16 actors from five countries to tell a story of Australia today. Belvoir is moving out from its Surry Hills home for January to take over Sydney Town Hall, transforming it into a Sri Lankan town hall.
American theatre-maker and illusionist Geoff Sobelle was last seen in Australia in 2016, when he brought hundreds of cardboard boxes to Sydney Festival in The Object Lesson. In that show, he conjured up stories and worlds from the boxes and the items within them, but in Home he performs an even greater miracle: he brings an entire two-storey house to life before our eyes.
Legs on the Wall always makes visually stunning theatre, often combining aerial performance with more traditional storytelling. Man With the Iron Neck is the company’s latest work and features a script by the brilliant Ursula Yovich about a young man who loses his best friend to suicide.
If you saw Velvet, the popular disco-inspired circus-cabaret that toured Australia for several years, you’ll have some idea of what to expect from this new show. Like Velvet, it stars Marcia Hines, is set vaguely in the 1970s, and is directed by Craig Ilott. But this new show is inspired by Quartier Pigalle, a neighbourhood in Paris famous for its eccentric nightlife, sex shops, cabarets and adult shows.
Look, it’s time you faced it. You’re never going to read The Iliad. Between the six seasons of Orange is the New Black available on Netflix and Game of Thrones, you’ve got better things to do with your time. But what about if you could experience all of it in one fell swoop, and have it delivered to you in a theatrical setting?
Rapper/poet Omar Musa’s new work places his hero and icon, Muhammad Ali, as a touchstone in the centre of the piece. From his interaction with Ali’s legacy spins the stories of Musa’s life, which hasn’t been the same since Ali died. He tells these as a mixture of song and spoken word, rap and banter.
Our every movement, our smiles, our frowns, our expressions of surprise are learned by mirroring; watching One Infinity, former Chunky Move director Gideon Obarzanek’s new work with the Jun Tian Fang Music Ensemble, the audience is asked to not only consider, but put into practice the commonplace adage that to mirror is to learn.
One of the best things a festival can do is make you look at a city, and the spaces within it, in a slightly different light. That’s exactly what happens in Australian dancer Joel Bray’s Biladurang, in which he invites a group of around 16 people into his suite for a glass of bubbles and some rather intimate confessions.