The Mormons are here! After a long wait, one of the world's most popular musicals has finally landed in Sydney. But it's not the only big show on stage this month: Sydney Theatre Company's season kicks into full gear with Black is the New White, Going Down and The Children, while Top Girls and Lethal Indifferencewrap up their seasons. Opera Australia's annual Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour returns and Bell Shakespeare premieres its new take on Antony and Cleopatra.
Scoring a ticket to Hamilton is near impossible at the moment, and it still looks to be at least a few years before the musical behemoth finally makes it to Australia. But for a fraction of the price – and a fraction of the travelling distance – you can take in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s breakthrough musical at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre.
Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls remains one of the greatest plays written about women’s rights, the patriarchy and the intersection of same with social class. This new Sydney Theatre Company staging, led by director Imara Savage, sets the bar high and early for the best production of 2018.
Theatre-maker David Finnigan achieved the wrong kind of fame in 2014 when the first iteration of this play, commissioned by a fellow independent theatre-maker and funded by Arts ACT, was the centre of a media storm after Andrew Bolt made it the subject of an editorial.
Russian playwright Nikolai Erdman’s 1928 black comedy The Suicide might not not be known by everybody but it has some obsessive fans in theatre circles. Belvoir’s artistic director Eamon Flack is amongst them, and will be dusting off the play about a displaced man looking for a place to belong.
Indie and mid-range
British performer and theatremaker Bryony Kimmings has brought a handful of her shows to Australia in recent years – Fake It 'Til You Make It, Sex Idiot, Credible, Likeable, Superstar, Role Model – but this production is the biggest of her projects to make it to Sydney thus far.
American playwright Sarah DeLappe’s intricately crafted play about a high school girls soccer team was a Pulitzer finalist in 2017 but gets its Sydney premiere in the humble and intimate Old Fitz Theatre. The cast is packed with rising stars and the production will be directed by Sydney Theatre Company fellow Jessica Arthur.
This one-man play recalls the life of Taha Muhammad Ali: a Palestinian who grew up in Saffuriya in Galilee, lived through the turbulent creation of Israel and ran a souvenir shop in Nazareth at the same time as he emerged as an internationally recognised poet in his forties.
We challenge you to find a bigger tearjerker than this in the opera canon; it's not just the story (based on Alexandre Dumas' popular 1848 novel La Dame aux Camélias) about a courtesan who falls for a young admirer, but sacrifices her chance at happiness for the greater good.
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour (HOSH) has become a centrepiece of Opera Australia's annual season: the productions are pure Sydney spectacle (harbour views, fireworks, bright lights and big flashy sets) but they're also accessible – and the combination is drawing new fans to opera.