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Barangaroo Reserve, Barangaroo
Photograph: Anna Kucera/Destination NSW

Things to do in Sydney today

We've found the day's best events and they're ready for your perusal, all in one place – it's your social emergency saviour

Written by
Time Out editors
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UPDATE, July 9: As of June 26, the Greater Sydney region including the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong is under a compulsory lockdown until at least 11.59pm on July 16. Residents can only leave home for essential reasons. Essentially all events in Sydney have therefore been cancelled or postponed until after this period. 

Well, our old friend lockdown is back. Not to worry, we have you covered the best of the city from your couch. If you're heading out for exercise or a supply run, remember you cannot travel more than 10km from home. Here is how to calculate your bubble.

RECOMMENDED: What you can and cannot do in Sydney.

The day's best events

  • Dance
  • Eveleigh

After the year or two that was, supporting emerging talent is arguably more important than ever. That’s why Sydney Dance Company’s New Breed program is such a creative lifeline for the city, and for a fresh wave of choreographic talent to rise up under the supportive wing of one of the world’s most exciting companies, in collaboration with Carriageworks and the Balnaves Foundation. This year New Breed showcases work from four exciting up-and-coming choreographers: Jasmin Sheppard, a Tagalaka Aboriginal woman with Irish, Chinese and Hungarian ancestry, Lilian Steiner who is Narrm/Melbourne-based, Rhiannon Newton who grew up on Dunghutti Land on the Mid-North Coast of NSW, and Sydney Dance Company dancer, Italian born and trained, Jacopo Grabar. Find out more about each choreographer here. The showcase at Carriageworks is always one of the most exciting dates on the cultural calendar, brimming with raw talent and fresh ideas from some of the country’s most promising creatives. In 2020, New Breed brought four thrilling works from Joel Bray, Chloe Leong, Jesse Scales and Raghav Handa, each lending their unique voices to the bright future of the Australian dance scene. “This year’s New Breed is very special for Sydney Dance Company, as after a long six months of disruption, we are returning to live performance," Sydney Dance Company’s artistic director Rafael Bonachela said. "New Breed is such an important program supporting the development of new work and emerging artists, and I’

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Newtown

It’s been a long time since the curtain went up at the New Theatre, the pandemic lockdown having shuttered the venue, like so many others, for a long time. Indeed, their return season was almost scuppered by the challenges of casting, rehearsing, and staging under pandemic strictures. Nonetheless, the company persevered, and this production of British dramatist Bryony Lavery’s The Lovely Bones is the result. Adapted from Alice Sebold’s 2002 novel of the same name, itself filmed in 2009 by New Zealand director Peter Jackson, The Lovely Bones gives us the life and death of 14-year-old Susie Salmon (Sarah Maguire), as narrated by Susie herself from the afterlife. Susie’s ordinary, suburban-idyllic life in smalltown Pennsylvania, circa 1973, comes to an abrupt end when she is assaulted and murdered by a prolific local serial killer. From her vantage point in heaven, Susie observes her family and friends as they grieve, desperately search for her killer, come to terms with her death, and begin to move on: father Jack (Ted Crosby), mother Abigail (Cassady Maddox Booth), siblings Lindsay (Naomi Belet) and Buckley (Parker Texilake), classmates Ruth (Kirsty Saville) and Ray (Shiva Chandra). Of course, Susie cannot move on, or grow – her life is over. What unfolds is a kind of supernatural coming of age story by proxy, as Susie vicariously lives through the community of people connected by her death. Unfortunately, it doesn’t unfold smoothly, or in a particularly engaging manner. Bryon

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  • Shopping
  • Markets
  • The Rocks

Wander the cobblestone laneways of the Rocks on December weekends and you’ll discover a European-inspired Christmas market packed with crafty creations and festive eats. Here you’ll find the perfect Sydney-centric gifts with hand-crafted jewelry, boutique clothing and accessories, candles, locally-designed prints and home-baked goods. While you’re in the neighbourhood, you can discover a festive hidden laneway filled with twinkling snowflakes and rows of Christmas trees.  The market is open on Fridays 4-9pm, Saturdays 10am-9pm and Sundays from 10am-6pm.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Surry Hills

Shakespeare said that all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. But Virginia Gay decided, actually, life is a Christmas pantomime – and all the he’s, she’s and they’s are not merely players, but also chaotic directors, stressed out production managers and eager set builders just trying to work together to create magic, meaning and sweet distraction amongst the ups and downs of life.  A pantomime within a play, that’s also a musical, The Boomkak Panto strikes the perfect balance of humility, relevance and all-singing, all-dancing ridiculous fun to see out the year that was 2021 and turn the campery of Christmas up to eleven.  Pantomimes, or pantos as they are more affectionately known in the UK, are renowned for fielding massive stars, d-listers and even school principals in super-camp stagings of (usually) fairy tales, with lots of gender fluidity, booing at bad guys, randomly inserted references and pop songs, and general audience participation madness. After witnessing a couple of British pantos for the first time at the tender age of 38, Gay roped in the team that helped her stage a critically-praised, modern queer-coded reimagining of the classic Wild West movie musical Calamity Jane to have a run at an Aussie answer to the riddle of panto. And they have absolutely nailed it. This fresh take deploys one of the most Aussie stories of all: a big developer muscling in on a small bush community that is not having a bar of it. This regional outpost la

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  • Things to do
  • price 0 of 4
  • Sydney

Sydneysiders spent almost a quarter of 2021 in lockdown, and just as we’ve emerged from such a gruelling period under stay-at-home orders, little miss La Niña has swept in to wash out the summer. So it’s fair to say that what the city needs right now is a little festive cheer. Well, that’s exactly what Sydney will be getting from November 25, as the annual Christmas lights once more light up streets and squares all over town. There will also be a program of carol singing, roving entertainers and other festive fun for Sydneysiders to enjoy. More than 85,000 bulbs will be twinkling, come rain or shine, throughout December and into 2022, including those strung around 11 Christmas trees dotted throughout the city. The most dazzling of all will be located at Martin Place, the traditional epicentre of Sydney’s Chrissie celebrations, which marks its 50th year hosting the tallest decorated tree in NSW in 2021. This year’s tree will also feature a 15 minute light and music display that will play on repeat throughout the festive season.  One thing that is new this year will be a dynamic ‘light display’ staged on the QVB, which will feature a kaleidoscope of colours illuminating the grand entrance of Sydney’s heritage-listed luxury retail hub. There will also be light installations across the Druitt Street side of the building, made up of more than 7000 bulbs spanning a 260-square-metre area. And Christmas shoppers should also keep an eye out for two giant glowing stars that will be shi

Free things to do in Sydney today

  • Art
  • Digital and interactive
  • price 0 of 4
  • Sydney

Every year since 2017, the Sydney Opera House’s gleaming sails have been transformed by light and sound into a celebration of the lore and artistry of First Nations people. During Badu Gili – which means ‘water light’ in Gadigal language – mesmerising projections undulate on the world-famous canvas, showcasing the work of Indigenous artists.  This year’s theme is 'Wonder Women'. Overseen by Coby Edgar, the Art Gallery of New South Wales’s curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, the dazzling array showcases the work and stories of six female First Nations artists, Marlene Gilson, Kaylene Whiskey, Sally Mulda, Judith Inkamala, Marlene Rubuntja and the late Aunty Elaine Russell. The traditional owners of Bennelong Point, the site of the Opera House, know it as Tubowgule, or ‘where the knowledge waters meet’. The glimmering spot has been a gathering place for community, ceremony and storytelling for thousands of years, long before the harbourside icon was erected. You’ll be able to watch the mesmerising, six-minute long animated light show daily from April 23 until the end of the year, kicking off at sunset, or around about 5.30pm, but check the Opera House website for more details. It’s funded by the NSW Government through the Culture Up Late initiative. Want more First Nations art? Check out Hayley Millar Baker's There We Were All in One Place.

  • Art
  • Digital and interactive
  • price 0 of 4
  • Sydney

Embracing these hybrid times when we’re often online more than we’re out and about, the Art Gallery of New South Wales has launched the mother of all digital galleries, and it’s a kaleidoscopic trip to creative wonderland. Part of their ongoing Together in Art series, Hyper-linked assembles seven exciting contemporary Australian artists pushing the envelope on how we engage with art from wherever we are in the world. Heath Franco’s 'Home Videohome' is a trippy, dystopian stare into the abyss of the interwebs through the search portals of doom. You'll very likely recognise one in particular, but to avoid any nasty lawsuit, it's been rebranded as Newspider. Get caught up in this web full of unnerving animalistic figures and ‘90s-style pop video imagery gone awry. It’s wrong-town in all the right ways. Justene Williams’ explosively colourful video 'The Unboxers' opens with shades of apocalyptic wrestling matches and a montage with a glimpse of a superhero-like character who resembles someone who rhymes with Maptain Carvel (prob don’t want Disney legalling this either). With creatures that look like sun-melted lollies and a bizarre egg experiment, it’s loopy goodness inspired by the unfurling of the legendary Bob Fosse's jazz hands. JD Reforma’s dreamy drone imagery in ‘I Want to Believe’ captures stolen glances of the world as seen from Sydney’s rooftops, with the traffic drifting by oblivious below. Exploring the idea of escape from abusive relationships, what at first seems li

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  • Film
  • Romance
  • price 0 of 4
  • Sydney

For many ardent cinephiles, Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai’s lushly lit romance In the Mood for Love (2000) is their favourite film of all time. It certainly wowed critics at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for, but did not win, the top prize, the Palme d’Or (which went to Lars von Trier’s also excellent Dancer in the Dark). Star Tony Leung did take home Best Actor for his remarkable turn as a cuckolded man who slowly but surely falls for a neighbour, played by a radiant Maggie Cheung, whose spouse is also doing the dirty. Her dresses alone have been seared into cinematic history, as gorgeous as the sumptuous cinematography they’re folded into, as captured by Aussie Christopher Doyle alongside Kwan Pung-leung and Mark Lee Ping-bing. To celebrate 20 years of the film sashaying into the sublime, the Opera House staged a livestream event In the Mood: A Love Letter to Wong Kar-Wai and Hong Kong, a night of entertainment inspired by Kar-wai’s vision. You can watch it here.  Performing on the Joan Sutherland stage, Hong Kong-born, Australia-based pop star Rainbow Chan debuted new music inspired by the movie’s unforgettable score. She also threw some Bossa Nova moves from a famous sequence. Chan was joined by Sydney-based composer, singer and performance artist Marcus Whale – who has popped up at Liveworks, Vivid and Sugar Mountain Festival – and regular collaborator Eugene Choi, who narrated this lavish audio-visual feast, guiding us through a fever dream brought

  • Art
  • Galleries
  • price 0 of 4
  • Sydney

UPDATE, June 28: As of June 26, the Greater Sydney region including the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong is under a compulsory two-week lockdown until 11.59pm on July 9. Many events in Sydney have therefore been cancelled or postponed until after this period. Take a look at pictures of placards held aloft during Australia’s Black Lives Matter marches and you’ll see that even in the midst of tragedy, there’s a fierce sense of dark comedy at play too. And even empowered joy. We all need a bit more of the latter in our lives this year. Thankfully the Art Gallery of NSW has you covered. Opening on October 24 and running to sometime in 2021, new exhibition Joy gathers fun art from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives from across the Central Desert. Collecting everything from Queenie Kemarre’s cute bird statues carved in wood and painted in brilliant pink hues, to Judith Inkamala terracotta magpie adorned pots, and films too, it’s a celebration of the brighter side of life. As the AGNSW sees it, although it’s important to tell the stories of history and people that are uncomfortable, in need of critical dialogue or deeply embedded in culture and its practices, sharing joy is just as necessary, and we often forget to make space for that in our appraisal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Want more NAIDOC Week suggestions? Read our top tips here. 

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  • Music
  • price 0 of 4
  • Sydney

Sydneysiders have seen the contours of the Opera House sails a thousand times. They're a truly iconic strand of the city's DNA, but as familiar as the building's exterior is, plenty of spaces within the architectural marvel remain hidden. Like winning a golden ticket, Nooks and Crannies unlocks these secret spaces. In a series of intimate gigs, musicians are placed in lesser-known spots within the Opera House and respond accordingly, with their music. Featuring indie music big hitters of the calibre of Courtney Barnett, Camp Cope and The National, you can binge all this gold on the Opera House's Stream platform. Think of it like a special edition of Rage with site-specific music videos filmed in hidden corners of a famous Sydney landmark.  The first volume features Swedish guitar whisperer José González and Melbourne future-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote. Round two features hypnotic soul-folk artist Moses Sumney in the orchestra pit of the Joan Sutherland Theatre, playing his enchanting hit ‘Don't Bother Calling’. Next singer-songwriter and producer Kelsey Lu plays a stripped back, minimal version of her pulsating, Jamie xx co-produced track ‘Foreign Car’ under the laser lights of the Studio in the belly of the Opera House. US cult rockers The National play 'Hard To Find' from their Grammy Award winning album, Sleep Well Beast, under the Opera House sails in the Utzon Room. Melbourne trio Camp Cope bring forth their scathing critique of indie rock’s virtue signalling issues with

  • Art
  • Photography
  • price 0 of 4
  • Carlton

If you could not get enough of the trippy timewarp of Sydney then and Now, then you’re going to want to check out similarly themed art exhibition We Are Georges River. Capturing the continually evolving cultural diversity of the south of Sydney, it presents 200 vintage images from the Georges River Council vaults and tells a captivating story of the local communities, including Chinese Australians the First Nations peoples. If you’re in the hood, you’ll be able to check them out blown up giant-sized in various various spots including the Oatley Memorial Gardens, Hurstville Plaza and Carss Bush Park until December 17. You can find out where and when here. Or you can hop online and make the most of these gorge shots in digital form, with locals encouraged to get in touch with the council and share their own images current and historical by emailing LocalStudies@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au. If you see a photograph that sparks your curiosity, you can scan the attendant QR code to find out more about the story behind it. They include the legacy of the Nethery family of Carlton, whose seven sons went from sporting heroes to serving their country during World War II. They now have 44 great-grandchildren. Mike Nethery is really stoked to see them recognised. “We would like to share our stories to reflect on the resilience, the initiative and the stoic nature of our forebears in the Georges River area. The images are a captivating glimpse of our shared past and very evocative.” Georges Ri

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  • Art
  • Sculpture and installations
  • price 0 of 4
  • Western Sydney

Abstract artist Margo Lewers was something of a legend in her lifetime and continues to be so, not only because of the incredible artistic legacy she left, but also because she built a home for it and the work of other inspiring artists at her property in Emu Plains. What became the Penrith Regional Gallery has continued to honour Lewers and her vision of supporting other creatives with the From The Collection series of exhibitions, commissions and interventions. It challenges contemporary artists to work with the Penrith collection and put their own spin on it. The latest iteration, From The Collection X Abdullah M.I. Syed, is presented by the Sydney-based, Pakistan-born artist and examines the influence of the Bauhaus School on Australian Modernism. He’s particularly intrigued by Lewers' use of plexiglass to create stunning sculptural forms. Her works will be on show alongside Syed’s response that also draws on Islamic geometric design, the use of reflection and transparency, positive and negative space, as well the relationship between art and faith.  The free exhibition reopens the gallery on October 25 and runs through to January 9, 2022. You can find out more about Syed and his show here. Love to explore? Get inspired by these fun ideas to do in Sydney this week.

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • price 0 of 4
  • The Rocks

The MCA is really spoiling us with two glorious free exhibitions to mark the reopening of the Rocks institution. There’s the brilliance of First Nations artist Richard Bell in You Can Go Now, and there’s also a major rehang of the collection, dubbed Perspectives on Place. Curated by Anneke Jaspers, the exhibition brings together artworks that explore the social and physical aspects of place and puts them in a global perspective looking at how we inhabit the world. Featuring the work of 38 Australian artists, the spectacular array includes new acquisitions from the likes of celebrated First Nations artist Gunybi Ganambarr, Janet Fieldhouse and Megan Cope. Roughly a third of the works are on display for the first time. There will also be a new iteration of the MCA’s Artist Room series, bringing together bark paintings by the late David Malangi Daymirringu, a senior elder of the Manharrngu people of central Arnhem Land. “The exhibition will take viewers on an idiosyncratic journey that connects many different locations, within Australia and beyond,” Jaspers says. “Although the works all stem from specific sites and localities, they speak to broader concepts, from geopolitics and environmental change to communal life and custodianship.” Love art? Find out what exhibitions are happening here. 

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  • Art
  • Paintings
  • price 0 of 4
  • Sydney

Pintupi artists from the Western Deserts came together in 2000 to drive a hugely successful fundraising campaign, auctioning off beautiful large-scale works to help fund The Purple House, a First Nations-run, community-controlled, non-profit health service. Two decades later, that service has grown exponentially, and Art Gallery of NSW salutes their remarkable achievements. Curated by Time Out Arts Future Shaper Coby Edgar, The Purple House exhibition – on display and free to visit until February 27, 2022 – brings together eight historically significant works by Pintupi artists. Edgar says, “The Purple House is an example of how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can be successful in developing business models that work for their communities. The Purple House helps people living in remote communities, including some of Australia’s most senior artists, to lead happier and healthier lives, allowing them to record and share their stories for future generations.’ The Purple House director Irene Nangala adds, “I was in Sydney for that auction 21 years ago. We were dreaming for one dialysis machine in Kintore so that our families could come home. It was a great night. We were all so proud and happy. People were very kind. The money raised helped us get our family home to Kintore and then we kept going and going. We are still working hard to help get more people home and keep their spirits strong.” Need more art in your life? Here's our guide to what's opening. 

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • price 0 of 4
  • Ultimo

A fair few of us played with toy cars when we were little, but there was also a craze for grownups getting around in teeny wheels that were too big to fit in the tub, and yet a good deal dinkier than the usual automobiles on the road. This trend is celebrated in the Powerhouse Museum’s new exhibition Microcars. It brings together a revhead’s dream of 17 pint-sized vehicles manufactured across Australia, Europe, Japan and the UK from the late 1940s. It also examines the reanimation of that trend in contemporary hybrid microcars. The movement put the petite pedal to the metal in the aftermath of WWII, with the aim of delivering more affordable and economic cars that would appeal to the masses still recovering from the devastation of that time, but who still wanted to reclaim some semblance of how life had been before. These microcars combined scooter engines with small, lightweight bodies, with examples popping up from the likes of BMW, Heinkel and Lambretta in Europe, and Buckle Motors and Harold Lightburn locally. The Powerhouse already has some great examples and has borrowed a bunch more from keen collectors. You’ll even be able to see a microcar fit for a king, with a Messerschmitt KR200 on display, as purchased by the late, great Elvis Presley. The one on show was used in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic about the beloved American musician. The Renault Twizy and the Mercedes Benz Smartcar represent today’s innovations on the trend. Damian McDonald, curator of Microcars, say

Critics' picks

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Surry Hills

Shakespeare said that all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. But Virginia Gay decided, actually, life is a Christmas pantomime – and all the he’s, she’s and they’s are not merely players, but also chaotic directors, stressed out production managers and eager set builders just trying to work together to create magic, meaning and sweet distraction amongst the ups and downs of life.  A pantomime within a play, that’s also a musical, The Boomkak Panto strikes the perfect balance of humility, relevance and all-singing, all-dancing ridiculous fun to see out the year that was 2021 and turn the campery of Christmas up to eleven.  Pantomimes, or pantos as they are more affectionately known in the UK, are renowned for fielding massive stars, d-listers and even school principals in super-camp stagings of (usually) fairy tales, with lots of gender fluidity, booing at bad guys, randomly inserted references and pop songs, and general audience participation madness. After witnessing a couple of British pantos for the first time at the tender age of 38, Gay roped in the team that helped her stage a critically-praised, modern queer-coded reimagining of the classic Wild West movie musical Calamity Jane to have a run at an Aussie answer to the riddle of panto. And they have absolutely nailed it. This fresh take deploys one of the most Aussie stories of all: a big developer muscling in on a small bush community that is not having a bar of it. This regional outpost la

  • Art
  • Paintings
  • Sydney

After the winter that was, we all need a massive dose of vibrant colour in our lives right now. Well, Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) listened and delivered. Matisse: Life & Spirit, Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou presents the largest collection of the revered painter’s joyous work to ever wing its way to Sydney, with thanks to the world-famous Parisian home of contemporary art. You’ll be able to soak up the spirit-lifting sight of more than 100 of his brilliantly inventive creations – not just paintings but also sculptures, drawings, cut-outs and more – from November 20 right through to March 13, 2022. The show takes in the full scope of his six decade-spanning career, with many of the inclusions having never been displayed in Australia. A special presentation focused on his work in Chapel of the Rosary in Vence, in the south of France, is at the heart of the exhibition. It’s considered to be the culmination of his life’s work. Sydney-based architect Richard Johnson has conjured up life-sized maquettes of the chapel windows. AGNSW head curator of international art Justin Paton worked with special exhibitions curator Jackie Dunn and Centre Pompidou’s Dr Aurélie Verdier to bring this glowing exhibition to life. AGNSW director Dr Michael Brand is delighted. “We are proud to offer our visitors an encounter with one of the world’s greatest collections of Matisse’s work here in Sydney on Gadigal country. The exhibition traces the development of the artist’s practice from his earl

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Darling Harbour

Note: After Sydney's second city-wide lockdown, Hamilton returned to the Sydney Lyric Theatre in October. Tickets are on sale now for performances through February 27 2022.  Is Hamilton, the smash-hit American history musical that won a whopping 11 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize when it debuted on Broadway in 2015 and won the hearts of critics and audiences the world over, as good as everyone says? In a word, yes. If you want to stop reading here and just book your tickets, we’ll understand.  There is a reason it is the most hyped show on Earth, and its writer and first star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, is now a household name. Some 3 million people watched the musical when it appeared on Disney Plus in July 2020, and almost 8 million more have seen it live, in cities across the US and in London’s West End. Now it’s Sydney’s turn, with the only production of the show in the world right now playing at the Lyric Theatre.  With the soundtrack available on Spotify and the original Broadway cast version available to anyone with a Disney Plus account on demand, Hamilton is competing not so much with other musicals for your dollars and attention (there are no other shows of this type that can match the show’s tactical brilliance), but with itself. Most in the audience are at least familiar with the show by this point, and quite a few are able to mouth along to every word behind their masks. If you can see the original Broadway version any time you want and listen to the soundtrack 24 hour

  • Film
  • Film festivals
  • Ultimo

As a sequel to 2020, this year may leave a lot to be desired, but one thing we can certainly celebrate together is the 25th anniversary outing of the auspicious Japanese Film Festival (JFF). One of our favourite film showcases, this year’s line-up is particularly awesome. As curated by the Japan Foundation, Sydney – a non-profit organisation that promotes Japanese culture –  the festival will unspool in the nation’s capital first, playing at both the Palace Electric Cinema and the National Film and Sound Archives in Canberra from October 29. It will then light up in a newly reopen for business Sydney from November 25 to December 5, with screenings at Palace Cinemas Norton Street, Chauvel, Central and Verona, and we are so ready for the popcorn. Opening night movie Hokusai brings art history to dramatic life with this rollicking biopic about arguably Japan’s most famous artist of all time, Katsushika Hokusai. Even if the 19th century ukiyo-e painter and printmaker’s name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, trust us, you know his iconic artwork ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’. And by the time director Hajime Hashimoto has finished introducing you to his wild adventures, you’ll never forget it. If docos are your thing, you can also catch Sumodo ~ The Successors of Samurai, which follows two wrestlers, as they prepare to throwdown on the legendary stage of Ryōgoku Kokugikan. Elsewhere in JFF, you can check out Japan’s Oscar submission for this year, True Mothers, critically acclaimed

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Haymarket

There is something perfect about Come From Away finally landing in Sydney. The musical is set on 9/11 in the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland, to which 38 planes were diverted when United States airspace was closed in the wake of the terrorist attack. The almost 7,000 passengers on board, terrified, claustrophobic and desperate for news about what was happening, were taken in by the people of Gander and surrounding towns, nearly doubling the population for five days. The townsfolk gave them food, shelter and most importantly, kindness and comfort during the most horrific time in recent American history – until 2020, of course.  The underlying message of kindness and compassion in the face of unspeakable horror is one that's sorely needed right now. When the planes begin to land, the women of Gander start up a collection for donations, with a song that could have been penned last year: "Can I help? Is there something I need to do, something to keep me from thinking of all the scenes on the tube? I need something to do 'cause I can't watch the news, no I can't watch the news anymore..." The feeling of helplessness, of being unable to tear yourself away from the news and of desperately wanting to do something, anything, productive is one all of us felt during the worst days of last year. But Come From Away is not just an Important Musical for Our Times, it's also a whole lot of rollicking good fun. The music is fantastic, heavily influenced by the Irish-inflected music that is

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