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April events in Sydney

From Easter to ANZAC Day and everything in between

Photograph: Anna Kucera

Autumn has well and truly settled in, but the fourth month of the year has its seasonal highlights to keep us entertained. There’s LOLs aplenty at the annual Comedy Festival, cute animals and fairground rides at the Royal Easter Show and school holidays keep parents on their toes. Plus, it's ANZAC Day, so you'll want to know where to play two-up, and most of us get four days off over Easter, so it's the perfect time for a short getaway

April's biggest events


The National Biennial of New Australian Art

The National, a collaborative venture between AGNSW, MCA and Carriageworks, will take place across the three major institutions, focusing on site-specific new commissions by contemporary Australian artists. The National is envisioned to take place in three editions: 2017, 2019 and 2021 – alternating with Sydney's other major art festival the Biennale of Sydney. 

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Art Gallery of NSW , Sydney Until Sunday July 16 2017

The Homosexuals

It’s set in an ultra-modern Darlinghurst apartment (designed by Marg Horwell) belonging to middle-aged flirt Warren (Simon Burke) and Kim (Simon Corfield), a younger gender studies academic. Warren is a symbol of modern gay affluence: a home-owner who has made a comfortable living for himself as editor of The Daily Bulge, holding ‘photo shoots’ on the side where he casually hits on and hooks up with young models.

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SBW Stables Theatre - Griffin Theatre Company , Darlinghurst Until Saturday April 29 2017


Australian Ballet’s new triple bill, Faster, takes as its overriding theme the idea of the human body as an excellence machine; it explores the point at which organisms reach heights of perfection, and the ways in which a pursuit of personal excellence might contribute to a subsequent lack of connectivity. The result is a triple bill of almost uncanny resonances, of echoes and counter arguments. In short, it makes a complex whole out of disparate and conflicting parts.

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Sydney Opera House , Sydney Until Wednesday April 26 2017

Classic Hollywood at the Ritz Cinema

The Ritz in Randwick is one of Sydney's true architectural gems, built in 1937 and one of only two Art Deco cinemas left in Sydney. A visit here can bring lustre to any film. To mark the 80th birthday of the Ritz, they have programmed a season of nine all-time Hollywood greats spanning 1939 to 1967, all of them digitally restored and all of them must-sees for everyone who loves movies.

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Ritz Cinema Randwick , Randwick Wednesday April 26 2017 - Sunday August 20 2017

The Rasputin Affair

Is there anything Kate Mulvany can’t do? If she’s not wowing audiences across town as the hunchbacked king in Bell Shakespeare’s gender-bending Richard III, she’s lending her writing chops to another historical badass in The Rasputin Affair. This production, directed by John Sheedy, features John Gaden, Tom Budge (Endgame), Zindzi Okenyo (Disgraced) and Hamish Michael (Janet King) as a bunch of inept assassins plotting to take out the mad monk in 1917 St Petersburg. As Mulvany says, “When you’re starting with pink cupcakes and ending with the death of one of the biggest tyrants in Russian history, you know you’re in for a rollicking ride.”

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Ensemble Theatre , Kirribilli Wednesday April 26 2017 - Sunday April 30 2017

Rising Minds

Rising Minds is a global think-tank and free monthly talk series that currently has outposts in London, New York and Toronto. Australian founder Drew Smith, who previously ran Creative Mornings in London, says bringing the series to Sydney is a sort of like a “homecoming” for him.  he talks aim to stimulate debate, share ideas and ruminate on the futures of business, technology and culture, and where these three pillars intersect. 

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Until Friday March 23 2018

Escape from Pompeii

Many know of the tragic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD that buried the Italian cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum under volcanic ash and debris. The cities and their residents were preserved for almost 2,000 years under the Earth’s surface, and have since become tourist destinations in their own right. But it's a little-known story of bravery that will soon take centre stage in an upcoming exhibition at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

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Australian National Maritime Museum , Darling Harbour Until Wednesday August 30 2017

Luna Park Rooftop Cinema

Luna Park: not the quietest place in Sydney for an open-air cinema event, right? Never fear – at Luna Park Rooftop Cinema all audience members will be issued with noise-cancelling wireless headphones. A blanket to snuggle under can be hired for $5. And just think of the Sydney Harbour views. 

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Luna Park Sydney , Milsons Point Until Thursday April 27 2017

The Bodyguard

Premiering on London's West End in 2012, Alexander Dinelaris's musical version of The Bodyguard is based on the 1992 film starring your ’90s boyfriend Kevin Costner as an ex-Secret Service agent hired to protect a superstar from her stalker, and Whitney Houston as the damsel-in-distress, Rachel Marron. It's coming to Australia in 2017 (thanks to producers Michael Harrison, David Ian and John Frost) with Fijian-born singer-songwriter and original Australian Idol Paulini making her theatrical debut in the role of Rachel Marron.

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Sydney Lyric , Darling Harbour Tuesday April 25 2017 - Sunday July 2 2017

Diary of a Wombat

Monkey Baa Theatre Company is presenting Diary of a Wombat, a new Australian play based on the picture book by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley. Adapted for the stage by Monkey Baa’s creative directorate Eva Di Cesare, Sandra Eldridge and Tim McGarry, this live production will feature fun puppetry, a live cello score and an evoking set design. 

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Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre , Sydney Until Saturday May 27 2017

Dharawal National Park Walking Tours

Just an hour away from Sydney’s CBD, Dharawal National Park provides stunning scenery and an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Until recently, public access to the bushland was restricted, now you can enjoy guided tours of the park every second Saturday of the month. The 90-minute walks are designed for people of all fitness levels and there are options for children as well as wheelchair accessible tours. Guiding the way will be an Aboriginal Discovery Ranger who will share local knowledge about flora and fauna along the way, as well as Dreamtime stories that connect Indigenous Australians to the area.

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Around Sydney , Sydney Saturday May 13 2017 - Saturday November 11 2017

Fair Farmers Market

Held at the Royal Randwick Racecourse every Sunday, the Fair Farmers Market will sell locally sourced and competitively priced produce from family farms. Helmed by fresh fruit and veggie company For Goodness Sake, the market will feature 50 stalls with a broad choice of sustainably sourced, ethically produced meat, seafood, eggs and dairy, including goods from Country Valley Diary, Jenny Brown’s free range eggs and Serendipity Ice Cream. 

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Royal Randwick Racecourse , Randwick Sunday April 30 2017 - Sunday March 18 2018

Spirit of ANZAC Centenary Experience

Opening ten days prior to Anzac Day is a free exhibition that follows the stories of Australia’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses in the First World War. The exhibition has been touring Australia for two years, appearing in 23 locations and visited by more than 300,000 people across the country. It features 200 artefacts from the Australian War Memorial commemorating the experiences of men and women who served during 1914 to 1918, including the last shell fired on Gallipoli.

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International Convention Centre , Darling Harbour Until Thursday April 27 2017

AnnanROMA Food and Wine Festival

The AnnanROMA Food and Wine Festival is a community event showcasing local food from restaurants in the Macarthur region. Held on Sunday April 2 at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, this year’s event marks the 10th birthday of this popular food and wine festival. This year's event will bring back ‘Eat Street’, a main avenue of delicacies stretching along the garden’s central circuit to the lakeside lawn, where guests can sit and relax to live music. Expect Italian pastries, cupcakes, Asian fusion and sliders, as well as beers, wines and margaritas. Vendors will include Orangeville Meat Co, Juicy Goose, Frank and Blance, Otis Bar & Grill and Embers Charcoal Kitchen.

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The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan , Sydney Sunday April 30 2017

Andy Zaltzman

If you're not aware of Andy Zaltzman, the short version is: he's like John Oliver, but with a ginger 'fro. In fact, they co-founded and co-hosted (until 2016) a satirical podcast together: The Bugle.  If you want to hear his last Sydney show, Satirist for Hire, you can listen to it via The Bugle. His new show, Plan Z, sees him wax philosophical on the age of Trump and Brexit. He's also pretty keen on cricket so expect some sporting analogies.

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The Comedy Store Sydney , Moore Park Until Thursday April 27 2017

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone with Live Orchestra

First of all: OMG, they're soooo cute. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were just 11 years old when they starred in the first Harry Potter film for director Chris Columbus back in 2001 – and what they lacked in acting chops ("I'm [lengthy stilted pause]... a... a wizard?") they make up for in adorableness. The first movie is far from the worst of the series. In fact, it's got a lot to recommend it; for instance, the late Richard Harris as Dumbledore is authoritative and moving (sorry Michael Gambon, but he's the better Albus). So imagine the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in full flight playing the entire score for a high definition screening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the Concert Hall of the Opera House. You'd be a muggle to miss it.

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Sydney Opera House , Sydney Thursday April 27 2017 - Friday April 28 2017

Kinky Boots

Based on the 2005 movie and with songs by Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots transports audiences from a gentlemen's shoe factory in Northampton to the catwalks of Milan. It won six Tony Awards including Best Musical (trumpling Matilda, no less). 

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Capitol Theatre , Haymarket Wednesday April 26 2017 - Sunday July 23 2017

Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize

This annual prize is one of our favourites because of its unique curatorial model: one artist selects roughly 20 of their favourite artists; each of these then chooses one of their favourite emerging artists. The resulting 40-or-so-strong line-up is a great snapshot of the Australia-New Zealand art-scape. 

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National Art School , Darlinghurst Tuesday April 25 2017 - Saturday May 20 2017

Spanish Film Festival

Have you seen the 2014 Australian comedy The Little Death? No? Pity. Josh Lawson’s film is a daring, adult sex comedy exploring what happens when various suburban Aussies start to act on their fetishes. Back then, Time Out wrote that the film “deftly weaves together surreal scenarios into a constantly surprising package”. But moviegoers stayed at home – most likely because the words “erotic” and “Australian comedy” just don’t sit comfortably in the same sentence together. So it’s no shock to us that the movie has been remade, very successfully, in Spain. 

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Around Sydney , Sydney Until Sunday May 7 2017

Chido Govera

As a child Chido Govera experienced more hardship than most of us can imagine. An orphan in rural Zimbabwe, she was responsible for the care of her brother and grandmother before experiencing horrific abuse at the hands of an uncle. At the age of 11, after turning down a marriage proposal, Govera turned adversary into triumph, starting a mushroom farm by cultivating local waste. That farm bloomed into a journey that has seen her teach over 1,000 orphans and young women how to create social and economic opportunities for themselves. The School of Life Australia will host Govera as she talks about what it means to have hope in the face of adversity and how individuals can take control of their own destiny, no matter the circumstances.

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Dendy Opera Quays , Circular Quay Thursday April 27 2017


The Kings Cross Hotel is hosting its own new party, Uptown. Across three floors, local legends and party starters will be encouraging you to reclaim your Saturday nights at this weekly, dancefloor-friendly shindig. On the ground floor you'll find pop anthems, disco floor fillers and classic hip hop. On the breezy balcony DJs will be spinning yacht rock and relaxed pop gems. Finally the rooftop goes full whack into party mode, dishing out electronic, house and future pop beats.  It all kicks off on April 1, and you'll find Uptown taking over the Kings Cross Hotel every Saturday evening from there on in.  

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Kings Cross Hotel , Potts Point Saturday April 29 2017 - Thursday June 1 2017

The Dark Matters

A cloud hangs over White Rabbit’s foyer this autumn, a nebulous grey form by New York-based artist Lin Yan. Suspended from the ceiling by black strings (which she conceives of as rain), the piece is made from handmade ‘xuan’ paper – polluted with grey ink, tire tracks, brick rubbings and other vestiges of the industrial world. A smaller cloud form hands above it, almost at ceiling height; at the back of the foyer space hang long strips of pristine creamy-white xuan paper. 

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White Rabbit , Chippendale Wednesday April 26 2017 - Sunday July 30 2017

Keep the kids entertained

School holidays in Sydney

Looking for ideas to entertain the kids? We've found the best children's theatre shows, classes and workshops, outdoor activities and family festivals taking place during the school holidays.

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By: Emma Joyce