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Eight great shows to see in Sydney during winter

With hit theatre productions, laugh-out-loud comedy and toe-tapping live music, central Sydney is an incredibly vibrant place this winter

By Time Out in association with City of Sydney |
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Two women dressed in elaborate make-up as part of the Razorhurst play.
Photograph: John Mcrae Razorhurst

While a warm doona may be beckoning you at the end of a busy working day, you’ll always have that fleecy nest to go home to, and Sydney’s thriving arts scene runs to a more timely schedule. Spend your evening hours lapping up live music, chuckling at witty comedy shows and learning to love stories again through the art of theatre.

We’ve found ten striking performances that are happening at some of our favourite indie theatres and concert halls, so you can come see them after work and spark some creative flows that may inspire your working self the following day. And besides the entertainment and inspiration factors, there’s also the proven benefit of interactions with the arts improving your wellbeing day to day and into the future. We just know you’re not going for that evening jog or gym sesh in this weather, so this is really the healthier choice.

See these eight tops shows after work

Image of two men in white shirts from Hudson and Halls Live!
Photograph: Supplied

Hudson and Halls Live!

What: A camp Kiwi cooking show lampooned on stage.
Where & when: Giant Dwarf, Jun 26-29.

In the ’70s and ’80s, long before Xena, Fran Drescher or the original Queer Eye, New Zealand’s TV chefs Peter Hudson and David Halls were camping up prime time screens. The duo were partners both on and off screen, and their irreverent cooking show Hudson and Halls was a cult hit during the conservative Hawke-and-Thatcher era. The pair’s withering one-liners and slapstick food prep have been resurrected for the stage in a hilarious and moving piece of theatre starring top Kiwi thesps Todd Emerson, Chris Parker and Emily Barclay. Immerse yourself in New Zealand’s great gay love story, replete with ’80s hair and Corningware.

Solve-a-long-a-Murder She Wrote
Photograph: Supplied

Solve-Along-a-Murder-She-Wrote

What: An interactive, retro-TV-themed comedy.
Where & when: Seymour Centre, Jul 5-7.

You know what’s better than watching old reruns of Murder She Wrote? Watching them with a roomful of fans who are collectively trying to solve the mystery before Angela Lansbury reveals all in the denouement. In this hosted screening, a classic episode becomes an interactive show with a theme-song singalong, trivia, guest stars and games like Cabot Cove Bingo and the Jessica Fletcher Epiphany Race. It’s ’80s television taken to new and hilarious heights, and a test of your amateur sleuthing skills to boot.

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The Hideaways
Photograph: Supplied

The Hideaways

What: Swaggering indie guitar rock.
Where & when: The Vanguard, Thu Jun 27.

Support local musos when native sons the Hideaway play the Vanguard in celebration of their debut EP, Then She. Describing themselves as indie rockers with pop sensibilities, the band has a layered, guitar-driven sound that has been likened to Gang of Youths, the 1975 and Catfish and the Bottlemen – and caught the attention of Triple J Unearthed. They’ve already packed out venues such as Frankie’s and Fuse Box, so come and see what the hype is all about.

A woman in a purple dress singing in front of a microphone while a man smiles and watches.
Photograph: Supplied

Sydney Cabaret Festival

What: A festival of the musical storytelling arts.
Where & when: Seymour Centre & City Recital Hall, Jul 5-14.

Sydney’s newest international festival kicks off in July with 40 performances over ten jam-packed days. The boundaries of the traditional cabaret floor show have been stretched to include everything from circus to comedy and drag, but there’s also a pop-up piano bar at the Seymour Centre for some good old-fashioned musical entertainment. Don’t miss the opening night gala featuring a litany of Broadway and Australian cabaret stars, plus concerts dedicated to Ella Fitzgerald and Kylie Minogue.

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