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January events in Sydney

The sun is shinning, adventures are lined up and Sydney is ripe for the taking
Woman walks through a crowd with a glass of bubbles.
Photograph: Karl Schwerdtfeger

The first month of the year is packed with summer music festivals, outdoor markets, blockbuster theatre shows and major art exhibitions. Make the most of January in Sydney with our guide to the biggest events this month.

Got little rugrats? Bookmark this guide to the summer school holidays.

If you're entertaining guests, why not show them the best walks in Sydney, marvel at Sydney's superb sights, or give in to the summer heat and hit up these hot yoga classes.

RECCOMMENDED: The best vegan restaurants in Sydney.

January's big hitters

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2019 Broadway production shot, photo credit: Joan Marcus
Photograph: Joan Marcus
Theatre, Musicals

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

icon-location-pin Capitol Theatre, Haymarket

Sydney audiences will step into a world of pure imagination with the new musical version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The show, which just wrapped up a three year run on the West End and a short stint on Broadway, is opening at the Capitol Theatre.

Turandot Opera Australia 2019
Photograph: Georges Antoni, Simon Rae


icon-location-pin Sydney Opera House, Sydney

Director and choreographer Graeme Murphy's 1990 take on Turandot is one of Opera Australia's true evergreen productions. Almost three decades after its premiere, it still looks fabulous, driven by dance and an otherworldly design.

Terror Nullius
Photograph: Supplied

Just Not Australian

icon-location-pin Artspace, Wooloomooloo

Expect to see Pauline Hanson alongside the characters of Mad Max while the voice of John Howard rings out across the desert in this controversial compilation film. Characters from Muriel's Wedding meet Josh Thomas in Please Like Me, Russell Crowe in Romper Stomper and even The Babadook, beside the centrepiece artworks in Terror Nullius

The Beehive Sydney Festival 2019
Photograph: Philippa Bateman
Art, Film and video

The Beehive

icon-location-pin UNSW Galleries, Paddington

It was more than four decades ago that journalist and anti-development activist Juanita Nielsen disappeared. Nobody knows exactly what happened to her, so it only makes sense to approach this unusual story in an unusual fashion, which is exactly what Sydney artist Zanny Begg does in this documentary film having its local premiere for Sydney Festival. 

Man sits and looks down camera.
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Exhibitions

Akira Isogawa

icon-location-pin Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo

He is recognised as one of the country’s most respected designers, and Akira Isogawa has made a name for himself as a pioneer of modern Australian and Asian fusion fashion. In this Powerhouse Museum exhibition, visitors can explore Isogawa’s creative impulses, cultural influences and design background. 

Sunset Cinema North Sydney
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Outdoor cinema

Sunset Cinema

icon-location-pin North Sydney Oval, North Sydney

North Sydney Oval, with its historic grandstand and views of the lights of North Sydney, is a classy venue for outdoor cinema screenings, and Sunset Cinema will kick off another ten-week season on January 17. Gates open 90 minutes prior to each film commencing and dinner and drinks are available. 

La Boheme 2017 Opera Australia production still feat cast photographer credit Prudence Upton
Photograph: Prudence Upton

La bohème

icon-location-pin Sydney Opera House, Sydney

Some love La bohème, some loathe it – but there's no doubt that there's plenty of those Puccini earworms, romance, sex, tragedy and comedy. To that mix, Edwards and Thomson add the sizzle of Weimar Germany (cue topless club girls, red-curtained cabarets and bedazzling frocks).

Blanc de Blanc production shot
Photograph: Pamela Raith

Blanc de Blanc Encore

icon-location-pin Sydney Opera House, Sydney

This show is named after a kind of Champagne made entirely from chardonnay grapes. And it's an entirely appropriate name for a show made for adults only that's a bit fancy, a bit bubbly and super boozy. Expect an art deco-inspired, Gatsby-esque design, as well as big dance numbers, aerials, stunts and songs.

People look at a preserved human specimen.
Photograph: Kate Gilbert
Things to do, Exhibitions

Body Worlds Vital

icon-location-pin Sydney Town Hall, Sydney

After farewelling the wildly popular but controversial Real Bodies exhibition, Sydney's human biology fans will get another entrancing, disturbing and educational exhibition with Body Worlds Vital. This separate exhibit features over 150 preserved human cadavers and anatomical specimens, and has toured more than 130 countries worldwide. 

Wallet feeling light?

More to explore