50 best events in May

There are heaps of events to look forward to this month

Photograph: Jacquie Manning

Winter is on the way but that's no reason to stay indoors. Sydneysiders make the most of ‘thinking season’ with talks and ideas festivals like Sydney Writers’ Festival, Vivid Ideas and Semi-Permanent. It’s also the start of whale-watching season and one of the best times to go for a bush walk. Don't forget it's Mother's Day this month, too. 

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50 biggest events in May


Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards and exhibition showcase not only the best of the natural world, but the patience, ingenuity and talent of the photographers who spend their time embedded within wildlife so that they can get that incredible, revealing shot. This year's 100 finalists were taken by some of the world’s best nature photographers and selected for their creativity, artistry and technical complexity.

Australian National Maritime Museum , Darling Harbour Until Sunday October 14 2018

Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical

This musical adaptation of Stephan Elliot's 1994 camp classic premiered in Sydney in 2006. Since then it has travelled the world, picking up a Tony and an Olivier award, plus a swag of other accolades, along the way. Finally, Priscilla will return to her homeland ten years after the musical closed in Australia back in 2008, with the show's original director (and doyen of Australian theatre) Simon Phillips at the helm (who most recently directed the MTC's Macbeth).

Capitol Theatre , Haymarket Tuesday July 17 2018 - Saturday July 21 2018

Frank Hurley: Photographer & Gardener

Frank Hurley lived an extraordinary life. Born in Sydney, he became the official photographer for multiple expeditions to Antarctica, including one in which the party became stranded for two full years. Just a year later, in 1917, Hurley joined the Australian Defence Force and became a war photographer for both world wars. But this exhibition at Manly Art Gallery and Museum celebrates Hurley's more domestic side and features mostly images taken while in Sydney at the very beginning of the 20th century. 

Manly Art Gallery and Museum , Manly Tuesday July 17 2018 - Sunday October 14 2018

The Archibald Prize

The Archibald Prize is the exhibition that stops a nation – well, a city anyway. Everyone has an opinion about who and what is most deserving of the $100,000 top gong – and the annual exhibition of fortyish finalists offers plenty to argue over, featuring faces familiar and not, by big name, mid-career and emerging painters. 

Art Gallery of NSW , Sydney Until Sunday September 9 2018

James Cameron – Challenging the Deep

The exhibition will feature a recreation of a MIR submersible, hand props and costumes from the 1997 film Titanic, plus diving helmets, lights and underwater voice communication technology from Cameron’s 1988 film The Abyss. There’ll be technological artefacts on show, such as objects from the Deepsea Challenger – the submersible co-designed by built here in Sydney. 

Australian National Maritime Museum , Darling Harbour Until Wednesday January 30 2019
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