It’s imperative that you do not eat before you visit the Carriageworks Farmers Markets. You’ll want to save maximum belly space for your personal version of The Bachelorette where you decide who gets your dollars and what delicious produce gets to come home with you. Maybe you like something soupy and savoury first thing? In that case go for the pho stand for a traditional Vietnamese start to the day. There’s a bibimbap stall that will even replace the rice with shredded cauliflower if you don’t believe in cheat days, and a French crêpe stall and a classic bacon and egg roll for creatures of habit. The big hitter is always Billy Kwong, where a perfect fried egg is swaddled in a Chinese pancake, packed with salad and dressed in a luxe ginger tamari sauce. And for breakfast dessert, no visit is complete without a baked treat from Flour and Stone – they soak their lamingtons in a panna cotta mix to make sure they’re extra soft and rich.Once the hounds of your hunger have been quieted it’s time to prepare for your next meal, or seven. Maybe you need the sweet bite of Pickle Hill’s Worcester sauce for the pantry? Or some fresh goat’s curd from Willowbrae? While you’re there you may as well get some smoked salmon, fresh ravioli from Pasta Emilia, free range eggs, a load of beer and barley bread form the Bread and Butter Project, and some jersey milk butter to go on it. If you forgot your sweet French basket the 2 Duck Trading Co stall sells them, so you can pack them full of fresh
The Tough Mudder exercise course, where you’re put through your paces in a military-style training regime of obstacle courses and endurance tests in the mud, has become a fitness phenomenon. This hardcore bootcamp race is open to gym junkies of all abilities, but if you really want to test yourself, you’ll register for the Mud Run. The full race course is 36 km of running and obstacles that take you through muddy flats, rocky outcrops and dense bushland. You can also take a ‘half’ course that’s confusingly 21 km (not half?) at the Sydney event location in Glenworth Valley. While they normally don’t advocate for racing against the clock, you can test your mudder abilities across two days of both races on November 17-18. Best part is, every entrant wins a Tough mudder T-shirt, headband and 4 Pines beer.
There are no nightclubs at Bondi Beach, but on Monday night at around 8.30pm you’d be forgiven for thinking there was a secret, sweaty rave taking place at the Pavilion as hundreds of drenched, red-faced partygoers emerge from the Seagull Room on the second floor. It’s a weekly ritual for locals who want to work up a sweat after work and shake off that feeling of always being on show (an ailment particular to those who live in a suburb of such beautiful people). This is No Lights No Lycra – the weekly, one-hour dance class that takes place in the dark. And we mean dark! It’s pitch black in the room. Our arms are stretched out in front of us so we don’t collide with another dancer, and splintered light shows chairs stacked around the speakers to make sure we don’t cause any serious damage to the sound system. “It is dark enough that people lose their inhibitions,” says Ash Maher, 27, one of the founders of NLNL Sydney. “We tape the blinds to the wall, especially in summer. And we’re going to start bringing black tape because even people’s FitBits give off light.” Maher and her friend Jodie Fisher, 26, started running NLNL classes in Newtown four years ago, and their Bondi nights around two-and-a-half years ago. “They’re both the same concept, but the nights have their own characters,” says Maher. “People love to pump out the big tunes here, and in Newtown they love the ’80s songs.” Ash and Jodie put in hours each week working on the playlists for their nights. They make su
The Sydney Peace Foundation champions initiatives, groups and individuals working to find peaceful solutions to violence and injustice around the world. Each year, they award the Sydney Peace Prize to a individual making remarkable contributions to social justice in their field, while bringing the local community together to discuss global issues and support peaceful solutions. This year, the honour is being awarded to American economist Joseph Stiglitz, who is an influential advocate for global economic justice and equality. In his address at the awards ceremony, he will share his experiences in his leading role at the World Bank, as the chairman of the US president’s Council of Economic Advisers and in leading the global conversation about the growing crisis of economic inequality.
Using the expanses of Orange Grove primary school, these markets fill the playground with covetable goods on a weekly basis. Farm fresh fruit and veg is everywhere here and you’re spoilt for choice for truss tomatoes, plump berries, technicolour capsicums and leafy greens. There’s also a glut of small producers for all your smallgood and fancy condiment needs; grab a fragrant saucisson (an air-dried pork sausage); or rummage through bright yellow, ice-filled eskies for some juicy free-range steaks and nab a carton of free-range eggs.The popularity of the bacon and egg rolls from Bowen’s has reached celebrity status, with queues long enough to make you think Bieber is signing autographs at the end of the line. They’re undeniably delicious. But our breakfast of choice is a steaming carton of Eat Fuh pho, purveyors of one of the most fragrant broths in Sydney. Try their vegan option, too; the broth has a rich mushroom aroma that almost overshadows the meat version. And, if the crisp crunch of an organically grown carrot isn’t your thing on a Saturday morning, the market also has tables laden with top notch baked goods. Grab a slab of Flour and Stone’s popular lemon cake or a goat cheese and zucchini savoury tart from Croquembouche patisserie, or collect flavoured seed varieties at Brooklyn Boy Bagels.Food isn’t the only thing on the menu – there’s also a range of handmade and environmentally conscious clothing, second-hand records and jewellery. Find the best markets in Sydney.
Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud is returning to Australia for an exclusive appearance in conversation with Man About the House presenter and comedian Tim Ross. The pair will take to the Concert Hall stage in one of the most recognisable buildings in the world to chew the fat over the iconic building itself, home designs and how we construct spaces for modern living. McCloud is best known as the host of Channel 4’s long-running show, which has also produced spin-off publications and events Grand Designs Magazine and Grand Designs Live. Kevin’s TV repertoire also includes two series of Man Made Home, Kevin's Supersized Salvage and Kevin McCloud's Escape To The Wild. He wrote and presented his four-hour Grand Tour of Europe and spent two and a half weeks in the slums of Mumbai for Channel 4’s India season. The show will run for around 70 minutes and tickets go on sale to the general public at 9am on Friday August 10.
Retrosweat founder Shannon Dooley, a qualified fitness instructor and NIDA graduate, fronts one of the fastest-growing workout trends in the inner west. Kitted out in hot-pink Reebok Classics, white legwarmers and a striking bodysuit and crop top combo, Dooley looks like the picture-perfect ’80s icon. Modelling herself on the queens of home video fitness – from Jane Fonda to ‘Physical’ poster girl Olivia Newton-John – our instructor adopts a Workout Barbie pose at the head of the class, in front of a mirrored dance hall. We jump around to Don Henley’s ‘The Boys of Summer’, bust a lung to Boy Meets Girl’s ‘Waiting for a Star to Fall’ and thrust in earnest to the Proclaimers’ ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’. Dooley throws in a few quips and flamboyant positions to keep everyone smiling, and one class member claims: “I haven’t done the grapevine for 20 years.” Turns out, neither had we. But aside from a few coordination issues, one never forgets how to shimmy sideways while flailing arms and legs in the right direction. Retrosweat really did what it said on the tin: we danced to 12 original ’80s tracks and we sure as heck worked up a sweat. In fact, Dooley claims a high-intensity workout can burn up to 800 calories per class. But fitness alone isn’t the reason fans flock to the party every week. This class is serious fun – and the 50-minute workout is the added sweetener. Besides, where else can you plunge into a squat while holding a pineapple? “Smells better than a kettle
Sydney’s most sustainable business-savvy folk are coming together to share advice about environmentalism with Sydney’s motivated business owners. The Taronga Institute of Science and Learning at Taronga Zoo will teach you how to save money while you make changes that reduce your environmental footprint, create positive impacts down your supply chains and develop networks that support the sustainability movement. Plastic is the prime villain in this story, and much of this workshop will focus on the detrimental effects of using and unsustainably disposing of plastics, as well as strategies to reverse its impacts. Besides keeping our oceans healthy and the cost savings, initiatives like Sydney bars and pubs scrubbing plastic straws from their menus and stores like Swop Clothing Exchange focusing on reusable retail provide a whole lot of goodwill and positive feedback from an ecologically aware public. The free two-hour talk is catered and also offers prizes and useful sustainablity packets at the door. You'll need to register to attend.
Christmas is coming early to the North Shore, with Chatswood Chase organising a huge Xmas program in the lead up to the festive season. The annual Santa’s Arrival on November 17 kicks off the proceedings, with a huge day for the whole family. Spread across the centre will be a petting zoo (cue the fawns), festive craft workshops, elves on stilts and carol singers to really get you in the mood, as well as in-store discounts to kick-start your Xmas shopping. In the lead up, you can book your slot of time online for a photo with Santa to avoid waiting in line with thousands of other mums, dads and squirming kids – the recurring nightmare of this time of year. From December 14-24 you can also get your gifts wrapped for a gold coin donation, which is the perfect service for those of us who leave the more tedious parts of gift giving to the last minute.
Food, fireworks and family capture the buoyant spirit of the Loy Krathong festival as it returns to Parramatta for another year. Traditionally held on the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar, participants release decorated lanterns into the river to symbolise the floating away of their worries as they ring in a new wave of happiness and prosperity. Head chef Sujet Saenkham of Surry Hills staple Spice I Am will return this year to lead a special cooking demonstration – kids are also invited to make their own rice paper rolls. If you prefer your meal ready made, there’ll be plenty of stalls selling all your favourite Thai dishes and desserts, which you can wash down with a sugar cane juice or a Singha. There’ll also be workshops and demonstrations in traditional dance, Muay Thai boxing and other elements of Thai culture. As always, the festival’s highlight is the releasing of krathong into the river after sundown (around 7.30pm). Then, watch your troubles drift away as the firework display colours the night sky.
The Grammy, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning polymath is gearing up to deliver two back-to-back shows on the forecourt of Sydney Opera House in November. It’ll be six month since he released his now infamous video for ‘This is America’, which now has 300 million views and countless opinion pieces in its trail. Donald Glover’s rapper alter ego is working on his fourth album to follow up the five-time Grammy nominated Awaken, My Love! (2016).
Bringing together local artists and groups from around Australia, Midnight Sun offers Sydney’s insomniacs, night-owls and nocturnal mammals a late-night live music refuge. Laughing in the face of Sydney’s lockout laws and championing the local music scene, these Friday night parties don’t kick off until 11pm, with performances starting at 11.30pm. There’s a new setlist every week, sometimes featuring solo artists or acting as a stage for a mini-festival of musicians. The program covers everything from alt-rock to soul jazz, indie-pop and hip hop, and will occasionally operate like an open-mic night. While this is a City of Sydney funded initiative, the local music legend-makers FBi Radio are the musical masterminds behind the project, along with Young Henry’s, who’ll sling a free tinnie to the first 50 punters in the doors. It all goes down at Foundry616, which is a jazz club just on the edge of Chinatown. Entry is $10, so it’s a great opportunity to explore some new music on a shoestring.
The soulful UK singer-songwriter is returning to Australia this November for a full tour in support of his latest album The Thrill of It All. It'll be Smith's first tour of Australia in three years. During that time he’s accumulated a colossal cache of metalware from ARIA, the Golden Globes, the Brits and the Grammys, selling over 12 million albums in the process to become one of the world’s most successful contemporary artists. He’ll grace the Qudos Bank Arena stage on November 14, 16 and 17, singing tracks from his latest record, including hit single ‘Too Good at Goodbyes’. General release tickets for the last two shows are on sale now, while the November 14 performance will go on sale February 16.
Returning with a whopping line-up of ’00s musical legends, the next R'n'B Fridays Live is bringing out eight-time Grammy Award winner Usher, ‘Turn Down For What’ party starter Lil Jon, Salt-N-Pepa, T-Pain, ‘Mr. Steal Your Girl’ Trey Songz, Eve and ‘American Boy’ Estelle. Plus, Naughty By Nature (‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’), multi-platinum-selling Ginuwine (‘Pony’), Next (who could forget ‘Wifey’?) and Fatman Scoop – because, of course. All killer, no filler.
They are bringing their album Lo La Ru back to Sydney after their successful Opera House show back in March and a massive regional and international tour in the middle of the year. The album, released in June, features singles ‘Million Man’ and ‘Never Ever’ featuring Sarah, an up-and-coming collaborator who has worked with the likes of Flume. Since winning Triple J’s Hottest 100 2016 with ‘Hoops’, the Rubens have turned to local influences in writing this release, recording it from a WWII bunker in their Western Sydney hometown, and it results in bold sonic territory for the band. Their groovy, pop-rock sound will be complemented with support from Little May, and the band themselves are fresh from supporting P!NK on her Australia and New Zealand tour.
Screening 15 fresh new releases, golden oldies and critically acclaimed alternative films, American Express Openair Cinemas offers movie fanatics much more than the average cinematic experience. From November 21-December 16, the new location of Metcalfe Park, Pyrmont (across the road from The Star) will be taken over by a packed program of live entertainment, dining, music and dog dates. Yes, that’s right, dogs. Proud puppy parents can snuggle up to their own wonder dogs while they quote the cue cards in Love Actually, thrill to Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born, or watch box office hits like Bohemian Rhapsody or Dirty Dancing. Purveyors of fine Italian cuisine, Salt Meats Cheese, will be be curating the menu throughout the season – woodfired pizzas, truffle pasta, cheesy arancini, salads and desserts. Beer will come by way of Urban Alley Brewery, there’ll be fine drops from Giesen Wines, refreshing fruity brews from Black Devil Cider plus Pimms aperitifs. Your American Express Card membership is your golden ticket to the exclusive lounge area. You’ll receive the VIP treatment, complete with a comfortable bean bag chair, blanket, movie snacks and the best view in the house. There’s also a tidy 15 per cent off selected tickets for members, plus access to the American Express Garden for sunset tipples.
Calling the new A Star Is Born a "valentine" from its star, Lady Gaga, to her fans sounds a bit coy and delicate, so let’s call it what it really is: a hot French kiss (with full-on tongue), filled with passion, tears and a staggering amount of chutzpah. Generously emotional and all the more fun for it, the movie functions as something akin to a Marvel-esque origin story, with Gaga’s own mythology – vamping it up at drag cabarets, et cetera – subbing in for her character’s background. It's more than smart to have cast her; it's essential to the movie even working. But to watch her character, Ally, become a star – especially onstage during the film’s live moments, which feel frightening, massive and deafening – is an incredible piece of evolution. Gaga is really acting here: shy, somehow smaller, trembling with excitement. Incrementally, she blooms in the spotlight, proudly waving around that Streisand schnozz, the big voice completing the transformation. She’s extraordinary, and you root for her to go supernova per the scenario’s time-honoured trajectory. Director-co-star Bradley Cooper has something else in mind, though. Just as his own performance – as Jackson Maine, this film’s rocker on the downslide – ends up being one of those grumbly beard chews (if you remember the 1976 version, you might describe it as "Kristoffersonian"), his steering of the drama is understated: modest and unshowy. He’s trying to make a “real” version of this glitziest of stories (whatever that m
The unsettling latest from actor-turned-director Joel Edgerton (this is his second feature, following 2015’s impressive The Gift) works best as the prison movie it is. A chain-link fence closes in a yard; sometimes a bus drops off new “long-stayers.” The place is Love in Action, a real-life Christian facility (since renamed Restoration Path) where the unscientific work of gay-conversation therapy happens. Based on Garrard Conley’s 2016 exposé-slash-memoir of the same name, Boy Erased evokes this nightmarish zone with banal, khaki-clad specificity: the cringeworthy pseudoscience (Edgerton carves out a plum role for himself as the facility’s preacher-counselor, Dr Sykes), the physical and mental hardships (“Uncross your legs!” is a demand), the development of hatreds to replace barely understood urges. It’s certainly not the right place for Jared (Manchester by the Sea’s gifted Lucas Hedges, whose blonde eyelashes alone make you feel protective). Jared may have a “God-shaped void in his life,” per the clinic’s ridiculous guidebook, but in all other respects, this Arkansas teen is wonderful: a natural athlete, college-bound, a respectful boyfriend. Edgerton mostly steers his tale away from its more obvious dimensions (an early rape scene is a regrettable exception), focusing more on the confusion of decent people. Jared’s parents, both devout Baptists, reckon with their own insufficient tools for handling their son’s development: Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, playing a South
It would seem a prerequisite, but the people rebooting today’s Halloween – journeyman indie director David Gordon Green and his co-screenwriter Danny McBride – really love the OG Halloween. (When Rob Zombie tried doing his remake in 2007, you weren’t sure if he was enjoying himself or hating life.) Submitting to the new film, essentially a sequel that wipes out four decades of lesser cash-ins, is like driving a cushy Jaguar along familiar curves. So much of John Carpenter's immaculate grammar is impossible to improve upon, so it’s simply been redeployed, sometimes with a small twist, sometimes not. Implacable masked killer Michael Myers still has a fondness for stiffly sitting up like a sprung jack-in-the-box; he still lurks in slatted closets and pins boyfriends to the wall with butcher knives. What elevates this Halloween beyond mere fan service is the presence of Jamie Lee Curtis, whose willowy Laurie Strode has been converted, Sarah Connor–style, into a shotgun-toting shut-in with more than a hint of crazy about her. Laurie tells us she’s prayed for the day that Michael would escape from the loony bin, so she can have her vengeance. “Well, that was a dumb thing to pray for,” a cop replies. But we’ve prayed for it, too. It’s hard to care much about a pair of pushy British podcasters or, more critically, Laurie’s resentful adult daughter (Judy Greer) and the mouthy millennials who essentially function as Michael-bait. (McBride lets his stonerish comic instincts get the be
A stellar injustice: Hollywood has made a movie about a faked Mars landing – 1977’s deliriously silly Capricorn One – but has never given the historic first moon landing its due. That’s not so hard to explain. While inspiring on a global scale, the 1969 accomplishment was pretty straightforward, dramatically speaking. Cool competence ruled the day and made it happen. The real thing was better than any film could be. Thrilling when it escapes the gravity of drab living rooms and offices, First Man does an admirable job of complexifying a well-told tale. It presents Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling, suitably square) as a guy who, in 1961, was both puncturing the barriers of human knowledge by flying experimental planes 140,000 feet over the Mojave Desert, as well as someone who was banging his head against the finite limits of a medical science that couldn’t save his daughter from a malignant brain tumor. Faced with that pain, Armstrong (if we’re to believe Josh Singer’s script, sourced from James R. Hansen’s authorised 2005 biography) did what many military men of the ’50s and ’60s did: shut off emotionally and turn inward. First Man makes Gosling colder than he was in Blade Runner 2049 as a replicant, itself a NASA-level achievement. Claire Foy, already stranded in one of those underwritten astronaut-wife roles, has so little to work with from Gosling, her big meltdown scene takes on a desperate grandeur. But you come to appreciate Gosling’s reserve, his shirt-and-tie starchin
It’s difficult to describe what Nick Coyle’s wickedly funny play The Feather in the Web is really about. It starts in one place but takes so many detours on its way to its end point that you mightn’t recognise the play itself – or its extraordinary protagonist Kimberly (Claire Lovering) – by the time it concludes. Kimberly is bold, uncompromising and terrifying. She’s as repulsive as she is admirable, steamrolling across the world with astonishing speed. She mightn’t entirely understand people – and certainly doesn’t think or act like the rest of us – but she understands how to manipulate everybody around her to get her way. When we first meet her, the young woman explodes into a lounge room where she terrorises two women sitting down for cake (presumably one is her mother). She shoves the cake into one woman’s mouth. She grabs the other’s breast and honks it. She then announces she’s going to the mall and never coming home. “Do you think she means it?” asks one woman. “My god, I hope so,” responds the other. She hitchhikes her way to the mall, again terrorising the family who pick her up, with stories and songs of bloody and violent car crashes, and while at the mall convinces a man working at a make-up counter to flop his dick out for her to play with. She then finds her way to an engagement party where she ends up posing as a waiter. Then something suddenly changes. She sees the groom-to-be Miles (Gareth Davies) and is overcome with love. Earth-shattering love. She’l
The cliché that one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter only really makes sense in a world of moral equivalence; we all know that a man like Nelson Mandela could only be a terrorist in the eyes of a villain. And of course, Dutch-governed South Africa, with its 44-year apartheid separating blacks and whites, was nothing if not villainous. “There were good people on both sides” is a sentence no current nor future leader of that country would dare to utter. A musical of Mandela’s story is one of those ideas that sounds almost feasible on paper – an ordinary man facing the cruelty of a poisonous regime rising “from prison resident to president” – but it proves glib and simplistic in practice. The great bulk of the blame lies in the score and the lyrics; Jean-Pierre Hadida and Alicia Sebrien are credited with the latter and Hadida alone seems responsible for the score (what drove two French people to think they were qualified to tell this story is anyone’s guess). Oh, and the choreographer is Johan Nus, whose career highlights include Magical Dream at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas. The bio-musical is a pretty grim subcategory of the traditional musical, and it shares the same irritating qualities of the bio-pic: it tends to leap from incident to incident, hitting beat after predictable beat; it tends to flatten and simplify any nuances of personality in the pursuit of an easily digestible character arc; it tends to settle for the blandest and most shallow of readings abou
It’s near impossible to get a real sense of what audiences might’ve felt when they first saw Shakespeare’s plays. he way we experience the drama today is miles away from how it initially burst onto stage: we either read the plays in classrooms or sit in darkened theatres listening closely to every word with a reverent silence. And the language a bit of a stretch for contemporary ears. It can be hard to believe that people used to go to Shakespeare for fun. But the experience of seeing a show at the Pop-up Globe – and believe us when we say it is an experience – gives you a bit of an idea as to what it might’ve been like to be in that “wooden o” back in the 17th century. You might start to understand why people become so invested in the Bard’s plays. The productions are physical, funny and smash the fourth wall apart to reach out to the audience. In return, the audiences are usually appropriately rowdy – or at least they have been the times we’ve been there – and cheer, boo and hiss along to the action. It’s a little like a panto for adults; drinking beer and eating popcorn in the theatre is totally acceptable. The theatre itself, a 900-seat temporary recreation of the second Globe Theatre, is a fascinating and transportive place to spend a night. It’s a little like a time machine, but the performances are brimming with so much life – and are littered with contemporary comedy and references – it never feels like a stuffy backward-looking academic exercise. A Midsummer Ni
At first glance, the building – an old business furniture showroom situated between a rubbish-truck rental and a hipster coffee shop on the outskirts of Newtown – seems an unlikely place for a show. But when you step inside, hand over your valuables and sign a safety waiver, it’s clear that A Midnight Visit is no ordinary show. This is an experience. An Undertaker greets you and escorts you into this new, mystical world. You are warned that the residents you’ll encounter are strange and perhaps dangerous. You’ll be handed a surgical mask (no talking allowed). You might be separated from your friends – but you’ll find them again soon enough. Now it’s time to pass over. Based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe and populated with characters and scenarios you might recognise from this old-school goth (yes, there’s a Raven, and he and Poe have some serious sexual tension), A Midnight Visit is an exploratory playing space. Over two levels, through winding corridors, secret passageways, and once through a magical, Narnia-style closet, you’ll be able to follow these characters through a world that’s a little bit horror movie with a dash of fun (an example: there’s a creepy church – but inside is a ball pit). A Midnight Visit owes a great deal to Sleep No More, the immersive, abandoned-warehouse theatre experience whose take on Macbeth transferred from London to New York in 2011, where it has remained open and inspires a fanbase of dedicated, triple-digit repeat viewings. A Mid
Skip the soliloquies and give us more eye gouging! That’s the prevailing mood after seeing Macbeth at the Pop-up Globe, an Elizabethan time machine that has crash-landed into the middle of the Entertainment Quarter. In the sunny Sunday matinee crowd, the mood was pretty jovial for a performance of a classic tragedy – and the audience seemed pretty hungry for blood, which was a relief, because some of them were splattered with the stuff. It’s hard to be fully immersed in a dark tale when you’re simultaneously experiencing the novelty of seeing a show in this touring replica Globe Theatre, built with Shakespearean specificity. It’s that famed roundish shape and partly open-aired, with plenty of space for the “groundlings” (the term for those in the old-school standing-room only cheap seats near the front of the stage) and balcony seating alike. The show uses technical effects that are hundreds of years old – think trap doors and thunder sheets – and the mood is that of a shared experience that’s a bit out of the ordinary, totally incongruous with daily life. There’s just something about that cognitive dissonance that brings an audience together. The story is the same one so many of us know well: of a man named Macbeth (a broody Stephen Lovatt), who, alongside his wife (an endearingly giddy Amanda Billing), gets drunk on ambition and a witches’ prophecy that he’ll one day be king. There’s murder and ghosts and madness as Macbeth and his Lady go from giddy, “can-you-believe-