Summer in Sydney means a few things; hot days at the tennis, even hotter days at beach, and Sydney Festival! With such a full lineup of events, it can be a little daunting trying to decide what to see. And with the festival coming to a close many of us are scrambling to see something. Lucky for you we’ve compiled a guide featuring some of the most entertaining and interesting shows that are still on. With events on in almost every corner of Sydney, you’ve got no excuse to miss out on the action!
Sydney Opera House
Wozzeck | 30 Jan - 12 Feb
First composed between 1914 and 1922, this opera has withstood the ultimate test of time. Wozzeck is now being performed at the Sydney Festival, almost a century after it first premiered in Austria. This timeless opera follows poor and weary Wozzeck, the story of a ravaged man illustrated through unsettling songs and extraordinary visual artistry. Kentridge’s haunting illustrations fill the stage, illuminating the protagonist’s imploding mind. A collaboration between Opera Australia, the Metropolitan Opera, Salzburg Festival, and the Canadian Opera Company – Wozzeck is a fascinating piece of theatre not to be missed.
Man With The Iron Neck | 23 - 26 Jan
Similar to a few events, Man With The Iron Neck is first premiering at 2019’s Sydney Festival. Unlike the above productions, this show is set in a small Australian town. Man With The Iron Neck explores the issue of suicide amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Despite the solemn theme, this production focuses on hope and embracing life after trauma. Written by Ursula Yovich, this stunning local production is a multimedia event not to be missed. Spectacular aerial performance coupled with video design, Man With The Iron Neck is both captivating and deeply moving.
Pigalle | On now - 27 Jan
It’s no coincidence that this cabaret production shares its name with ‘Paris’ Hottest Neighbourhood’(GQ). But it has not always been considered as such; once filled with glamour, Pigalle faded into one of the city’s sleazier neighbourhoods, before it’s recent revival. In this world premiere, Pigalle (the production, not the neighbourhood) transforms the stage into an unmissable night of burlesque, circus and discotheque. With an international cast of performers, Pigalle will transport you to a place of glitz and glamour like no other.
Le Gateau Chocolat | 23 – 27 Jan
Following the cabaret theme, Le Gateau Chocolat (translation: Chocolate Cake) is a moving one man show. Despite its French name, this international hit tells the story of a British-born Nigerian boy. Delivering joyous renditions of Bowie and Madonna between stories of life as a young gay man in Nigeria, Le Gateau Chocolat was dubbed ‘one of the best shows at [the Perth] Fringe Festival’ (Out in Perth). Le Gateau Chocolat explores the human experience of relationships, love, and loss. This production is the perfect amalgamation of raw emotion and diva fabulousity.
Nick Cave: Until 14 March
Now I know I’m not the only one who thought this was an installation piece by Nick Cave from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (and I must admit I was quite excited). But Until is actually by American artist Nick Cave, and from what I’ve seen I am just as excited as I was. Best known for his wearable ‘soundsuits’, Cave has produced outstanding installations big and small. This time around he’s opted for the bigger side of things, creating a football-sized interactive installation in Sydney’s Carriageworks. Cave’s intricate landscape has transformed the space into an area that not only dazzles but sparks discussion of issues such as gun violence, race, and gender. If you’re looking for an inexpensive (or in this case free!) day of art and culture, then Nick Cave: Until ticks all the right boxes.
One Infinity | 23 – 27 Jan
Sticking with immersive experiences, One Infinity is a dance production like no other, where the audience members are also performers. This performance combines contemporary dance with traditional Chinese music, making it a night of unmissable, cross-cultural movement. Created by Australian director-choreographer Gideon Obarzanek and British composer Max de Wardener, this dance performance is the best of the best. Don’t miss this immersive night of dance.
Moon Drops At Darling Harbour | On now - 27 Jan
If you’ve looked at the event guide for this year’s Sydney Festival you might be wondering why there are so many moon themed events. Well, turns out it’s been 50 years since the moon landing! Whether you’re 5 or 55, I know we’ve all wondered what it feels like to walk on the moon, and Moon Drops let’s you do just that! Until January 28, these seven bouncy pads let you bounce through the air. The mega-scale water-filled droplets are perfect for a day of silliness with the family (and for free!).
Beware of Pity | 23 – 27 Jan
If you’re in the mood for something a little more international then perhaps Beware of Pity is just what you’re looking for. Adapted from Stefan Zweig’s 1939 novel, this technically adventurous play is performed entirely in German with English surtitles. The play follows guilt-stricken Anton Hofmiller, who breaks the heart of a partially paralysed woman, only for her to later take her life. This bold, technically adventurous, and sexually charged performance is selling fast!
Riverside Theatres, Parramatta
Since Ali Died | On now - 25 Jan
Since Ali Died is a truely unique piece of theatre, combining rap, song, and poetry to share Omar Musa’s personal stories. Inspired by the passing of his personal hero, boxing legend Muhammed Ali, this performance emulates a sense of raw emotion like no other. Musa discusses his experience of growing up as a young Malaysian Muslim in Queanbeyan and the dark realities that came with it. From lost love to suburban violence, no topic is off limits – this unmissable performance is on for a limited time only.