Sydney Festival

Bronze Lands

Sydney Festival Review: Robert Curgenven’s Bronze Lands (Tailte Cré-Umha) is building and body as instrument

January 24, 2020

Pipe organs are interesting, yet largely under-utilised beasts. Built into the grand expanse of the building, the organ at Sydney Town Hall is not an instrument in itself but rather turns the entire building into one. Ireland-based Australian composer and artist Robert Curgenven utilised this to its full extent in his immersive production: Bronze Lands (Tailte […]

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Sydney Festival Live Review: Poof! Secrets of a Magician proves James Galea is a card boasting humour that is far from sleight

January 23, 2020

Magic is so often about secrets, smoke and mirrors, but James Galea also adds a dash of silliness to the mix. The hip youngster projects a cool and calm exterior that is so charming. He also has an irreverent sense of humour; his tongue is placed firmly in cheek. In Poof! Secrets of a Magician […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Anthem is a poignant yet entertaining look at Australia’s despair

January 20, 2020

An all-star collaboration of sorts, Anthem sees acclaimed writers Christos Tsolkas, Patricia Corneleus, Andrew Bovell and Melissa Reeves reunite with composer Irene Vela following their 90s-era play Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? A series of stories interweave through the backdrop of Melbourne’s train network, with a range of characters thrust together on public transport […]

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Sydney Festival Review: I’m a Phoenix, Bitch is a poignant display of the darkness and desperation of motherhood

January 17, 2020

Performance artist Bryony Kimmings is known for work centering on the personal, with prior shows exploring her partner’s depression, a show devised with her tween-aged niece and another sleuthing the source of an STD. In I’m a Phoenix, Bitch, however, things get far more raw. If one uses life experience as a platform for their […]

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Sydney Festival Theatre Review: ‘Black Ties’ is a warm exploration of Indigenous and Maori relations

January 13, 2020

The wedding comedy is common shorthand through which to explore culture. Those from different traditions are forced to navigate a new frontier, negotiate new sets of terms and decide what parts are most important. Black Ties sees this culture clash cleverly told between an Indigenous and Maori family, highlighting both the similarities and stark differences […]

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Sydney Festival Theatre Review: The White Album sees Joan Didion holding up a magnifying glass to 1960s America

January 10, 2020

The White Album may have been a seminal record by The Beatles but it’s also a book of essays by Joan Didion. Published in 1979, it is an evocative text where the author made some piercing observations about her world during the late sixties in America. Sydney Festival played host to a clever adaptation of […]

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Sydney Festival Live Review: Regurgitator’s Pogogo show is as manic as their regular gigs, except they’re swapping swearing for sugary highs

January 10, 2020

If you’ve seen Regurgitator perform live you know that their shows are high energy ones. They’re also partial to a great costume and some interesting visuals. Their children’s show, Pogogo has all these same ingredients. The big change however, was that the content of the songs was less G-spot and more G-rated. The trio performed […]

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Sydney Festival Theatre Review: Double Delicious’ is a heart-warming and fun look at heritage & storytelling told one dish at a time

January 9, 2020

Food, glorious food can mean so much. It is nourishing and keeps us alive. It’s something we share with loved ones. It can also be a window to certain cultures- you can be an active participant in a small and perhaps unknown community. This is the scene that Double Delicious operates in: it’s a heart-warming […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Counting and Cracking is a highly important celebration of culture

January 23, 2019

Counting and Cracking was Belvoir and Sydney Festival’s lead production for 2019, launching with much fervour and excited rumour. A stadium worthy theatre piece purpose-built into Sydney Town Hall. A global casting call for 17 performers playing over 50 characters. Five languages on stage. A Sri Lankan meal awaiting each audience member as they arrive. […]

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Theatre Review: Brett & Wendy…A Love Story Bound By Art is both visually arresting & a restless drama (Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre until 27 January)

January 20, 2019

It should come as no shock that a theatre show about one of our nation’s greatest artists looks fabulous. The world premiere of Brett & Wendy…A Love Story Bound By Art is one vivid and lyrical look at two creative tour de forces. This production is an ambitious one that covers a lot in its […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Paul Capsis with the Fitzroy Youth Orchestra showed a dark gothic chameleon paying tribute to his inspirations

January 19, 2019

Paul Capsis is a performer who appreciates artists who are both unique and true to their real selves. You could argue that he too fits into this distinctive mould. His Sydney Festival show at the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent was an eclectic love letter to his many inspirations. The repertoire for the night was arranged by […]

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Carriageworks gets new pop-up Spanish restaurant for Sydney Festival

January 8, 2019

multi-award winning chef, caterer, restaurateur and lecturer Darren Taylor is bringing a special pop-up restaurant to Carriageworks over the next few weeks, inspired by the buzzing energy of Sydney Festival. From tomorrow until 27th January, COSECHA will be bringing inspired Spanish dishes to the art institution, operating from lunch right through to dinner. With Carriageworks […]

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Interview: Stephen Lopez talks about dancing up a storm in the salsa musical In The Heights at Sydney Festival

December 16, 2018

Melbournian actor, Stephen Lopez played Usnavi De La Vega in the debut Australian production of In The Heights in Melbourne in 2015. The show, a quadruple Tony award-winning work, written by Hamilton creator and Moana composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, is a modern summer musical boasting hot, Latino rhythms. A return staging of the show will be hitting the Sydney […]

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Interview: Paul Capsis (Aus) talks Sydney Festival and working with Jethro Woodward

December 13, 2018

Paul Capsis is one of Australia’s most versatile performers and is equally at home in the world’s of theatre, film & television, and of course cabaret. He’s a gifted interpreter of song, and has sung with a diverse and varied group of musicians and singers, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Russell Crowe, the Soweto Gospel […]

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Nine shows not to miss at the Sydney Festival in 2019

October 29, 2018

Every January, Sydney Festival helps kick off the new year with a massive cultural celebration, and 2019 is looking to be no different. The 2019 instalment of the festival includes eighteen world premieres, five Australian premieres, and eight Australian exclusives, and features a programme which runs the gamut of cutting edge contemporary theatre, visual arts and […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Wild Bore is more than a reviewer’s worst nightmare

January 29, 2018

Wild Bore is everything that’s wrong with the business of theatre. Or, to be less ambiguous, it is a piece of theatre about everything that is wrong with the business of theatre, wrapped up creatively into an hour of bodily humour. It’s timely, pointed and it’s a lot of fun. Part of the 2018 Sydney […]

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Sydney Festival Review: 16 Lovers Lane was a celebration of love & it’s beautiful messiness

January 20, 2018

This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Go-Betweens’ 16 Lovers Lane. Three former members of the band played a special tribute at the State Theatre for Sydney Festival. And rather than dive for the group’s memory, the artists rose up and soared in a sea of nostalgia while supported by a cast of contemporaries […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Gotye’s Tribute to Jean-Jacques Perrey is a love letter to an electro music pioneer

January 17, 2018

The name Jean-Jacques Perrey could mean everything and absolutely nothing to different people. Perrey was a musical chameleon and the first and only virtuoso of the Ondioline, a rare French electronic musical instrument and precursor to the modern synthesiser. Perrey’s work has been sampled by rap artists, played on South Park and garnered the likes […]

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Sydney Festival Review: The Town Hall Affair argues the need for more lively feminist debates

January 9, 2018

The original “Town Hall” debate was no ordinary affair. So it should come as no surprise that the one-act play based on this historic event is no ordinary piece of theatre. The show comes courtesy of New York’s The Wooster Group and rather than a straight, re-telling of an already chaotic feminist discussion, they inject […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Whist is an intriguing but not wholly satisfactory experience

January 8, 2018

A dance-theatre piece presented using virtual reality technology in which the audience subconsciously chooses their own performance is a fantastic concept, but with Whist the end-result is confusing and even a little disturbing. For those interested in psychology and, in particular, the work of Sigmund Freud, this is an immersive treat. But if you’re looking […]

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Review: Sydney Festival’s Aquasonic is an exercise in extreme music

January 8, 2018

Danish group Between Music’s Aquasonic was one of the more intriguing inclusions in this year’s Sydney Festival program. Billed as the ‘world’s first underwater band’, the group performs with purpose-built instruments while completely submerged. The team apparently developed the show for over a decade, generating optimal conditions for water acoustics and creating the soundscapes. The […]

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Mary’s, Alpha, Bodega, Messina and more for Meriton Festival Village

December 12, 2017

In less than a month Sydney Festival will be kicking off their 2018 program, which is as diverse as ever with its intelligent blend of art, performance, theatre, music and more. Though for many it’s the festival’s beating heart, the pop-up village that will be set in Hyde Park, that’s most exciting. From 5th to […]

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Sydney Festival: here’s what to expect at the Meriton Festival Village in 2018

October 25, 2017

Oh you thought Hyde Park was only Sydney’s most exciting destination during October’s Night Noodle Markets? Wrong. Each January Sydney Festival transforms a small but spacious section of the sprawling public park into the Meriton Festival Village, an endlessly exciting hub that dances around pop ups from some of the city’s best food and drink […]

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Sydney Festival unveils 2018 program; Indigenous talent set to shine in January

October 25, 2017

The 2018 Sydney Festival came to play and man, does the Harbour City look set to absolutely shine come January. Festival Director Wesley Enoch and his team have compiled a number of wonderful creations spanning theatre, music, visual arts and more for next year’s Sydney Festival, bringing some heavy hitting international names through, all the while shining the […]

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Theatre Review: SHIT is bold, brash and unapologetic (at Seymour Centre until 29 July)

July 20, 2017

Language warning: if the title makes you uneasy you probably won’t enjoy this show. It slaps you across the face with vulgarity, ugliness and brutality. But if you love innovative, challenging theatre, you must see SHIT at the Seymour Centre this July. SHIT is not so much a narrative as it is a profile of […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Dori Freeman – St. Stephen’s Uniting Church (28.01.17)

January 29, 2017

Performing at St. Stephen’s Uniting Church on Saturday night, Dori Freeman‘s set offered the perfect mix of her own country tunes along with a wonderful selection of country, Americana and gospel classics. Accompanied by her new husband Nick Fall on percussion and vocals, Dori Freeman’s show well and truly supported the buzz hailing her as […]

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Sydney Festival Review: The Comet is Coming deliver the dance party that Sydney didn’t know it needed

January 29, 2017

Made up of Danalogue the Conqueror on synth/keys, Betamax Killer on drums and King Shabaka as their resident sexy sax man sologram, East London trio The Comet is Coming know how to deliver dance worthy, saxophone heavy jams. And at yesterday’s Sydney Festival appearance, set inside the beautiful Spiegeltent, the group made sure we knew […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Still Life is a musing on finding beauty in the mundane (Performances until 29 January)

January 28, 2017

Take a Cirque du Soleil show. Strip out all the colour, the costumes, the set. Turn off the music. What you’d be left with is something that looks a lot like Dimitris Papaioannou’s Still Life. Featuring feats of acrobatic strength and clowning, Still Life is a beautiful piece of moving art, created from the most […]

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The Comet is Coming’s Danalogue the Conqueror talks the pending apocalypse and Australian tour

January 27, 2017

Ahead of their brief Australian tour – which kicks off in Melbourne tonight, I caught up with Danalogue the Conqueror (aka Dan Leavers), who plays synthesiser in The Comet is Coming, to talk about their visit, the apocalypse – the dark one who will not be named – and much more: Your debut Channel The […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Institute provides a poignant look at mental illness (Performances until 28 January)

January 26, 2017

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘wrestling with their inner demons’ – you may even know someone who has. In Institute, English physical theatre company, Gecko, has taken that idea and turned it inside out, giving us a powerful and beautiful physical representation of the inner workings of the human mind. Institute does not follow an […]

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