Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival Review: Tomboy Survival Guide is a powerful, important festival highlight (Performances to 29 January)

January 26, 2017

Described as “part anthem, part campfire story, and part instructions for the dismantling of the gender stories we tell”, Tomboy Survival Guide comes to Sydney Festival all the way from the Yukon in Canada, and serves as one of the most powerful performances to grace this year’s festival. The show is led by Ivan Coyote, […]

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Yann Tiersen’s moving performance gets a standing ovation at Sydney Opera House

January 26, 2017

Of course I knew soft ocean waves weren’t creeping up to multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen when he took the stage at the Sydney Opera House earlier this week, but I could have sworn I saw them. The man best known for scoring timeless French film Amélie (mostly with songs taken from his first few albums) staged an […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Huff is bold and unsettling (Performances until 28 January)

January 25, 2017

Native Earth Performing Arts’ Sydney Festival offering, Huff, is arresting, confronting, and oddly comedic. Immensely talented writer and performer, Cliff Cardinal, ensures the audience is continually unsettled, and you will find yourself laughing at circumstances that are far from funny. If you’re looking for a feel-good night out, safely ensconced behind the theatrical fourth wall, […]

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PJ Harvey and her nine-piece band lead an evocative performance for Sydney Festival

January 25, 2017

The irony of gentrification was exposed and wryly chastised on last year’s Grammy-nominated instant-classic The Hope Six Demolition Project, the ninth studio album from the inimitable PJ Harvey and the reason for her current Australian tour. The 11-track project was, and is, a poetic flare straight to the core of misguided bureaucracy, drawing the ire […]

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Wafia chats about returning to St. Stephen’s Uniting Church for the Sydney Festival

January 25, 2017

Ahead of her show at St. Stephen’s Uniting Church as part of this year’s Sydney Festival, the AU catches up with Wafia. With new material on the way following on from a successful year of music and shows in front of consistently growing crowds around the country, Wafia stares down the barrel of another huge year of […]

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Seven Questions with Robert Scott of The Bats (New Zealand) ahead of The Deep Set‘s Australian debut

January 23, 2017

This week, iconic New Zealand group The Bats celebrate their more than 30 years together as a band (and with all their original members I might add!) by releasing their 9th full length record, The Deep Set. Out this Friday through Flying Nun Records, the group then travel to Australia for two shows – one […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Opera Australia’s King Roger takes you (quite literally) inside the conflicted mind of the King

January 22, 2017

King Roger, or Krol Roger, is a rarely performed Polish opera that takes you inside the conflicted mind of the King as he battles with the seduction of a hedonistic Shepard/God. And by “takes you inside” it means quite literally, for the main stage is a giant head- the hollowed back forming stairs and platforms […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Take an immersive trip into the Amazon jungle with The Encounter (Performances until 28 January)

January 21, 2017

Picture yourself at the edge of a rainforest, standing in the sun, eager to embark on a trek. Signs point you towards the path and provide helpful information about the journey soon to be undertaken. As you progress down the track, the canopy begins to close over you. New sounds emerge to drown out the […]

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Review: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds deliver a powerful set as Skeleton Tree makes its Sydney debut

January 20, 2017

Marking the band’s first live appearances since 2014, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds hit the road earlier this month on an extensive tour of Australia and New Zealand, off the back of their sixteenth studio record, Skeleton Tree. Tonight this landed them in Sydney for the first of two shows at the ICC Sydney […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Weyes Blood makes her spellbinding Australian debut with bandmates Kirin J Callinan, Jack Ladder and more

January 19, 2017

It took three LPs and an EP for Natalie Mering aka Weyes Blood to finally make it to Australia, with the American musician making her debut on our shores earlier tonight at Sydney Festival’s Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent. Unaccompanied o our country by her usual band, she enlisted the help of a group of fantastic local […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Celia Pacquola takes audiences for a ride in “The Looking Glass” (Performances until 19 January)

January 18, 2017

Celia Pacquola is (quite literally) everywhere. Turn on the ABC and you’re highly likely to see her face either on Utopia, her own new show Rosehaven or in her AACTA-winning role in The Beautiful Lie. Having built a reputation in standup for the better part of a decade, it’s a natural progression for someone who’s […]

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Yellamundie National First Peoples Playwriting Festival returns this month at Sydney Festival

January 17, 2017

Moogahlin Performing Arts‘ biennial celebration of local and international First Nations playwriting, the Yellamundie National First Peoples Playwriting Festival returns later this month. In partnership with Sydney Festival and presented at Carriageworks the festival provides a platform for playwrights, either emerging or established,  from all across Australia. The festival has since its inception in 2013 […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Moses Sumney blows crowds away in two sold out shows this weekend

January 16, 2017

For his second sold out show at Sydney Festival this weekend, Los Angeles based musician Moses Sumney moved from the ethereal church to the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent (a circus tent of sorts), with crowds spiraling around the Meriton Festival Village well in advance of his arrival. Opening with his vocal only Hebrew prayer “Incantation”, standing in […]

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Get to know Jessy Lanza (Canada) ahead of her Australian debut tour

January 16, 2017

With her acclaimed album Oh No bringing Jessy Lanza to Sydney Festival for a much-anticipated show in Hyde Park on Friday night, ahead of shows at Sugar Mountain in Melbourne and other appearances around the country, we caught up with the Canadian musician to find out just how she is anticipating bringing her music to Australia for the first […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Hakawati reminds us why it’s important to switch off technology & engage with people (Through Jan 21)

January 15, 2017

The term “Hakawati” may not mean a lot to people today. In fact, you’d probably be forgiven for thinking it was something Japanese. Hakawati actually means the art of storytelling in the Arabic tradition where story time is combined with the breaking of bread or sharing of food. It’s a wonderful concept and has now […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Home Country is a cultural experience not to be missed (Performances through 22 January)

January 15, 2017

Urban Theatre Project’s Home Country is not so much a theatrical production as it is a full-bodied cultural experience, and it’s one not to be missed. Over three and a half hours of theatre, music and food, you are immersed into the worlds of others. It is a piece that challenges you to consider your […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Lake Street Dive delivered an unforgettable set at the Spiegeltent

January 15, 2017

A celebration of the arts, music and culture, Sydney Festival has become a staple for many Sydneysiders through out their Summer. And just as the festival and temperatures continue to peak, I ventured into Hyde Park to check out US natives Lake Street Dive as they took on the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent. As Sydney sweltered […]

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Dmitris Papaioannou on Still Life & the influence of Sisyphus ahead of its Sydney Festival premiere

January 13, 2017

Kat chats with Dmitris Papaioannou ahead of the Australian premiere of his production, Still Life. Taking influence from the Greek myth of Sisyphus and Camus‘ essay on the same story, the performance takes a look at the human condition and the drive or ‘thirst’ for spirituality. Could you tell us a little about Still Life? About it’s meaning, […]

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Sydney Festival Review: The Season is a terrific yarn (until 15 January)

January 13, 2017

First-time playwright, Nathan Maynard, has created a real gem in The Season, premiering as part of the 2017 Sydney Festival. It’s a great yarn, full of laughter and pride in a culture that has been in the shadows for too long. The Season follows fictional family, the Duncans, on their annual pilgrimage to Dog Island […]

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Amit Lahav on Gecko’s production Institute at the Sydney Festival

January 13, 2017

Ahead of the premiere of Institute at the Sydney Festival, the AU speaks with Amit Lahav, Artistic Director of the Gecko Theatre Company, who are bringing the show to Australia from the UK for an exclusive three night run. Can you talk about Institute and it’s meaning; how it came to life? It takes me […]

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PVT drummer Laurence Pike talks about the magic of music in Szun Waves’ Sydney Festival debut

January 12, 2017

Szun Waves have an avant-garde pedigree most new bands would envy. The London-based trio is made up of PVT drummer Laurence Pike,  experimental jazz-ambient quartet Portico saxophonist Jack Wyllie, and acclaimed producer and modular-synth wizard, Luke Abbott. Following the release of their debut At Sacred Walls, the trio will be performing tomorrow night at Sydney Festival. […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith an ethereal master, hidden in plain sight

January 12, 2017

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is far from a household name, but with some five LPs and an EP under her belt in as many years, the Los Angeles based electronic musician and composer has enjoyed growing underground popularity and now her first tour of Australia – which earlier tonight took her to the St Stephen’s Uniting […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Which Way Home is a moving tribute to family (Performances to 29 January)

January 12, 2017

Which Way Home is a moving, charming tribute to the little things that make up a family. The play is both funny and poignant, delivering smiles and sadness in equal balance, leaving you to contemplate your own parental relationships. Produced by pre-eminent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theatre company, ILBIJERRI, Which Way Home fits beautifully […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Briefs is exactly the non-PC drag show the world needs right now (Through 22nd January)

January 9, 2017

In a world of political uncertainty, where rhetoric that sits against the values of equality lingers and the seeming equilibrium of the world is driving us all mad, nothing feels more necessary than a perverse drag show enjoying a residency at one of the world’s most prestigious events, the Sydney Festival. Thankfully, Briefs: The Second […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Measure for Measure is a dynamic delight (Performances to 11 January)

January 8, 2017

The physical and comedic talents of a dynamic cast smash through the language barrier in this Russian adaptation of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. Combined with powerful design and masterful direction, Cheek by Jowl’s production is a treat for theatre fans and a highlight of the 2017 Sydney Festival lineup. Measure for Measure is a Shakespearean […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Ladies in Black is light, bright and fun (Performances to 22 January)

January 7, 2017

Based on the novel The Women in Black, by Madeline St John, Ladies in Black is that all too rare thing: an entirely new Australian musical. There is no mistaking the country in which this show is set – from the home-grown accents to the local suburbs referenced in the text, this is a musical […]

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Five free arts events & performances you can’t miss at Sydney Festival 2017

January 6, 2017

Tomorrow the Sydney Festival officially kicks off – with some events, including the Meriton Festival Village in Hyde Park, launching today. Among the incredible three weeks of entertainment are a slew of totally free arts events and performances. Here are our picks of just a few of them… THE HAIR SALON The Hair Salon is […]

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Nine totally free music performances you can’t miss during Sydney Festival 2017

January 5, 2017

Part of the Meriton Festival Village, which opens tomorrow night (Sydney Festival Eve!) in Hyde Park, is The Village Stage presented by China Southern Airlines. The stage will feature a fantastic – and totally free – music program through the length of the festival, with a curated mix of disco, funk and Latin as part […]

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Carriageworks and Kylie Kwong are hosting a huge Chinese New Year market this month (Sydney)

January 4, 2017

Following their massive 160-stall deep Christmas markets the good folk at Carriageworks have announced that they will be hosting a Chinese New Year market curated by Kylie Kwong in partnership with Sydney Festival. And the renowned chef has gone all out for her part in the market, bringing in over 50 stallholders from Neil Perry’s […]

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Ben Ely of Regurgitator (Brisbane) talks performing Velvet Underground and Nico at Sydney Festival

December 28, 2016

Three piece band Regurgitator are now in their 22nd year, and clearly not keen to slow down any time soon, recently performing the Velvet Underground & Nico album with Seja and Mindy Meng Wang on the Gunzheng at the NGV for an Andy Warhol exhibition. Ben Ely chats with the AU Review about the performance […]

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