A knock-out line-up

Where Sydney - - Contents - By Zac Lewis For a com­pre­hen­sive list of events and ticket pur­chases visit syd­neyfes­ti­

CHAL­LENGE YOUR­SELF IN WAYS that are new and ex­cit­ing this Jan­uary at Syd­ney Fes­ti­val. Fes­ti­val Di­rec­tor Wes­ley Enoch says that this year’s fes­ti­val in­cor­po­rates themes of mi­gra­tion, the re­birth of lan­guage and risk tak­ing. Through per­for­mance and art, Syd­ney Fes­ti­val’s line-up up of events is sure to ex­cite, thrill, mes­merise and awe. The fes­ti­val runs from 9–27 Jan­uary with mind-blow­ing ex­pe­ri­ences fea­tur­ing across the en­tire three weeks.

World-class the­atre is sprin­kled in healthy doses across Syd­ney’s stages. At the Roslyn Packer The­atre, ex­pe­ri­ence “Be­ware of Pity”, a por­trait of a fal­ter­ing Europe on the doors of chaos pre­sented by Schaubühne Ber­lin and di­rected by Si­mon Mcbur­ney. The pro­duc­tion is a Syd­ney Fes­ti­val ex­clu­sive and marks the show’s Aus­tralian pre­miere.

Also on is “HOME”, a show brought to life by award-win­ning ab­sur­dist Ge­off So­belle, which ru­mi­nates on the deep mean­ing of be­long­ing. You’ll see a house rise be­fore you and see peo­ple live, eat, sleep and ar­gue as they call the house their home. Work­ing with Belvoir, the Syd­ney Fes­ti­val brings the epic three-and-a-half-hour spec­ta­cle “Count­ing and Crack­ing” to Syd­ney Town Hall. This per­for­mance fea­tures six­teen ac­tors play­ing four gen­er­a­tions of a sin­gle fam­ily as they fol­low a Sri Lankan fam­ily strug­gling to set­tle into Syd­ney’s West­ern Suburbs. The play is served with a com­mu­nal meal to bring you into the story.

Syd­ney Fes­ti­val’s Blak Out pro­gram sees In­dige­nous peo­ples from around the world tell their sto­ries their way. “Man With The Iron Neck” ad­dresses sui­cide among Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der youths with themes of hope and so­lace. “Bi­ladu­rang” is an in­ti­mate and touch­ing au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal solo work from Joel Bray as he tells his story up close and per­sonal. For a hard-hit­ting per­for­mance see “Deer Woman” which fol­lows a miss­ing girl’s sis­ter in a pow­er­ful story of righ­teous vengeance. For those wish­ing to ex­pand their mul­ti­lin­gual tongues, check out “Bay­ala”. “Bay­ala” runs over mul­ti­ple days with mul­ti­ple ses­sions and pro­vides an in­tro­duc­tory ex­pe­ri­ence into the lo­cal in­dige­nous lan­guages of the Darug, Gadi­gal, Eora and Yuwaalaraay peo­ples.

The world-renowned Magic Mir­rors Spiegel­tent re­turns to Hyde Park. It fea­tures “Pi­galle” a cabaret full of mu­sic and mus­cles fused with the dis­cotheque mu­sic of the 70s, bur­lesque and cir­cus ex­trav­a­gance star­ring Mar­cia Hines. Nakhane brings his emo­tive vo­cals to the stage along­side smooth synth-pop to sing about iden­tity, queer­ness and grow­ing up in South Africa. Les Filles de Il­lighadad are a trio of min­i­mal­ist blues artists per­form­ing tunes tra­di­tion­ally played by men with rus­tic acous­tic gui­tar lines, lay­ered melodies and driv­ing rhythms as they rein­ter­pret gen­der roles and the mu­sic on the brink of the Sa­hara.

Along­side mu­sic, the­atre and per­for­mance there’s heaps of free, fam­ily-friendly events. With 2019 mark­ing the 50th an­niver­sary of the first moon land­ing, take the kids to “MAAS and the Moon” at the Mu­seum of Ap­plied Arts and Sciences where there’s a di­verse col­lec­tion of as­tro­nom­i­cal his­tory on dis­play. Around Baranga­roo South is “Apollo 11”, a se­ries of eleven in­stal­la­tion art­works and par­tic­i­pa­tory ex­pe­ri­ences cel­e­brat­ing the his­tory of the Apollo 11 mis­sion. Head to Dar­ling Har­bour to jump on the “Moon Drops” and then pop into World Square to help the col­lec­tive ef­fort to cy­cle 384,400 kilo­me­tres to the moon.

Syd­ney Fes­ti­val draws to a close with the Aus­tralia Day “Fer­ry­thon” in which Syd­ney’s iconic fer­ries race around Syd­ney Har­bour.

There’s such a va­ri­ety of show­stop­ping and pow­er­ful events on this year that you are cer­tain to find heaps to en­joy.

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