A knock-out line-up
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.