Articles on Sydney Festival

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Dan Sultan played a defiant version of Midnight Oil’s The Dead Heart at 1967: Music in the Key of Yes. Prudence Upton

Celebrating the songs of Australia’s civil rights movement

From My Island Home to Treaty, Indigenous musical luminaries gathered in Sydney on Tuesday to sing classic songs marking the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 referendum.
A girl smells an individually crafted scent at Cat Jones’ Scent of Sydney. © Jamie Williams

Scents, sensibility and the smell of a city

What's the smell you associate with your childhood home? Or road-trips? Or fear? Conceptual artist Cat Jones has created the Scent of Sydney for the Sydney Festival, exploring the city in smells.
A wall of Myuran Sukumaran’s self portraits at the Sydney Festival exhibition Myuran Sukumaran: Another Day in Paradise. Supplied

Myuran Sukumaran’s artistic voice is raw, premature and unsettling

Most people who see Myuran Sukumaran: Another Day in Paradise, opening today as part of the Sydney Festival, will already have a strong opinion on the artist and his death – but a few may have their minds changed.
In All the Sex I’ve Ever Had six Sydneysiders over 60 talk frankly about love, life and everything in between. Prudence Upton

Sydney Festival review: All the Sex I’ve Ever Had

There is something a little anxiety-inducing about knowingly walking into a closed theatre in which we will have no choice but to listen to the over-60s talk about their sex lives.
Dancers create spiralling, flowing patterns in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Vortex Temporum at the Sydney Festival. Courtesy of the Sydney Festival.

Spirals within spirals: Vortex Temporum at the Sydney Festival

Dance and music move together in Anne De Keersmaeker's new work at the Sydney Festival. Erin Brannigan was able to watch this layered and intricate performance come together in Berlin.
German director Jette Steckel has bought an urgent, vivid and highly phyiscal version of Woyzeck to the Sydney Festival. Woyzeck, Sydney Festival 2016.

Barely hanging on: Woyzeck at the Sydney Festival

Jette Steckel has bought the Sydney Festival a version of Woyzeck that is as exciting, uncompromising and disturbing now as it was when it was first premiered in 1913.
The stunning vocal performance of the Latvian Radio Choir was one of the highlights of the 2015 Sydney Festival. Sydney Festival

Review: Latvian Radio Choir, a full-throated vocal celebration

Swedish director Kay Pollak’s film As It is in Heaven (2004) climaxes at a point of musical bliss which is both chaotic and profoundly unifying. Rather than singing a few polished songs with energy in…
The performers in Nothing To Lose challenge viewers to rethink their ideas about bodies and beauty. Photo: Toby Burrows. Sydney Festival

Taking up space: Nothing to Lose at the Sydney Festival

It may seem odd, and a touch ironic, that the act of taking-up-space is of concern to a fierce-fat-femme like Kelli Jean Drinkwater. Speaking about her current collaboration with Force Majeure and choreographer/director…
Making a show for kids that’s not going to bore grown-ups a challenge. Prudence Upton/Sydney Festival

Cabaret for kids: Jazzamatazz! at the Sydney Festival

The kids program for Sydney Festival has been fun and varied this year, but a highlight was Ali McGregor’s Jazzamatazz!. The cabaret singer staged her set in the Aurora Room, a mini-Speigeltent with a…
On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco is a marriage between words and music. Pascal Victor/Sydney Festival

Dissonance and relief: Chekhov at the Sydney Festival

At least four metronomes ticked away at various points on the stage as the audience seated itself for last night’s opening performance of Anton Chekhov’s On The Harmful Effects of Tobacco at the Sydney…
UKCHUK-GA: Pansori Mother Courage. JD Woo MG/Sydney Festival

A stunning reworking of Brecht at the Sydney Festival

Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children (1941) is, alongside Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1953), the defining dramatic text of post-war European theatre. Few, if any, theatrical images are as…
Hazem Shammas performs in the stage-adaptation of The Tribe in Sydney Festival. Urban Theatre Projects

Q&A with author of The Tribe: Michael Mohammed Ahmad

This week, as part of Sydney Festival’s Bankstown: Live program, Michael Mohammed Ahmad will present a stage-adaptation of his debut novel. The Tribe, published in 2014, tells the story of three generations…
In Wot? No Fish!! Braverman made the theatre into a kind of living room, offering the audience gefilte fish with chrein sauce. Sydney Festival

Every detail counts in Wot? No Fish!! at Sydney Festival

During an artist talk just an hour before performing Wot? No Fish!! on Saturday at the Sydney Festival, English writer/actor Danny Braverman observed that as an artist he seeks “to foreground universals…
Perry Keyes songs about working class life in Sydney’s suburbs aren’t necessarily an easy fit for the festival setting. Photo by Johnny Barker. Sydney Festival

Review: Perry Keyes’ Tales of Sydney’s Western Suburbs

Whenever I approach mass cultural events – especially ones that seem to bear the conceit that they are “higher” and more culturally valuable than, say, a comic book fair – I am reminded of two of the 20th…
Falling Through the Clouds speaks to a future dystopic existence … and then some. Jarrad Seng/Sydney Festival

Review: Falling Through Clouds, a cautionary tale for our times

There is a flock of swallows that swoops low across the clifftop nearby. This kind of joyful flight, that windy rush of ornithological freedom, is at the heart of Perth Theatre Company The Last Great Hunt’s…
At Beat The Drum, announcers and musicians from the 40-year history of Australia’s youth broadcaster took to the stage. Liz Guiffre

Review: celebrating 40 years of Triple J at Beat The Drum

Today, Triple J celebrates its 40th birthday. Over four decades, the youth broadcaster has built up a proud history of outside broadcasts and regional concerts. As Double J the station staged some of the…
I Guess if the Stage Exploded … a chance to delve into the fundamentally mysterious nature of memory-making. Laura Montag/Sydney Festival

Remember this: startling memory games at the Sydney Festival

There’s a singular kind of hush that comes over an audience when the figure on stage takes off her shoes and steps into a bucket of flour. But this hush is even more apparent as the actor, now flour-footed…
In Darkness and Light, the long tradition of organ music is combined with a visual world created by Australian artist Lynette Wallworth. Sydney Festival

Evoking the sacred: Darkness and Light at the Sydney Festival

The dramatic, temperamental sound of the organ joined with the lush visuals of contemporary video is not an obvious combination. They are brought together in Darkness and Light, a work by two collaborators…
At the forefront of a renaissance of Brazilian pop-samba - and its commercial success - is Seu Jorge. Alisson Sellaro/Flickr

Review: Brazilian star shines – Seu Jorge’s Australian debut

One evening ten years ago I was walking in pouring rain down the streets of Cidade Baixa in downtown Porto Alegre, Brazil. I went into a music store to look around and, to my surprise, the two-storey building…
Kate Mulvaney’s Masquerade is a joyous, poignant adaptation of Kit Williams’ book for children. AAP/Nikki Short

Reaching for the sun: Masquerade at the Sydney Festival

The opening night of Masquerade at the Sydney Opera House last Friday attracted a rather higher number of under-12s than might usually be expected for Australia’s theatre demographic – and it was a delightful…

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