How to tackle week two of Sydney Festival 2020

January 13, 2020
Sydney Festival
Words
Insider tips on what not to miss at the Festival’s mid-point.

Tuesday 14 January

I’m a Phoenix, Bitch

Performance artist Bryony Kimmings is known for making extremely personal work that pushes her limits: 2010 hit Sex Idiot had her recount her entire sexual history onstage as she tried to track down the partner who gave her an STI, while in she explored the impact of alcohol on creativity in 7 Day Drunk by staying intoxicated (in a controlled environment) for a full week.

For I’m a Phoenix, Bitch, Kimmings retells – with wit and wackiness – the story of the worst year of her life, when she lost her mind, her partner, her house and nearly lost her child.

Drama Theatre
Sydney Opera House
8pm
Tickets and more info 


Wednesday 15 January

The Aspie Hour

A crowd-pleaser everywhere it plays, The Aspie Hour is delightfully irreverent and joyous cabaret from two talented performers who relate their experiences living with Asperger's Syndrome through the prism of their love for musical theatre. Writers and performers Ryan Smedley and Sophie Smyth use their shared passion for musicals – and plenty of jokes – to explore their experiences with ‘Aspieness’, from misreading social cues to their knack for recalling obscure musical theatre facts.

Carriageworks
6pm
Tickets and more info 


Thursday 16 January

Holly Herndon

Winner of the ‘Future Award’ at the International Music Awards in 2019, Holly Herndon’s boundary-pushing live AV show is all about exploring the literal future of music: performing her latest album Proto, composed with and performed alongside an artificial intelligence program that Herndon created and programmed with human vocal samples.

Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent
Hyde Park
10.30pm
Tickets and more info 


Friday 17 January

Jeremy Dutcher

What Zach Condon did for Balkan folk as ‘Beirut’ and Anohni did for neo-opera, Jeremy Dutcher and his rich, operatic tenor voice are doing for the traditional folk songs of his ancestral Canadian First Nation, the Wolastoqiyik, rearranging the rare, often-dormant music into soaring contemporary arias and pop-operatic ballads. Watch the NPR Tiny Desk Concert for a taste of what to expect.

City Recital Hall
8pm
Tickets and more info 


Saturday 18 January

Daytime: Anthem

Anthem reunites five stories Australia storytellers – Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius, Melissa Reeves, Christos Tsiolkas and Irine Vela – to give a 21st century update to their disruptive 1990s play Who’s Afraid of the Working Class?

Over four interwoven vignettes, the writers take us inside the stories of characters you could encounter on any Australian public transport journey: an overworked, minimum wage, gig-economy couple planning a Bonnie and Clyde style rampage of revenge against neoliberal capitalism; a Louis Vuitton and Chanel toting woman who has been reduced to homelessness by divorce, gender and a lack of financial independence, and more. The Age called it “tough, funny theatre with an urgency to its purpose and no comfortable answers. It can’t say everything about modern Australia, but what it does say rings true.”

Roslyn Packer Theatre
Walsh Bay
1pm, 7pm
Tickets and more info here 


Evening: Colossus

Hypnotic and visually stunning, choreographer Stephanie Lake’s symmetrically satisfying dance work sees 50 bodies move as one, exploring the beauty and ugliness of the collective experience. Colossus builds and re-builds towards a united, frenetic and formidable utopia; formidable yet accessible, this brilliant piece is a masterwork from the Australian choreographer.

Carriageworks
4pm, 8pm
Tickets and more info here 


Sunday 19 January

Daytime: Bran Nue Dae

The world’s best-loved Aboriginal musical returns to the stage for its 30th birthday, with a future-star cast of fast-rising Indigenous talent and the beloved Ernie Dingo back to reprise his role as Ernie Dingo. Bran Nue Dae delivers joyous, all-singing and dancing good vibes, looking back to a different world (1960s Western Australia) and forward to a better tomorrow.

Riverside Theatres, Parramatta
2pm, 7.30pm
Tickets and more info 


Evening: LIFE – the show

2020’s risqué cabaret spectacular in the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent comes from the seasoned professionals behind previous Sydney Festival hits LIMBO (Sydney Festival 2014 and 2015) and Cantina (Sydney Festival 2013). LIFE – the show brings together a cast of “international prodigies and deviants” for an “adventure into hedonistic theatrical anarchy” that’s “fast-paced, innovative and funny… using all the heart-stopping techniques you’ve come to expect.”

Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent
Hyde Park
4pm, 6.30pm
Tickets and more info here 

EXPLORE THE FULL PROGRAM HERE 

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