August, another month ahead to live your best Sydney life, with our curated picks to help you.
You've still got time to catch what our Sydney Scoop reviewer Declan Dowling exclaims "may well provide Sydney with its most enjoyable evening of independent theatre this year". Much Ado by Attractive, Not Model Attractive is playing at Flight Path Theatre until Saturday 13 August.
Tuesday 2 August is opening night for the captivating new production of musical of Jekyll & Hyde at Hayes Theatre. Set in 1947 London, the Second World War is over, but the battle for our soul rages on inside St Jude’s Military Asylum. Based on the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson and featuring a thrilling score of pop rock hits from multi-Grammy and Tony-nominated Frank Wildhorn and double-Oscar and Grammy-winning Leslie Bricusse, Jekyll & Hyde has mesmerised the world over.
From Friday 5 August an extraordinary photography exhibition by artist Toby Burrows, PANDEMONIUM features more than thirty distressed artworks, including captivating portraits of performers Tim Minchin and Steve Kilbey, misty landscapes, and even an embalmed 1961 XK Falcon. This body of work, developed during the pandemic, is in the artist's own words "a violent metamorphosis of the exhibition's first format".
At SUNSTUDIOS Sydney, 42 Maddox St, Alexandria, PANDEMONIUM is open for visitation from 7am - 7pm Monday Friday, and 8am - 4pm on Saturdays.
Saturday 6 August in the UTS Tower Foyer a special live sound performance by Bree van Reyk and Niki Johnson in response to Margel Hinder's Growth Forms, to take place alongside the sculpture. This will be followed by a conversation in the gallery between Chilean-Australian art historian and writer Verónica Tello and artist Diana Baker Smith about reanimating archives and collections, with reference to Baker Smith's current exhibition She Speaks in Sculpture. FREE, registration essential.
Toying with the notions of memory and place, images have been distressed and aged by Burrows using a signature, analogue technique. Each image has a sculptural, visceral quality owing to its manipulation.
Saturday 6 August at the Pier Street Underpass Sydney, Red Bull Dance Your Style Australia qualifying rounds kick off will also be held in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. These events are free and open for public audiences to attend, witness some of the best dance talent from your city, and vote for their top performers to go through to the national final in Sydney this September. No style is off limits,
Friday 12th August – Sunday 14th August celebrating First Nations artists and cultures The Garden Social is returning to The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. At this free event, overlook gorgeous Sydney Harbour on the Tarpeian Lawn, Sydneysiders can listen to nine of Australia’s most impressive Indigenous musicians, including ARIA nominated singer, Christine Anu spreading her message of unity and hope, accompanied with the up-and-coming singer Breanna, renowned performer Pirritu and many more talented musical story tellers. Garden Socialites will also be able to get creatively involved through collaborative artworks and traditional weaving workshops while enjoying the delicious on-site offerings from the open air bar and food trucks. The delicious bites can be enjoyed on the lush green grass for a relaxed picnic or around the open space seating.
From Monday 15 August the Olivier award-winniing play by Lucy Kirkwood, Chimerica returns to Sydney at New Theatre Newtown. Inspired by one of the 20th century’s most powerful and iconic images, this political thriller tracks two decades of China-America relations through the parallel and intersecting stories of a photojournalist and a dissident.
In 1989, as tanks rolled through Tiananmen Square, a lone man, holding plastic shopping bags, stood in their path, and entered history. Who was he, what was the story behind his protest, and what became of him?
From Tuesday 16 August head to the stunning harbourside location in The Rocks for Sydney Fringe's first ever festival garden: Runway Gardens. In an awe-inspiring line-up showcasing Sydney's best live, luscious, and up-late entertainment, over six sizzling weeks in the opulent interior of the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent for music, cabaret, drag and comedy. There’s a huge program of creativity on offer. Including, Bona fide legends of the Australian music scene. Catch the likes of Daryl Braithwaite, Kate Ceberano, Diesel and more. Odette and Jack Ladder will also feature in two special Friday Up Late gigs.
And not forgetting, the return of Bernie Dieter’s tintilatting Club Kabarett. Returning for a limited six-week run, night after hazy night will be filled with dangerously funny kabarett, breathtaking circus, gender-bending aerial and fire-breathing sideshow, set to the soundtrack of a riotous haus band, and hosted by the deliciously spicy, utterly hilarious, über-award-winning queen of Weimar punk, Bernie Dieter.
Blending sequins, satire and a cut-throat wit, she has stunned, aroused and terrified audiences from Berlin to Hong Kong with her gin-soaked lascivious charm. After taking her band of misfits and her swathe of sequins off to the UK's City of Culture 2022 for a headline season in Coventry, Bernie will return to Sydney with an even bigger Spiegeltent in order to accommodate the thousands of people left crying into their feather boas when they missed out on tickets earlier this year. (Don’t be one of them this time!)
From Wednesday 17 August some of the biggest names in Australian music and comedy will be up close and personal in the pubs, bars and clubs of Sydney’s famous beachside suburb. Encore Manly will see more than 60 musical artists and comedians on stage across more than 20 local Manly venues over the two week period.
From Wednesday 23 August Redfern Gallery Curatorial+ Co. will unveil a vibrant and powerful new collection of works Tempered Resolution by artist Daniel O’Toole. Inspired by the colours of the natural world, the series is the artist’s response to the pressures of climate change and human survival on a warming planet, within the confines of the digital age. This body of work continues O’Toole’s Refraction painting series. The artist sets out to explore the subtle and unexpected colour results in nature, while also exploring the drama and dynamic changes that occur in natural elements when they’re placed under extreme pressure.
O’Toole explains: ‘I was thinking about how nature creates colours in a myriad of ways, at unexpected times, and in the most unusual places. I was also reflecting on the heating of our planet and its destruction on the natural world. This exhibition reflects the chaos and calm in contemporary life, and the effects of heat on our changing climate. The current state of the world is overwhelming, and perhaps it always has been, in different ways for various generations.’
Thursday 25th Glebe’s iconic and beautiful bistro Beckett’s will celebrate A Journey of Wines Through Time with the help of one of Australia’s best chef’s, Justin North and Hunter Valley institution, Mount Pleasant winery. Beckett's executive chef Jeff Schroeter in collaboration with award winning guest chef Justin North will create a five-course tasting menu to savour with 12 perfectly paired wines selected by Mount Pleasant’s chief winemaker, Adrian Sparks. Acting as co-host, Adrian Sparks, one of only five chief winemakers in Mount Pleasant’s history, says he is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and giving guests the opportunity to try new, old, and very rare wines.
Thursday 25 August the Australian Premiere of Ruán Magan’s award-winning Steps of Freedom will open the 2022 Irish Film Festival at the Palace Chauvel Cinema.
Steps of Freedom: The Story of Irish Dance is Writer/Director Ruán Magan’s enthralling documentary of how Irish dance has progressed to become a global phenomenon. Beautifully shot and mesmerising to watch, Steps of Freedom is a celebration of the history and heart of Irish culture, and its global appeal. The film won two prizes at the International Black and Diversity Film Festival in Toronto in February: Best International Feature Film and Best Original Music Score.
Friday 26 August heralds the return of pop musical phenomenon SIX The Musical as it’s never been seen before with enhanced theatrical design for a limited 5-week season at the Theatre Royal Sydney. The royal return to Sydney gives audiences one more chance to don their crown and experience this witty, pop-fueled musical packed full of sass. SIX remixes the history of the six wives of Henry VIII - Britain’s notorious Tudor King - as they take to the microphone to re-tell their stories and reclaim their HERstories, once and for all. Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr.
Photo Bernie Dieter's Club Kabarett, Johannes Reinhart