May What's On Sydney 2023

Rebecca Varidel
15th Apr 2023

Girls and Boys just want to have fun! Here's how with our Sydney Scoop carefully curated best of what's on in Sydney this May!!

The House Of Balls is coming to Surry Hills from 3 to 31 May. Imagine a massive bar filled with at least 500,000 LED illuminated balls, creating the ultimate glow-in-the-dark adult ball pit. Dive into an endless sea of glowing balls, enjoy a cocktail or two at the bar, and party the night away. Tickets are priced at just $15 per person, giving you entry for 90 minutes and the ability to swim laps through the pit as many times as you like within your time slot. The first of its kind, this event is not to be missed.

Relativity presented by Joining the Dots Theatre Company at Riverside Theatres Parramatta 10 - 13 May. These days Albert Einstein is as famous for his quotable quotes and his flagrant disregard for combs as he is for his outstanding contribution to physics. But what do we actually know of the man under the white hair? Does the private life of such a publicly acknowledged genius matter? 

Relativity by Mark St Germain asks the question: to be a great man, does one first need to be a good man? St Germain is known for plays that place historical figures into imagined circumstances (such as Freud’s Last Session). The truth is that in 1902 Albert and Mileva Einstein had a daughter but after 1904, the child was never seen or spoken of again. The play opens in 1942 with a journalist coming to interview Einstein but is she more interested in the public theories or the very private man? Relativity has St Germain’s winning trademark combination of intelligence, wit and heart.

The Culture After a successful debut run in New York, Sydney based theatre company, Powersuit Productions is bringing their brand-new Australian work home to Sydney at Flightpath Theatre Marrickville 5 - 20 May. The play is a story about deep and enduring friendship, and the pitfalls… and sometimes dangers of finding love in a modern world. Set in Sydney Australia, the play follows the story of best friends Katie and Will who are roommates, childhood friends, podcast hosts and very single. The Culture tackles their search for romantic love and demonstrates that sometimes even those with the strongest convictions can lose themselves easily in complex new relationships. Their two very different experiences as a gay man, and a straight white woman take them through falling in love, the complexities of handling domestic violence with a loved one and ultimately test their friendship. The warmth and intimate banter between two best friends welcomes audiences into Will and Katie’s living room and into an important wider conversation.

The Australian Ballet celebrates its 60th diamond anniversary year with George Ballenchine's classic ballet masterpiece Jewels. Splendid in rubies, emeralds and finishing the three with perhaps the most sparkling crown of all modern classical ballet - diamonds. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House 4 to 20 May.

Mov'in Car the drive-in cinema experience is partnering with Polestar to bring Australia's first electric vehicle drive in cinema. The pop-up event will take place in Sydney from 4th to 7th and showcase some of the latest Hollywood blockbusters on the rooftop of the Entertainment Quarter car park. Gates will open from 6pm with movies commencing from 7.30pm. Tickets will be complimentary for Polestar 2 owners.

Meatstock Sydney Music and Barbecue Festival is back with its biggest and baddest line-up of entertainment yet - 5 to 7 May at the Sydney Showground. At the heart of Meatstock is a huge unmatched line-up of BBQ pit-masters and authentic ‘low and slow’ barbecue, cooking on some of Australia’s biggest and craziest smokers and barbecues. Vendors include Phat Boyz Smoking, Smokin Hot ’N Saucy, 2 Smokin Arabs, Black Iron Smokers, Black Bear Barbecue and many more. This year Meatstock will also feature the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) for some extreme edge of your seat entertainment. Buckle up for the toughest 8 seconds in sports and find out what it means to be cowboy.

MARLOWE is in cinemas from 18 May. It's 1939. In Los Angeles, Private Detective Philip Marlowe (Liam Neeson) is as restless and lonely as ever and business is a little slow. Then a new client arrives: young, beautiful and expensively dressed, Clare Cavendish (Diane Kruger), daughter of Hollywood actress and screen icon Dorothy Quincannon (Jessica Lange), who wants Marlowe to find her former lover, a small time drug dealer and lothario named Nico Peterson. Directed by Oscar winner Neil Jordan.

THEATRESPORTS™ ALL-STARS 2023 returns to the Enmore Theatre, Sunday 4pm 21 May for its annual Sydney Comedy Festival star-turn. Showcasing the very best of the best TheatreSports™ legends and champion improvisors, this is comedy gold! THEATRESPORTS™ is the longest-running comedy show in Australia and the annual All-Stars gala features an A-Team of impro stars - entertaining audiences the only way they know how - with quick wits, comic genius… and no safety net in sight! Bookings

The new Rev Bill Crews documentary 100 Not Out celebrates 100 episodes of his breakthrough online series Stories From The Edge. Inspired by the tireless loving compassion of the remarkable Bill Crews, 100 Not Out is an important chronicle of a unique man at a unique moment in time. A Premiere Screening of 100 Not Out will be held at Event Cinemas George Street Sydney on Tuesday 16 May 2023 at 6pm. Limited seating FREE TICKETS but must book.

Girl Band 18 - 27 May presented by New Ghosts Theatre Company through National Theatre of Parramatta’s True West Program. It’s 1994 and powerhouse record label managers, Craig and Darren, have created the girl band to end all girl bands. They have been moulded, twisted, and worked to become the girls that everyone wants. The Sensation Girls. Problem is, The Sensation Girls don’t know who they are anymore. When unofficial leader DeeDee unexpectedly quits, things begin to unravel. The girls are getting older and bolder, and they know what they want, what they really, really want.

Sydney Writers’ Festival brings together a broad and engaged community around the sharing of books, writing and ideas. Since our first Festival in 1997, the festival has brought thousands of diverse writers and thinkers from Australia and around the globe together in Sydney. In the company of the world’s best novelists, poets, journalists, public intellectuals, economists, politicians, podcasters and scientists, they’ve discussed some of the most pressing issues of our times. They’ve celebrated prize-winning authors, long-awaited novels from writers at the height of their careers, and have introduced debut authors to eager and enthusiastic new audiences. Our editor was even once a panelist in the Sydney Writers' Festival Digital vs Print debate. How's that going do you think?

The Australian Heritage Festival the country’s largest community-driven heritage event continues in NSW until 14 May 2023.

The River: Burramatta to Cockatoo, Old Government House, Parramatta This new exhibition tells the stories of centuries of use of the Parramatta River, including by the Burramattagal, and explores the impacts of colonisation and industrialisation on the River, its use for recreation and the current clean-up campaign to allow swimming once more.

Heritage Day at Parramatta North Precinct, Parramatta Discover the fascinating history of the Parramatta North Precinct and explore the beautifully restored heritage buildings. Enjoy free guided walking tours, interactive displays, live entertainment and much more.

Everglades House & Gardens, Leura Fancy a day trip? or a weekend away in the beautiful Blue Mountains. Hear stories of local history, botany, geology and culture at sketching workshops overlooking World Heritage listed wilderness and view a display of original 1930s and 40s Art Deco travel posters, postcards, brochures and more, discovered inside a suitcase in Armidale.

Sutherland Shire Citizens' Heritage Festival is dishing up an array of colourful events run by Shire organisations including music concerts, exhibitions, museum open days and more. A vintage bus will transport the community between venues.

VIVID 2023 will deliver the biggest and most culturally relevant program in its event history when it returns in 2023 from Friday 26 May. Inspired by the master of all creators, Mother Nature, this year’s theme Vivid Sydney, Naturally is reflected across all the 300+ activations and events which make up the 23 day and night program this year. Vivid Sydney Light Walk’s signature Sydney Opera House Lighting of the Sails will see the vibrant works of one of Australia’s most famed artists, The Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House line-up will feature more than 40 Australian and international artists. The Vivid Music program will spotlight First Nations and Australian voices this year.

And for the first time, Vivid Sydney's brand-new pillar Vivid Food will broaden the creative spotlight to include culinary favourites and innovative food events. Work up an appetite for a fusion of street food; a barbecue of epic proportions with legendary pitmasters for Vivid Fire Kitchen at the Cutaway at Barangaroo; fine-dining experiences; and the return of 2022’s sell-out Vivid Sydney Dinner at the Ivy Ballroom, a special feast by esteemed Sydney chefs Ben Greeno and Danielle Alvarez.

The Dining Room By James Viles is open for dinner from 5pm from 26 May. Located on the ground floor of the renowned Park Hyatt, The Dining Room by James Viles is the perfect venue to experience the magic of Vivid Sydney. Drawing inspiration from this year’s theme, The Vivid Series is a specially crafted menu by Chef James Viles. His dishes pay homage to the unique people and places of our country, inspired by the bounty of the land and sea. Imagine savouring a succulent roast maremma duck complemented by expertly crafted hand-pulled noodles and a delicious egg, or indulging in a kurobuta pork chop accompanied by white cabbage and an exquisite riesling sauce. To satisfy dessert cravings, diners can relish in a selection of "vivid treats" or a scrumptious fig leaf ice cream sandwich with fig jam. 

The MindBodySpirit Festival 18 to 21 May is the largest health, wellbeing and natural therapies event in Sydney where awakening souls can learn from over 200 exhibitors, attend free inspirational seminars, book a psychic reading, watch the free stage performances and taste some delicious health foods. There are also unique products and gifts including jewellery, cosmetics, music, books, giftware, clothing, crystals, educational courses, body treatments and more!

Sydney Drag Expo takes place for the very first time in SYdney 19 to 21 May 2023 at the International Conference Centre (ICC). Visitors can meet the very best in Local & International Drag and Pop Culture superstars, see Australia’s own legends and learn their inspiring stories, whilst enjoying a plethora of informative panels, tutorials, chill out spaces, fabulous shopping, runways with Q&A sessions, meet and greets, official merchandise, a drag market and so much more. But it’s not all glamour, glitz and glitter, gurl! From technical tucks to mental health, there’s no area that won’t be plucked and no wig left unturned over the two days. Learn how drag has evolved over the years, how Australia has given drag our own special flavour, and how drag artistes have a message we can all learn from. Most of all, visitors can learn the power that comes from letting you be your real self, with hundreds of like-minded fans on hand to cheer you on.

Sydney Symphony Orchestra The great pianist Stephen Hough performs Rachmaninov’s First Piano Concerto, a work that signalled the composer’s emergence as a pure and unapologetic Romantic, Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House 17 to 20 May.

When a pianist of Stephen Hough’s calibre interprets a work such as Rachmaninov’s intensely dramatic Piano Concerto No.1, it’s a special event – one not to be missed. Written with all the daring and spirit of an 18-year-old, Rachmaninov’s concerto displays the hallmarks of passion and intensity that would come to define his legacy. The raging double-octave leaps, the luxurious orchestration, the heart-wrenching piano solo – this is the Russian’s emergence as a pure and unapologetic Romantic.

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra presents Gloria & the Four Seasons Vivaldi's Epics Sydney 28 April to 5 May, Parramatta 6 May. Known as “The Red Priest” for his shocking mane of red hair, Antonio Vivaldi was a Baroque rock star bursting with energy. In Gloria & The Four Seasons the Brandenburg bring two of his masterpieces roaring to life as period instruments and theatrical shots of colour across the stage reveal the evocative lines and textures of this extraordinary music.

The imaginative vision and stirring passion of the enduring classics are powerfully awakened for a new generation. The orchestra’s concertmaster Shaun Lee-Chen reveals his stunning string sounds and astonishing command, a truly dynamic violinist heading to the peak of his powers. Uplifting and evocative, the concert features the Brandenburg Choir and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra – full of virtuosity and brilliance. With stage direction by creative genius, Yaron Lifschitz (Artistic Director, Circa), this concert experience will be triumphant and thrilling!

Leo Sayer and Joe Camilleri knew they had a lot in common the very first time they met. Imagine when Danny DeVito met Arnold Schwarzenegger. Twins, but not quite twins. Born on the same day almost 75 years ago, and growing up on opposite sides of the world, who would have thought these two kindred artistic spirits would have such a special bond in music.
These two “Brothers” will celebrate their deeply shared musical influences in a unique concert featuring not only their greatest hits, but an incredible array of combined musical tributes to their idols from their formative years. Thursday, 18 May 2023 State Theatre, Sydney. Tickets on sale now from Ticketmaster