Sizzling September

Rebecca Varidel
3rd Sep 2023

September is SIZZLING there is so much going on in Sydney this month!

It’s that time of year again as we say arrivederci to winter and ciao to all that spring has to offer, Aperol is kicking off the season by shouting the nation with free Aperol Spritz. Aussies can take advantage of this opportunity from September 1st, all the way through to the end of November 2023. Gather friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances and head down to your favourite bar, venue or restaurant to redeem. Here's how >>

The Sydney Fringe Festival is the largest independent arts festival in NSW with over 450 events presented in 70 venues across Greater Sydney each year. And it's on all this month!

Check out the Sydney Fringe Festival website for all the events. Just some of our favourites are mentioned below, and keep your eye out for our separate Sydney Fringe Festival features and reviews all month.

Everybody loves free stuff and free epic Sydney Fringe Festival events include Young Henrys iconic music event Best Served Loud 16 September. Ticket not required.

The Marvellous Elephant Man cabaret musical comedy under the big top at the Sydney Spiegeltent at EQ, Moore Park is performing all month. Audiences can expect an all-singing, all-dancing, roll-in-the-aisles funny production that's sure to become the must-see spectacle of the season. The tale begins in the darkness of a Victorian freak show, where we meet our protagonist, John Merrick; a character (very loosely) based on the real human who came to be known as the Elephant Man. Enter Dr Treeves! A megalomaniacal medical mastermind, the villain of the play, and our hero’s rival for the affections of the lovely Nurse Hope. The story that follows charts the outrageous misadventures of Mr Merrick, as fights to overcome the prejudice of the age, and prove that love conquers all.

Betty Is A Butcher is a black comedy that captures the fragility and savagery of relationships, the need for love and the power of family. BETTY IS A BUTCHER explores what defines us and asks what power we have to shape our destiny. Five characters, five reasons to live, an odyssey towards death. A collage of memory, these characters jostle for existence in a theatrical phantasmagoria. An unmissable debut play written and performed by Thomas Campbell and directed by Kate Gaul, BETTY IS A BUTCHER is filled with dark humour, pathos, and unsettling personal narrative. PACT Theatre, Sydney Fringe Festival 5 to 9 September.

Fun Fringe festivities are a happening at the Club Room at Cabaret Club, Castlereagh Boutique Hotel. GlamourPussy is here to spread her legendary magic through song and shameless name-dropping two shows only 7 + 9 September at 6pm. Dressed for success, her mission is to share the secret joys of post-menopause: when a girl finally gets her body, her mind and her life back after the lost years in hormone hell. Supported by her spritely duo, The Hip Replacements, the show features original songs as well as some rewritten classics. She's vintage, she's retro, and she's (just a tiny bit) refurbished. Young at heart - slightly older in other places - GlamourPussy over-shares that the best is yet to come, old is the new black, and every day without a headstone is a milestone.

Saturday 30 September Free street party Caribe Carnival is the closing party for final night of Sydney Fringe Festival. Tropical music and eclectic eats, an explosion of Caribbean culture, as picó sound system collective EL GRAN MONO take over Kensington Street for four hours from 6pm. The huge, hand-painted fluorescent style of speaker stack, often found in the neighbourhoods of coastal Colombian cities such as Barranquilla, Cartagena and Santa Marta. The first in the world to be built outside Colombia!

Sydney Place will kick-off its month-long arts and culture festival, in partnership with Sydney Fringe Festival. Throughout September, Sydney Place will come alive with a series of interactive art installations and retailer activations (including Thursday Happy Hour specials from Bar Besuto and Eat Fuh) and on 9 September for one-night-only, they’ll host an exhilarating evening of live entertainment, theatre, immersive art and delicious food and drink offerings at the Sydney Fringe Block Party. Sydney’s finest visual and performing artists will inhabit the precinct, with multiple stages, DJ’s and jaw-dropping live performances from the world of circus, cabaret and drag, extending from day to night. Sydney’s favourite disco doof, Poof Doof, will pop up with their Pride Patrol truck featuring entertainment including DJ’s Dutch Kiss, Nip Slip and Argonaut, drag performances by Karna Ford and Kalin Klien, and roving artists including Diesel Darling and Kerrie Stanley, among many others.

A Night of Horror International Film Festival Australia’s longest running showcase of horror and dark genre cinema, has unveiled its frighteningly fantastic 2023 program. From 28 September to 1 October, the Festival will take over Dendy Cinema, screening the very best in freaky, macabre and spine-chilling film from around the globe, a total of ten features and 31 short films.

Red Bull BC One All-Star B-Boy Lee will head to Australia to judge the Red Bull BC One Cypher Australia on Sunday 10 September at Metro Theatre in Sydney/Eora. Part of one of the most competitive Breaking crews in the world, The Ruggeds, B-Boy Lee is a Breaking phenomenon from the Netherlands taking the dance world by storm with his creativity, explosive moves and signature style. Alongside B-Boy Lee, the other judges will include 2017 Red Bull BC One Australian Champion B-Boy Lowe and previous competitor and AUSBreaking Crew member, B-Girl Raygun. Early bird tickets for the Red Bull BC One Cypher Australia have already sold out, get in quick for General Admission tickets HERE.

Tina Turner The Musical is still playing through at the Theatre Royal Sydney, all month and until 31 December 2023. But it's your last month for Elvis A Musical Revolution at the State Theatre Sydney which finishes up on the 16th and moves to Melbourne

International Dumpling Day is coming up on 26 September and White + Wongs 25 Martin Place will be pumping out all day 2 for 1 dumplings from the a la carte menu, woktails and Asahi beer. Plus, there's Australia's biggest dumpling - Duck Xaio Long Bao Bonanza Dumpling ($35) - designed to be enjoyed by 2 to 3 people, on the menu especially for the day.

We think this promo is kinda cute and screams We Love Sydney with the ESQ at the QVB newest campaign All Roads Lead To ESQ paying homage to the streets surrounding the QVB.

Tuesday’s – Butcher’s Market
The butcher’s cut is served for 2, with additional side options available.

Wednesday’s – Park
It’s time to park yourself up for the night. Live music with extended happy hour til 7pm.

Thursday’s – Grand Ol’ Duke of York
Offering 20% off the whiskey flight range.

Friday’s – Hello Georgeous
A range of special dinners for 2 - patrons can choose between the; roast chicken with garlic cream potatoes and jus gras; or the Harissa lamb shoulder with roast pumpkin and pomegranate couscous.

Saturday’s – Victoria’s Side Piece
$15 cocktails all night long

ESQ's sister venue Reign is the perfect yin to ESQ's yang. Boasting beautiful pastel, bright and marble hues in the venue - Reign is a beautiful spot for brunch dates and catching up with girlfriends! For September, Reign will transform into a pastel pink wonderland with daily specials from Wednesday to Sunday. The fun, fizz and fabulous offerings include:

Spritz Wednesdays Specials on aperol, hugo and limoncello spritz for $15
Shuck Thursdays Oyster’s all day and all night at $2 a shuck
Fab Fridays Reign has partnered with Archie Rose to offer specialty cocktails for $15. Made with Archie Rose liqueurs, the selection includes ‘Vacation Queen’, ‘Malibu Queen’ and ‘Executive Queen’
Sabre Saturdays For every bottle of champagne purchased, Reign will sabre the bottle tableside for the ultimate royal treatment
Sunday Magnum Party Reign will be servicing Magnum specials all day long at the Magnum Party
And the fun doesn't stop there, with an incredible lineup of fabulous female DJs including: Iggy Pep, Liv Grace, SIILA, Madame Reve and more, set to bring the good times to Reign.

Sunday 10 September from 11am to 4pm, the team from Hunter Valley Bimbadgen are hosting Songbirds and Semillon at their sibling property, Emma’s Cottage. The day is set to be a relaxing day on the lawn showcasing five of the best female artists who call the Hunter home.

Songbirds and Semillon will feature the original music of award-winning country artist Max Jackson, Anna Weatherup who has moved on from The Voice with her new single Crossing the Sea, Piper Butcher with her soulful roots rock, the ethereal sounds of Amy Vee, and the rich soulful songs of Chloe Gill.

Wednesday 13 September Botswana Butchery Wagyu x Nikka Degustation Event. This unique dinner experience hosted at the elegant Botswana Butchery promises to delight your senses with an exquisite fusion of Wagyu dishes and Nikka whisky pairings.

From 29 September Sport for Jove and Seymour Centre are thrilled to present the world premiere of Damien Ryan’s new play Venus and Adonis reframing the extraordinary vision of Shakespeare’s most important work of poetry. It’s 1593. The plague has hit London. Theatres are closed, players out of work, houses bolted, people terrified by the touch of another’s skin, the breath of another’s air.

Shakespeare, syphilitic and dangerously bored, publishes a scandalous response to the pestilence – an epic work about the very things lost to us, like intimacy, identity, and the erotic freedom of touch.

The brainchild of writer and director Damien Ryan (Managing Director & Artistic Director of Sport for Jove), Venus and Adonis “bends history” (The Sydney Morning Herald) and follows the story of Shakespeare’s most significant rival and rumoured mistress, Aemilia Lanyer. Cast as a “libidinous Venus” in Ryan’s play within a play, Lanyer’s tale is a masterful work about the need to love, the right to speak, and the power of the printed word.

Moogahlin Performing Arts, in association with Carriageworks and APAM are thrilled to present the 10th anniversary of the Yellamundie Festival. Taking place from September 28 to September 30, this significant 10-year milestone underscores the pivotal role of the Yellamundie Festival in the realm of performing arts.

Over the course of three days, this festival will spotlight the vibrancy and variety of contemporary performing arts by First Peoples. Through a showcase of written, movement, and auditory creations, the event will honor the voices and narratives of the First Peoples, encapsulating their stories.

DAY 1:

·    Healing Scars by Warren Mason: A deeply moving collaboration with Elder dancers depicting the history and resilience of First Nations Peoples.

·    Bush Medicine Magic by Peta Strachan: An abstract dance celebrating the holistic powers of Mother Earth's medicines.

DAY 2:

·    Local Players: Yellamundie Festival: A free event showcasing First Peoples dance, theatre, and contemporary performance from artists around Gadigal.

·    WHAT IS WRONG WITH US? by Michael Weir: A compelling narrative influenced by urban hip hop and spoken word, highlighting the pain borne by our First Nations people.

·    EULOGY by A DAYLIGHT CONNECTION: A satirical exploration of life, death, and the in-betweens, drawing from familiar pop culture influences.

DAY 3:

·    Dramaturgy in Dance! - A First Peoples Perspective: A panel discussion dissecting the role of dramaturgy in dance from a First Nations angle.

·    Watersong by Shannon Jensen: A heart wrenching tale of family secrets, generational ties, and the spiritual connection to water.

·    A Wake – A Woke Mob by Maurial Spearim: A dark comedy depicting the aftermath of a patriarch's passing in a small town.

This 10-year milestone emphasizes Yellamundie Festival’s critical role in the performing arts landscape. Numerous Yellamundie Festival-developed works have progressed to renowned stages like the Sydney Opera House and Belvoir St Theatre. Prominent pieces such as The Visitors by Jane Harrison and recent works like At What Cost by Nathan Maynard, and Capricorn by Aiden Rowlingson, among others, underline the festival's unmatched influence in the industry.

Free at The Museum of Sydney - The People’s House: Sydney Opera House at 50

Open daily, 10am–5pm, free entry

The exhibition The People’s House: Sydney Opera House at 50 celebrates five decades of extraordinary performances and unforgettable moments at the Sydney Opera House and commemorates 50 incredible years of this architectural marvel that has become Sydney’s great civic space and ‘the people’s house’.

Never static, the Sydney Opera House has evolved to embrace new uses, audiences and technologies. Relive the magic of past performances and events through costumes, posters and programs, set designs, rare archival records, architectural drawings, photography and much more.

Sonic Spaces: Violin with Véronique Serret

Sunday 24 September, 6.30pm - 7.30pm

Sonic Spaces is a series of intimate music performances in one of the city’s most unique spaces, the hammock room at the Hyde Park Barracks. Experience this room in a different way as you listen to some of our best and brightest musicians.

In this performance, violinist Véronique Serret blends loops, delays, reverbs and vocals to redefine the expression of the violin. 

Kick off the night with a drink from the Archie Rose Distilling Co pop-up bar in the courtyard before heading up to the hammock room.

Bookings essential.

Webinar: Historic Colour in the Home

Online, Friday 15 September, 10.30am–11.30am

This free webinar explores the many sources found in the Caroline Simpson Library that brought colour to homes of the past. Join Research Librarian, Dr Matthew Stephens as he looks at paint charts, hand-coloured illustrations, trade catalogues, wallpapers and textiles in his exciting and challenging search for colour in our collections.