Australia has a long and rich theatrical history dating back almost as far as the establishment of the modern state. Penal authorities hoped that theater would prove a distraction from criminality amongst the convicts that had been shipped to the continent as punishment.
Sydney is one of Australia’s most culturally diverse cities and has a healthy theatrical tradition. Contemporary productions routinely draw large audiences, and the continuing health of the city’s theaters and opera houses is testament to the enduring popularity of live drama. Here are some of the hottest shows coming to venues in Sydney:
The Shakespearian epic of Julius Caesar is returning to Sydney under the stewardship of artistic director Kip Williams. Spoiler alert: Caesar doesn’t survive the play. The central psychological drama of the play restson the character of Brutus: a nobleman that is convinced by his peers to join the assassination plot against the emperor. This latest production by the Sydney Theatre Company stars only three actors that cycle through roles effortlessly. Be sure to pick up theater tickets for this show soon, as it is only running for a short time in December.
A deep dive into the failures of the Australian justice system when it comes to dealing with sexual violence against women, Prima Facie is a one-woman show that leaves a lump in your throat and considerable anger in your belly. Written by former lawyer Suzie Miller, the play centers around the experiences of a fictional lawyer tasked with defending men who are accused of rape. The play won the 2018 Griffin Award and has successfully been opened on the West End in London.
Hamilton is returning to Sydney this winter. The American musical that takes a fresh look at the republic’s founding fathers has been absolutely laden with awards – including a Pulitzer Prize. Probably the most hyped musical on earth since its release in 2015, Hamilton has an absolutely vast cult following. Expect people to be singing (and rapping) along. The script of Hamilton is a genuine modern classic to behold.
Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller’s two-act tragedy is quite rightly seen as a masterpiece of playwriting. The somber classic is set to return to Sydney this winter and stars Jacek Koman as the titular Willy Loman. Paige Rattray directs this interpretation of the mid-century play about broken dreams and the search for meaning on the long, hard road.
The Woman in Black
The Ensemble Theatre in Sydney is hosting the latest Australian production of the 1980’s horror masterpiece The Woman in Black. This tale of guilt and fear has proved to be a timeless crowd-pleaser that stays with audience members long after they leave the theater. Jamie Oxenbould stars in the leading role of this adaptation, which is directed by Mark Kilmurry. The Woman in Black is the perfect chilling play to attend during the spookiest months of the year.