FORGET ME NOT
Acclaimed puppeteer Ronnie Burkett is back with a theatrical show with a serious twist. His provocative puppet performance is set in a world where reading and writing are outlawed – one must undertake a dangerous quest to uncover the knowledge of the written word. Audience members don’t just passively watch, they join Burkett on stage for the entire journey as puppet masters bringing pivotal characters to life. Fight through thrilling battles, belt out tunes and mingle with cast members in this interactive show.
January 14-January 26, 7pm-9pm, $79, Carriageworks, sydneyfestival.org.au
BRAN NUE DAE
The world’s first Aboriginal musical, Bran Nue Dae, undergoes a revamp 30 years after it first burst onto the stage in 1990. The beloved classic follows the story of a rebellious teenager and his adventures through 1960s Western Australia. Meet vibrant characters (a shrewd uncle, German priest and two hippies) who accompany him from mission school back to his home town to reinvigorate an old romance he still lusts after. Punctuated with rock’n’roll, gospel, country and blues music, the tale inspires hope and compassion – and there’s plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
Thursday, January 16-Saturday, February 1, The Riverside Theatre, $60 – $100, https://riversideparramatta.com.au/ or sydneyfestival.org.au
SHE CONJURED THE CLOUDS
Witness the world premiere of She Conjured the Clouds – a tactile, interactive installation created by the globally renowned artist Justene Williams. Plunge into a kaleidoscopic world filled with vivid backdrops and animated characters. An immersive experience, audiences are encouraged to feel, see and even eat the landscape. Included is a special theatre performance, featuring Emma the Yellow Wiggle, which is sure to be a hit with the little ones. Inclusivity is a core focus of the event, with the fairytale adventure accessible to people who are deaf or have hearing impairments.
Thursday, January 16-Saturday, January 18, Campbelltown Arts Centre, $25, sydneyfestival.org.au
The Wansolwara symposium packs lively debates, an art exhibition, performances and events into one thought-provoking day. A pidgin word from the Solomon Islands meaning ‘one-salt-water’ or ‘one ocean, one people’, Wansolwara celebrates the diversity of cultures and communities across the Pacific and explores stories and intriguing Islander traditions and customs through art, movement and literary works. Expert commentators and exhibiting artists offer insights into hot topics surrounding Australia’s relationship with the Pacific. Traditional Aboriginal catering is offered through the Biri Biri café, owned by respected Aboriginal elder Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo.
January 18, 10:30am-5:30pm, UNSW Galleries, Randwick campus, free, https://events.unsw.edu.au
Families with young children are sure to love the Regurgitator’s POGOGO show. The Aussie alt-rock band’s Really Really Really Really Boring Album has soared to number one on the Children’s iTunes chart. Belt along to hilarious smash hits and dance the day away to chart-topping tunes such as Farting is a Part of Life. A hip-swinging combination of punk, hip-hop, funk and electro-pop, along with larger than life singers and dramatic costumes makes this 50-minute spectacle the perfect way to brighten up your 10am.
Saturday and Sunday, 10am-10:50am, Archibald Fountain, $29, sydneyfestival.org.au
FESTIVAL OF SUMMER VOICES
The Festival of Summer Voices brings together the talented young choral singers who form six national Gondwana ensembles to present four different musical programs over consecutive nights. There’s a diverse array of music, which includes extracts of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, as well as music from Indonesia and the Middle East. There’s a world premiere of a new work by Australian composer Lisa Young, as well as a development presentation of new children’s opera Peter Pan by Andrew Ford.
Four programs Thursday, January 16-Sunday, January 19, 7pm-9pm, $45 per day, $140 4-day pass, UNSW Randwick campus, gondwana.org.au
This mini playwriting festival unearths stories and voices from Western Sydney. The five-hour event includes table readings of both comedic and dramatic plays, panel discussions with Western Sydney artists and a chance to connect with other creatives over light refreshments. Audiences are also in for a historic treat, with the world premiere of the play Lady Tabouli. Plus get the chance to watch a creative work in its early stages and, potentially, have a say in crafting the final outcome.
Saturday, 1pm-6pm, Riverside Theatres, Events Free but booking recommended, sydneyfestival.org.au