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Alannah Maher

Alannah Maher

Arts and Culture Editor, Time Out Sydney

Alannah (she/her) became the arts and culture editor at Time Out Sydney in 2022, levelling up from her more generalist role as a lifestyle journalist. Before joining Time Out, she juggled freelance arts journalism with roles in arts administration and communications.

She's a die-hard Inner Westie with an unhealthy preoccupation with drag, burlesque and underground performance art who you can find down at the Impy or the Rattler every other weekend, seeing as much theatre as she humanly can, or hunting for op-shop bargains, obnoxious earrings and jumpsuits. She is passionate about making the arts more accessible and championing stories that foster our understanding of ourselves and others. 

Articles (144)

Not a woman, not a man: navigating the world when you identify as non-binary

Not a woman, not a man: navigating the world when you identify as non-binary

“For me, the end goal is the elimination of the gender binary. But that doesn't mean eliminating men and women or the categories of men and women, or insisting that everyone needs to be trans or non-binary,” says Dr Yves Rees, the co-curator of a watershed discussion at this year's All About Women, the annual feminist thought festival at the Sydney Opera House. Beyond the Binary is set to be a disruptive discussion with an entirely trans and gender-nonconforming panel that seeks to imagine a future where rigid gender binaries have disappeared. It's the first time such a discussion has been part of the festival, but in Rees' opinion, it's a blind spot that deserves more visibility in such forums. “To my mind, this festival is called All About Women, but I think it's really fundamentally a festival about gender and power,” Rees tells Time Out. “Even though I'm not a woman, non-binary people such as myself, we are at the absolute forefront of thinking about questions on gender and power because of the work we do in living outside the gender binary. And in so doing, analysing gender binary, patriarchy, gendered expectations and norms and how all those things work. So I think at any any festival concerned with these questions about gender and power, non-binary people are not peripheral, we’re actually central to the discussion.” Rees uses they/them pronouns and came out as trans and non-binary four years ago, at the age of 30. While terms like non-binary have only become common kn

The best ways to celebrate International Women's Day in Sydney

The best ways to celebrate International Women's Day in Sydney

In 2022, International Women's Day takes place on Tuesday, March 8 with the theme 'Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow'. The annual day of solidairty and activism has become a rallying point for women around the world to come together, celebrate, and innovate solutions to the ever-mutating challenges we continue to face in the modern world, including the climate crisis. Feminism takes many forms, and each female-identifying person should feel like they can celebrate IWD in a way that truly explores their experience. To that end, we’ve selected our pick of the best ways to experience International Women's Day in Sydney.

Sydney theatre in March

Sydney theatre in March

It's a big month on Sydney's stages – both indoor and outdoor. Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 the Musical finally makes its much anticipated Sydney debut (we talked to the local star stepping into Parton's "teenie, tiny little shoes"), and Opera Australia's epic harbourside staging of The Phantom of the Opera makes a splash. But if you're after something a bit more intimate, our indie theatres are in full swing this month. Note: in light of the evolving impacts of Covid, many events across Sydney are being postponed, rescheduled or cancelled. Things are changing rapidly. Always check ahead with the event organiser to see if an event or venue you're planning to attend is still open, and what precautions and conditions of entry are in place.  RECOMMENDED: Where to sit in Sydney's theatres.

All the best ways to experience drag in Sydney

All the best ways to experience drag in Sydney

There’s always a lot of makeup and a lot of fabulousness going on, but the art of drag takes on many forms and styles – and in Sydney, there are so many ways for you to experience it. This is our (by no means exhaustive) guide to getting down with drag in the Emerald City.

Where to find rainbow paths and crossings in Sydney

Where to find rainbow paths and crossings in Sydney

We know what they say about chasing waterfalls, but what about chasing rainbows? You’ll find some spectacularly bright rainbow crossings, paths and walkways if you go looking in Sydney. These colourful installations are symbols of LGBTQIA+ equality and solidarity and a reminder that love wins. They’re perfect places to reflect on how far we’ve come in the fight for equality, how far we have to go yet – and, of course, get your smize on for a selfie.Looking for places to connect on common ground? Check out the best queer pubs and clubs in Sydney or cool off at Sydney’s best gay-friendly beaches.

The people’s queen of Australia, Courtney Act

The people’s queen of Australia, Courtney Act

“It's one of those times where, I don't know, the gay gods give you a little bit of extra oomph,” says Shane Jenek. “Because as tiring as it is, I never feel tired. I feel kind of invigorated by it all.” The professional drag performer, singer and actor is fresh faced and energetic as we grab a quick coffee in a short break after rehearsals for his upcoming role with the Sydney Theatre Company. Dark grey clouds and the Harbour Bridge loom over us where we sit at the waterside bar at STC's home in the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct. The weeks leading up to the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade are always the busiest time of year for Jenek, better known as drag superstar Courtney Act. That is made even busier by preparing for Courtney’s first “serious” leading role in a major stage play, as the late but not exactly absent Elvira, the deceased first wife of a troubled writer in STC’s Blithe Spirit. The blonde bombshell, who uses she/her pronouns in drag he/him/they pronouns out of drag, has come a long way since her early days performing on Oxford Street as a baby queen two decades ago, with an international career gaining her fame and work overseas in both the UK and America. But as high as Courtney’s star soars, with television and touring commitments outside of Australia, she always makes it back home for Mardi Gras. She hasn’t missed it since her first time in 2001.  Photograph: Supplied/Sydney Mardi Gras | Courtney Act hosts the Sydney Mardi Gras broadcast in 2021 “Mardi Gras has always

How to get the most out of Sydney’s Mardi Gras

How to get the most out of Sydney’s Mardi Gras

The Sydney Mardi Gras Parade is almost upon us, the sparkliest jewel in the tiara that is the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival. This globally recognised mass celebration of queer culture and LGBTQIA+ pride is one of Sydney’s biggest nights out, and is even televised nationally and around the world.  However, despite the all-consuming joy and awe, a night of swarming crowds and sold-out parties can easily turn into a logistical nightmare if you aren’t armed with a plan – throw a new parade location and the ever-changing Covid contingencies into the mix, and it gets even more head-spinning. But we’re here to help. The Time Out team has put their collective heads together and recalled some of their most tragic Mardi Gras mishaps to help you have the best “Queer Christmas” ever. Firstly, don’t forget that the parade is not following its traditional route down Oxford Street. Just like in 2021, the 44th Sydney Mardi Gras Parade is transplanting to the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) as a more controlled Covid-safe alternative for 40,000 spectators and 5,800 parade marchers. There are pros and cons to this. Pros include that stadium seating is far more comfortable than craning your neck to see the action from atop an unstable milk crate. Cons include that it's now ticketed. There will also be no official parade after-party this year, after the only recently lifted restrictions on singing and dancing made it impossible. The Mardi Gras magic always sparkles far beyond the parade

Where to party in Sydney this Mardi Gras

Where to party in Sydney this Mardi Gras

Sydney’s sparkliest night of nights is back for a gay old time, and there’s sure to be dancing in the street. The 44th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is on Saturday, March 5. For the second year running, the parade is diverting from its traditional route down Oxford Street and returns to the Sydney Cricket Ground for a ticketed, Covid-safe spectacular with headliners Darren Hayes and Vanessa Amorosi. If you’re planning to head to the SCG, we have you covered for how to make the most of the parade. But you don’t need to be at the parade to get amongst the Mardi Gras magic. The rainbow is shining all over Sydney and there are plenty of venues throwing parties where you can have colourful time all day, watch the ABC’s live parade coverage on a big screen in the evening, and boogie on down into the wee hours with DJs, drag and queer performers (yes, unlike last year, we can dance!). Ready to celebrate LGBTQIA+ pride? Here's where the party is turning it out.   Looking for more fabulous fun? Check out the best Mardi Gras events in Sydney, or get in a colourful mood with where to find rainbow paths and crossings in Sydney.

Mardi Gras is back with a beautiful program

Mardi Gras is back with a beautiful program

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival is back, baby. The 2022 program looks a little different to what we had come to expect in the Beforetimes, but organisers have still found a way to bring all the joy, colour, sparkle and unity Sydneysiders expect from the annual LGBTQIA+ celebration. Just like last year, the crowning jewel of the festivities, the 44th Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday, March 5, won't be taking the usual path down Oxford Street. Instead, a ticketed event at the Sydney Cricket Ground will mean a crowd-controlled promenade of fabulosity.  After being put on hiatus last year, Mardi Gras Fair Day is back to kick things off on Sunday, February 20 with an all-day, all-ages mix of picnic, party, music and markets. This year’s festival runs from February 18 to March 6, and we’re rounding up our fave picks of the Mardi Gras season below. If you're coming from out of town, make sure to book yourself into one of the best hotels in Sydney. Need to have an ocean dip and even out that tan in between parties? Check out the best gay beaches in Sydney.  Want to party right now? Head to these judgement-free queer pubs and clubs in Sydney.

Sydney theatre in February

Sydney theatre in February

Sydney Festival has now wrapped up, but theatre companies all across the city are kicking into top gear with high profile shows. And after some two years of disruptions, Sydney's stages are determined to put on the razzle dazzle.  Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 the Musical finally gets its Aussie debut (we talked to the local star stepping into Parton's "teenie, tiny little shoes"), and it's your last chance to see the revolutionary musical Hamilton before it leaves town for good. Opera Australia is also serving up a summer season packed with love, murder and revenge. Meanwhile, Sydney Fringe Festival is bringing some unconvential delights in February, and with Mardi Gras taking over the city for much of the month, there's plenty of killer queer performance happening. Note: in light of the evolving Omicron surge, many events across Sydney are being postponed, rescheduled or cancelled. Things are changing rapidly. Always check ahead to see if an event or venue you're planning to attend is still open, and what precautions and conditions of entry are in place.  Recommended: How to score cheap theatre tickets.

STC brings back the Picture of Dorian Gray team for a new take on Jekyll and Hyde

STC brings back the Picture of Dorian Gray team for a new take on Jekyll and Hyde

“It's been a very non-business-as-usual time, during my years. But also, every challenge brings with it opportunity,” says Sydney Theatre Company’s artistic director Kip Williams, reflecting on his time to date at the helm at one of the country’s top theatre companies. On the launch of the second half of STC’s 2022 season, he adds: “It feels like a real coming back to life for the company after two, understandably, pretty bumpy years.” After six shows were already announced for Act 1 of 2022, there is plenty to be excited about amongst the nine shows just unveiled for Act 2. Six of them are Australian plays, and five of those will be world premieres, having largely been developed while live theatre has been intermittently on hold during the past two years.  “It has been a central focus of my time as artistic director to increase the level of Australian playwriting at the company. And I’m really proud that the team and I have been achieving that in the past few years,” says Williams.  “The reason why we make theatre is to tell stories that speak to the here and now, and we are living in contemporary Australia. So we should be putting our emphasis on Australian voices and Australian perspectives. And audiences love it. Audiences want to see themselves on stage, audiences want the complexity of our society to be represented and unpacked and questioned and explored and imagined.”  Photograph: STC/Andrew Cowen | Richard Roxburgh will star in 'The Tempest' In addition to those new

Drag megastar Courtney Act to be honoured with a wax figure at Madame Tussauds

Drag megastar Courtney Act to be honoured with a wax figure at Madame Tussauds

Somebody, call Brenda! February 18 marks two momentous occasions – the first day of the 44th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival, and the 40th birthday of Shane Jenek, aka international celeb drag superstar and self-described ‘Aussie trinket’ Courtney Act. To mark the occasion, Madame Tussauds Sydney is sealing the deal with the announcement that Act is to be honoured with her very own wax figure later this year. Courtney’s world-first wax figure will be unveiled exclusively in Sydney in December 2022 and will star front and centre of the all-new PRIDE zone – an interactive space that will celebrate love, equality, diversity – and pay homage to Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ community. It will be erected just in time for Sydney WorldPride in 2023.  With a successful drag career spanning two decades, Courtney Act is a multi-talented and glamourous global star. Her wax work is set to cut a fine figure, dressed in her iconic 2020 Mardi Gras rainbow, Swarovski covered Marco Marco dress, paired with glitter Louboutins (both donated by Courtney) and her hair styled in her signature high ponytail. In the meantime, Courtney has a busy calendar coming up. She will be one of the co-hosts for the ABC’s live coverage of the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade on March 6, and she will also take on her first dramatic acting role on stage in Sydney Theatre Company’s Blithe Spirit (Mar 16-May 21), where she plays the glamorous ghost of a tortured writer’s deceased first wife. Oh, she's also competing in the

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Groovin' the Moo

Groovin' the Moo

Start rounding up the crew and planning your road trip to Maitland (or Canberra) this April. After two years on hold, Groovin’ the Moo is escaping the pandemic paddock and bringing music back to the hearts and ears of fans across the country. Groovin' alumni Hilltop Hoods and Spiderbait are heading up the line-up this year along with the likes of Sycco, Hope D, HP Boyz and JK-47, to Aussie Eurovision darling Montaigne and TikTok royalty Masked Wolf. A huge contingent of Australia's finest are also joining the line-up, including loveable larrikins Hockey Dad, party starters Peking Duk and ARIA winners Middle Kids, as well as a raft of international favourites featuring Kiwi rapper Chaii, Alice Ivy and BROODS. The tour will look a little different in 2022, kicking off at its longest-standing home Maitland on Saturday April 23, just two hours’ drive from Sydney, then hopping over to Canberra on Sunday April 24, followed by Bendigo on Saturday April 30. More details are coming about community programs and tickets go on sale on Thursday, March 3. Find out more here. Want fun now? Check out the best things to do in Sydney this week.

Mardi Gras Rally

Mardi Gras Rally

Today, Sydney Mardi Gras has become one of Sydney's biggest annual tourist attractions. However, when it began in 1979, it was to mark the first anniversary of a march that led to shocking police violence against peaceful protestors exercising their right to campaign for LGBTQIA+ liberation.  For the second year in a row, a collection of activist groups including Pride in Protest, Rainbow Rebellion Sydney and DIY Rainbow are staging a counter-protest on the original parade route along Oxford Street in the afternoon prior to the official Mardi Gras Parade at the Sydney Cricket Ground.  Consider showing up at Taylor Square at 1pm before (or instead of) the ticketed stadium spectacle if you want to mark your Mardi Gras with some political action in defiance of government actions that are infringing on LBGTQIA+ rights, including the Religious Discrimination Bill and moves to exclude transgender people from single-sex sports. The protest organisers are also demanding the decriminalisation of sex work, transition leave for workers and other matters. Attendees are asked to sign in, wear a mask, be up to date with vaccinations, and to stay home if you've got flu-like symptoms. The rally will be followed by a Pride Street Party where the community are asked to BYO magic, street performance, speakers, music, face painting, friends, family and allies to create a big, loud, out and proud riot.  Find out more and follow the Facebook event for updates. Want to have a boogie after protestin

Groovin' the Moo

Groovin' the Moo

Start rounding up the crew and planning your road trip to Maitland (or Canberra) this April. After two years on hold, Groovin’ the Moo is escaping the pandemic paddock and bringing music back to the hearts and ears of fans across the country. Groovin' alumni Hilltop Hoods and Spiderbait are heading up the line-up this year along with the likes of Sycco, Hope D, HP Boyz and JK-47, to Aussie Eurovision darling Montaigne and TikTok royalty Masked Wolf. A huge contingent of Australia's finest are also joining the line-up, including loveable larrikins Hockey Dad, party starters Peking Duk and ARIA winners Middle Kids, as well as a raft of international favourites featuring Kiwi rapper Chaii, Alice Ivy and BROODS. The tour will look a little different in 2022, kicking off at its longest-standing home Maitland on Saturday April 23, just two hours’ drive from Sydney, then hopping over to Canberra on Sunday April 24, followed by Bendigo on Saturday April 30. More details are coming about community programs and tickets go on sale on Thursday, March 3. Find out more here. Looking for more live music in Melbourne? We've got you.

Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit

Superstar drag queen Courtney Act takes on her first major dramatic stage role as the late but not exactly absent Elvira. The first wife of novelist Charles (Matt Day, The Deep Blue Sea), he contacts her from beyond the veil via a séance, hoping to get new material for his next book. It’s safe to say that the supernatural ritual doesn’t go exactly according to plan, disrupting his relatively recent second marriage to hilarious effect in this much-loved farce penned by Noël Coward. “It’s such an iconic work, and Noël was one of the great writers of the theatrical canon, and one of the great writers of camp as well,” says STC artistic director Kip Williams. “Director Paige Rattray has such vision for the work, and when she came to me with the idea of casting Courtney, l said, ‘That’s inspired, but you should meet with her and have a conversation’. They read the play together over Zoom and I’ve never seen Paige more excited. It’s gonna be a total treat after the year and a half we’ve had.” Blithe Spirit plays at the Sydney Opera House from March 21 to May 14.

North by Northwest

North by Northwest

No, it’s not the name of a new Kardashian-West offspring. It’s a triumphant adaption of one of Alfred Hitchcok’s finest films. Following sell out seasons in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane the UK and Toronto, North by Northwest will play an exclusive limited season at Sydney Lyric Theatre from March 9. Boldly re-imagined for the stage combining the magic of film and theatre, this production stars David Campbell (Dream Lover) as Roger O. Thornhill, the suave advertising executive and man on the run. The singer, actor, television and radio presenter is returning to the stage in the role made famous by Cary Grant in the 1939 classic.  Joining Campbell are acclaimed Australian actors including Helpmann Award winners Amber McMahon returning in the role as femme fatale Eve Kendall, beloved stage and screen actor Bert LaBonté as Vandamm, and theatre veteran Genevieve Lemon as Mrs Thornhill. Roger O. Thornhill’s uneventful life is turned upside down when he is thrust into a world of espionage, romance and murder. Abducted by thugs who insist he is a government agent named George Kaplan, the harried New York exec is hunted by ruthless spies in a break-neck journey involving the Feds, crop-dusting planes, a blonde femme fatale and a cliff-hanger that has to be seen to be believed. Adapted for the stage by Carolyn Burns and directed by Simon Phillips, North by Northwest has every twist, every thrill and every hairbreadth escape from Hitchcock's original genius work reworked into a stunnin

Sondheim on Sondheim

Sondheim on Sondheim

A funny, affectionate and revealing tribute to musical theatre’s greatest composer and lyricist, Sondheim on Sondheim is an intimate portrait of the famed virtuoso Stephen Sondheim. It comes to Australia for five shows only after debuting on Broadway in 2010. To be directed by one of Australia’s most respected musical theatre directors, and Sondheim devotee, Tyran Parke (Chess, Follies and Barnum), this strictly limited Aussie tour of the Tony Award-nominated show features an all-star cast. Audiences have the chance to see performances from Rhonda Burchmore, Anton Berezin, Fiona Choi, Peter Coleman-Wright, Amy Lehpamer, Ainsley Melham, Anna O’Byrne and Josh Piterman. Songs are featured from 19 Sondheim shows including West Side Story, Company, Follies, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sunday in the Park with George, Merrily We Roll Along, Passion and Into the Woods. Hailed as a "revelatory revue full of wonderful moments", Sondheim on Sondheim is an intimate portrait of the much-loved songwriter in his own words and music. Through the use of exclusive interview footage, audiences will get an inside look at his personal life and artistic process. It’s a fitting tribute to the legend, who sadly passed away in 2021 at the age of 91. Sondheim on Sondheim plays two shows only in Sydney at the Capitol Theatre on March 28 and 29. Book your tickets here. Want more? Check out the best shows to see in Sydney this March.

The Gentleman Magician’s Magical Soirée

The Gentleman Magician’s Magical Soirée

If you're partial to a spellbinding spectacle, you don’t need to head to Vegas. You can see top-quality magic right here in Sydney, courtesy of Bruce Glen, the Gentleman Magician, who has been enchanting and amazing audiences every weekend for over five years with his Magical Soirées. Get dressed up in your finest cocktail outfit and brace yourself for an intimate evening of magical surprises “for adults – but not necessarily grown-ups”. Guests are greeted with Champagne and gourmet canapés, before experiencing an evening of world-class magic and captivating Australian stories. The magic and mystery takes place in the lush surrounds of Sir Stamford at Circular Quay, a luxury hotel that houses one of Australia's largest private collections of fine art and features 18th-century antiques, open fireplaces and crystal chandeliers.  An Associate of the Inner Magic Circle with Silver Star, the world’s most exclusive magic society, Bruce Glen has performed to sold-out houses at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Adelaide Fringe and the famous Edinburgh Magic Festival, amongst others.  The Gentleman Magician’s Magical Soirée is on every Friday and Saturday night. Tickets are $95 and you can make them appear over here. Want more? Check out the best things to do in Sydney this week.

Symphony Under the Stars

Symphony Under the Stars

Prepare your hampers! The most popular free event of Sydney Festival’s summer program has been rescheduled as an alfresco autumn event filled with music from across the ages, after Covid complications saw the January date postponed.  Led by celebrated conductor Benjamin Northey, the world-class Sydney Symphony Orchestra marks its 90th anniversary with a program ranging from canonical greats like Dvořák and Mozart, to a selection of heart-stirring John Williams film classics from ET to Indiana Jones. On Saturday, March 26, they’re bringing the delightful event back to the Crescent in Parramatta Park as part of the Parramatta Nights festival. Grab a picnic rug and a bottle of wine, prepare a platter, and gather some of your favourite people for the most fun you can have with Mozart and a blanket, probably.  The event opens at 5pm and the program starts at 7pm. Registrations are not required, but you can sign up here to get an email reminder before the event.

The Roast

The Roast

Sometimes a Sunday feast with your chosen family is just what the doctor ordered. And on the day after the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade, a recovery is definitely required. Queer party starters Heaps Gay and Absolut have created a not-so-traditional Sunday sesh to end all Sunday seshes this Sunday, March 6.  Hosted at the Refectory, a grandiose dining hall on the grounds of Sydney Uni in Camperdown, the Roast is a day filled with queer food, drink, comedy and theatre to be enjoyed with your crew. It’s complete with a four-course feast of show-stopping dishes curated by famous pink mohawk-sporting chef Anna Polyviou. Need a lick of the hair of the dog? Thirsts will be quenched with a pairing of post-parade cocktails.  Hosted by DJ Sharon Manhattan with the music never skipping a beat, care of Paul Mac and Johnny Seymour of Stereogamous and Timothy and the Heart Strings, and entertainment comes from Mangarai First Nations queen Tyra Bankstown and the Blak Moles and QTBIPOC collective House of Silky. Oh and did we mention, all ticket sales go to supporting ACON, Australia's largest HIV and sexuality and gender diverse health organisation? So you can feel good knowing your dollars are supporting a worthy LGBTQIA+ cause while you wring the last ounces of joy out of your Queer Christmas. We’ll raise a drink to that!  Tickets are $109 per person, and you can grab yours here. Want more? Check out the best ways to celebrate Sydney Mardi Gras.

Premiere: Oz

Premiere: Oz

Slip on your sparkly ruby slippers and click your heels together three times – the immersive drag dinner show experience that has taken Oxford Street by storm is back, back, back again! Sydney superstar queens Charisma Belle, Carmen Geddit and Sia Tequila are taking you somewhere over the rainbow. The queens are off to see the wizard and they’re inviting you to follow them down the yellow brick road on a magical journey of high camp proportions when the upstairs nightclub at Universal transforms into a glittering dinner theatre.  Since strutting onto the scene as one of the first Covid-safe events to launch after Sydney's first lockdown, Premiere has kept us dazzled, entertained and fed while the bottomless cocktails flow, the club lights and lasers set the scene, and the drag queens do what they do best. Sure, the entertainment is on the cheesy side, but if you're not down for some irreverent camp humour, what are you doing at a drag show anyway? All of this nostalgia-inducing excitement is served up with a three-course meal (dietary requirements catered to on request) and your choice of bevvies. Get dinner and a show sorted with the $89 dine package, or keep the giggle juice flowing with the $149 Absolut Premiere package, which includes bottomless drinks with party-starting cocktails like Margaritas, Espresso Martinis and Pornstar Martinis. Doors open at 6.15pm and the entertainment kicks off from 7pm sharp every Friday and Saturday night (excluding Mardi Gras night, March

Bottomless Drag King Brunch

Bottomless Drag King Brunch

Elm Rooftop Bar is redefining one of Sydneysiders’ favourite pastimes – the bottomless brunch – with the launch of the country’s first-and-only drag king brunch. With free-flowing prestige cuvée and rosé, good vibes, and delectable bites, there’s no better excuse to round up your mates. Not familiar with drag kings? Think the opposite of a drag queen. Drag kings are mostly female performance artists who dress in masculine drag and personify male gender stereotypes. Known for doing things a little bit differently, resident drag king Axl Rod will provide the laughs and entertainment, alongside a live saxophone player and DJ.  “Queens have deservingly become almost mainstream, but the drag king scene remains underground and subversive. We are stoked to deliver this brunch to Sydney, just in time for all the Mardi Gras pride celebrations,” says Joshua Thorpe, owner of The Taphouse and Elm Rooftop Bar. “The kings that you’ll meet at Elm are epic, they explore gender and masculinity in such a humorous and unique way.” Head chef Nabin Luitel has imagined a delicious food line-up that boasts the finest premium and local ingredients. Featuring freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters with a watermelon and Champagne mignonette; refreshing watermelon gazpacho with a mint sugar rim, and warmed sourdough with whipped lemon butter to start. Moreish highlights include succulent soft shell crab banh mi served in a Japanese bread roll with pickled veg and sambal mayo, and baked shakshuka with spin

Oxtravaganza

Oxtravaganza

Oxtravaganza will take over Oxford Street for a sixth year with live music, drag and special deals enlivening your Darlinghurst shopping trip. As a historic stomping ground for LGBTQIA+ people, bohemians and artists, this cultural hub is inviting Sydney to share in its creativity for two weeks through to March 6. The festival combines retail with art, cabaret, design, drag shows, fashion, food and drink deals, street stalls and performances. The centrepiece event is Shop Till You Drop day on Saturday February 26 (11am-6pm), during which local shopkeepers will offer discounts and deals. Move along Oxford Street and surrounds sipping bubbles and exploring the best vintage stores, drag queen costumes, and leather, glitter and sequins a-plenty. Live Performers will be roaming the streets and performing inside stores.  On Shop Till You Drop day you can visit the ‘Naughty Corner’ at the Oxford Hotel for dildo derby racing, lube ice-cream and haircuts from The Naked Barber, Mr Dick Savvy. For family fun, the Oxford Village is hosting kiddies morning with drag queen storytime, fairy floss and glitter hair-dos. Rainbow cake, drag queen throw-downs, wrestling and a boutique fur-baby minding service are all on offer. Visit the Instax “selfie booth” at the Rainbow Crossing for a photo opportunity. Later, at The Hollywood Hotel brings a little bit of Berlin to town – with friends, live performance and tunes. Throughout the festival you’ll also find bottomless drag brunches, burlesque dinn

News (211)

The Enmore Theatre’s floor collapsed during a concert on Thursday night

The Enmore Theatre’s floor collapsed during a concert on Thursday night

Canberran hip-hop artist Genesis Owusu was two songs into a sold-out show at Sydney’s legendary live music venue the Enmore Theatre last night, Thursday March 3, when the venue’s floor suddenly collapsed beneath the feet of eager concertgoers.  Reports from the scene tell us that thankfully, no one was injured during the incident. Owusu quickly stopped the concert and the venue was evacuated. The decision was made to reschedule the show, with Owusu addressing the audience: “This is actually really dangerous. You guys are super sick [but] we’re gonna have to reschedule the show unfortunately because this shit is like a four-metre drop.” "...This is really shit but [it's] going to go down in history. You guys are the craziest crowd – you broke the Enmore in two songs!” View this post on Instagram A post shared by Dean Vardon (@roti793) The Enmore Theatre addressed the incident in a Facebook post this morning, saying that the damage “occurred due to the impact of the relentless rain and excessive water inundating the suburb.” The post also said: “The floor of the theatre has been assessed and remediation works have commenced. We have isolated the section that was affected by water and are further reinforcing the surrounding areas as a further precaution. We would like to thank Genesis Owusu and his touring party for working with us to ensure the safety of our patrons as a priority.” Repair works are likely to affect upcoming shows from artists including Young F

‘Hamilton’ and ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ dominate the 2021 Sydney Theatre Awards

‘Hamilton’ and ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ dominate the 2021 Sydney Theatre Awards

It has been an unusual time, to say the least, for the arts over the past two years. The local theatre scene has been marked by devastation, postponements and cancellations. But amongst all that, there have also been some incredible achievements, and Sydney’s theatre community has come together to celebrate the wins overnight at the 2021 Sydney Theatre Awards. Some 29 awards were presented, shared between 18 productions which played on Sydney stages during 2020 and 2021. Sydney Theatre Company’s The Picture of Dorian Gray dominated the mainstage production category, taking out the awards for Best Mainstage Production, Best Direction of a Mainstage Production (Kip Williams), Best Performance in a Leading Role in a Mainstage Production (Eryn Jean Norvill) and Best Stage Design of a Mainstage Production (Marg Horwell and David Bergman). The production returns to the stage for a postponed encore this year (Mar 28-May 7) so you can see for yourself why this show, created at the intersection between the cinematic and theatrical, earned a five-star review from Time Out.  The award for Best Musical went to Hamilton (Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman, the Public Theater and Michael Cassel), which also took home the Judith Johnson Award for Best Performance in a Leading Role in a Musical (Lyndon Watts) and Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Marty Alix). You still have a short amount of time to see the incredible local cast of Hamilton in Sydney (or see it agai

The Giant Dwarf, Sydney's home of cabaret and comedy, has closed its doors for good

The Giant Dwarf, Sydney's home of cabaret and comedy, has closed its doors for good

In news that has rocked Sydney’s creative communities and dedicated audience members, Redfern’s Giant Dwarf theatre has announced that its doors will not be reopening.  In a post shared to social media on Friday, January 28, the Giant Dwarf said the business has been unable to find a way to continue, with the second lockdown hitting hard. “We simply cannot survive through this ongoing pandemic,” the post said. “...We fought as hard as we could for almost eight years and we are so proud that we even made it as far as we did and of what GD became.”  For the unacquainted, the Giant Dwarf has spent years carving a definitive niche in Sydney’s performance scene, with accessible ticket prices and diverse voices centre stage. To quote its co-founder, The Chaser’s Julian Morrow, the Giant Dwarf was “...the place you see exciting comedians and performers of all shapes and sizes before they're massive hits playing bigger venues. And the place those performers still come back to when they're famous, ‘cos they love the vibe at Giant Dwarf as much as our audiences do.” Popular storytelling nights and podcasts like Story Club and Queerstories have called the venue home, as well as nights for comedy, improv, and burlesque. Sydney’s drag king scene has even been revived under the Giant Dwarf’s roof.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Giant Dwarf Theatre (@giantdwarfhq) The Giant Dwarf had survived other challenges, moving up the road to a new venue after a 40 per

Sydney WorldPride announces a diverse team of curatorial associates

Sydney WorldPride announces a diverse team of curatorial associates

While many events and festivals around the world have been thrown into uncertainty over the past two years, luckily, Sydney’s annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has not had to miss a party yet. While we’re looking forward to having a fabulous time when Mardi Gras kicks a leg up in February and March this year, next year we can look forward to a supersized celebration when Sydney WorldPride 2023 puts the Emerald City on the world stage, combining with Mardi Gras for one great big 17-day LGBTQIA+ extravaganza. In the lead up to the much anticipated festival, a team of curatorial associates has been unveiled, featuring some names and faces that should be familiar with anyone who frequents the local queerand arts scenes. Selected through a rigorous open expression of interest call-out during 2021, the six associates will join festival creative director, First Nations Ben Graetz and festival creative director Daniel Clarke and bring expertise from across a wide range of artforms. The team includes Bhenji Ra, a pioneer of the Australian ballroom scene, creator of Sissy Ball, and mother of the House of Sle; Dennis Golding, a Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist born and raised in Redfern (his artwork The Future is Here recently exhibited at Carriageworks); Harriet Gillies, an award-winning performance artist who has completed artist residencies with high-profile artists such as Marina Abramović (she was also the co-production manager and tour manager for Peaches’ There’s Only One Peach With a

NSW government announces $43 million fund to support festivals cancelled due to Covid

NSW government announces $43 million fund to support festivals cancelled due to Covid

"My message to the community is that there is light at the end of the tunnel”. This promise was made by NSW treasurer Matt Kean at a press conference on the morning of Monday January 17 where he announced a $43 million fund to support events and festivals impacted by the Omicron surge. Many festivals have been cancelled or postponed since the new year due to the impacts of Covid, including the much-anticipated King Street Carnival, a three-day bonanza which was due to take over Newtown from January 14-16, and the famous annual Tamworth Country Music Festival. Bans on singing and dancing along with capacity requirements have also made live music venues and nightclubs logically difficult to even open this month. Meanwhile, the Hillsong Church has come under fire for footage that has been circulating of unmasked crowds singing and dancing at events in NSW. "We've seen from international experience and based on the modelling that NSW Health has provided us that over the next four to six weeks, there will be a significant decrease in cases across the community,” Kean said today. "Whilst this is a health crisis, there is also significant economic impacts being felt. That's why today, we're here to announce support for one section of the economy — that's the events and festivals section. Events play an important role in supporting us and other industries across the state. They're doing it tough [through] those changes in the public health orders.” "This fund is a $43 million fund th

Meet Thrillsong: a supergroup of top Aussie musos ready to play religious and sporting events

Meet Thrillsong: a supergroup of top Aussie musos ready to play religious and sporting events

After footage emerged online of unmasked crowds singing and dancing to hopped up music at a Hillsong Youth event in Newcastle on January 13, just days after a singing and dancing ban shut down nightclubs, music festivals and live music venues across NSW, a lot of people were furious about the apparent double-standard. But perhaps none more so than the talented folks of the state's music industry, who have been hit hard by the red tape while religious and sporting events have been green lit to host huge crowds.  For many musos, it was the last straw. Which is why a huge collective of Aussie artists have banded together to form a satirical supergroup, which they’re calling Thrillsong. And they say they’re ready to “take bookings for religious and sporting events”. The genre-spanning group features a rollcall of some of the hottest names on the festival and gig circuit, including: Alex the Astronaut, Annie Hamilton, Art vs Science, CC:DISCO!, Confidence Man, Dune Rats, Hatchie, Illy, Jack River, the Jungle Giants, KLP, Lime Cordiale, Montaigne, Odette, Peking Duk, Set Mo, Stace Cadet, Sycco, Thandi Phoenix and What So Not. A statement released by the order of Thrillsong states: “We firmly support measures to protect our fans and communities and to safeguard our health care workers, we simply ask that if rules are made, they apply to everyone equally. We need to be in this together.” Thrillsong’s statement adds: "If health orders are created to protect the public, our health syst

Sydney’s theatres have released a joint statement on the Covid precautions they’re keeping

Sydney’s theatres have released a joint statement on the Covid precautions they’re keeping

Most of Sydney’s theatres have banded together and released a combined statement, announcing that all theatres will continue to operate with certain Covid-Safe rules in place in order to keep audiences, staff and performers safe.  These rules will be consistent across all theatre venues, and include that all visitors are required to be fully vaccinated (excluding individuals under the age of 16) through to January 31 2022. Mask wearing will also continue to be mandatory while in theatre auditoriums and indoor spaces (except when you are eating and drinking).  The statement reads: “We recognise the ongoing risk presented by Covid-19 and are committed to operating in a way that ensures the safety and wellbeing of all our stakeholders.” “We believe as a collective of theatres operating in Sydney that consistency across theatre venues provides certainty and security to our artists, audiences, employees, partners, donors, funders, and other stakeholders that is beneficial for the sector as a whole, as well as individual theatre companies and producers, both large and small.”  The theatres that co-signed on the agreement on December 10 and are upholding these rules include: Bell Shakespeare, Belvoir St Theatre, Darlinghurst Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Flight Path Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Hayes Theatre Co, Kings Cross Theatre, NIDA, Red Line Productions, Seymour Centre, and Sydney Theatre Company. The Lyric Theatre, where the hit musical Hamilton is currently performing, is not part

You can score $45 rush tickets to ‘Jagged Little Pill’ the musical in Sydney

You can score $45 rush tickets to ‘Jagged Little Pill’ the musical in Sydney

Us Sydneysiders finally have our chance to see the barnstorming Jagged Little Pill musical, inspired by the music of our angsty queen Alanis Morissette – debuting at the freshly reopened Theatre Royal, no less. But isn’t it ironic, that it has landed just in time for silly season, when our budgets are likely still recovering from the city’s second major lockdown.  Well if you've got one hand in your pocket, and you're noticing those pockets of yours are a little light this silly season, then you oughta know that you have the chance to score $45 mobile rush tickets to Jagged Little Pill. TodayTix, the same app flogging $10 tickets to Hamilton, in partnership with Theatre Royal is giving theatregoers the chance to unlock mobile rush for a chance to access a limited amount of $45 tickets to each performance day throughout its Sydney season, which runs until December 19. The cheaper mobile rush tickets will drop on the app every day at 9am. To 'unlock' the tix, TodayTix users will be asked to spread the word on social media. Once unlocked, the $45 price point will be made available exclusively via the TodayTix app on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a strictly limited number of tickets available per performance and a maximum purchase of two tickets per person. And heads up, there’s a $5 transaction fee per ticket too.  You’ll need to download the TodayTix app off the App Store or the Google Play Store to get in on the action. You can find out more at todaytix.com. Excit

Stephen Page is stepping down as artistic director of Bangarra Dance Theatre

Stephen Page is stepping down as artistic director of Bangarra Dance Theatre

It is the end of an era for Bangarra Dance Theatre, as the company announced that artistic director Stephen Page is set to bring his 32-year tenure to an end, with Kokatha woman Frances Rings taking the helm as the company’s incoming artistic director in 2023.  A descendant of the Nunukul people and the Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh Nation from South East Queensland, Page was appointed artistic director in 1991, and over more than three decades has cemented Bangarra as a central part of Australia's cultural ecosystem. He has developed an unsurpassed signature body of works that have become milestones in Australian performing arts history, setting a benchmark for storytelling internationally. Starting as a dancer with Bangarra twelve years ago, Rings has choreographed eight major works for the company to date, firmly establishing herself as one of Australia’s leading choreographers. “Frances Rings is an exceptional dancer and a gifted and visionary choreographer. Her works for Bangarra, among them the acclaimed Unaipon, Terrain and Sandsong stand as precious works of profound artistic and cultural truth,” said Page. “I am delighted to now entrust the future of Bangarra to this deeply committed and community-connected cultural leader not only because of her sensational artistry but because her lived experience is that Bangarra is so much more than an arts organisation. Ceremonially I pass her this precious coolamon filled with all our truly unique First Nations dancers and ad

This stunning Western Sydney theatre has been shortlisted for a major architecture award

This stunning Western Sydney theatre has been shortlisted for a major architecture award

Having opened to the public in December 2019, lockdowns have ensured that the ambitious and rather impressive Coliseum Theatre in Western Sydney hasn’t had as many chances show off its world-class facilities as it would have hoped to by now. But that doesn’t mean this world-class entertainment venue in a little suburb called Rooty Hill has gone unnoticed by the architectural elite.  The Sydney Coliseum Theatre has made the World Festival of Interiors 2020/2021 shortlist in the Public Buildings category – the only Australian nomination in the category from a list of 17 spaces from across the globe. Designed by COX Architecture and part of the West HQ precinct at the apex of the M4 and M7 motorways, which is also home to Rooty Hill RSL, The Sydney Coliseum Theatre is a 2000-seat multi-modal performance venue capable of hosting musicals, dramatic theatre, live music and more. It features European designed retractable stall seating allowing the auditorium to be “flipped” from seated mode to banquet mode in 60 minutes; an orchestra pit; three foyers; seven bars; and the majestic Field of Stars Chandelier – a 241 stranded chandelier featuring thousands of crystals designed to appear as though they have been suspended mid-air. Director of COX Architecture, Brooke Lloyd, says that the building’s design speaks to the core of what the Sydney Coliseum is: “Designed by the many, for the many.” “Alongside the functional diversity, the space required an acoustic chameleon quality to appeal

Sydney Opera House unveils a new purpose-built performance venue for hands-on experiences

Sydney Opera House unveils a new purpose-built performance venue for hands-on experiences

In one of the final projects to come out of the Sydney Opera House’s ‘Decade of Renewal’, funded by the NSW Government, Australia's most famous building is opening a new purpose-built venue under its soaring white sails. A former office space has been converted into a multi-functional public venue with windows that look out over Sydney Harbour.  The Centre for Creativity will significantly increase the breadth of year-round participatory performances, workshops and art installations on offer at the Opera House. This is part of the Opera House’s commitment to engage new audiences on-site, in schools, and in homes across Australia and the world. The new venue will be christened with an inaugural program kicking off from January to March 2022, with art installations and participatory workshops and performances for all ages with a mix of free and paid activities. The space will launch with a free, immersive, tactile art installation called House Warming (Jan 4-16) from award-winning Sydney artist Rosie Deacon. It will fill the space with a forest-like environment made of colourful, recycled materials in Deacon’s Australiana stylings, and visitors of all ages are invited to explore, interact with, and add to the work. Photograph: SOH/Daniel Boud Designed by renowned architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, the intimate Center comprises a larger room that can host groups of 50-60 for workshops and 80-100 people for seated experiences when at full capacity, and a second room designed for s

You can see an (almost) total lunar eclipse in the night sky over Sydney this weekend

You can see an (almost) total lunar eclipse in the night sky over Sydney this weekend

If you're the type of person who is absolutely thrilled when there's a nice plump full moon on the rise or a meteor shower to look forward in the astronomical calendar, then you'll want to set a reminder for this ruby delight – an (almost) total eclipse will be visible in the night sky over Sydney. Sydney Observatory astronomy ambassador and astrophysicist Kat Ross gave us the goss on when to look out for this celestial wonder, and how to get the most out of your dalliance with the cosmos. She says: "Our closest astronomical object, the Moon, will be putting on quite a show on Friday, November 19. Early in the evening, Sydneysiders will be able to see the Moon turning a deep red colour as it passes into the shadow of the Earth in a partial lunar eclipse that will almost completely cover the Moon. "The Moon will begin to pass into the shadow of the Earth at around 5pm AEDT, but unfortunately, it will still be hiding below the horizon at this time. People will be able to watch the eclipse from the moment the Moon begins to rise at 7.34pm, and see as it slowly turns redder as more of the shadow covers its surface.  "The maximum of the eclipse will be at 8.02pm when 97 per cent of the Moon is covered by the Earth’s shadow, but the Moon will still be very low to the horizon. This will give the opportunity for some spectacular shots of a big red Moon just above an iconic landscape, but make sure you have a clear view to the east-northeast or you may be beaten by some trees blocking