Seven things to see in Sydney this autumn

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April 1, 2022
Sydney Festival
Say hello to your ultimate guide to the best of Sydney this autumn.

While you're waiting for the Easter bunny to deliver lots of chocolate goodness, sit back and tuck into our freshly unwrapped selection of delicious events you can enjoy this April.

Much like a box of Cadbury Favourites, you're bound to find a little something that takes your fancy.

1. Explore the riveting 23rd Biennale of Sydney

Now in its 23rd year, the Biennale of Sydney continues to surprise, challenge and refine modern art. This years festival is titled rīvus, meaning 'stream' in Latin. Across the 330 artworks on display and 400 events in multiple venues, you'll find a riveting program inspired by water, rivers, wetlands and freshwater ecosystems.

For the first time ever, Barangaroo is a key venue and we recommend wandering through The Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve to see works by Mike Parr, Leanne Tobin, Zheng Bo, Tania Candiani and more. Then head a few levels up to The Great Animal Orchestra for an immersive installation filled with the sounds of more than 1,500 creatures from around the world.

When: 12 March – 13 June 2022

Where: Various locations. Check website for details.


2. Indulge your inner bookworm at Sydney Writers' Festival 

Tickets are now on sale for Australia’s most beloved celebration of literature, ideas and storytelling. Now in it's 25th year, the Sydney Writers' Festival continues to showcase our world-class writers, thinkers, journalists and poets. This years theme Change My Mind is an open invitation to all, a challenge and a promise of intent. With exclusive talks, insightful debates and stories shared - you'll find plenty to be moved and inspired by.

When: 16 - 22 May

Where: Various locations. Check website for details.


3. Take in the magic of The Phantom of the Opera on Sydney Harbour

Are you ready for a theatre experience unlike any other? The world’s favourite musical The Phantom of the Opera takes place on the magical Sydney Harbour stage at Mrs Macquaries Point from now until 24 April. Let Andrew Lloyd Webber’s dramatic score wash over you, as you take in the stunning view of Sydney's harbour and city skyline.

Did we mention there's fireworks as well? Oh and Gaston Leroux’s enchanting story is just as spectacular.

When: 25 March - 24 April

Where: Mrs Macquaries Point


4. Let artist Marikit Santiago reframe your idea of sin

Australian-Filipino artist Marikit Santiago and winner of the 2020 Sulman Prize, has just launched her new exhibition For us sinners at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Her emotionally-charged portraits blend themes of a utopia and love, each underpinned by a brooding sense of temptation, control and guilt. Nothing is quite as it seems.

For us sinners is Santiago's first institutional solo exhibition and surely marks the start of a fascinating journey ahead for one of Western Sydney's rising artists.

When: 26 March - 15 May

Where: 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Haymarket 


5. Step into the gothic world of Dorian Gray 

The reviews are in for the Sydney Theatre Company's adaption of Oscar Wilde's gothic thriller The Picture of Dorian Gray and we couldn't agree more. The Sydney Morning Herald called it "a theatrical coup to rival the best of Robert Lepage or Complicité" whilst The Guardian described it as a “dizzyingly beautiful tour de force”.

Shapeshifter Eryn Jean Norvill is the only cast member in a show filled with gripping drama and devilry, set against a backdrop of lush contemporary theatre design and cutting-edge video. Vibrant, compelling and at times deeply affecting The Picture of Dorian Gray is an unmissable work of Australian theatre from one of our city's finest companies.

When: 31 March - 7 May

Where: Sydney Theatre Company, Walsh Bay


6. The Purple Light Disco and all ages party for Trans and Queer kids

Presented by the fabulous folks (and Sydney Festival faves) Dollar Bin DarlingsPurple Light Disco is a community initiative to bring trans and queer kids plus their families together, to strengthen relationships, a sense of identity and cultivate a future that knows no limits of love and empathy.

Pack your sparkly rollerskates, tie those laces tight and head down to Darling Harbour Rollerama to make some new friends for life as you whizz around the rink at warpspeed.

When: 20 April 

Where: Rollarama in Darling Harbour

Visit: The Purple Light Disco sign up form

7. Dive headfirst into the huge lineup at VIVID Sydney

Having been delayed for the past two years due to the pandemic, VIVID Sydney has come roaring back to life this year with a program bristling with colour, movement and energy. Split into three key area, there's Light, Music and Ideas to explore.

As well as Insta-worthy artworks around the city, expect soaring performances from some of our favourite international artists including Moses Sumney (Sydney Festival 2017) and Perfume Genius (Sydney Festival 2013) as well as local legends Zindzi and the Zillionaires (Sydney Festival 2021) and Gordon Koang (Sydney Festival 2022). Over at our long-time Festival venue Sydney Opera House you'll find headline acts including the iconic Paul Kelly, fiery rapper Sampa the Great and German electronica wizard Nils Frahm.

Finally, if you're a fan of The West Wing, head to the State Theatre to deep dive into the mind of theatre, screenwriter and film director Aaron Sorkin as he chats with ABC 7.03 presenter Leigh Sales about writing and directing gripping political dramas.

When: 27 May - 18 June

Where: Various locations. Check website for details.



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