Your Night at Smashed: The NightcapBack to
We’re famous for sultry summer nights - hot, sweaty and buzzing with cicadas, sea breezes and, now, sequin-soaked after-dark burlesque whoopee sliced with martinis and a side-order of satire.
So, step into Sydney’s hottest sundown shebang, Smashed: the Nightcap, a delicious circus-style cabaret shaking up the festival’s Thirsty Mile precinct into the night.
Start the night with a SydFest feast, $55 festival-only set menus at restaurants edging spectacular Walsh Bay.
Char your prawn at Elements Seafood Grillhouse, just five minutes walk away at Pier 8/9, sample award-winning chef Cian Mulholland’s modern Australian menu at Henry Deane at the historic hilltop Hotel Palisade (with views to kill) or try Jounieh’s luscious Middle Eastern cuisine served beside lapping harbour waters.
Bellies full, head to Wharf 1 at Pier 2/3 to be greeted by cabaret queen, Victoria Falconer, Sydney’s hottest and smartest musical theatre triple-threat.
Flipping her daytime role as Hayes Theatre’s co-artistic director to become Smashed: the Nightcap’s chutzpah ringleader par excellence, “Daddy” Falconer's all-singing, all-wit-cracking, all-accordian and violin-playing anchor the show.
Returning after last year’s sold-out festival hit Smashed: The Brunch Party, Falconer and her ensemble are slinking late into the dark with this femme-tastic adults-only saloon communing hearts, history and risqué old-school revelry.
Gird your loins for salacious burlesque, juicy song, a bawdy live band and eye-popping aerial acrobatics, all slicked down with handy libations (we suggest a dirty martini) from the in-theatre bar.
At Falconer's invitation, coo to the controlled chaos of Malia Walsh, a fire-wielding, hula-hooping whiz with an awing penchant for marshmallows (and some gentle audience participation).
Then, it’s the neck-craning, adrenaline-busting wonders of Bridget Rose, a gravity defying rope and hoop aerialist star who has wowed the globe stage working with Cirque du Soleil and Montreal’s La Tohu.
Now take a breath, adjust your corset and strap in for guest artists.
Between January 16 and 27, it’s Kween Kong, aka Thomas Fonua, legendary drag star and lip-sync virtuoso of Indigenous Samoan/Tongan descent who creamed it in RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under, and our very own “pin-up pocket rocket” Kelly Ann Doll, a high-octave swing-dancer voted into the top 10 most influential burlesque artists in Australia.
Do not miss Australia’s most celebrated drag queen, Courtney Act, joining the debauchery between 20-27 January.
Post-show the fabulousness continues. Falconer and her Smashed ensemble lead everyone out to the Moonshine Bar.
The festival’s buzzing harbourside social hub, it comes complete with deck chairs, lolly striped parasols and British sculptor Michael Shaw’s vast, snaking, glow-in-the-dark inflatable work Hi-Vis.
Feeling peckish? Savour the Moonshine’s truffle cauliflower jaffle, with four kicky cheeses, pickles and crisps. Or, quaff a house Dark ’n Stormy cocktail a tribute to Sydney’s thunderously sticky January climes.
Then, if busting a move floats your wee-hours' boat, SydFest’s Late Nights club transforms the pier into a house, techno, hyperpop, soul and hip-hop party until late.
Expect absorbing live tunes from Control: Euphoria, featuring "the techno pop princess" Sam Quealy (Jan 19), Melbourne’s Silentjay and Sydney’s Setwun’s collaboration Nu Dialects (Jan 20) and Finely Tuned hosting homegrown global club stars Tornado Wallace and Fantastic Man (Jan 27).
Any out-of-towners (welcome! Muggy enough?), or those too bushed to amble home, can rest their cultured head at Pier One, a smashing hotel just a martini olive roll away beside that famous bridge. Cabaret, cocktails and cutting a rug until lights out. Job done.