Ten Top Picks For Sydney Festival 2018

January 9th 2018

52 Artists, 52 Actions

Sydney Festival invites art and culture lovers to explore a smorgasbord of performance, exhibition, installation, theatre, comedy and more, transforming our city at the start of each new year. A festival of bold ideas, the program features 134 events over three weeks. To help you make sense of it all, FBi’s culture team have highlighted their top picks. Virtual reality, underwater music and a whole year of socially engaged artistic projects: here are our top picks for Sydney Festival 2018.



Theatre, virtual reality and psychoanalysis collide in Whist, a branching, hands-on trip through the mind of Sigmund Freud. The immersive  experience takes you along one of 76 possible directions in a journey through a fictional family’s hope and fear. Have your conscious and unconscious mind picked apart in this 360-degree, head-first plunge into primal instinct and desire.

WHAT: Theatre
WHEN: 6th – 28th January
WHERE: Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
HOW MUCH: $39. More info here.


You Animal, You

Drive, desire, attitude: this is what underlines Danielle Micich’s You Animal, You, weaving together personal stories about attraction, danger, joy and memory. Using a blend of text and movement, Micich creates a game-like environment that slowly breaks down the chain of command, questioning contemporary culture with intelligence, humour and insight.

What: Dance Theatre
WHEN: 5th – 8th January
WHERE: Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
HOW MUCH: $56-50. More info here.


Wild Bore 

Snarky reviewers, you’re on notice. Zoë Coombs Marr, Usula Martinez and Adrienne Truscott return fire on the critics behind biting reviews, setting up a hilarious showdown with arts critics. Brace yourself for an abundance of back sides, bad dance routines, a Hamlet speech and outrageously rude headpieces.

WHAT: Comedy
WHEN: 24th – 26th January
WHERE: Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
HOW MUCH: $39. More info here.


Jurassic Plastic

Jurassic Plastic is an unlikely rumination on mass consumerism. Japanese artist Hiroshi taps into the nostalgia imbued within our childhood toys, remaking unwanted plastic into colourful ‘Toysaurus’ dinosaur sculptures and vast landscapes. There are hands-on workshops for both kids and adults. Transform masses of plastic from your own discarded toys into explosions of colour, and dinosaurs.

WHEN: 6th – 28th January
WHERE: Sydney Town Hall, 283 George Street, Sydney
HOW MUCH: Free. More info here.


My name is Jimi

Jimi Bani transports you through four generations of his family on the Torres Straits’ Mabuiag Island in an evening of music, dance, stand-up and storytelling. It’s about a community fighting to protect its culture in a rapidly changing world. While Mabuiag Island has seen dark times, Jimi addresses this with hope, honesty and humour.

WHAT: Theatre
WHEN: 5th – 21st January
WHERE: Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvior St, Surry Hills
HOW MUCH: $40-71. More info here.



Do you wonder how The Little Mermaid would actually sound under the sea? Five piece avant-garde ensemble Between the Music spent years conducting experiments on music underwater, creating a world-first aquatic soundscape in small aquariums. The submerged instruments and vocal work both looks and sounds haunting and otherworldly.

WHAT: Performance
WHEN: 6th – 9th January
WHERE: Carriageworks, Bay 17, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
HOW MUCH: $53-69. More info here.


Tree of Codes

Tree of Codes is a ballet. It’s also an exhilarating mashup of dance, visuals and electronic music. Choreographer Wayne McGregor has adapted Jonathan Safran Foer’s unique art-novella for the stage, incorporating installations by Olafur Eliasson and electronic music from UK producer Jamie xx.

WHAT: Dance
WHEN: 6th – 10th January
WHAT: Darling Harbour Theatre, Darling Drive, Darling Harbour
HOW MUCH: $89-169. More info here.


52 Artists, 52 Actions

Artspace opens 52 Artists, 52 Actions, a yearlong series of connections between artists in Sydney and artists in Asia. The objects of each artwork are as diverse as climate change, the refugee crisis and human rights. Artists are invited to create an ‘action’. This can be a performance, an artwork, a shared meal, a podcast, even a projection in the clouds, each marking a week of the year. The only limit is each artist’s imagination.

WHAT: Art Exhibition
WHEN: Open all year from 6th January
WHERE: Artspace, 43-51 Cowper Wharf Street, Woolloomooloo
HOW MUCH: Free. More info here and here.




A colossal panoramic video that interrogates New Zealand’s history of colonialism and cultural identity. Visually ravishing and conceptually challenging, Reihana disrupts notions of beauty, authenticity, history and myth in her vast reimagining of the 1805 French wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique.

WHAT: Art Exhibition
WHEN: January 12th – March 29th
WHERE: Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown
HOW MUCH: Free, more info here.


Pussy Riot Theatre

Through confrontational theatre and blood-pumping music, this is a masterclass in activism from Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina. The punk dissident’s story of persecution and solitary confinement is a chilling picture of the repression awaiting anyone brave enough to criticise Russian president Vladimir Putin. “Freedom doesn’t exist unless you fight for it every day,” Alyokhina says. “The choice is very simple – to act or to stay silent.”

WHAT: Theatre/Activism
WHEN: 27th & 28th of January
WHERE: Carriageworks, Bay 17, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
HOW MUCH: $62-79 Tickets and info here.

Celebrating summer in the city with theatre, dance, circus, music and arts, Sydney Festival is on now until January 28.


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