Qantas Travel Insider: Top 5 Sydney Stage Shows

Spring has sprung and the Harbour City is bursting into bloom with a lively new crop of stage productions bouncing off the boards in September. Here are the five must-see shows opening around town.

1. Sex With Strangers

Walsh Bay is abuzz as Jacqueline McKenzie returns to The Sydney Theatre Company stage after last year’s saucy smash In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play. The equally titillatingly titled Sex With Strangers sees her joined by STC newbie Ryan Corr (of TV’s Packed To The Rafters) for a Gen X-meets-Y rom-com that surfs the tricky ins and outs of negotiating love online. Directed by film industry legend Jocelyn Moorhouse (Proof and How To Make An American Quilt) this super-sharp singleton satire is sure to be a real tweet.

2. OVO

Forget the animals, the circus these days is all about the acrobats, so young and old alike are guaranteed to be rolling up in droves as Montreal’s magnifique Cirque du Soleil tumbles into town with its latest big-top spectacular. OVO (Portuguese for “egg”) brings together 54 performers from 16 countries in a visually sumptuous feast that gives the microscopic world of insects its macro moment in the sun. Expect to see everything from butterflies to beetles as an entire ecosystem wriggles, slithers and flutters into life before your very eyes.

3. I Want To Sleep With Tom Stoppard

Sydney theatre scene darling – and anointed Patrick White playwright winner – Toby Schmitz is behind the Tamarama Rock Surfers’ latest outing, I Want To Sleep With Tom Stoppard. Director Leland Kean (a long-time creative cohort of Schmitz’) has mustered a sterling cast featuring Andrew McFarlane, Caroline Brazier, Tom Stokes and Wendy Strehlow for this playfully acerbic thespian aficionado’s delight. The action centres on a theatre-loving husband and wife who find the drama in their own lives increasing exponentially when their son’s firecracker actress girlfriend crashes their dinner party and ignites a debate about the role of theatre. What ensues is sure to be smoking hot.

4. Private Lives

Can’t get enough Schmitz? Well why feel deprived when you can head over to Belvoir to see the playwright/actor steal the stage in the Noël Coward-penned Private Lives. A scintillating romp of romance on the rocks, the play revolves around two honeymooning couples whose worlds collide when they run into their ex spouses at the same hotel. With Coward’s wealth of wit, artistic director Ralph Myers at the helm, and a dream supporting cast including Toby Truslove, Zahra Newman and Eloise Mignon you just know this will undoubtedly be the best in show of Belvoir’s 2012 season.

5. The Sea Project

A woman, Eva, washes ashore on a beach. The only thing she remembers is her name. Bob rescues her and soon finds he’s falling in love. But then the mysterious Maciek turns up seemingly ready to reveal all. Migrating north from Launceston’s Earl Arts Centre to the Stables in Darlinghurst, The Sea Project is a stirring mediation on memory and identity from playwright Elise Hearst and director Paige Rattray – the team behind Dirtyland, which took the New Theatre by storm last year. Backed by a live musical score and the considerable talents of Meredith Penman (Richard III, MTC) it’s a production that promises laughter and tears in equal measure.
Sex With Strangers
Sept 24 – Nov 24
Sydney Theatre Company
+61 2 9250 1777

Sept 13 – Nov 4
Showring at The Entertainment Quarter
0011 800 1 548 0000

I Want To Sleep With Tom Stoppard
Sept 4 – Sept 22
The Bondi Pavilion Theatre
1300 241 167

Private Lives
Sept 22 – Nov 11
Belvoir Street Theatre
+61 2 9699 3444

The Sea Project
Sept 8 – Sept 29
SBW Stables Theatre
+61 2 9361 3817

Helen Barry is a theatre critic for website Australian Stage

This review first appeared on Qantas Travel Insider