Our editor Charlotte’s top picks for those of us who can’t afford to, or couldn’t stand to, see another commercial musical!
March of 2022 is almost here and with restrictions easing, theatre and live performance in Sydney are back with a vengeance. If your New Year’s resolution this year is to see more theatre, you’ve got no idea where to start with what seems like millions of theatres in Sydney, or you’re flat broke and you think you can’t afford to see shows, this list is for you.
In our new monthly feature on Theatre Thoughts, I’m featuring up and coming artists in Sydney in comedy, dance, cabaret and independent theatre in a list of shows you can see for about the same price as going to the movies and getting a bucket of popcorn and a drink (roughly 40 bucks). Plus, you’ll be able to brag to your friends that you’re so cultured because you’ve been to the t h e a t r e.
Because I’m a bit of a snob, I’ve also included ONE special treat show from a major theatre company that you should see if you’ve got the cash. I have reluctantly also included a special treat musical for March that I’ve heard is simply unmissable.
You can find tickets linked for every show by clicking their title. Now, go see some theatre!
Theatre festivals, arts festivals and fringe festivals are a fantastic way to find great theatre for not a lot of money. Here’s what’s on in March that’s part of a festival:
Kings Cross Theatre, 7 – 12 March
If you like understated, emotional movies like Marriage Story or Lady Bird, and you’re worried about watching the world collapse around you, then this play is for you. Adapted from a collection of short stories by Wollongong writer Joshua Lobb, it’s a beautiful piece of theatre that features an unusual wire bird, various bird calls, and some acrobatic scarves. Think blues, whites, and struggling to relate to your Dad.
Fledgling is part of KXT’s PANIMO PANDEMONIUM, a festival of new and early emerging artists running until March 13.
You can get $20 tickets on Thursdays if you’re under thirty with the code KXT20for20s.
The Music Room @ The Old Observer Hotel, 5 – 6 March
If you’re not already going to Mardi Gras the first weekend of March, or you need some laughs to cure your hangover, you can catch the end of the Sydney Fringe Festival Sideshow at the Old Observer Hotel. Featuring a mix of local and international comedians like Cassie Workman from TikTok (@ghostcassie) and the inimitable Robyn Reynolds (I laughed so hard I broke her Auslan interpreter when I first saw her), this is a night of stand up comedy that’ll be a lot more interesting than watching a recorded Netflix special at home.
Tickets are $24.
Darlinghurst Theatre Company, 3 – 6 March
Big Thick Energy is a 4 day body positive festival including everything from markets and workshops to saucy cabaret performances. All festival events are Auslan interpreted. You can learn Pin Up Make-Up, Queer Sex Ed, and then watch some Drag and a Poetry Slam in the evening. YES PLEASE?!
Day Passes start from $30, or you can build a package on their website.
Darlinghurst Theatre Company always has “Pay What You Can” tickets for those who face barriers to attending theatre. Find out more on the event page.
Griffin Theatre Company, 18 Feb – 19 March
Orange Thrower is yet another fantastic piece of theatre directed by Play School‘s Zindzi Okenyo. Zadie, a young South African woman, holds down the fort while her parents are away. Suddenly, a loud stranger throws oranges and bursts back into Zadie’s life, throwing everything into a sticky mess. A comedy, a tragedy, an everything. Think Michael Gow’s Away (for the initiated) or Jasper Jones, The Dry and other Australian explorations of racism and other -isms. This quote from the program describes it best:
“A chaotic investigation and emotional
celebration of womanness, blackness,
colouredness, mixedness, otherness,
youngness, or any other ‘ness’ that may
feel familiar to one sitting on the margin.”
You can get $20 tickets on Mondays, available from noon that Monday until sold out. Under 35s tickets are $38.
Kings Cross Theatre, 16 – 26 March
Feeling brave? Little Jokes in Times of War is a one-woman show telling stories of crisis. Featuring storytelling, dance, poetry, re-enactments, documentary footage and collages, this play is for when you’re feeling like you don’t know what to eat. Think slam poetry, think 7 Stages of Grieving, think generational trauma.
$20 tickets on Thursdays if you’re under thirty with the code KXT20for20s.
Downstairs Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre, 2 – 19 March
Part of Belvoir’s 25A program, in which Belvoir gives emerging and independent artists theatre space for free if they can make a show for less than $1500, this show is about madness and grief. Set in an isolated, desolate hotel, it explores the relationships between two couples unknown to each other after one of them has lost a baby. Based on the novel of the same name by French author Marguerite Duras. Think Sally Rooney’s Normal People, The Lost Daughter or even Sarah Paulson in Ratched.
Tickets to 25A shows are always $25! You can even use your Dine and Discover voucher and go for FREE.
Shopfront Arts Co-op, 24 – 27 March
Love conspiracy theories? This play follows NASA workers, filmmakers, and backup astronauts as they try to fake the moon landing. But then, Apollo 11 explodes. Think Stanley Kubrick, space and frantic problem solving.
Tickets are $20 for concession, and $25 for adults.
NOT A PLAY OR A MUSICAL (but still theatre)
Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres, 18 – 19 March
A new “rollicking” work of dance, this piece is about keeping everything afloat when it feels like the rest of it is sinking. Featuring young performers who are open minded and full of heart, this is not your average night at the theatre. If you like Step Up, So You Think You Can Dance or even OK Go’s music videos, this might just be for you.
Tickets are $28 for concession, and $38 for adults.
The “big” theatre you might not have heard about. Put your money where your politics are (is?) and see something a little bit more interesting for your brain.
Wharf 1 Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, 11 March – 13 April
Premiering in 2019 at the beloved Riverside Theatre and now on the Wharf stage, this show is about a team of young ambitious women trying to create buzz for their new skin-whitening cream. An ad in development leaks early, viral chaos ensues. Written by Thai-Australian Anchuli Felicia King, this is the next step in emerging theatre. Think cancel culture, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, Crazy Rich Asians.
Under 30s tickets are $49 Monday through Thursday, or restricted view seats are $34 every day of the week.
Sydney Opera House, until 2 April
If you haven’t heard about Six the Musical, then you definitely need to go and see some theatre. Re-introducing the six wives of Henry VIII as feminist pop sensations, this is a good time for your heart and your head. Think Horrible Histories, Queen Bey’s Lemonade or even Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
You can find our review of Six here.
Tickets start from $49. Check out the Tix app for special deals.
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