CHEAP THRILLS: Sydney Theatre you need to see in July

It’s the start of a brand new financial year – get that tax money and spend it on this month’s fix of Cheap Thrills!

New to Theatre Thoughts and Cheap Thrills? Here’s the deal: this list contains some great theatre by great emerging artists for around $40. With each show is a fun description including some similar Netflix-ish recs for those of you who aren’t theatre nerds like me. This month I’ve got a couple of fun new musicals, some witches, and the final show at King’s Cross Theatre before they move venues!

Because I can’t help myself, I’ve also included TWO special treat shows from major theatre companies (read: more expensive) that you should see if you’ve got the cash. I also have some sneaky suggestions for getting sweet deals.

You can find tickets linked for every show by clicking their title. Now, go see some theatre!

Check out some MORE recommendations still running from June’s Cheap Thrills here.

THEATRICAL DREAMS

Continuing the surrealist, dreamy theme here are some great performance artists doing some cool stuff.

LILAC by Jackson Used

Kings Cross Theatre, 24 June – 9 July

Drawn together, George and Diana embark on a passionate and consuming love affair, bound by their collective gravity. Lilac explores whether the joy of being together is worth the cost of persistence. Something like Feel Good and Marriage Story, this is another shining indie production at KXT about the push and pull of toxic relationships.

Concession tickets are $35 and adults $45. You can get $20 tickets on Thursdays if you’re under thirty with the code KXT20for20s.

MOON RABBIT RISING devised by Little Eggs Collective

Belvoir St Theatre, 29 June – 10 July

A work devised by its cast and directed by Nicole Pingon, Moon Rabbit Rising is a theatrical adventure based on the Chinese legend of 后羿 (Hou Yi) and 嫦娥 (Chang’e). Hou Yi and Chang’e are two immortals living in heaven, who volunteer to help the Jade Emperor when he transforms his ten sons into ten suns and causes the Earth to scorch. The Jade Emperor banishes Hou Yi and Chang’e to Earth and they try to find immortality again, and Chang’e ends up taking too much of the immortality pill and ends up on the moon. This performance asks, as we await the rising moon, what stories dance in the shadows? Find Chang’e in movies like The Joy Luck Club, and see this one if you like things like Mulan, or Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Moon Rabbit Rising is 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. Check out the rest of the season here.

All tickets are $25!

BURN WITCH BURN by Tasnim Hossain and Claudia Osborne

Redline Productions at the Old Fitz, 7 – 30 July

FERVOUR.’s next production (remember Destroy, She Said from May?), BURN WITCH BURN is a deep dive into over a thousand years of witch iconography and pop culture. A “dark theatrical descent into the monstrous feminine”, based on the 1962 horror film The Night of the Eagle, based on the 1943 novel Conjure Wife and later released in the US as Burn Witch Burn, this is another adaptation, of an adaptation, of an adaptation. Flipping witches like Sabrina or Samantha from Bewitched on their heads, this is an “unpacking of freedom” for women and witches everywhere – and how to use darkness to get what we want.

Cheap Tuesday tickets are $33 for everyone, Adults $45 and Concession $38 on other nights.

ATTEMPTS ON HER LIFE by Martin Crimp

Montague Basement at the Kings Cross Theatre, 15 – 30 July

The final production at King’s Cross Theatre’s iconic venue on the second level of the King’s Cross Hotel, this is a new production of Martin Crimp’s 1997 Attempts on Her Life. Using a live video feed and five female performers, the work centres around Anne, Annie, Anya or Anushka, who is an artist, a terrorist, a brand of car, and everything else. Our images are everywhere – how do we curate them? Something like The Social Dilemma, Black Mirror, and other social media docos before social media was a thing, this is one to look out for.

Concession tickets are $35 and adults $45. You can get $20 tickets on Thursdays if you’re under thirty with the code KXT20for20s.

ALBION by Mike Bartlett

Secret House, New Ghosts Theatre Company at the Seymour Centre, 27 July – 13 Aug

Against advice from family and friends, Audrey buys an old house in ruins and dreams of restoring the once magnificent garden. As she clings to the significance of the past, she searches for seeds of hope in the future. Paying tribute to The Cherry Orchard, this drama is about the huge tensions between preserving the past and radically informing the present. If you didn’t study this one at school, think along the lines of Master of None, Under the Tuscan Sun, or Colin Firth’s storyline in Love Actually.

Adult tickets are $49, Concession $39, Under 35 $35. Previews are $33.

MUSICALS

I know I said it’s hard to find a musical for not a lot of money – but look! I found some MORE, just for you:

UGLY LOVE by Lucy Matthews

Flight Path Theatre, 14 – 23 July

Jess and Sam have been together for nine years, and they’ve fallen into a rut. And, as many of us do, they find themselves in a new and exciting “ethical slut” aka polyamorous arrangement. But being an ethical slut isn’t all fun and games – as we’ll find out in song and dance. If you like The L Word, You Me Her, or that storyline about the bisexual lawyer and her husband in Why Women Kill, this one is right up your alley.

General Admission tickets are $35, Concession $25. Cheap Tuesday tickets are $25 for everyone.

TEEN ANGST by the Senior Ensemble

Shopfront Arts Co-op, 7 – 10 July

A new production from Lucy Heffernan and the brilliant young people at Shopfront, Teen Angst is about finding your voice via rock musical cabaret. Super tight at only forty minutes – this is bound to be a hoot and a rock and roll shout! Think High School Musical meets Sex Education meets Degrassi.

Tickets are $25 for Adults, $20 for Concession and $15 for Shopfront Members. An AUSLAN interpreted performance is on July 8.

SPECIAL TREAT

The “big” theatre you should splurge on – but different!

LA TRAVIATA by Verdi

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House, 5 July – 4 November

If you’re a total newbie to opera, why not splurge a bit, dress up with friends and give it a go? Guaranteed to make you feel very fancy, La Traviata is a lush period production about Violetta the free and freespirited courtesan mourned by the whole of Paris upon her death. Just like Moulin Rouge, this is the classic opera experience.

Find Opera Australia’s La Traviata viewing guide here. My favourite fun fact is that Edward takes Vivian to see La Traviata in Pretty Woman – how’s that for intertextuality?

Tickets range from $79 – $335.

Read our review of Melbourne’s production here!

SANDSONG: STORIES OF THE GREAT SANDY DESERT by Bangarra Dance Theatre

Sydney Opera House, until 23 July

Under the vast Kimberley sky, the red pindan dust stretches across the desert homelands of the Walmajarri, where the ancient knowledge of People and of Country is preserved through Songlines that have endured for hundreds of generations. Sandsong tells the unique story of this Place and the survival of its People. With five star reviews a plenty, Bangarra Dance Theatre is an Australian treasure that you must see at least once in your life. With lush costumes, beautiful sets and entrancing sound – it’s not hard to see why.

Under 30 tickets are $49, Standard tickets range from $89 – $109.

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