Top 10 Sydney Culture On this week 14/07/2019
Get ready for a heady time in the Highlands. Splendour in the Grass doesn’t have ‘grass’ in its name for no reason.
10) Art of Africa Opening Celebration
What: Africanologie & THE SPACE gallery welcomes guests to “Art of Africa” group show. Art of Africa is a group show with local artists showcasing the best photos from their numerous trips to Africa.
Why: Instagram but with less saucy nudity, more national geographic nudity. We don’t know what you’re into but you should at the very least pretend not to be aroused.
9) Muriel’s Wedding The Musical
16th July-1st September
What: Muriel is coming back to Sydney! This big, brash and very cheeky new musical will play a strictly limited season at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. Stuck in a dead-end life in Porpoise Spit, Muriel dreams of the perfect wedding – the dress, the church, the attention. Unfortunately, there’s one thing missing. A groom. Following her dreams to Sydney, Muriel ends up with everything she ever wanted. That’s when things start to go really wrong.
Why: Revisit an era when it was plausible to move to Sydney for a better life.
8) 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS Symposium
What: A symposium designed to stimulate discussion, critical thinking and engagement with some of the most important issues explored in the 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS project – censorship, activism, migration, labour, gender and economies of power.
Why: Careful, now. This is a symposium in the modern sense. Less frivolity, more in-depth critical discussions of the sociopolitical landscape. Though we can’t categorically state there’ll be no drinking involved. Pushing the boundaries of conventional thought in this contemporary era isn’t something that inspires psychological well-being.
7) Madama Butterfly
16th July-10th August
What: Graeme Murphy’s arresting new production of Madama Butterfly is a contemporary look at Puccini’s alluring heroine. Fragments of film flutter across the stage, creating a dynamic backdrop for Murphy’s vision of Butterfly. He draws on his roots in choreography to capture the grace and gravity of a tale that begins in rapturous love and ends in the cruellest heartbreak
Why: Paedophilia, teen pregnancy, suicide, a white chick named Kate, it’s all there. If only they didn’t have to sing everything.
6) Spectra: Opening
What: Spectra: The Art and Consequence of Collaboration presents eight Australian artists whose practices are characterised by a deep and innovative engagement with science. The exhibition explores the increasing convergence of art and science, and considers how each area can inform the other.
Why: Finally. A university with students willing to admit art and science go hand-in-hand. For a little exposure and requisite credit points, of course.
5) Platform 818 Wine Dinner
What: All aboard the wine train for a palatable journey through the food and wine landscape via a trip to King Valley in Victoria with Dal Zotto. Each Dal Zotto wine is the blend of three elements – family, tradition and innovation. Start the night with an Australian sparkling wine and canapes. Then sit down for a four-course dinner menu featuring locally-sourced produce with matching wines.
Why: Nothing screams ‘family’ like a LOT of alcohol.
4) Nigel’s Guitar Odyssey
What: Nigel Date is a guitarist who has performed professionally for over 30 years. He plays all styles of music and composes his own. He loves to play jazz particularly in the style of the gypsy guitar great, Django Reinhardt. Nigel will be joined by other musicians presenting Jazz, Blues, Latin, and original tunes intent on creating a classy, fun, and exciting musical experience.
Why: Old world music by a man with an old world name. There’s enough hipster credit here that you can finally shave off that goddamn beard and stop haemorrhaging cash on beard oil.
3) Experimental Music & Poetry Night feat. Jennifer Compton + Clocks & Clouds
What: Come to Garden Lounge for an evening of highly polished poetry and entrancing microtonal music. The night kicks off with a reading from celebrated NZ/Melbourne poet Jennnifer Compton, author of seven books of poetry and numerous plays. Jennifer will be followed by Wollongong-based experimental musicians Clocks and Clouds.
Why: Music so experimental you may not have heard of the genre before. And this time, the genre title doesn’t involve a series of punctuation marks and a guy at the front screaming at you to ‘feel the sick beat’. (Though we’re not completely sure Compton’s canon doesn’t involve a line like that).
2) Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival
What: The Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival was established in 2012 in the NSW country town of Bowral. The Festival attracts some of Australia’s leading writers and thinkers and past speakers have included Mike Carlton, Robert Dessaix, Nikki Gemmell, David Malouf and Don Watson, to name just a few.
Why: What better place is there to creatively analyse the philosophical quandaries of this new technological age than in amongst a series of quiet rolling hillocks?
1) Splendour in the Grass
What: Over 100 of the world’s most exciting, provocative and seminal musicians alongside a crew of revered homegrown talent will descend upon Splendour in the Grass to light up the Amphitheatre, Mix Up, GW McLennan and Tiny Dancer stages this winter. Headlining will be Childish Gambino, making good on Donald Glover axing last year’s Australian tour, alongside Chance The Rapper, who’s bringing a new album with him. Rounding out the headliners is Australian music royalty Tame Impala.
Why: A rarefied experience: A music festival that, as of yet, does not have a criminal record extensive enough to result in a ban.