Top 10 Sydney Culture On this week 23/02/2020

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10) Liverpool Language Festival 

29th February

What: Get an in-depth insight into the great linguistic diversity of the languages in existence. By the end of this event, you’ll not only have gained a greater insight into the languages on display, but also have realised, that no matter its size, all languages are equally important in the eyes of their native speakers. Each language at the festival will be presented in thirty minute segments, covering both their linguistic and cultural aspects. The languages presented include German, Swabian, Esperanto, Russian, Sanskrit and more.

Why: Learn over five new ways to say, “Sorry, I’m busy this Saturday”.


9) Chernobyl and the Fall of the Soviet Union: Serhii Plokhy

26th February

What: In his award-winning book, Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy, Harvard University professor Serhii Plokhy argues that this was a disaster waiting to happen. A leading historian of Eastern Europe, Plokhy presents the first full analysis of the gripping and unforgettable tragedy, offering us a compelling account of the perpetrators, heroes and victims. Join the winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction as he powerfully and expertly argues that Chernobyl was the catalyst of the Ukrainian revolt and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Why: Take notes. There’s no better way to teach your HBO-preaching friend a lesson than by out-boring them.


8) Fairfield’s Finest Drop: Exhibition Launch & Wine Festival

29th February

What: FCMG will host its first ever Wine Festival, to coincide with the launch of Fairfield’s Finest Drop, an exhibition celebrating local winemakers past and present. Enjoy some grape stomping, together with wine and cheese tasting at this exciting community event featuring the region’s best in food and beverages, live music and family friendly activities.

Why: We are aware that people with children have good reason for being drunkards, but this seems like bad planning. Why ruin a festival for everyone else with your whining progeny when Aldi sells a whole range of sad wines alongside off-brand Panadol, misshapen toddler toe socks and German sugar cereal?’s-Finest-Drop:-Exhibition-Launch-and-Wine-Festival/7d08bbc0-542c-11ea-96b7-b132cf2a7536


7) Les Misérables

22nd-29th February

What: Be transported to nineteenth century France as the team behind hit productions of Mamma Mia!, Jesus Christ Superstar, Shrek, Wicked, Legally Blonde and The Phantom of the Opera bring one of the world’s most iconic musicals – the multi-award-winning classic, Les Misérables to the stage in February 2020. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. This glorious new staging and dazzlingly re-imagined scenery inspired by the works of Victor Hugo, will leave you awestruck. Featuring the thrilling score and beloved songs “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More,” and many more, this epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history.

Why: If ever there were a tonic for a mind agitated by fears of the imminent apocalypse via mass infection or nuclear war, it’s the thought that this musical is the second longest-running musical in the history of the world. In the words of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, “We all deserve to die”.


6) Van Gogh & Japan (Screening)

26th February

What: One cannot understand Van Gogh without understanding how Japanese art arrived in Paris in the middle of the 19th century and the profound impact it had on artists like Monet, Degas and, above all, Van Gogh. Visiting the new galleries of Japanese art in Paris and then creating his own image of Japan through in-depth research, print collecting and detailed discussions with other artists Van Gogh’s encounter with Japanese artworks gave his work a new and exciting direction. In this little known story of Van Gogh’s art we see just how important his study of Japan was. The film travels to Japan, France and the Netherlands to further explore the remarkable heritage that so affected Van Gogh and made him the artist we know of today.

Why: You know, the mentally ill would progress so much as a subset of society if they were to just make the extra effort to be dead and bankable.


5) Banksy and the Rise of Outlaw Art (Screening)

25th February

What: Banksy’s creativity has made him one of the most famous cultural icons of the modern era. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. Some of his most famous works include ‘Cardinal Sin’, ‘The Drinker’, ‘The Antics Roadshow’, ‘Fragile Silence’,’ Art Buff’, ‘Slave Labour’, ‘The Mild Mild West’, ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Bankrobber London’ among many others. This unofficial story of the man and the movement features interviews with Ben Eine (world-famous artist), Steve Lazarides (Banksy’s former right-hand man), John Nation (graffiti pioneer), Felix ‘FLX’ Braun (author & artist), Risk (renowned street artist), Ket (author & artist), Scape (author & artist), Will Ellsworth-Jones (Banksy biographer), Richard Jones (author & publisher), Simon Reynolds (pop-culture author) and Claire De Dobay Rifelj (art historian).

Why: See a film about the richest anti-consumerist since Pope Ratzinger.


4) ‘What Matters?’ Queer Poetry Slam

28th February

What: Discover Australia’s most subversive and boldly original queer poets at this raucous poetry competition. The slammers will express what matters as they heat up the historic Cell Block Theatre with words of protest, love, rage and power. With a special guest host and some guest performances throughout the Slam, the night before Mardi Gras Parade is completely covered. Featuring host Kween G and special guest performer Betty Grumble.

Why: No matter how much those in power malign and demonise you for who you are, take comfort in the fact that the pervasive, aching boredom created by live poetry will always be a grand unifier.’What-Matters’-Queer-Poetry-Slam/999ae1a0-542c-11ea-96b7-b132cf2a7536


3) Short+Sweet Theatre 

23rd February-26th April

What: The biggest little play festival will be returning once again with a smorgasbord of 10-minute plays to delight your tastebuds, with hundreds of talented actors, writers and directors showcasing their skills and bringing you a wonderful season of short theatre. The Short+Sweet festival is a wonderful tool for writers, directors and actors who want to share their voice and talent in a professional environment and venue. The festival multiplies participants’ raw and creative energy, with different ensembles, directors and writers exchanging ideas, learning from each other and providing creative inspiration.

Why: They’ve somehow managed to make a shorter run-time in live theatre more indie. This truly is the golden age of humanity.


2) Jason Alexander ‘Master of His Domain’ Tour

23rd February

What: Jason Alexander – Master of His Domain is an evening of comedy, music and conversation with the award winning star of stage and screen where you, the audience get to decide what’s let out of the vault. Alexander will present a variety of topics for the audience to pick and choose from, culminating in behind the scenes story of his life and his brilliant career. Ask him anything! In addition to his hit role on Seinfeld, he has starred on Broadway, has been nominated for six consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and appeared in hit films like Pretty Woman and Shallow Hal. He’s an actor, director, producer, writer, kids book author, award winning magician, semi-pro poker player and social/political activist. You’ll feel more inadequate than George Costanza once you’ve heard all the amazing things Jason Alexander has managed to achieve in his career. So don’t be a Costanza and get your tickets for this once in a lifetime event – it’s gonna be a Festivus for the rest of us!

Why: As you can see from the press release for the event, he’s clearly moved on from the Seinfeld days in terms of his career and his personal mental development.‘Master-of-His-Domain’-Tour-(Sydney-2nd-Show)/fd27ee70-46bc-11ea-96b7-b132cf2a7536


1) Jonathan Van Ness: Road To Beijing 

28th February

What: Queer Eye star and celebrity hairstylist, Jonathan Van Ness, is set to bring his Road to Beijing world tour to Australia & New Zealand for the very first time this February! In an unforgettable live show, fans can expect to experience Jonathan’s fabulous, unstoppable energy as he serves up cirque-du-so-gay-realness between stand-up sets so good your face will be in need of a massage from all the smiling!

Why: Because the best comedians are known for their optimism.

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