Softly, Surely | subtlenuance

In an unnamed city, a group of strangers, acquaintances, and family members cross paths again and again without realising. They’re all struggling to find peace and purpose in their lives whether they have years stretching out before them or the end looms on the horizon. But they share one common coping mechanism: song.

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Labyrinth | Dream Plane Productions

The world of big finance is deliberately obscured such that the average person isn’t aware of a problem until the economy comes crashing down around them and they lose all their savings. It’s part of the appeal of movies like the Big Short or Wall Street, which part the curtain on banks, brokerages, and the intricate financial systems that hold them all together. Beth Steel’s 2016 script shoulders its way behind the scenes of the 1981 US Recession, specifically, and the banks that made it possible.

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The Sweet Science of Bruising | Theatre Travels & One Good Act

Image by Becky Matthews

There’s something in the Sydney theatre air that means 2022 has been the year of productions focused on women’s emancipation and their right to choose their life path. Hush, A Letter for Molly, and Ghosting the Party considered mothering; Lady Windermere’s Fan, Lady Precious Stream, and A Doll’s House saw women navigating marriage contracts; and Chef, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes, and now the Sweet Science of Bruising turn different lens on violence in women’s lives to examine power, freedom, and choice.

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Young Bodies / Somebody’s | Flight Path Theatre

Image by Becky Matthews

Three women, three lives, one house, one family. When a change in living conditions splits them up for the first time, the women in this family, two daughters and their mother, feel more exposed than they expected. They begin lashing out at each other and at their memories of the people they thought they would grow into. Some problems can be worked through while others just need to be let go.

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Silenced | Vocovox

In 2004, while accepting the Sydney Peace Prize at the University of Sydney, novelist and political activist Arundhati Roy said, “There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” She was pushing back against the myth that oppressed groups are voiceless and need others to speak for them by acknowledging that the gaps in the discourse or debate or historical record are actually deliberate omissions and erasures. Silenced picks up on the same concerns and grapples with the social, professional, and political consequences of being one of the silenced, specifically of being a woman under patriarchy.

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Charles & Larry | Secret House

Image by Clare Hawley

Charles and Larry are still brothers even if they haven’t seen each other for 10 years. Neither of their lives have gone entirely to plan but maybe reconnecting will open up much needed space for healing and forgiveness. Or it’ll have them both spiralling backwards. It’s worth trying, though, right?

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Hush | New Ghosts Theatre Company

Image by Clare Hawley

It’s symbolic that a play about difficult birthing stories would have such a protracted pregnancy spanning from Lucy Clement’s idea in 2019 to the stage in 2022 after multiple postponements due to the pandemic. But the frustrating process reflected the feelings of uncertainty, fear, disappointment, and resentment in these women’s experiences, the sides not often shared about motherhood.

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Taz vs The Pleb | Rogue Projects & Kasia Vickery

Image by Noni Carroll Photography

This year will mark five years since the Australian Marriage Postal Survey in which the government took a plebiscite of all Australian citizens to gauge support of legalising same-sex marriage. It was a deeply traumatic time for the LGBTQIA+ community as the debate of their rights was put on a national stage and explicitly inserted into their everyday interactions with neighbours, coworkers, and family.

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TattleTales | Ponydog Productions

Image by Ezekiel Rodofili

For thousands of years people have been building connections through rituals and one of the most enduring rituals is storytelling. In this immersive and interactive production, the audience is invited into the show to construct their own unique story together, a story never told before or since.

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Morning Star: First Horn | Flight Path Theatre

Image by Kate Wooden

Hannah Arendt’s theory on the banality of evil has become part of the common vernacular when considering the darker side of humanity; the way the whispers of cruelty seep into people undetected until the unthinkable happens. In the two-part production Morning Star, a group of writers imagine the consequences of pernicious ideas infiltrating otherwise unremarkable narratives.

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