The Visitors | Moogahlin Performing Arts

Image by Jamie James

Inspired by the jury room drama Twelve Angry Men, Jane Harrison’s new play imagines those fateful days in January 1788 when the First Fleet entered Sydney Harbour. The seven surrounding clan leaders gather to hold a tense discussion about whether to welcome these visitors or turn them away before it’s too late.

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Bronze Lands (Tailte Cré-Umha) | Robert Curgenven

Bronze Lands (Tailte Cré-Umha). Credit Yaya Stempler (3)

Image by Yaya Stempler

In a treat for Sydney-siders, the rarely played Sydney Town Hall organ came alive for a night with composer and performer Robert Curgenven. For a meditative hour, Curgenven guided listeners through an overwhelming multi-sensory experience.

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Forget Me Not | Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes

Image by Dahlia Katz

The guests have gathered and are awaiting her arrival but before she can appear, there is a story to be told about how the past snags on the present and the silly business of love tangles itself through time. Forget Me Not is a layered, interactive magic world almost too elaborate to fully picture or put into words.

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Lady Tabouli | National Theatre of Parramatta

Image by Robert Catto

Life doesn’t stop for anyone. For this Lebanese-Australian family, they want to focus on their son and nephew’s christening but uncomfortable truths, family secrets, and the tension between love and belief threaten to unravel the carefully orchestrated day. It wasn’t what Danny planned for, but he may have found the limit of his family’s unconditional love.

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BLACK TIES | ILBIJERRI Theatre Company & Te Rēhia Theatre

Image by Yaya Stempler

Kane and Hera are in love and want to take their relationship to the next stage but marriage will mean confronting the families they’ve been avoiding and the long list of expectations their relationship doesn’t meet. This cross-Tasman collaboration brings together a Māori and an Aboriginal family for a major culture clash.

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Joan Didion’s The White Album | Lars Jan & Early Morning Opera

Image by Yaya Stempler

Based on the 1979 essay, Joan Didion’s The White Album covers five years in California from 1968-1972 where Didion weaves politics, crime, Hollywood celebrities, and her autobiography into a volatile portrait of paranoia and isolation. Lars Jan and Early Morning Opera introduce bodies, light, sound, and space into the words to deepen the impact and resonance of this already seminal piece.

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Beware of Pity | Schaubühne Berlin & Complicité

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Image by Jamie Williams

On the cusp of World War I, a young soldier is invited to Baron Kekesfalva’s castle for a party. After embarrassing himself by asking the Baron’s paralysed daughter to dance, Anton Hofmiller attempts to apologise and sets in motion his entanglement with this sad and unusual family. This joint production between Schaubühne Berlin and Complicité based on the Austrian novel by Stefan Zweig is a dark and arresting examination of the rotting influence of pity on a life and its relationships.

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The Weekend | Moogahlin Performing Arts

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Image by Prudence Upton

Lara is interstate working as a dancer to support her two young boys back in Sydney when she receives a call that their father, who was supposed to watching them, hasn’t been home for two days. She has the weekend to fly home, take care of her boys, find her partner, and settle the situation before returning to Cairns by Monday. This one-woman production is about the battleground of family and addiction set in Sydney’s public housing.

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Counting and Cracking | Belvoir & Co-Curious

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Image by Brett Boardman

In the centre of Town Hall’s iconic Victorian design, Belvoir and Co-Curious have erected an immense courtyard which will become a house, a prison, a playground, and a beach over nearly 50 years of four generations and two countries. Counting and Cracking is about family, culture, and a sense of self and the way these are torn apart or trodden down by politics, war, and fear.

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HOME | Geoff Sobelle and Beth Morrison Projects

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Image by Victor Frankowski

This review comes from Night Writes guest reviewer Gabriella Florek.

Having seen just a short minute or so long trailer of Home, and leaving the inspection of the program notes until after the show, I had a few wild ideas of what I might experience from the opening night. But, nothing about Geoff Sobelle’s magic production was what I expected it to be.

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