FOLK Magazine’s Top 5 picks of Sydney Festival

Each year, Sydney Festival descends on this city in a whirlwind of sound, colour and unmatched energy. Packed to the brim with both home-grown and international theatre, cabaret, music concerts, visual art installations and talks. The circus even comes to town, literally.
With so much the incredible choice, it’s easy to become frozen at the checkout as you stare at your wish list . So, we’re here to share our favourite picks. In no particular order, here are our top five picks for Sydney Festival 2019.

Since Ali Died | Riverside Theatre

Originally performed to rave reviews in 2018, this award-winning gem of a show returns to Sydney stages before heading to Queanbeyan. Omar Musa tells a story at once personal and bitingly political, in a form that combines poetry and storytelling. He’s more than proven his chops as a performance poet and rapper – so audiences can expect a show where every line will have you  totally enraptured.
Having wrapped its Griffin Theatre season, it’ll be playing from 22-25 January, at Riverside Theatre in Parramatta.

Yellamundie Festival | Carriageworks

First Nations voices are getting the space and recognition they deserve within this year’s programming. Featuring works and stories from international and domestic First Nations voices – we had brilliant theatrical experiences like Deer Woman, Biladurang, Spinifex Gum, and Man with the Iron Neck – and it’s all capped off with the National First People’s Playwriting Festival: Yellamundie. Showcasing new and distinctive voices that we’ll surely hear from in years to come.
The Festival is on 24-26 January, at Carriageworks.

Blak Box | Blacktown Showground Precinct

This is Blak Box, an installation piece put together by Urban Theatre Projects and Blacktown Arts, curated by Daniel Browning. Blak Box is immediately to the eye, very intriguing. Don’t you want to go in there and see what’s inside? Well, you definitely should, because (sorry to ruin the aura of mystery) what you’ll find is a surround-sound pavilion, custom-made for  deep listening experience, wherein participants will hear the voices of Aboriginal elders and future leaders speaking to one another – in a conversation that spans across time and space, and explores contemporary Aboriginality in a wholly unique way.
Until 2 February, in the Blacktown Showground Precinct.

Counting and Cracking | Sydney Town Hall

Larger-than-life is what you may expect from S. Shakthidharan’s Counting and Cracking – A cast of sixteen actors brought together form across the world, a plot that spans generations, a world so big it demanded a whole new stage built in Sydney’s Town Hall. You may expect larger-than-life, but what you’ll get is a beautiful show that never once loses sight of the humanity of its characters: a group of human beings affected equally by the governments above them and the family around them.
Come for the Sri Lankan pre-show meal, stay for what’s already tabbed to be the best show of 2019.
Until 2 February, at Sydney Town Hall.

Le Gateau Chocolat | Festive Garden

Maybe that’s altogether too much theatre for you? What about some alternatives? Well, here we have a smashing cabaret sensation from the UK: Le Gateau Chocolat’s Icons. Described as a tribute to the his musical heroes – audiences can expect to hear from the works of Whitney Houston, David Bowie, Meat Loaf, Pavarotti, and Madonna. Like all good cabarets, this promises to be a tonne of fun, with laughs aplenty and a rousing musical performance from the beautiful baritone.
This one will be playing from 23-27 January, at the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent in the Festive Garden.