All posts by David Kary

David Kary completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts (BCA) at Wollongong University between 1990 and 1992 majoring in Arts Journalism and Theatre Studies. Since completing his degree in 1992 he has been writing continuously about the performing arts. He has contributed to a number of publications including Stage Whispers (16 years), The Messenger, South Sydney Bulletin, Tharunka, Sydney Observer, Latte Life Double Bay, and the Australian Jewish News. Since 2005, he has been the publisher and editor of the online Arts magazine Sydney Arts Guide:- He is a member of the Australian Journalists Association (AJA) of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), the Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts (AACTA), the Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA), and is a member of the Helpmann Awards Voting Collegiate.


For their current show Mosman Musical Society celebrates classic old songs,  jazz standards and cabaret numbers, The production is set in a beautiful converted old church which provided a wonderful atmosphere along with very fine acoustics. In true cabaret style the audience enjoyed the show from candle-lit seating with cheese platters and champagne on offer.

The show featured a large cast of singers and dancers well directed by Nicola Wilson  with expert choreography by Lisa Frisina. Continue reading FLY ME TO THE MOON @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY


Sydney recently lost another intimate theatre venue with the demise of Newtown’s King Street Theatre. The theatre was located on the corner of King and Bray Streets on the St Peters end of King Street.

Over its time the theatre has had two main owners, the original founders of the theatre, (back in the nineteen eighties), Jepke Goudsmit and Graham Jones who ran the theatre as the Edge Theatre. During their time the Theatre was home to many dance and experimental works. 

Over recent years Markus Weber and his wife Maria de Marco, took over the running of the theatre running under the name the King Street Theatre.

Sydney Arts Guide has received an article written by Jepke  in response to the fall of the theatre. It is published below unedited.


Some reflections on the life and loss of a unique place: THE EDGE, last known as THE KING STREET THEATRE, by its original founders, Jepke Goudsmit & Graham Jones (co-directors of Kinetic Energy Theatre Company).

Good, affordable theatre venues and practice studios for the performing arts have long been hard to come by in Sydney. Unfortunately, that still is the case. The latest victim of our city’s rat race for survival is our former home base: that intimate little theatre at the bottom end of King Street in Newtown, which we set up in 1985. We named it THE EDGE, as our contemporary theatre practice was precarious and experimental, crossing comfortable borders and pushing conventional boundaries. And also because we were literally at the edge of the city where it borders the Inner West. We spent nearly 18 years there, before handing it on. It changed name then, and did so a few more times, as different directors and companies gave running it a go.

We don’t want to start a long litany about the inequalities and neglect suffered by the spear-headers of culture, (ie our society’s creators, communicators and imaginative initiators). Nor moan and groan about the impossible tightrope walking we are often forced to perform in order to stay alive and true to our calling. We would rather take a moment to reflect on our contribution to the rich history of this unique space, and particularly when it was our artistic home. Continue reading THE FALL OF THE KING STREET THEATRE : A PERSONAL RESPONSE


Woollahra Council held  a lovely ceremony this morning, on a beautiful  autumn day, to celebrate the placement of a plaque  for the Wintergarden Theatre on the foothpath outside the present, very attractive Wintergarden apartments.

The plaque ceremony is part of Woollahra Council’s ongoing Plaque scheme, the purpose of which is to capture significant parts of a community’s local history for the benefits of locals. The Scheme is driven by locals nominating people or sites for commemoration with a plaque. Each year the Woollahra Plaques Committee recommends six nominations to Council.  

Local resident Richard Davis nominated a plaque be made for the Wintergarden  and his nomination was put before Council by architect and former Councillor Chris Howe.    Continue reading WOOLLAHRA COUNCIL STAMPS WINTERGARDEN THEATRE IN HISTORY


Pic John Marmeras

American playwright Sarah Delappe takes us into the world of a late teenage women’s soccer team, THE WOLVES. The play has been generating some social media  interest which makes sense considering how women’s soccer in Australia is doing so well, and especially our much loved national team, the Matildas.

THE WOLVES follows the team as they compete over a number of matches in an attempt to qualify for the Nationals. The players are keen to make careers in the sport and are hoping to be discovered by talent scouts who come to their games.

Whilst it is a sports story, the focus is more personal as we  get to know each of the girls, and their issues. For instance, there’s the goalkeeper suffering from high anxiety who isn’t able to open up to the group and spends a lot of time rushing to the toilet and throwing up.

I enjoyed the simplicity of the staging. Design wise, the stage mimics a soccer pitch with artifical grass and a white line marking for half way. There is also one long bench with water bottles sitting on top. And also stage wide netting which separates the players from the audience. Continue reading THE WOLVES @ THE OLD FITZ


Featured image – Rose Fenny as Tanya Boyle in Bankstown Theatre Company’s production of ‘Dogfight’. 

Written by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, the same writers of the Broadway-hit Dear Evan Hansen, DOGFIGHT is set in 1963, beginning on the eve of three young recruits’ deployment to a growing conflict in Vietnam.

On their final night of debauchery, partying and trouble-making, Corporal Eddie Birdlace (Stefan Jamal), angry and inexperienced, meets unsuspecting, trusting, and idealistic waitress Rose Fenny (Tanya Boyle) and enlists her to win an unkind bet with his fellow recruits.

Rose turns out to be far more than Eddie bargained for. What will Eddie do when Rose rewrites the rules, opens Eddie’s eyes to what really matters in life, and turns his last night before heading to war into a lesson on the power of kindness?! Continue reading DOGFIGHT @ BANKSTOWN ARTS CENTRE


Some play titles just hit the mark and this is definitely the case with the Goodale Brothers show PERFECT NONSENSE, the new production by the Hunters Hill Theatre Company.

PERFECT NONSENSE is a theatrical adaptation of PG Wodehouse’s novel The Code of the Woosters and features many favourite Wodehouse characters  including most notably Bertie Wooster and Jeeves.

The show really is a lot of comic nonsense with a very hairbrain, ludicrous plot line which one can either take or leave. The pleasures lie mainly in the play’s rich theatricality; there are just three male actors in the cast  who treat us to an array of goofy characters of both genders.

It’s a delight with everything done so playfully. Director Maggie Scott captures the tone of the production perfectly.  Props are brought in and in off the stage by the cast to ‘telegraph’/set the various scenes with great obviousness,  and humour. There are plenty of  costume and wig changes as the actors swap between characters. The cast also treat us to some improvisation and clever asides. Continue reading PERFECT NONSENSE @ THE HUNTERS HILL THEATRE


The 21st Biennale of Sydney opens to the public tomorrow Friday, 16 March, presenting the work of 70 artists and artist collectives from six continents, at seven locations around Sydney, in a free, three-month exhibition running until 11 June 2018. This year, Australia’s pre-eminent contemporary art event celebrates its 45th anniversary and has been curated by Artistic Director Mami Kataoka exploring the theme of SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement.

The 21st Biennale of Sydney – recognised for commissioning and showcasing innovative and thought-provoking Australian and international art – is presented at seven of the city’s most respected museums, galleries and non-traditional exhibition spaces: Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW), Artspace, Carriageworks, Cockatoo Island, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), Sydney Opera House and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Participating artists hail from six continents including Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America and Europe with a quarter of the exhibiting artists from Australia. Continue reading 21st BIENNALE OF SYDNEY OPENS TO THE PUBLIC


Sometimes it is the smaller theatre spaces which give us some of our  richest theatrical experiences?

I, and I am sure other long time theatregoers, will fondly remember having some very special nights at the tiny Lookout Theatre in Woollahra, set up by long time theatre lover and producer, Andrea Baker. The Lookout theatre fitted less than thirty people and yet it managed  to survive for quite a few years until the pub where it resided, decided to close the venue down and turn  it into a poker machine room.

Likewise, I am sure that many will fondly remember many good nights had at Belvoir Street Theatre’s intimate Downstairs Theatre with just over eighty seats,  enjoying Belvoir’s B Sharp seasons of plays, one of Neil Armfield’s finest innovations during his long tenure as the Company’s Artistic Director.

Earlier this week Eamon Flack, Belvoir’s current Artistic Director, announced that it is bringing the intimate theatre ‘properly’ back to life after having been used infrequently over the last seven years. From April to  December Belvoir will be hosting Season 25A, a series of independent plays, The rehearsal and theatre spaces will be given to Companies for free, and they will receive marketing support. Continue reading BELVOIR ANNOUNCES ITS INAUGURAL SEASON 25A


Playwright Travis Cotton has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Lysicrates Prize for his play Starfish. Co-presented by Griffin Theatre Company and The Lysicrates Foundation, the prize—now in its fourth year—celebrates the best new Australian writing.

Starfish was shortlisted alongside The Hollow Queen by H Lawrence Sumner and GALILEE by Christine Evans. Cotton will receive a full commission of $15,000 to finish the play.

Firstly, I would to congratulate my fellow playwrights for their outstanding work. It was a joy to listen to their words. Secondly to Griffin, not only for the grand prize, but for the support and fanfare the three finalists receive,

“Writing can be a very lonely job. Months can pass by—heck, years—whilst receiving little to no encouragement. Hundreds of thousands of words can be written in a void of self-doubt that, quite simply, must be overcome. To listen to actors speak the words I have written, and to have people discuss my work, makes my heart soar, and strengthens my resolve as I work towards being a great Aussie contemporary playwright, Cotton said.

Travis graduated from WAAPA in 1999 and been has working in the theatre ever since. Some of his plays include, Rites of Evil, Robots Vs. Art, and 80 Minutes No Interval. They have played around Australia at venues such as The Blue Room, The Old Fitz, Red Stitch, La Mama, and The Store Room.  Continue reading TRAVIS COTTON WINS MAJOR PLAYWRITING AWARD


Although no Australian won a major Oscar award there was an Australian connection with the big winner of the night Guillermo del Toro winning Oscars for Best Director, and Best Film. Del Toro  wisely stood aside from directing this film to direct The Shape Of Water. 

Like the prequel (which Del Toro directed ) much of PACIFIC RIM UPRISING (with del Toro co-producing) was filmed in amongst places Cronulla, North Sydney, Barangaroo, Fox Studios Moore Park as well as Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

As a treat for the film’s fans  a couple of its stars John Boyega, from the rebooted Star War series, Scott Eastwood, son of Clint and a protagonist in the first film, accompanied by its Director Steven S. DeKnight, posed for photos  as well as conducting brief chats.

PACIFIC RIM UPRISING opens in cinemas on Thursday 23rd March, 2018.

Featured photo – Steven S. DeKnight, John Boyega, Scott Eastwood and fans. Pic Ben Apfelbaum.



Production pic by Prudence Upton.

This show has a sadly too short season but if at all possible try and catch it if you can. This show had a rare combination of being a very warm, vibrant comedy as well as having plenty to say.

The play features a ‘hothouse’ scenario  with an interracial love story sitting at the heart of the play.  Shari Sebbens plays brilliant indigenous lawyer Charlotte Gibbons who has fallen in love with white, talented cellist Frances Smith, played by Tom Stokes. The  couple introduce themselves to each other’s family, who know nothing of the interracial nature of their romance at a Christmas lunch held by Charlotte’s parents, Ray Gibson, played by Tony Briggs and wife Joan, played by  Melanie Reynolds-Diarra.

Also in attendance at the lunch are  Francis’ parents, Dennison Smith, Geoff Morrell, and Marie Smith Vanessa Downing, as well as Charlotte’s very perky sister, Rose, Miranda Tapsell, and her footie star boyfriend Sonny Jones, Anthony Toufa. Will the couple  survive the Christmas lunch grilling?! Continue reading BLACK IS THE NEW WHITE @ ROSYLN PACKER THEATRE


Theatregoers are welcome to attend the World Premiere of IO, MAMMETA ET TU, a play written by the youngest ever AWGIE winner, Andrea Dal Bosco, and presented by the Settlement Services International (SSI)- Future Ability Project.

With stories, song and dance, this drama production shares what it is to live a life less able. The contemporary interactive multi-media and live play experience enlightens audiences, helping Italo-Australians gain a clear understanding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the support available and how lives can be changed.

Writer/Director Andrea Dal Bosco was born and raised in Sydney’s Little Italy, Leichhardt. Andrea is still the youngest ever recipient of an Australian Writers Guild Award (AWGIE), through his work creating award-winning film and television in Australia and around the world for the past 30 years. Andrea has written two best selling books on the immigrant experience based on his groundbreaking SBS series TALES FROM A SUITCASE, and is well versed in all things Italian. Continue reading IO, MAMMETA ET TU : LIVING WITH DISABILITY


The Sydney Comedy Festival has unveiled its 2018 program filled with over 210 side-splitting shows delivered by a smorgasbord of comedy stars for the 14th annual comedy extravaganza from April 23rd to May 20th.

Sydney Comedy Festival Director, Jorge Menidis, said, “It is an absolute pleasure to present this comedy behemoth to the good folk of Sydney. Following the 2017 fest, we set a brief that was simply to make it bigger, funnier and unmissable, and that is exactly what I believe this year’s Festival delivers. Enjoy!”

Kicking off the Festival in grand style will be the Sydney Comedy Festival Gala where across three big nights and four venues, a line-up of hilarious performers will provide a taste of the big laughs on offer throughout the Festival.

Bursting at the seams with overseas talent, the Festival will welcome international comics including Urzila Carlson (RSA/NZ), David O’Doherty (IRE), Jason Byrne (IRE) Daniel Sloss (SCO), UK stars such as Ross Noble, Stephen K Amos, Jonathan Pie, Paul Chowdhry and Jamali Maddix; as well as US performers Michael Che, Shawn Wayans, Tom Segura and Ari Shaffir – to name a few! Continue reading SYDNEY COMEDY FESTIVAL PROGRAM ANNOUNCED


As part of next month’s 40th anniversary Mardi Gras and for the first time in the parade’s history, an Opera House float will roll up Oxford Street.

Titled Out at the House, the glittering Sydney Opera House float will feature a 10-metre sparkling replica of the famous sails and a 70-strong group of marching ushers, dancers and orchestra members, led by the legendary Dame Joan Sutherland, played by long-time Opera Australia employee Bobby McKenzie.

The float will also feature comedian Gerry Connolly playing Queen Elizabeth II and ‘a Maestro’ from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra ‘conducting’ the marching group.

With just over a week until Mardi Gras, the Opera House today gave a sneak peek of the float design by parade veteran George Savoulis, together with the costumes to be worn by staff and performers on the night, designed by Academy Award-winner Tim Chappel.


The Guild Theatre’s first production for the year is an offbeat farce from the prolific late American playwright John Patrick.

The play features a clever premise. The main character, Myra  Marlowe, is a  middle-aged Hollywood television actress who has the urge to get it away from it all.

She rents a house in New England with the aim of taking time out to write her life story, live the country life, and even grow some tomatoes.

Myra tries to settle in to her new life however she soon finds out that privacy is going to be an issue. A colourful array of local characters, including two ladies who call themselves the ‘hospitality sisters’, keep on knocking on her door, wanting to spend time with her. Her home becomes like the local drop in centre. Continue reading ‘A BAD YEAR FOR TOMATOES’ @ THE GUILD THEATRE


Heather Mitchell, Helen Thomson and Paula Arundell in Sydney Theatre Company’s Production of Top Girls © Brett Boardman.

The Sydney Theatre Company’s current production at the Opera House is a revival of one of British playwright Caryl Churchill’s finest plays, TOP GIRLS (1982).

Set in England in the 1980s, at the height of the Thatcher era, it charts the story,of a successful career woman, Marlene – the personal sacrifices she had to make, the conflicts she has had to face, the way much of her character has been formed by the path that she has taken. By the play’s end, we are left to ponder how happy Marlene is with the choices she has made.

This latest ‘retelling’ is a compelling one with the cast diving deeply into the work. Helen Thomson was always going to be memorable in the role of Marlene, with a measured performance, tough and steely yet remaining attuned and sensitive to what is happening around her.

Contessa Treffone showed a warmth and vulnerability as her anxious teenage daughter Angie, and Kate Box was Marlene’s pragmatic, down to earth sister, Joyce.

The leads are given good support by a fine ensemble cast including Paula Arundell, Michelle Lim Davidson, Claire Lovering and Heather Mitchell, who each got their chance to shine in multiple roles. Continue reading ‘TOP GIRLS’ : AS QUIRKY AND FORMIDABLE AS EVER

Vivid Sydney Lights Dinner Cruise

Ringside seats to Vivid Sydney lights, a relaxing dinner cruise and a spectacular cabaret show! Captivated by the idea already? Touted as one of the best Vivid Sydney Lights cruises, this authentic paddlewheeler treats you to a visual Vivid spectacle on the harbour as well as to a jaw-dropping show on the inside! You really don’t have to think twice; book a Vivid Sydney Dinner any day between 25 May and 16 June 2018 cruise into the lights on Sydney Harbour! A promising time you won’t forget anytime soon, the mouth-watering dinner & a touch of bubbly is sure to elevate your Vivid Sydney dinner cruise experience!

25-May-2018 to 17-June-2018

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For many years now Belvoir Street Theatre has been in the forefront of championing diversity in theatrical performance. In particular, it has been the case with indigenous performers and playwrights, culminating in the multi-award winning The Drover’s Wife written by and starring Leah Purcell.

Perhaps to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year Belvoir has cast its gaze towards Asian stories and performance in a major way. The play is SINGLE ASIAN FEMALE a full-length work  written by Michelle Law, and starring three fellow Asian protagonists. 

The story tells of Pearl, the almost stereotypical Chinese ‘tiger’ mother who runs a Chinese restaurant, the Golden Phoenix, trying to juggle the business and family as a divorcee. Continue reading SINGLE ASIAN FEMALE @ BELVOIR STREET THEATRE


The Sydney season of  MAMMA MIA! THE MUSICAL opened in great style last night at the Capitol theatre with an all Australian cast and featured 22 of Abba’s best  hits.

Catherine Johnson’s 1999 jukebox musical, extrapolated from an original  idea by Judy Cramer, has gone on to become one of the most successful musicals ever produced.

The show’s irresistible premise allows for plenty of different comic and dramatic possibilities to be explored. On the Greek island of Kalokairi, 20-year-old Sophie is preparing to marry her fiancé, Sky. She wants her father to walk her down the aisle (‘Prologue’) but doesn’t know who he is. Sophie discovers her mother’s old diary and finds entries which describe intimate dates with three men (Sam Carmichael, Bill Austin [Anderson in the film version], and Harry Bright) (‘Honey, Honey’) some twenty years previously. Sophie believes one of these men is her father and, three months before her nuptials, sends each an invitation to her wedding, writing in her mother’s name, Donna, without letting her unsuspecting mother know. The action begins in the days coming up to her wedding.

Johnson’s quirky storyline plays out and her colourful characters come to life supported by a great soundtrack of Abba songs. Continue reading MAMMA MIA! THE MUSICAL @ THE CAPITOL THEATRE


Sydney Arts Guide has organised a Theatre Discussion Club to meet at Woollahra Library in the heart of Double Bay every second Saturday morning.

There is always so much happening on the Sydney theatre scene. it seems like the right time to set something like this up. 

Everyone is welcome and there are no charges.

We will simply sit around in a large circle – old style-  and discuss all things theatre, not just the mainstream. There are also plenty of riches to be enjoyed on the independent and community theatre scenes.

I am also hoping to sometimes have guest speakers come along to chat about their work.

The first meeting of the Sydney Theatre Club is this Saturday 17th February in the main library. The groups will run about an hour.

Please come along and join  the discussion.


Madman Entertainment will shortly be bringing you THE DEATH OF STALIN – a bitingly sharp political-satire featuring a stellar ensemble cast including Steve Buscemi, Rupert Friend, Simon Russell, Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Isaacs, Olga Kurylenko and more.

To celebrate the film’s upcoming release Sydney Arts Guide is giving away 20  in-season double passes to see the film. For a chance to win, simply email the Editor on with THE DEATH OF STALIN GIVEAWAY in the subject heading. Please provide your postal address as the passes will be mailed out. Winners will be initially advised by email.

Banned in Russia, and loosely based on true events, THE DEATH OF STALIN will open in cinemas on the 29th March.


The 29th Annual Alliance Francaise French Film Festival is due to begin soon. The Festival will run from the 27th February to the 27th March. As usual, the films will screen at Sydney’s Palace Cinemas; Norton Cinema, Verona Cinema, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Central and the Hayden Orpheum in Cremorne. Continue reading TEN DOUBLE PASSES TO THE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2018


Mitchell Butel and Amy Harris in An Act of God Production photos Phil Erbacher (c)

This was such a fun show. Make it an Act of Will to  get yourself over to the Eternity to see it.

American Emmy Award winning comedy writer David Javerbaum’s comedy is an anarchic, wild flight of fancy. Much loved Sydney theatre performer Mitchell Butel plays the part of God. This God has grown weary of the Ten Commandments, He  has come to correct mankind’s dire misconceptions about his teachings and delivers a radical re-write. Continue reading AN ACT OF GOD @ THE ETERNITY PLAYHOUSE