SYDNEY FESTIVAL 2018. Dairies out …go!

Featured image: AquaSonic (Photo by Per Victor)

SYDNEY FESTIVAL 2018 Director Wesley Enoch is infectious.  Infected by the love of ideas, performance and ‘better angels’.  Enoch says of next year’s festival, “Artists are here creating more and more ways of celebrating our better angels and questioning the things that are holding us back.”

January is such a lovely time in Sydney, traffic is less, parking is easier and there is always something to do courtesy of the SYDNEY FESTIVAL.  If you are a planner you can book ahead for your choice of 702 performances which will take place across 51 venues and will feature over 700 artists from 22 countries.  If you, like me, are not a planner there is always something to do at late notice including the 47 of the 136 events which are free.

The three themes of next year’s Festival are finding the intersection of science and art; a larger look at human consumption; and how the feminist movement has evolved and its current state across the world and I am infected by Enoch’s enthusiasm.  I want to see almost everything. But topping my wish list for each theme are …

Science and Art:  THE WIDER EARTH presented by Queensland Theatre and Dead Puppet Society.  Drawn from historical documents about Charles Darwin’s voyages on The Beagle, this production has 30 puppets interacting with the human cast to explore the story of a doubting young man asking questions of Mother Nature.  One of the puppets made an appearance at the festival launch.  Huge, heavy and bespoke with each piece individually laser cut and assembled over months of tireless invention… and infectiously lovable.

The Wider Earth : Photo
Stephen Henry

Human Consumption: JURASSIC PLASTIC presented by ArtsPeople and Japanese artist Hiroshi Fuji. This is a contemporary and immersive art experience which Enoch explained is drawn from Fiji’s musings on the throwaway toys of Japan’s young children.  A global perspective invites audiences to collaborate with the artist to recycle and reinvent discarded objects as they experience this huge installation of dinosaurs and extensive landscapes, all made from thrown away toys.

Jurassic Plastic Photo Keizo Kioku

Current State of Feminism: Russian protest art collective PUSSY RIOT THEATRE: RIOT DAYS is coming.  Using theatre, film and raucous music the production has Feminism, LGBT rights and opposition to Vladimir Putin as its expressed agenda. At the Festival Launch Enoch explained the collective nature of the group which is spearheaded by Maria Alyokhina, one of the artists arrested and sentenced in 2012.

Pussy Riot at Red Square

Add to this swimming pools in a containers (Yes… filtered Enoch tells us) and a Ghost Train.  There is more ballet, circus, music, visual arts, installations large and small and theatre than you can poke a parking ticket at.  You can plan your own wish list for the SYDNEY FESTIVAL, 6-28 January, at