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Photograph: Destination NSW

Things to do in Sydney today

We've found the day's best events and they're ready for your perusal, all in one place – it's your social emergency saviour

Maya Skidmore
Edited by
Maya Skidmore
Written by
Time Out editors

City life and all the fun that comes with it has undergone a bit of a renaissance in Sydney as of late, with the whole city experiencing a wave of life and good times that haven’t been seen on our streets for much of the last two years.

On any given day, there are a whole host of shimmering and fantastic happenings to discover in the Emerald City, each showcasing something fresh and new for you to get up to, go out to, and sink your teeth into. Here is what’s in store today.

Want to get your weekend plans in order, right now? Check out our pick of the best things to do in Sydney this weekend.

The day's best events

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Darlington

There are many conspiracy theories about who “really” wrote Shakespeare’s works. It’s almost always suggested that an uneducated, modest man from Stratford surely couldn’t have had enough “genius” to produce the hugely influential body of work he is credited with. Leading contenders for the authentic author include Sir Francis Bacon, Edward de Vere and Christopher Marlowe. But with enough time stretching between Shakespeare’s heyday and today, who “really” wrote the works might be the wrong question altogether. Venus and Adonis, from Sport for Jove Theatre Company’s artistic director Damien Ryan, suggests that “who was Shakespeare really?” is indeed the wrong question. The play instead posits that Shakespeare was a “merciless magpie” stealing from the books, artworks and people around him. One of those people was Aemilia Lanyer, the first female poet ever published in the English language (in her own name!) and believed to be one of Shakespeare’s many lovers. Venus and Adonis is a poem, within a play, within a play – and it’s a magnificent adventure through the delights, tragedies and passions of making art from life (Shakespearean or otherwise). The play, written and directed by Ryan, is based on a similar film released by Sport for Jove in 2020, which is in turn based on Shakespeare’s erotic poem of the same name. In the central storyline, Shakespeare is asked to present a performance of Venus and Adonis as the opener for Elizabeth I’s own masque performance. Shakespeare as

  • Art
  • Paintings
  • Surry Hills

Without mincing words, Vincent Namatjira OAM – the first Aboriginal person to win the Archibald Prize – is one of the most important Australian artists of our time. With his bold and subversive figurative paintings, Namatjira explores what it means to be Indigenous in Australia, and in the world. Desert Songs, a collection of 13 new works by Namatjira, has just been unveiled at Yavuz Gallery in Surry Hills – and this is your chance to see the artist’s work in the flesh, with no entry fee.  A show for these times, the exhibition tackles the rich themes and concepts of leadership, power and legacy. Namatjira explores his own deeply personal histories through portraits of well-known figures that have shaped his life through art, music and politics – including the likes of singer-songwriter and Indigenous activist Archie Roach, and Australian country music icon Slim Dusty. Speaking to arts and culture editor Alannah Le Cross, Namatjira said: “If you pick up a paintbrush, it does change lives, and it changes the world also.”  Photograph: Yavuz Gallery/Jessica Maurer The Yavuz Gallery presentation also features celebrated works by Namatjira, including ‘Vincent and Vincent’ (in which the artist depicts himself on Country, standing with Vincent van Gogh) and paintings like ‘Charles on Country’ from the series where he depicts members of the British royalty in Australian landscapes. Namatjira lampoons the pageantry of the monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II and others painted with caric

  • Art
  • Galleries
  • price 0 of 4
  • Double Bay

From delicate ceramics to bold reclamations of found objects, there’s a vast spread of works to peruse at the exhibition for the 22nd Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize. Open to artists across Australia and New Zealand, the Prize is Australia’s pre-eminent award for small sculpture and attracts strong support from artists, collectors and critics alike.  In 2023, the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize is showing for the second time ever in the water-front heritage surrounds of Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf, which opened its doors in November 2021. The beautiful architecture, gardens and Sydney Harbour views at this historic building are half the reason for you to make a visit. The 50 finalists – which encompass a variety of mediums, styles and contemporary themes – were chosen from 610 entries through a blind selection process by a judging panel, which is composed of sculptor and 2009 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize winner Alex Seton; artist and 2022 Archibald Prize winner Blak Douglas; and chair of the Copyright Agency, Dr Kate Harrison. Wollongong-based artist Anita Johnson has come out on top this year, being awarded the $25,000 prize for her work ‘Tenderness’, which will be acquired for Woollahra Council’s permanent public collection, joining previous winners. ‘Tenderness’ is built upon a salvaged cricket ball, which Johnson found in a state of ruin and was “drawn to the vulnerability of its wounded form”. The artist “repaired” the ball with possum fur – a sculptural nod to surre

  • Dance
  • price 1 of 4
  • Dawes Point

This interactive, immersive and thoroughly wholesome children’s show is back after a critically-acclaimed (and kid-approved) premiere season. Bangarra Dance Theatre’s very first work for children, Waru tells the story of the life cycle of the green turtle. An accessible introduction to Torres Strait Islander culture for three- to seven-year-olds, it's beautifully told using a combination of storytelling, dance and movement.  Perfect for the littlest culture connoisseurs, Waru was lovingly created by Bangarra’s former artistic director Stephen Page, together with his son, actor and Playschool presenter Hunter Page-Lochard. It follows Migi the turtle (Aba Bero) on her journey under the star-illuminated skies of the Torres Strait, back to the beach where she was born – under the protection of loveable, Bruce Lee-loving grandmother Aka Malu (Elma Kris).  The saltwater Lagaw Kazil (Island Children) story is inspired by the totemic system of the green turtle, and it offers teachers, parents and caregivers an opportunity to open up conversations about climate change, caring for the environment and the traditional cultural values of respect and reciprocity.  Sharing the wealth of thousands of years of First People’s knowledge is at the heart of what Bangarra does. Stephen Page told Time Out that he's proud he and his son worked hand-in-hand on Waru alongside an incredible artistic team, which includes Bangarra alumni Sani Townson and Elma Kris. Jacob Nash has created a beautiful beac

  • Things to do
  • price 0 of 4
  • Sydney

Sydney’s favourite house is turning the big five-oh this October, and they’ve just announced the program for their month-long birthday extravaganza. From September 28 to October 31, there’ll be free community events, world premieres, contemporary performances, family-friendly shows and stunning public art at and around the Sydney Opera House. The festival will launch with immersive sculptures by Quandamooka artist Megan Cope, who’s using tens of thousands of kinyingarra (oyster in Jandai language) shells to create a thought-provoking public artwork that will “connect the Opera House with Land, Sky and Sea Country through a First Nations lens”. For one day only, a giant 66-metre-long bright yellow catwalk will be stretched across the full length of the Opera House Forecourt for What Is the City but the People? (Sun Oct 1, from 4pm) – setting the stage for a unique living portrait of Sydney’s diverse people, featuring everyone from stonemasons to cosplayers, to Big Issue vendors and celebrity chefs. Participants will strut their stuff against a backdrop of live music, large-scale projected text and photographs. Sounds like a great big party to us!   The Opera House will also open its doors to the public for its first open day in eight years, welcoming thousands of visitors behind-the-scenes for the Open House Weekend, which involves two big days of FREE events on October 21 and 22. Visitors will get unprecedented access to the Opera House’s seven performance spaces, including t

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