NZ Talent Set to Take Centre Stage at Sydney Festival 2018

Sydney, Australia: Sydney’s pre-eminent summer event, Sydney Festival, today announces its full festival program; including 12 world premieres, 14 Australian exclusives across an epic line-up of dance, theatre, installations, music, VR, talks, classes and free events collectively presenting a bold, eclectic and innovative program set to transform Sydney into a world cultural hub from 6-28 January.

Aldous Harding, Photo: Cat Stevens

The Festival features an eclectic spread of NZ talent with gothic folk singer-songwriter Aldous Harding set to make waves as a key feature of the music program. With sold out shows across Europe and the USA, as well as being listed as Rolling Stone’s ‘10 Artists You Need to Know’ in April 2017, Harding’s moment has clearly arrived and is a must-see.

Lisa Reihana, Photo: Michael Hall

Artist of Māori and British descent, Lisa Reihana presents her first Australian survey show Lisa Reihana Cinemania.  Featuring a range of video and photographic works including her re-imaging of the 1805 wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique and Pursuit of Venus (infected) (which was recently part of the 2017 Venice Biennale), this is an immersive colossal panoramic video that is an interrogation of colonialism and cultural identity.

Trygve Wakenshaw, Photo: Fraser Cameron

The beautifully strange stream-of-consciousness, award-winning and internationally acclaimed clown and mime artist Trygve Wakenshaw is set to deliver the laughs with his show Trygve Wakenshaw: Nautilus.

Sydney Festival Director, Wesley Enoch says Sydney Festival is Australia’s Cultural New Year’s resolution, starting the year the way you want to live the next 365 days – sharing time with friends and family and having engaging conversations about big ideas.

“This year Sydney Festival has a huge array of shows exploring strong female leadership – Pussy Riot, Germaine Greer, Barangaroo, Meow Meow, Lady Rizo….you might say we are having our own form of Jacindamania.

“Australia and New Zealand share so much already. Come across and share Sydney in summer.” Here is a taste of what Sydney Festival has to offer this January:

  • Contemporary ballet Tree of Codes, a unique collaboration between choreographer Wayne McGregor, visual artist Olafur Eliasson and award-winning musician Jamie xx (6-10 January)
  • The critically acclaimed Barber Shop Chronicles, direct from London’s National Theatre, exploring the role of the barber shop in the lives of African men (18-28 January)
  • Circus Oz’ latest show Model Citizens,featuring an all-new ensemble and new artistic director Rob Tannion (2-28 January)
  • Aquasonic,an ethereal underwater concert performed by five Danish musicians on custom-made instruments whilst submerged in aquariums (6-9 January)
  • The Australian premiere of Town Hall Affair which reimagines a raucous 1971 feminist debate. Featuring Maura Tierney as Germaine Greer, the New York theatre company Wooster Group perform in Sydney for the first time (7-13 January)
  • Hyde Park’s Spiegeltent hosting the hottest stars of ‘boylesque’ with Briefs: Close Encounters, a seductive mix of contortion, aerial acrobatics and raunchy comedy, and RIOT anall-Irish variety show starringfamed drag queen Panti Bliss
  • The Wider Earth bringing to life Charles Darwin’s five-year journey across the planet exploring new species, featuring an award-winning cast by Queensland Theatre and masterfully-built puppets from Dead Puppet Society (17-27 January)
  • An expansive plastic toy landscape with towering toy dinosaurs, Jurassic Plastic by Japanese artist Hiroshi Fuji (6-28 January)
  • Four Thousand Fish, a large-scale art installation at Barangaroo featuring a giant ‘nawi’ (canoe) and thousands of fish made of ice, to be returned to the harbour (5-28 January)
  • Internet sensation and political parodist Randy Rainbow unveiling his live show exclusively at Sydney Festival in his Australian debut (18-20 January)

The Meriton Festival Village returns to Hyde Park offering a Spiegeltent bursting with activity alongside the Village Sideshow presented by China Southern Airlines, Sydney Festival’s freaky fun park of wild and bizarre experiences. A specially commissioned Ghost Train takes the brave through the inner workings of their mind in a Virtual Reality (VR) world whilst physically chugging down a real fairground ghost train track. The world’s first Karaoke Carousel also arrives at Sydney Festival this year, spicing up a double-decker carousel with the vocal talents of Sydney’s party public. 10 Minute Dance Parties By JOF replicate the best 10 minutes of a dancefloor at its peak, the Glitterbox by zin continues the dancing revelry and swimming pools in shipping containers provide a much needed cooling off before exploring the further fun on offer.

In 2018 Sydney Festival runs 6-28 January. For further details, including session times and tickets head to

Listings information: What:Sydney Festival
Genre: Theatre, Dance, Music, Installation/Visual Arts, Circus, Talks/Language Classes, Free Events
Where: Various venues, see website for details and full list  
For further details on shows, Media Information Sheets can be found here:  
General images for Sydney Festival can be found here:


For interviews and further information contact:

Penny Hartill, Director, hPR, 021 721 424,
Hugo Mintz, Communications Manager, Sydney Festival, + 61 (0)2 8248 6525,


About Sydney Festival Every January, Sydney Festival enlivens and transforms Sydney with a city-wide multi-art form cultural celebration. Sydney Festival 2018 takes place 6-28 January and sees Festival Director, Wesley Enoch in his second year with program of over 130 events and performances across theatre, dance, music, circus and art. Inclusive programming, a broad range of free events and accessible pricing policies for the ticketed shows means that Sydney Festival is open to all, welcoming both Sydneysiders and visitors from wherever they live.

Since its launch in 1977, Sydney Festival has presented international artists such as Björk, Brian Wilson, Grace Jones, Manu Chao, Elvis Costello, AR Rahman, Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Robert Lepage, The Flaming Lips, Peter Sellars, Sir Ian McKellen and David Byrne & St. Vincent alongside some of the world’s great companies – Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance, Cheek by Jowl, Gate Theatre and the Schaubühne Berlin to name only a few. Sydney Festival creates a meeting point for the best in national and international art, building a world class Festival in one of the world’s greatest cities.