Sydney, get ready to discover the most exciting performances, gorgeous historic venues, and the best party-vibes this summer at The Rocks. From Friday 25 February to Sunday 6 March, Sydney Fringe Sideshow, will bring Sydneysiders a summer to remember with 100+ FREE and ticketed events with unique things to see in The Rocks.
A new event, produced by Sydney Fringe, in collaboration with Placemaking NSW and the New South Wales Government CBD Revitalisation Program, Sydney Fringe Sideshow will have Sydney’s historic precinct, The Rocks pumping with a 9-night extravaganza of darkly cool comedy, theatre, music, dance, immersive performance, projection and installation works.
Australia’s most exciting talents will bring the party with live entertainment across three main Sideshow venues on George Street: The Terraces, The Old Observer, The Old Coroner’s Court plus a secret location The Gallery.
Sideshow goers can walk from one venue to the other to discover curious and exciting acts, performances, and projections, traversing secret laneways, and iconic historic venues, with fun to be found around every corner.
From must-see theatre to laugh out loud stand up, Sydney Fringe Sideshow is a pure joyful celebration of Australia’s rich live performance culture. Taking place in conjunction with Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett, at First Fleet Park, The Rocks, there’s nowhere more happening this February & March 2022.
“Sydney Fringe is delighted to partner with the NSW Government to support literally hundreds of artists in this exciting activation,” said Kerri Glasscock, Chief Executive Officer of Sydney Fringe.
“The last couple of years have been tremendously difficult for large scale public events and festivals, and Sideshow has been created in response to the continuing difficulties.
“Sydney audiences will be able to see some of Australia’s most exciting artists in safe, intimate indoor spaces and outdoor performances. What an opportunity to experience the hidden buildings and heritage sites of The Rocks precinct in a whole new way.
“From performances in the Old Coroners Court to Terrace House takeovers this is a once in a lifetime activation and we are thrilled to share it with Sydneysiders,” said Glasscock.
The Opening Weekend
Sydneysiders are invited to celebrate Sideshow’s jam-packed precinct-wide takeover alongside the Rosé by the Harbour festival from 12.00pm – 9.00pm on the weekend of 26 & 27 February. With ample opportunity to sip delicious rosé in the gorgeous alfresco dining spaces, signature to The Rocks, festival goers will be treated to homegrown Sideshow talent, with internationally acclaimed theatre duo The Lounge Room Confabulators; uproarious comedy courtesy of Secret Comedy Club and Black Label Comedy; cabaret maverick TRAUMAMISU; and irresistible tunes by Grown Ocean.
The Closing Weekend
Concluding with a bang, Sideshow’s Closing weekend over the 5 & 6 March, showcases luminescent and free projection installations by Tortuga Studios and unmissable performances from eclectic comedy trio The Funniest Comedians You’ve Never Heard of; immersive storyteller Nella; as well as 2019 Sydney Fringe Festival nominee for ‘Best Comedy’ Hot Chick / Tired Mum!
Prinnie Stevens in Lady Sings The Blues
Prinnie Stevens has combined her Musical Theatre, Pop, RnB Soul back ground to create a well rounded show like no other. A story about Women in song, their hurts, struggles and pain whilst their beauty in music remains the same. Featuring the songs of the greats; from Billie, Etta, Ella, Aretha to Whitney, Beyonce, Sade and so much more. You will be transported from this speakeasy setting to the very heart of our Lady.
LIMINAL by Tortuga Studios
A multi-disciplinary visual art exhibition tangled up into the stories and heritage of The Rocks. Steeped in folklore, this is a place in which sight, sound and smell are challenged and anything can happen. Its sensory edges are cloaked in wraithlike disturbance, liminal beings crossing the boundaries of time and space. Iridescent, misted, pulsing with suggestion, this show breathes light into dark corners and casts shadows like confetti. Shivers of light play across a proud historic palette, whispers of sound entice you to investigate, and the scent of something strange tweaks your senses.
Nella is a mix of immersive storytelling and theatre. An intimate show where audience members gather around a large empty table and wait for Nella to arrive. She brings along with her, her bags of goodies which she unpacks. Nella turns a seemingly plain room into her kitchen, she cranks her music player and throws her tablecloths across the room and together with her audience members she creates a sense of community, family and a stage which she commands for 60 minutes.
She was a founding member of the hugely successfully band, Leonardo’s Bride, who garnered many accolades; their chart-topping song, Even When I’m Sleeping. Abby Dobson honed her craft as singer and songwriter busking the streets of Paris, Athens & New York making people weep with her soulful voice and captivating presence. She has been invited to sing with – Neil Finn, Daniel Johns, Alex Lloyd, Mark Seymour, Leo Sayer, Rai Thistlethwaite, and Katie Noonan and has supported – Crowded House, Joe Jackson, Everything But the Girl, Tom Jones and Barry White. She has also made gold-selling albums and toured extensively with dance producer wunderkind, Paul Mac, and was also commissioned to record her original songs for the hit TV series, The Secret Life of Us.
Stuart Bowden: Of Moonset
30 candles for 30 cakes; 900 birthday candles. It was a spectacular idea, but she never arrived. The sun gets too much credit when it sets, with its fancy colour and light. This is a celebration of the other bit, of a cold, crisp departure. He lives alone now. He woke up and climbed out of bed, but he went with his hands first. He got a new fridge delivered. He sleeps in its cardboard box. He also just discovered he can stop time. A story told by a tiny, prehistoric sea creature – the first ever living thing on earth. It’s been floating around for ages, watching everything. This is the latest creation by award winning theatre maker Stuart Bowden; a musical feast of ethereal melancholia and storytelling weirdness.
Award winning Cabaret Maverick Billie McCarthy is a Country girl who took the Jazz bus to the city and had a sordid affair with Soul along the way. A consummate storyteller, Billie will make you feel things and laugh till your sides hurt. In this darkly delicious new show, Billie ventures into the New Normal, using song and story to make sense of the pain and promise of a world none of us expected to find ourselves in. Trauma never tasted so good.
XOXO Gosford Girl
For one-night only, Fiona Cox performs the world premiere of Gosford Girl, a show about fears and hometowns and trying to get away from both of them. If you’ve escaped from where you grew up, this is the show for you. A two-time Raw Comedy State finalist, Fiona Cox is a stand-up comedian and advertising copywriter. After a decade in the ad industry, she has the writing chops to show for it and a good amount of cynicism. A regular on the Sydney comedy scene, she has performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the city. Often described as very dry and extremely clever with a gift for concocting sharp, insightful material, this straight-faced jokester is definitely on the rise.
Off the back of a year of releases, writing, and recording, Last Thursday take to Sydney Fringe Festival to present a refreshed and raucous live set. Expect melancholy melodies wrapped in soaring instrumentals, set to an alt-rock soundtrack of bad decisions. With unreleased and yet-unperformed material, this show is the one not to miss. Last Thursday are the unacknowledged love children of bands such as Middle Kids, Last Shadow Puppets and Last Dinosaurs – with a touch of Bob Dylan thrown in for good measure.
Ticketed performances at Sydney Fringe Sideshow are small and intimate, with a limited number available so book quickly to reserve your seats today! Sydney Fringe Sideshow runs 25 February to 6 March 2022. For more information and full program, visit: www.sydneyfringe.com for details.
Image: Prinnie Stevens (supplied)