The Events You Need to Know About in August


This month’s top sports and cultural events. Compiled by Samantha O'Brien.


Melbourne International Film Festival

Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake: China Girl, starring Nicole Kidman and Elisabeth Moss in the follow-up to the 2013 series, appears on this year’s MIFF menu, as does Terrence Malick’s Song to Song with Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara.

WHEN: 3-20 August
WHERE: Various venues

Symphony in C

Originally created by New York City Ballet co-founder George Balanchine in 1947, this work showcases the music of Bizet.

WHERE: 24 August-2 September
WHEN: State Theatre, Melbourne

Noises Off

Wardrobe malfunctions, missed cues and a stammering actor normally spell disaster but not for this play within a play. Bring your funny bone to this Michael Frayn farce, which stars Simon Burke and Libby Munro.

WHEN: Until 12 August
WHERE: Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne

Ballarat International Foto Biennale 

This photographic festival features influential American photographer David LaChapelle.

WHEN: 19 August-17 September
WHERE: Various venues 

Melbourne Writers Festival

Guests including Micah White, Alice Pung and Clementine Ford ponder the theme of Revolution. Go to

WHEN: 25 August-3 September
WHERE: Various venues  

The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man

The tragic story of Joseph Merrick, with Daniel Monks in the lead role, is directed by Matthew Lutton.

WHEN: 4-27 August
WHERE: Malthouse Theatre, Southbank 



Tenor Jonas Kaufmann performs in this new production of Richard Wagner’s final opera.

WHEN: 9-14 August
WHERE: Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House

My Fair Lady

Directed by Julie Andrews, this musical is back for an encore after a record-breaking season in 2016.

WHEN: From 24 August 
WHERE: Capitol Theatre, Sydney

What’s on in August 2017

Bledisloe Cup

The Qantas Wallabies face the New Zealand All Blacks in the opener of this trans-Tasman rugby battle.

WHEN: 19 August 
WHERE: ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park

Jerry Seinfeld Live

With the observational humour that made him a comedy legend, Seinfeld returns to Australia for the first time in almost 20 years.

WHEN: 10-11 August 
WHER: Various venues, Sydney

Primavera 2017: Young Australian Artists

Curator Sophia Kouyoumdjian and eight young artists explore the theme Ancient Futures.

WHEN: 23 August-19 November 
WHERE: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

The Father 

Australian theatre veteran John Bell returns to the stage to star in this dark comedy, which has already received glowing reviews in London, Paris and New York. Visit

WHEN: 19 August-21 October
WHER: Wharf 1 Theatre, Walsh Bay


Canberra Writers Festival 

Guests including Graeme Simsion, Julia Baird, Robyn Williams and Nikki Gemmell speak around the theme of Power, Politics, Passion. Visit

WHEN: 25-27 August 
WHERE: Various venues

Tom Gleeson: Cheer Up 

Tom Gleeson inflicts his razor-sharp wit on Canberra for one night only.

WHEN: 19 August 
WHERE: The Playhouse, Canberra


Lee Kernaghan

The Australian country music great is back on the road with his Boys from the Bush 25th Anniversary Tour. Go to

WHEN: 11 August
WHERE: Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide

Rhys Darby – Mystic Time Bird

Flight of the Conchords’ breakout star, New Zealander Rhys Darby, brings his unique comedy style to Australia with a stand-up show, Mystic Time Bird.

WHEN: 23 August
WHERE: Thebarton Theatre, Torrensville


The South Australian theatre company presents a new production of Shakespeare’s violent tragedy, directed by Geordie Brookman. 

WHEN: 25 August-16 September
WHERE: Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide



After performances around Australia, this lauded adaptation of George Orwell’s literary classic makes a final stop in Perth. 

WHEN: 4-13 August 
WHERE: His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth


Celebrating the very best of WA’s South West, this year’s movie line-up includes the Australian premiere of filmmaker John V. Soto’s sci-fi drama, The Gateway, starring Jacqueline McKenzie.

WHEN: 23-27 August 
WHERE: Various venues, Western Australia


Hamilton Island Race Week

Australia’s largest offshore keelboat regatta returns to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.

WHEN: 19-26 August
WHERE: Hamilton Island

What’s on in August 2017

Kinky Boots

After treading the boards in Sydney, Cyndi Lauper’s Tony Award-winning musical high-kicks its way into Queensland.

WHEN: From 22 August
WHERE: Lyric Theatre, South Brisbane 

Royal Queensland Show (Ekka)

Celebrating its 140th year, the Ekka features classic Queensland food, entertainment and family fun.

WHEN: 11-20 August
WHERE: Brisbane Showgrounds, Bowen Hills


Darwin Festival

This Top End cultural festival includes a visiting production of Opera Australia’s The Marriage of Figaro and Frame of Mind from the Sydney Dance Company.

WHEN: 10-27 August
WHERE: Various venues

Henley on Todd Regatta 

Parades, a Battle of the Boats, yacht races, sand skiing and a sand-shovelling competition – this event on the dusty riverbed of the Todd is a regatta with a difference.

WHERE: 19 August
WHEN: Alice Springs  


Tasmanian Whisky Week

Apple Isle distilleries such as Dark Valley, Nonesuch, Sullivans Cove, Iron House and McHenry open their doors for behind-the-scenes tours, tastings and dining opportunities during this celebration of the wee dram.

WHEN: 4-13 August
WHERE: Tasmania-wide

What’s on in August 2017

The Merchant of Venice

Featuring Mitchell Butel as Shylock and Jessica Tovey as Portia, this national touring production of Shakespeare’s troubling play makes a three-night stopover in Hobart.

WHEN: 24-26 August
WHERE: Theatre Royal Hobart 

Chocolate Winterfest

Revel in a celebration of all things chocolate with a lantern parade and sweet treats from Latrobe’s own House of Anvers and more.

WHEN: 13 August
WHERE: Various venues, Latrobe

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