This month’s top events, plus a sneak peek at what’s on in February.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
￼11 January-18 February | Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne ￼
The awarded National Theatre (London) production based on Mark Haddon’s bestselling novel makes its Australian debut, featuring the UK cast and Marianne Elliott, the director of the original London and Broadway runs of the play.
￼15-28 January | Melbourne Park
The biggest names in world tennis, including Roger Federer and Serena Williams, promise an exciting start to the 2018 Grand Slam season.
Until 1 March | State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne
David Campbell steps back into American crooner Bobby Darin’s shoes, performing hits such as Mack the Knife, Beyond the Sea and Splish Splash.
￼Until 28 January | National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne ￼
This exhibition charts 50 years of the Australian artist’s creations. Key works include one of the avant-garde painter’s earliest, He Sees Himself (1964).
Priscilla Queen of the Desert
From 21 January |￼ Regent Theatre, Melbourne
A bus named Priscilla returns to Australia for the homegrown musical’s 10th-anniversary tour, bringing dance-floor anthems by Gloria Gaynor and CeCe Peniston.
Next month: St Kilda Festival
￼11 February | St Kilda Foreshore, Melbourne ￼
Celebrate the end of summer with an array of entertainment that includes 10 acts on the New Music Stage “auditioning” for a spot on the Main Stage in 2019.
NEW SOUTH WALES
￼6-28 January | Various venues
Highlights of this year’s jam-packed program include an underwater concert performed by musicians submerged in aquariums and a play, direct from London’s National Theatre, that focuses on the barber shop as a social hub.
The Merry Widow
2 January-3 February | Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House ￼
Soprano Danielle de Niese stars as bubbly widow Hanna in this Opera Australia production of Franz Lehár’s operetta, choreographed and directed by Graeme Murphy.
26 January | Various venues, Sydney ￼
Events around the harbour begin with the Wugulora Indigenous Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo and culminate in a fireworks display at Circular Quay. During the day, see the Ferrython race and join the street party at The Rocks. Beyond the city, Dee Why Beach holds the Big Breakfast and Parramatta hosts local activities.
One Day International
21 January | Sydney Cricket Ground ￼
The summer of cricket continues, with Australia and England competing for honours in the third match of the 2018 ODI Series.
12-21 January |￼ Bondi Beach, Sydney
Enjoy short films under the stars at Sydney’s famous beach during the 27th instalment of this international cinematic festival.
Next Month: The Book of Mormon
From 28 February |￼ Sydney Lyric Theatre, Pyrmont
Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the brains behind South Park) and Robert Lopez (Frozen’s Oscar-winning composer) bring their Tony Award-winning musical to Sydney.
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits
Until 12 March | National Portrait Gallery, Canberra ￼
The National Portrait Gallery has teamed with the National Film and Sound Archive to exhibit stills from great Aussie films such as Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Dressmaker.
Art + Sound
6 and 20 January | National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Held every second Saturday, this pop-up sound space features playlists curated by guest artists for specific collections, including the International Art and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art galleries.
Green Day’s American Idiot
19-28 January | Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide
The story of three young men living in a post-9/11 world is told through the music of American punk rock band Green Day in this award-winning musical. Sharing the role of rebellious St Jimmy are Aussie rockers Phil Jamieson, Adalita and Sarah McLeod, following in the footsteps of Melissa Etheridge and Billie Joe Armstrong.
24-25 January |Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide ￼
The British comedian, television host and actor brings his signature wit (and the distinctive laugh he once compared to the sound of a “weird honking goose”) to Australia on his Best Of, Ultimate, Gold, Greatest Hits Tour.
Next Month: Kitty Flanagan
￼27 February-18 March | Royalty Theatre, Adelaide
Aussie comedian Kitty Flanagan’s latest show, Smashing, is on the Adelaide Fringe festival program. The Utopia favourite delivers a raucous set with the occasional swearword so leave the kids at home and enjoy a great night out.
3-14 January | State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth ￼
The Gruffalo and Mouse wander into Perth for the stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestselling children’s picture book. The show then heads to Brisbane (19-22 January).
20 January | NIB Stadium, Perth
The multi-Grammy Award winners and rock favourites make a stop in Western Australia on their global tour to promote their latest album, Concrete and Gold.
Heath Ledger: A Life in Pictures
￼Until 29 January | Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
January is your last chance to see this exhibition about the late actor, which was curated in collaboration with his family and close friends. It features photographs of the Perth-born star and costumes from his films, including the Joker suit from his Oscar-winning role in The Dark Knight.
Storytime Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty
16-20 January | ￼ Brisbane Powerhouse
Charles Perrault’s classic fairytale has been transformed into a whimsical 50-minute production created especially for children aged three and upwards. Fairies, Cinderella and Red Riding Hood all make an appearance.
￼9-10 January | Various venues
Supported by local rockers Thirsty Merc, the Summer of ’69 and Run to You singer performs at Sandstone Point Hotel on Bribie Island (9 January) and the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach (10 January). Adams then takes The Ultimate Tour to Geelong and Nagambie in Victoria.
29 January | The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley ￼
The star of Pitch Perfect and Workaholics brings his Weird Life Tour stand-up comedy show to Australia in early 2018, also visiting Perth (27 January), Melbourne (31 January-1 February) and Sydney (3 February).
Next Month: St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
￼10 February | Brisbane Showgrounds
Father John Misty joins a line-up of local and international musicians, including Bonobo, Amy Shark, The Internet, Mac DeMarco and Moses Sumney, at this one-day show. After Brisbane, Fremantle is the last gig (11 February) for this year’s popular summer music festival held around Australia in early February.
Island of Origin Football
￼26 January | Tiwi Islands
With eight teams (drawn from a population of 2500) making up the Tiwi Island Football League, it’s safe to say the AFL has a passionate following up north. Bathurst Island plays Melville Island in the lead-up to the grand final in March.
A Ticket to Paradise?
Until 4 February | Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin ￼
Curated by the National Archives and supported by the Department of Immigration, this travelling exhibition reveals the personal stories of Australia’s immigrants with footage, audio recordings and photos from the 1940s to the 1990s.
12-22 January | Various venues in Launceston and Hobart ￼
It’s a tale of two cities. Launceston and Hobart share the love with a festival program that includes art installations and eclectic music sets from guests such as Gotye.
20 January | Barnbougle, Bridport ￼
Tasmania’s premier high-goal polo match sees Australian and international stars of the sport gather at Barnbougle’s picturesque Dunes golf course.
Next month: Ben Folds
￼13-14 February | Theatre Royal, Hobart ￼
The Paper Aeroplane Request Tour involves concertgoers jotting down a song request on paper, folding it into an origami plane and launching it at the stage. Ben Folds will then perform a selection of those tunes.
Next month: Festivale
￼2-4 February | City Park, Launceston ￼
This event celebrates the island state’s food and drink, with stalls selling chocolate, cheese, cider and whisky, plus performances by Clare Bowditch and the Choirboys. ￼
Photography credits: BrinkhoffMögenburg (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time); Morten Thun (AquaSonic); Jeff Busby (Australian Ballet)