All the top events across Australia in August 2019.
Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show.
2-7 August | Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park
Ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for! Fresh from touring the United States and Europe, the nation’s favourite son is back in Oz for a month-long stint. He’ll be performing hits from The Greatest Showman, The Boy From Oz and Les Misérables.
Chicago the Musical
From 20 August | Capitol Theatre, Sydney
Featuring choreography by the great Bob Fosse, this classic musical follows the women of Chicago’s Cook County Jail. It’s playing in Sydney for the first time since 1998, with singer Natalie Bassingthwaighte starring as Miss Roxie Hart.
Michael Armitage: The Promised Land
Until 22 September | Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney
Featuring recent works from the Nairobi-born contemporary artist – painted with oil on lubugo bark cloth – this exhibition is Armitage’s first solo show in Australia.
15, 17, 27, 29 August | Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park
Joined by Crowded House frontman Neil Finn, the legendary rock band will play in Sydney on the Australian leg of an international tour. Expect all the greatest hits, including The Chain, Dreams and Go Your Own Way.
West Side Story
16 August-6 October | Sydney Opera House
After wowing audiences with an outdoor version staged on Sydney Harbour earlier this year, Opera Australia is taking this much-loved musical to the Sydney Opera House, with a new cast to perform Jerome Robbins’ choreography.
Māori Markings: Tā Moko
Until 25 August | National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
The Māori art of tā moko – marking the skin with connecting patterns – symbolises authority and prestige. This exhibition shows portraits of men and women with tā moko spanning 250 years of Māori history.
31 August-10 September | Arts Centre Melbourne
Brought to life by the creative team behind The Australian Ballet’s recent production of Cinderella, this story follows superheroine Sylvia as she wields her bow and arrow in the name of love.
From August | Jackalope Pavilion, St Kilda
After bewitching crowds in the US, Rain Room is making its Australian debut. The installation sees guests stand in pouring rain yet remain dry – the droplets don’t fall where movement is detected.
Roger Kemp: Visionary Modernist
From 23 August | NGV Australia, Federation Square
Tracking the celebrated Modernist’s impressive career, the NGV’s new exhibition features paintings and sketches from the 1950s to Kemp's death in 1987.
16-17 August | Meat Market, North Melbourne
Fans of the stinky stuff take note: 15 of the nation’s best artisan cheesemongers are heading to Melbourne to showcase 60 varieties – ready for taste-testing.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
From 9 August | Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne
Who can take a sunrise and sprinkle it with dew? Look no further than the candy man, Willy Wonka, as the musical based on Roald Dahl’s beloved book hits the stage.
11 August | Various venues, Latrobe
If an entire day dedicated to chocolate in Tassie's picturesque heartland sounds like a dream, this Latrobe festival is a must.
Tasmanian Whisky Week
12-18 August | Statewide
Some of the state’s best distilleries, including Lark, Nant and Sullivans Cove, will throw open their cellar doors for whisky fans. There’s also the option of hopping on a tour bus from Hobart CBD for a tasting adventure.
Gorillas in our Midst
Until 30 September | Mona, Hobart
Get ready to have your mind blown as Mona showcases a series of experiments and artworks featuring cognitive illusions influenced by the famous book, The Invisible Gorilla, which explores the brain’s tendency to rely on selective attention.
Royal Queensland Show (Ekka)
9-18 August | Brisbane Showgrounds
Nothing says “Queensland” like the Ekka. Marking its 142nd year, the agricultural festival has been a family favourite for generations, with music, animals and carnival rides aplenty.
Bangarra: 30 Years of Sixty Five Thousand
23-31 August | QPAC, Brisbane
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance company is marking its 30th anniversary with a triple bill of contemporary works, including To Make Fire, a piece by Stephen Page that combines some of Bangarra’s most memorable choreography.
The Curated Plate
8-11 August | Various venues, Sunshine Coast
Celebrating the very best of the Sunshine Coast, this first-time food festival includes special dining events and appearances from some of Australia’s top chefs, including Peter Gilmore. Don’t miss this new kid on the block.
8-25 August | Various venues, Darwin
Celebrating 40 years of artistic expression, the Darwin Festival presents a jam-packed program, including comedy from Tom Gleeson, dance from Bangarra, the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and an Opera Australia production of Madama Butterfly.
2-5 August | Gulkala
This Indigenous festival brings together ideas and conversations from around Australia, with a particular focus on the economy. The four-day program includes a nightly bunggul, in which stories are told through ceremonial dance.
South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival
1-31 August | Statewide
Shining a light on South Australia’s creative community, this celebration of local art covers a diversity of ages, mediums and backgrounds, with work exhibited in galleries around the state.
Royal Adelaide Show
30 August-8 September | Adelaide Showground
With more than half-a-million revellers, over 350 show bags, 17,000-plus prize ribbons and 70,000 buckets of hot chips to be devoured, get set for 10 days of family fun.
10 August | Optus Stadium, Burswood
Our Wallabies will take on the All Blacks in game one of the Bledisloe Cup, which has been running for almost nine decades.
Opera Under the Stars
31 August | Mangrove Hotel, Broome
Head to the Kimberley to see New Zealand baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes and a company of Australian talent perform against a stunning Roebuck Bay backdrop.
The Book of Mormon
3 September-13 October | Crown Theatre, Burswood
Having taken their mission around Australia, Elders Price and Cunningham will stop in Perth – before returning to Brisbane due to overwhelming demand.