sydney

Theatre in the Heart of Sydney

Theatre in the Heart of Sydney

My two favourite theatres in Sydney are part of the fabric of the community. They provide affordable and entertaining theatre all year round. They are a true home to artists.

Genesian Theatre – Kent St

On the site of an old church in the heart of the city is my beloved Genesian theatre. As a member of this welcoming community, acting in my first ever play, I met my husband. My first impression was: “You are too short to play Darcy! This is going to be a disaster!” Thankfully, I was very wrong.

We recently returned to the theatre and caught Figaro, by Charles Morey, directed by the talented Shane Bates.  It was a side-splitting laugh-out-loud romp through this classic work. Having seen the Mozart Opera several years ago at the Sydney Opera House, I had high expectations and was not disappointed.

Owen Gimblett outdid himself once again with the clever set design. The actors were brilliant with a script that required a knack for comedic timing. The costume swapping antics and romantic intrigue had me hooked.

I’ll definitely be attending their next production: Bloody Murder by Ed Sala. The show will run from 28th October to 2nd December. It promises another night of laughs.

The Genesian generally caters for an all ages audience. The Agatha Christie’s are always superb. I adore it when they through an Austen or a Shakespeare into the season. The community is open and welcoming, and has become like a second family to many of us.

The old church opened in 1868 and was dedicated to St John the Evangelist. It has had an eventful history hosting several theatre groups, a poor school and the first Matthew Talbot Hostel. I’m not sure if it is only the facade that is heritage listed, but it has a beautiful roof, with exposed wooden beams inside, and stain-glass windows at the back.

Sadly, we are losing our beautiful venue and with it a piece of Sydney history. The building has been sold to a developer, reportedly for over $6 million. Location location. But the Genesian Theatre Company predates it’s history at Kent St, and will hopefully continue to be a pillar of the arts in the amateur Sydney theatre community. The theatre has given many young Aussies their start, including but not limited to: Baz Lurhmann, John Bell, Bryan Brown and Nick Enright.

I’m humbled to have tread its boards.

New Theatre – King St

New Theatre is as different as can be to Genesian Theatre, but I love it too, and am thinking of joining as a member there as well. Where the Genesian is family-friendly, New Theatre is edgy. Between St Peter’s and Newtown Stations on King St, you could almost be forgiven for walking past the unassuming exterior painted grey, black and red. But inside, it’s huge.

The stage is at the bottom and the seats rise back up to the bio box, so you are looking down on the performance. It’s a vast black space that lends itself well to minimal or abstract stage sets. When the lights are out on stage, it’s a total blackout, a void. Where the Genesian has brick, wood and stain glass charm, the New is black den of the alternative and subversive.

We recently saw Birdland by Simon Stephens. It runs until 4 November, catch it if you can. It’s a long show without interval, but no longer than a film. It is brilliantly directed and poignantly acted. It traces the downfall of a flawed Rock God whose mistakes with sex, drugs, friendship, and money see him spiral into worsening situations.

I loved the stage, the perpetual angle of the wooden planks contributed to the sense of drunkenness and the feeling that the characters were adrift. The scenes cut seamlessly from one to the next with barely a pause for breath. It was an epic performance from Paul who was onstage for the entirety – in every scene – with every eye always upon him. The supporting cast provided insightful and entertaining vignettes and counterpoints.

All in all …

I highly recommend you stop by both of these theatres when you are next in Sydney and I am very much looking forward to my next experience!

Can you share with me any recommendations for more theatre in Sydney? On the hunt 😉

Posted by jhamby in Blogging, 0 comments
What’s in my suitcase?

What’s in my suitcase?

I’ve just moved back to Australia from the United Kingdom and the packing was a mammoth task! It was very much worth it though. We’ve had more sun the last two weeks in Sydney than I think we had all summer in London. Wearing SPF 50 daily for my pasty rosacea riddled skin.

I do miss my new family though! A big shout out to the Hamby’s in the UK. Thank you for welcoming me into your family and your country. It’s been wonderful getting to know you and I look forward to seeing you again next year xx You are completely responsible for one of the more unusual items in my suitcase and I love you for it.

Living in London, we kept the household items to the essentials + a few luxuries (Dearest Nutribullet – I hear you are being put to hard work in your new home!), so we expected packing to be not so difficult. We still managed to mostly fill two large boxes and two small from Seven Seas Worldwide who were wonderful to deal with in London.

These contained heavy boots; winter jackets; fancy dresses (I’m looking at you BAFTA ball gown); assorted kitchen-ware that *meant* something, like gift mugs; filled notebooks and diaries; and one very lonely but very beloved piece of *art* – a framed scrabble pasted photo of Han Solo and Princess Leia between takes (see above).

I love you

I know

Sigh – I read The Princess Diarist earlier this year and adored it. It travelled back in one of the boxes too. Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds – you are sorely missed!

Despite the four boxes, there were still some effects that we couldn’t leave behind. Which leads me to the list of 5 unusual things that I brought back to Sydney via Dallas and San Francisco in my luggage:

  1. Warrick the Ewok (we pronounce it Yoric, Life of Brian anyone?). We bought him in June from Disneyland Paris. My first trip to Disneyland: I think I must have been waiting for all the Star Wars rides and merch. Warrick – was sat beside my bed hiding from the boxes. He must have wanted to see the US of A. Can’t blame him, it was a fun trip!
  2. Manduka Eko Travel Mat in Midnight. It FOLDS! That’s why it makes this list – it’s unusual. Brilliant design for travelling. I love it. It smells nice too. It’s made from sustainably harvested tree rubber.
  3. Two laptops – one for writing and one for work. I’d hoped to leave the second behind in London, but since I’m transferring internally, it was advised to bring it with me. At least that one is small. The writing one is the brick! I got a few odd looks from security when I pulled two laptops out of my carry-on :S
  4. Four pairs of shoes – how many do you travel with? It’s always the hardest decision I make when packing.
    • Irregular choice heels. Candy whistle style. Similar to this pair … but with a different pattern painted on. I love how quirky they are. I chose Irregular choice heels for my wedding too. Have you seen the film Me Before You? This brand of shoes feature. They are so much fun!
    • HiTec walking boots – these came in handy in the Lakes District and again in San Francisco’s Muir Woods. I also pulled them out in Sydney for the walk from Maroubra to Malabar. It’s a new one that’s opened up behind the shooting range. We were very lucky to see a pair of whales frolicking.
    • Aasic sneakers for running/working out. Ha! Happened twice, maybe? More now that I’m back in Sydney.
    • Havaiana Thongs (or Flip Flops as non Sydney-siders call them). My go to footwear. Probably because I’m usually too lazy for socks or laces or even just pulling up the back of a ballet flat.
  5. A photo album of my husband’s life to date.
    My favourite of all the unusual or unexpected items in my suitcase. This included his original baby photos and the wrist band from the hospital. A gorgeous gift from his mother to us and the new family we are starting in Australia. I am so grateful to her for putting this beautiful piece of family history together for us.

Have you ever travelled around the world with something unusual or unexpected in your suitcase?

Posted by jhamby in Blogging, 0 comments