Sydney Festival 2023 - Annual Review (single page format)

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Sun & Sea, photo by Yaya Stempler
CONTENTS Director’s Message 06 Snapshot 2023 12 Artistic Vision 16 Access and Inclusion 44 Marketing 48 Publicity 52 Government Partners 56 Corporate Sponsors 58 Philanthropy 60 Community 64 Supporters 66 Special Thanks 68 5


The 2023 program proved there’s nowhere better than Sydney to experience an exhilarating summer of art.

Festival attendance reached over 420,000 as people gathered to immerse themselves in a stimulating range of cultural experiences – be it contemporary music at The Weary Traveller, an overnight stay at The Lucid, splashing around to ‘80s pop at Ashfield Aquatic Centre or a vibe night at Granville’s Blouza Hall.

Along with rediscovering your city differently, themes of truth-telling, identity, environment and climate justice, gender equality, youth and access underpinned this year’s festival offerings.

Empowering female stories abounded, from the boldness of Jenny Kee: The Aunties at South Eveleigh through to the epic-scale immersive biography of Frida Kahlo (Spain/ Mexico) at the Cutaway. There was the gut-wrenching one-woman play Girls & Boys starring Justine Clarke, Sara Baras and her trade-mark heels hammering the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall in Alma (Spain) and a deep cry for optimism in Stephanie Lake’s dance and drumming Manifesto.

The unique imagination of much-loved clowning auteur James Thierée (Switzerland/ France) did not disappoint, with new commission ROOM mirroring the chaos of life and art in recent times. Sydney Festival was also proud to support ground-breaking contemporary opera, from the all-female Lithuanian composers of Sun & Sea, which spectacularly transformed Sydney Town Hall, through to Mary Finsterer’s hauntingly visceral Antarctica by Sydney Chamber Opera and Asko|Schönberg (The Netherlands).


This year’s Blak Out program featured Vigil: Awaken – a powerful reawakening of the spirit of Me-Mel, co-directed by Stephen Page AO and Sydney Festival Creative Artist in Residence Jacob Nash, and many more world premieres including Nathan Maynard and Jamie McCaskill’s trans-Tasman collaboration Hide the Dog, Tracker by Wiradjuri choreographer Daniel Riley for Australian Dance Theatre and rising star Thomas Weatherall in his debut play Blue, commissioned by Belvoir.

In Parramatta, Afrique en Cirque (West Africa/Canada) at Riverside Theatres was an electrifying highlight alongside Brenda L Croft’s commanding portraits featuring Dharug women in Dyin Nura (Women’s Place) at Old Government House. Sydney Symphony Under the Stars attracted close to 10,000 people to a stellar Lunar New Year celebration featuring Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese repertoire and guest artist Mindy Meng Wang.

Flight at Casula Powerhouse opened with a thrilling air stick performance by Alon Ilsar whilst Debra Keenahan delivered a powerful one woman play entitled Othering. Direct from Edinburgh Festival, Happy Meal (United Kingdom) by trans writer Tabby Lamb stole our hearts at the Eternity Playhouse, MONUMENTAL (working title) unleashed a collective response to the monument at Art Gallery of NSW and Māori artist Rodney Bell and Chloe Loftus performed a breathtaking duet over the MCA’s Tallawoladah Lawn in The Air Between Us (New Zealand).

From the wonderfully dedicated volunteers who give their time and energy to the many expert staff whose skills realise one of the most complex cultural undertakings in the country, through to the ingenuity of the festival’s 1,091 participating artists, and of course YOU, our audience – thank you!

I’d like to acknowledge Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, patron of Sydney Festival, the NSW Government supporting the Festival through Create NSW and Destination NSW, alongside the City of Sydney and City of Parramatta, as well as our principal philanthropic supporter Peter Freedman AM, and all of our private supporters and corporate sponsors.

My sincere thanks to our venue partners including Sydney Opera House, Riverside Theatres Parramatta, Carriageworks, Sydney Theatre Company, City Recital Hall, Seymour Centre, Commercial Travellers Association, Casula Powerhouse, Darlinghurst Theatre Company, The Nielson ACO, The Pavilion Performing Arts Centre and many, many more.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the 2024 festival next January on what always was and always will be Aboriginal Land.

Vigil: Awaken, photo by Jacquie Manning

A Broadcast Coup | Afrique en Cirque | Alice Skye

Alma Zygier | An Evening with Ursula Yovich | Antarctica

Asko|Schönberg in Concert with Ensemble Offspring | Astral People

feat. Or:la & Elkka | Automatic | Blue | Bonobo: Call to the Night | Brenda Croft: Naabami (thou shall/will see): Barangaroo (army of me) | Brett Whiteley

Studio Sessions | Brett Whiteley: Eternity is Now | Brickwrecks: Sunken

Ships in Lego Bricks | Chloe Kim at the MCA | Christie Whelan Browne: Show

People | Coloured Stone | Cupid's Koi Garden | Darlo Supper Club | Dyin Nura

(Women's Place) | Emma Donovan & Paul Grabowsky: The Old Rugged Cross

Ernest Edmonds: The Colour in the Code | Erth's Shark Dive | Flight | Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon | Girls & Boys | Guttered | Hamed Sadeghi in Empty Voices

Happy Meal | Hide the Dog | Holding Achilles | HTRK with Warm Currency

In Chamber | Janet's Vagrant Love | Jenny Kee: The Aunties | June Jones & Romæo | Kairos | Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith | Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: Call to the Morning | Katie Noonan: Joni Mitchell's Blue 50th

Anniversary | Latitudes | Lisa

Moore in Show Your Heart | Maho Magic Bar | Manifesto |

Martha Marlow feat. Chris Abrahams | Message Bank | Moktar

MONUMENTAL (working title) | Multicultural Comedy Gala | Neighbours

New Beginnings Festival | Othering | Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice

Cream | Party Dozen | Paul Capsis in Dry My Tears | Paul Yore: WORD MADE

FLESH Polar Force | Potion & Histamine | Prinnie Stevens in Lady Sings the Blues

Prisms of Influence: Echoes from the Colour in the Code | RetroSplash! | ROOM

Sara Baras: Alma | Sharks | Shipwreck Odyssey: An undersea playscape and

performance | Siteworks 2022: From a deep valley | Smashed: The Brunch Party

Sun & Sea | Sydney Modern | Sydney Symphony Underthe Stars | The Air Between Us

The Artist | The Huxleys: Bloodlines | The Insect Circus | The Lucid: A Dream

Portal to Awakening | The Party | The Weary Traveller | Thea Anamara Perkins:

Stockwoman | Tim Freedman | Tip Duck | Tom Snowdon & Ivy-Jane

Browne Too Birds & Bayang (tha Bushranger) | Tracker | Vigil: Awaken

Waru – journey of the small turtle | Werk It | Woven Song



“From juggling grasshoppers to the Spanish queen of flamenco, from saucy burlesque with morning mimosas to roving bin chickens, First Nations truths, soundscapes in your pyjamas and Lycra-clad aqua aerobics 1980s-style, the 2023 Sydney Festival’s smorgasbord of theatre, dance, opera, art, comedy and music licked every summer taste.”


SNAPSHOT venues 64 25 Days Exhibition days 19 Digital events 1,494 Performances 416 15 53 141 events Free events Talks & workshops 12
927 Australian 164 International
Artists employed New Australian works World premieres and premiere seasons Australian exclusives Sydney Festival commissioned works Arts workers engaged directly by Festival Countries involved Australian premieres 20 21 309 15 13 21 30 13
Turnover $22.1M Revenue Annual state government investment Corporate sponsorships & philanthropy Local government & other investment Operating income Expenditure Marketing 42% 13% 11% 35% & communications Operating costs Programming costs 64% 11% 25% 14
Free event attendance 233,611 Outdoor concerts & special events 16,977 Talks & workshops 870 Visual arts & installations 204,411 Online events 8,862 Ticketed attendance 186,623 Total Festival attendance 420,234 Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon 86,205 Including 15


Sara Baras: Alma, photo by Wendell Teodoro


“This was world class entertainment”
ROOM, photo by Wendell Teodoro


It was a thrill to welcome so many international artists back to our stages in 2023. This was Festival Director Olivia Ansell’s first Festival programmed with Australia’s state and international borders held firmly open, and Sydney was enriched with globally-sourced creativity on a grand scale. Swiss-born physical theatre legend James Thierrée brought a spectacular collision of forms to the Roslyn Packer Theatre with dance, mime, live music, acrobatics and absurdist humour perfectly executed amidst the surreal and shifting set design of ROOM. Canadian and Guinean circus troupe Kalabanté exploded onto Riverside Theatres with Afrique en Cirque, an extravaganza of choreography, live instruments and daring circus which celebrated the diversity of the West African arts.

The lilting Lithuanian opera Sun & Sea transformed Sydney Town Hall into a sprawling sandy beach, and one of

the most innovative modern music ensembles in the world, the Netherlands' Asko|Schönberg, brought their inimitable modern energy to Australia for Sydney Chamber Opera’s Antarctica and a special evening with Ensemble Offspring. The life’s work of one of the world’s finest landscape photographers beamed from three enormous screens on Oxford Street for Edward Burtynsky’s In the Wake of Progress, and Spain’s reigning queen of flamenco Sara Baras raised audiences in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall to their feet. Finally, the Festival’s blockbuster Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon exhibition, a Spanish/Mexican collaboration between Frida Kahlo Corporation and Layers of Reality, transformed the caverns of the Cutaway into nine interactive, absorbing and dazzlingly colourful experiences.



Under the stewardship of Sydney Festival’s Creative Artist in Residence Jacob Nash for a second year, the Blak Out program inspired, provoked and challenged Australia with myriad First Nations voices, whilst evolving new formats for storytelling. The live music program was enriched by the performances of Alice Skye and Australian rock icons Coloured Stone, whose set at The Weary Traveller delivered encore after encore to an appreciative audience. The soulful Emma Donovan performed with Paul Grabowsky, and her work with The Putbacks soundtracked the epic projection artwork splashed across Old Government House for Dyin Nura (Women’s Place), where community gathered for a wonderful night of live music, dance and ceremony.

Visual artist Thea Anamara Perkins painted the towering walls of Carriageworks, and Brenda L Croft’s striking portrait photography transformed Barangaroo Reserve into an outdoor gallery. Blue, Hide the Dog and Janet’s Vagrant Love created moving moments of new theatre whilst the interweaving of dance, music and text in Tracker took inspiration from the fascinating story of Wiradjuri Elder Uncle Alec ‘Tracker’ Riley. The annual Sydney Festival tradition of Vigil on the eve of 26 January turned its gaze outwards across the water this year, using the land, sea and sky connecting Me-Mel to Barangaroo Reserve as an epic theatrical canvas in a ceremonial reawakening and cleansing of the spirit of the island.

Vigil: Awaken, photo by Jacquie Manning Tracker, photo by Pedro Greig
Blue, photo by Joseph Mayers


There are so many incredible places in our city that most of us may never hear about or gain access to. A key tenet of the 2023 program was making creative use of spaces not usually available to the public or not previously used in creative ways, allowing locals to discover their city differently. Sydney Festival’s hugely successful takeover of the Commercial Travellers' Association with The Weary Traveller music venue and The Lucid: A Dream Portal to Awakening overnight sound experience unlocked this fascinating Seidler-designed architectural time warp for the general public and brought ‘The Mushroom’ to life with music from roots to roof. Call to the Night opened

up the exclusive Sydney Masonic Centre to a horde of happy Bonobo fans, Call to the Morning brought music lovers to the lush lawns and sweeping views of Strickland Estate as the sun rose over Sydney Harbour, and In Chamber enticed the curious, one by one, down into the safe room of the art deco hotel, Kimpton Margot Sydney. More commonly used sites were also experienced in completely novel ways, as when Ashfield Aquatic Centre hosted the ‘80s aquarobics workout party RetroSplash!, and contemporary dance found an unlikely home in Parramatta Leagues Club’s Kicks Tenpin & Arcade for Guttered

Call to the Night
, photo by Yaya Stempler
In Chamber, photo by Jacquie Manning
Commercial Travellers' Association, video still by Vokyo
Happy Meal, photo by Wendell Teodoro


Sydney Festival is committed to exploring diverse perspectives and identities through art, to broaden the discussion, challenge prevailing attitudes and reflect the varied make-up of our city. The Air Between Us saw two bodies connecting across cultures and life experiences when award-winning dance artist and wheelchair user Rodney Bell collaborated with choreographer and dancer Chloe Loftus in a celebration of harmony in difference.

MONUMENTAL (working title) challenged institutionalised views of the monument through twelve diverse perspectives and performance styles, whilst Guttered also used moving and playful choreography to explore the over-protection of people living with disabilities. Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream delved into rituals of death, philosophies of life and India’s Parsi culture, whilst Othering was

a powerul performance reflecting on the illtreatment of people with dwarfism.

Tabby Lamb’s Happy Meal gave us a heartwarming rom-com from the perspective of two transgender people, and Holding Achilles highlighted a queer love story at the heart of Homer’s Iliad in spectacular fashion. Aligning with Sydney’s WorldPride celebrations, a series of LGBTQIA+ focused art exhibitions opened during the festival and carried on into March: UNSW Galleries hosted a celebration of Sydney’s queer nightlife culture in The Party, whilst over at Carriageworks Paul Yore explored queer identity within a chaotic neon wonderland in WORD MADE FLESH, and The Huxleys delivered Bloodlines, a sparkling multiform tribute to voices silenced by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Guttered, photo by Wendell Teodoro
Antarctica, photo by Wendell Teodoro
Brett Whiteley Studio Sessions: Alma Zygier, photo by Yaya Stempler
Asko|Schönberg in concert with Ensemble Offspring, photo by Yaya Stempler


A joyous explosion of live music energised Sydney Festival’s 2023 program. From largescale opera to intimate cabaret to sweaty basement gigs, Sydney had the sound on in January. As the Festival’s dedicated live music hub in the heart of the city, The Weary Traveller hosted 43 live acts and DJs during its season, with everything from rock to rave, pop and post-punk blasting out from the red-curtained corner beneath Martin Place.

Opera returned to the program on an epic scale with the award-winning performance in the round (and in the sand), Sun & Sea and the magnificent blend of tradition and innovation that was Mary Finsterer’s Antarctica. A femme-focused cabaret series featuring incredible performers like Prinnie Stevens and Christie-Whelan Browne

proved hugely popular at STC's Wharf 1, whilst intimate performances at the Neilson ACO included Paul Capsis, Hamed Sadeghi and more.

In addition to the array of dedicated music events, live music also wove itself into the program in more unexpected ways, including Chloe Kim’s drumming amidst the MCA’s Do Ho Suh exhibition, Montaigne’s haunting live singing in Holding Achilles, the nine drummers and nine drum kits on stage for the wild-spirited contemporary dance work Manifesto, the live instrumentalist Ruşan Filiztek joining the dancers in Neighbours and the intimate shows held amidst and in response to artworks in the Brett Whiteley studios.

An Evening with Ursula Yovich, photo by Martin Mischkulnig
Manifesto, photo by Wendell Teodoro
Kairos, photo by Regis Lansac


Each year, Sydney Festival supports the growth of the Australian cultural footprint through the presenting and commissioning of new Australian stories on our stages. The Blak Out program was especially rich in new work, from the exploration of the beauty and fragility of youth in Blue, to a collaboration between New Zealand/Aotearoa and Australia in Hide the Dog, celebrating the First Nations cultures of both countries through a magical family work about two best friends out to save the last Tasmanian Tiger. Dance/theatre hybrid, Tracker, told the significant Australian story of Uncle Alec Riley in a bold new way, and Vigil, created

this year by Jacob Nash and Stephen Page AO, evolved into a completely original form combining multimedia technology with ancient ceremony.

New dance works wowed audiences, from the captivating Kairos to the euphoric clashes and caresses of Manifesto. Two beloved Australian companies, Legs on the Wall and Dead Puppet Society collaborated to create Holding Achilles and new Australian works staged in Sydney’s west included Othering, Guttered and Dyin Nura (Women’s Place)



Each year Sydney Festival delights in putting smiles and looks of wonder on the faces of its tiniest residents. The 2023 family program, designed for the young and perfect for the young at heart, was stacked with magical animals and insects, maritime adventures, ancient spirits and sustainability messages. The Seymour Centre family programming was a triumph, as The Artist and The Insect Circus brought laughter and joy with perfectly executed examples of physical theatre and puppetry. Shipwrecks dominated programming at the Australian National Maritime Museum, whilst it was all about sharks at the Australian Museum.

First Nations stories were accessed through animal adventures in Hide the Dog and Bangarra’s first

dance work for children, Waru – journey of the small turtle. Free and outdoors events were particularly popular, with large crowds passing through the glowing inflatable fountains of Cupid’s Koi Garden and gathering around the infamous Ibsen of Tip Duck, a giant ibis roaming the streets of Sydney collecting rubbish and engaging in bin chickenesque shenanigans. The iconic work of a beloved Australian artist was realised in a playful new way when LGOP Collective transformed Jenny Kee’s Unioz stripe design into The Aunties, the quirky anthropomorphic beings who stood sentinel over South Eveleigh throughout January.

Cupid's Koi Garden, photo by Yaya Stempler
The Weary Traveller, photo by Wendell Teodoro
Afrique en Cirque community night, photo by Wendell Teodoro


Sydney Festival is proud to support the health of Sydney’s after-dark culture and economy, consciously programming works that encourage nightlife recovery and enliven public areas. When City of Sydney reached out for event submissions to revitalise Oxford Street, the Festival delivered – months ahead of its regular January scheduling – the work of one of the world’s most celebrated photographers straight to Taylor Square. Outdoors and free to enjoy, Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky’s In The Wake of Progress engaged both art pilgrims and passers-by alike on the urgency of the climate crisis through images and footage of incredible beauty. The installation was also accompanied by a compelling series of talks held nearby at the Australian Museum. Audiences for both events were encouraged to explore the area through

the Festival’s partnering with local restaurants and bars.

During season, the Festival created free and festive after-dark hubs to encourage crowds to mingle before and after shows. At Seymour Centre, where multiple works were staged including two of the 2023 programs key works – the mesmerising one-woman emotional rollercoaster, Girls & Boys, and the salacious circus party that was Werk It – audiences were also able to enjoy Seymour Nights, a free courtyard party with food, drink, games and live music. Riverside Festival Gardens gave Parramatta audiences a new hang out space and back in the CBD The Weary Traveller stayed open late, with a roster of talented local DJs on for free, whether you’d just enjoyed the live gig and wanted to stick around or were simply nearby and in the mood for a drink or dance.

Maho Magic Bar, photo by Darling Harbour
Afrique en Cirque, photo by Wendell Teodoro


As Western Sydney culture, community and infrastructure continues to blossom, Sydney Festival programs works to stimulate the creative growth of the area. Lunar New Year provided the perfect opportunity to reinvigorate the Sydney Symphony Under the Stars programming, introducing Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese classics and an updated finale to breathe new life into an old favourite in Parramatta Park. The explosive Afrique en Cirque drew big crowds to Riverside Theatres, which also hosted Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream and the side-splitter that was Multicultural Comedy Gala. Investigative audio experience Message Bank sent audiences roaming through Parramatta

Square, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre’s Flight explored the impact of aviation in creative ways and its launch Latitudes showcased Western Sydney artists within a historic Granville landmark.

In Sydney’s south, The Pavilion Performing Arts Centre Sutherland hosted Bangarra’s family-friendly Waru – journey of the small turtle, and further beyond the city the beautiful rural setting of Bundanon hosted a series of art and events in Siteworks. For those north of the bridge, a hilarious piece of political theatre in A Broadcast Coup at Ensemble Theatre, and some provoking visual art by Ernest Edmonds and more at Mosman Art Galleries.

Sydney Symphony Under the Stars, photo by Wendell Teodoro


A centrepiece of the 2023 program was Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon, an immersive biographical exhibition whose scale, variety and interactivity had not been seen in Sydney before. Running across 54 days, covering 2,100m2 and drawing in a total of 86,200 audience members, the exhibition was lauded by critics, loved by audiences and widely covered across media outlets, receiving the most press of any work in the 2023 Festival.

Created by Layers of Reality and Frida Kahlo Corporation, it was the largest exhibition ever presented by Sydney Festival, transforming the Cutaway at Barangaroo into nine different experiential spaces. A

technological triumph, the experience combined 360° projections with holography and virtual reality, traditional Mexican live music and playful folk dances, a cantina, traditional clothing replicas and creative play through flower crown making, drawing and Frida-style self-portrait taking. More than just interactive and visually stimulating, the exhibition afforded audiences a deep and moving insight into the life and motivations of this iconic artist, whose strong feminist identity, subversive practices and unmistakable aesthetic continue to fascinate us and dominate popular culture to this day.

Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon, photo by Jacquie Manning Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon, photo by Jacquie Manning
Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon, photo by Jacquie Manning


"Thank you for the wonderful platform you provided for me, the musicians and this project. I appreciate all the effort, passion and hard work you’ve put into this."

Hamed Sadeghi, Empty Voices

"You have been so kind and considerate on every level, and supported us all the way. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in your beautiful city all because of you, the people and your energy. I am very pleased with the great reviews! I truly hope I may work with you all again."

"My experience of the 2023 Sydney Festival was positively memorable. Olivia, as Director, was fantastically creative and inclusive. Every team member had a special gift, and to see my designs of forty years being brought back to life was quite magical. The Aunties installation was exceptional in that it gave history to my artistic practice and life to my very personal journey, made possible with the contributions of my mother and her sisters, The Aunties. I was blown away by the interpretation of my Uni Oz design; the movement and 3D enhancement gave it new currency and relevance to a younger generation. Working in collaboration with Sydney Festival has been a truly uplifting experience for me and I salute Olivia and her team for the care they took and respect they gave to my work."

Jenny Kee, Jenny Kee: The Aunties

"Our team had a great time and were very well looked after by all Sydney Festival staff and crew, from our driver right through to the producers. An enormous amount of work was put into the scheduling and logistics meaning our performers could do their best work on the streets of Sydney. Importantly, it felt like the festival had a very good internal culture, positive and supportive."

Ibsen, via Sam Routledge of Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Tip Duck

Hugh Borthwick of Theatre Royal Plymouth, Happy Meal Jenny Kee:The Aunties, photo by Martin Mischkulnig
Tip Duck, photo by Jacquie Manning

"The show felt amazing, and the response has been incredible. I particularly wanted to mention how good the tech team was. It was such a pleasure to work with crew that were committed, quick and ran the show beautifully. Thank you for having us, I know Christie had a phenomenal night and experience at Sydney Festival."

"We love the setting of [Tumbalong Park] and know that given the prestige of the Festival it attracts significant visitation. We love the mix of people who attend Sydney Festival, and have found that visitors produce some really creative photographic responses to our work, which is a lovely communion between the art and other artists. Working with the Festival team is always positive and we enjoy their seamless expertise."

"The chance to present Message Bank at Sydney Festival was a game changer. The Festival connected us with new audiences and elevated our work from prototype to production. We want to create bold new experiences for the next generation of audiences and Sydney Festival was the perfect partner to deliver on this."

Dean Bryant, Director/Producer, Christie Whelan-Browne in Show People Cupid’sKoiGarden
"There are no words to adequately describe our experience at the Festival. What a high."
Lisa Moore, Show Your Heart
Cupid's Koi Garden, photo by Darling Harbour
Christie Whelan-Browne in Show People, photo by Jacquie Manning




Available to watch from anywhere at no cost, digital programming has become an essential tool in improving the accessibility of the arts. 2023 saw Sydney Festival broaden and diversify its AT HOME program, presenting live streams of performances, documentaries, talks, multi-camera performance recordings and feature films. Three terrific documentaries were licensed to enhance events for the festival-goer or be enjoyed as standalone works: Circus Without Borders – the touching story behind Afrique en Cirque creators Kalabanté Productions, the Frida Kahlo documentary – exploring the life and art of Frida Kahlo, the subject of Sydney Festival’s major exhibition, and Step into Paradise, a documentary on Jenny Kee, the incredible Sydney artist whose work inspired the Festival’s 2023 branding and installation, The Aunties

Live performance recordings included 2023 season’s Holding Achilles and The Air Between Us, plus four throwback highlights from the 2022 Festival

recorded in partnership with Australian Theatre Live. The platform also hosted two memorable live music concerts –Hamed Sadeghi in Empty Voices and Lisa Moore in Show Your Heart, and two illuminating talks, including Olivia Ansell in conversation with the creators of Sun & Sea, and Tracker: In Conversation, bringing together members of the Riley Family and wider Wiradjuri community to hear the motivations and creative processes behind the dance work inspired by Uncle Alec ‘Tracker’ Riley. Complementing this on the Festival’s digital platform was One Night the Moon – a unique feature film also inspired by Alec Riley’s story. Latitudes featured Western Sydney voices via three short films, and a very special live stream shared the inspiring Vigil: Awaken ceremony with a much wider audience.




It wouldn’t be January without a healthy splash of free Sydney Festival events and installations enriching streets and green spaces with art. Two large-scale, whimsical inflatable installations enlivened the inner city: Jenny Kee: The Aunties and Cupid’s Koi Garden, whilst the projection-mapping and music of Dyin Nura (Women’s Place) and the epic al fresco concert Sydney Symphony

Under the Stars brought joy in the west. Nine free art exhibitions were scattered across Greater Sydney galleries including Paul Yore:

WORD MADE FLESH and Brett Whiteley: Eternity Is Now, an aerial duet graced Tallawolladah Lawn for The Air Between Us, a giant bin chicken poked its beak into bins

and backpacks across the city for Tip Duck and Vigil: Awaken brought ceremonial magic to the skies, sea and land of Barangaroo Reserve and Me-Mel. For nightlife goers, The Weary Traveller After Parties and Seymour Nights courtyard sessions provided a freeto-access hang out space to drink, eat, and enjoy live music and DJs with friends.

Thanks to our Tix for Next to Nix same-day ticket offers, Arts Pass discounts for those in the industry, other sales and discounts and events priced accessibly to begin with, Sydney Festival sold a total of 18,960 tickets that were $30 or under.

Dyin Nura (Women's Place), photo by Wendell Teodoro
36 Events with Access & Inclusion programs 59 Accessible Performances 11 Artists living with disability employed 8 Free events with Access & Inclusions 9 Auslan interpreted performances 16 Captioned performances 5 Tactile tours 5 Audio described performances 35 Relaxed performances 46
The Air Between Us, photo by Yaya Stempler


Sydney Festival strives to ensure that all people, regardless of accessibility needs, have the opportunity to both enjoy and participate in the art and live performance the Festival presents each January. The Festival included performances which were Auslan interpreted, captioned, audio described, tactile and relaxed, with all but two of our venues wheelchair accessible (in these two cases alternative spaces were offered from which to enjoy the experience), and for those who could not attend in person at all, the AT HOME program provided a varied digital offering. Artists living with disability performed in the playful dance work Guttered, the moving drama, Othering, and in the dramatic aerial duet, The Air Between Us

The 2023 Preview Guide was produced in a variety of formats including braille, MP3 and Audio CD, and this year’s website proudly introduced an accessibility widget, which allowed users to manipulate features of the site in a wide variety of ways to suit their needs, for example dyslexia-friendly font, colour and brightness adjustments, text size changes and a screen reader function. Advice from people living with disability via the Access and Inclusion Advisory Panel informs the Festival every year in its evolving strategy to reduce barriers to the arts and broaden the diversity of those experiencing the Festival behind the scenes, on stage and in the audience.

Vigil: Awaken, photo by Jacquie Manning


This year Sydney Festival was proud to work with iconic Australian artists to create a vibrant 2023 brand. From crabs in coral to a costumed queer wonderland, collaborations with artists Jenny Kee, The Huxleys and Tristan Millar were brought to life by design partner Re (M&C Saatchi Group) in a vivid celebration of Sydney summer.

The Festival’s 2023 branding and marketing activity took over the city with a six-month campaign from October 2022 to March 2023. Over 65 million impressions were delivered

across broadcast, cinema, outdoor, online, print, radio, social media, street media, collateral and direct mail.

A huge thank you to the Festival’s media partners, who helped deliver an impactful campaign: the Sydney Morning Herald, Signwave Newtown, ABC, Time Out, Concrete Playground and Limelight Magazine

2023 Program Launch, Photo by Wendell Teodoro
SOCIAL CAMPAIGN IMPRESSIONS 65 million+ WEBSITE PAGE VIEWS 4.8 million EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS 104,000 MEDIA 147,000 Facebook followers 56,000 Instagram followers 152,000 Twitter followers
1,769,626 Tik Tok views 23% Outdoor Print 25% TV 4% Social 26% Digital 14% Cinema Search Radio 5% MEDIA INVESTMENT 3% 1% 49
2023 Sydney Festival Signage, Photo by Wendell Teodoro


Justine Clarke was truly incredible in Girls + Boys @sydney_festival tonight. What a powerhouse performance & interesting writing that cared about the audience experience.

Standing ovation


A week ago I saw something so outstanding at @SeymourSydney as part of #sydfest I swore nothing would top it (Girls & Boys). Then Werk It said, hold my wine! Funny, impressive, awe-inspiring. I didn’t stop grinning throughout. What a wonderfully diverse @sydney_festival



pretty sure that's the only time I ever saw stage diving at a @ sydney_festival show. huge vibe at The Weary Traveller for Too Birds



This week, for the first time, I heard Katie @KTNoonan in performance. Blown away! She’s an astonishingly talented performer. Such nuance, musical precision and above all heart. Tks @sydney_festival

Mary Finsterer's new opera Antarctica is astonishing: her music ranged fluently between renaissance, modernist and electronic influences, the libretto is persuasive, the set high tech, the voices beyond beautiful


Still buzzing from the wild, vibrant, jazzy, absurdist symphony that I experienced last night in James Thiérrée's Room for @sydney_ festival I kept thinking that Charles Chaplin would have been delighted, and proud of his grandson's genius work.

Brilliant brilliant brilliant!!! Melb choreographer @stephanielakecompany Manifesto @sydney_festival is everything I love about contemporary dance and music: pure unadulterated joy, energy and movement, so much movement. And loud (but in the best way). Well worth seeing. Creating our very own Frida Magic @eatcakecreate Gorgeous morning to visit @southeveleigh and enjoy the @sydney_festival installation Jenny Kee: The Aunties #wifeofanartdealer The best beach I've ever been to... Zero sun, 35 tonnes of sand piled into Town Hall, lots of people watching, a suspiciously silent dog and baby and so many darkly funny lyrics in this modern opera — on climate crisis, privilege and over-working.


The 2023 Sydney Festival PR campaign mirrored the extraordinary successes of the 2023 event.

This year’s Festival enjoyed significant media attention with a wealth of timely news stories, overwhelmingly positive reviews, artist features and nuanced coverage. A total of 7,137 media reports across online, print and broadcast was achieved locally, nationally and internationally.

The strength of the coverage – from front cover news stories to extensive national TV features – ensured high visibility, the strategic targeting of new and existing audience bases and a tangible buzz around the city which complemented the marketing and social media campaign extremely well.

Coverage was placed across national, state-wide and community outlets, capturing a full spectrum of audiences, whilst Sydney Festival’s ‘Art of Summer’ campaign rang true throughout, with

stories and features celebrating the festival’s diverse program and unique Sydney-centric offerings. A particular standout interest to journalists during this year’s campaign was the unique spaces that the festival occupied throughout the city.

Publicity highlights included two front pages of the Sydney Morning Herald, 43 press interviews with Festival Director Olivia Ansell, news pieces on Channel 7, 9, 10, SBS and ABC News, and a daily presence on ABC Radio Sydney Breakfast. Two live weather crosses also formed part of the campaign on Channel 7’s Sunrise and Channel 9’s Today Show.

2023 proved a bumper year for broadcast coverage with 35% of the coverage being led by TV. The leading genre covered by the media was music, with Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon being the most popular event covered by the press.

Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon Media Call, Photo by Wendell Teodoro
MEDIA COVERAGE Potential cumulative Value in ad space $27,973,000 Total mentions in media: 7,137 Press 5% Radio TV Online 27% 35% 33% COVERAGE Highlights Print Highlights Print Highlights Print Highlights L to R: (top row) Olivia Ansell poses at Sun & Sea on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald, Thomas Weatherall (Blue) on the cover of Spectrum, festival guide in the Sydney Morning Herald, Retrosplash! cover feature in S Magazine, (bottom Frida: The Life of an Icon cover pointer on the front page of The Australian, double page spread on and Sun & Sea in The Australian James Thierrée picture story on he front page of the Sydney Morning L to R: (top row) Olivia Sun & Sea on the front Sydney Morning Herald, Weatherall (Blue) on the Spectrum, festival guide Sydney Morning Herald, cover feature in S Magazine, row) Frida: The Life of pointer on the front page Australian, double page Frida and Sun & Sea in and James Thierrée picture the front page of the Highlights 53

“Sydney Festival was back to the extravaganzas only it could host.”


“It is the type of theatre that simply must be experienced… Tracker   is a great reminder of the power of self-determined, First Nations storytelling.”


“Sydney Festival offers a window into inventive and significant artistic work from around the world and brings it to local audiences as a gift of something new, different, or just much-needed.”


“It is impossible to fault this exhibition. It is historically rich, visually exciting and engaging, memorable – and best of all – it gyrates with energy as throngs of everyday punters physically enjoy themselves and actively engage with ‘art’.”


“A crazy array of jaw-dropping stunts and circus artistry with lashings of sass and innuendo.”



“Do not blink, do not miss a second of this extraordinary trip into the unruly labyrinthine of its creator’s mind.”

“The showstopper for me this year was the fact the festival opened up parts of Sydney previously off-limits to music and live theatre. From the safe below the old Sydney Water Board Building, to Strickland House and to the triumphant opening to the public of the Commercial Travellers Association for the first time in its 140-year history with its Weary Traveller bar.”


“A full house standing over and over again is surely the most that any performer can possibly ask for and we became a part of that ovation tonight.”


A slightly trippy, once-in-a-lifetime overnight soundscape experience... delightfully unaffected...”




Sydney Festival would like to thank our two founding partners, the State Government through Create NSW and the City of Sydney. Their continued investment in Sydney Festival ensures that we can deliver diverse, highcalibre multi-arts programs – for 47 years and counting.

We continue to work collaboratively with our long-term investor Destination NSW, who in 2023 supported three Sydney exclusive events: ROOM, Sara Baras: Alma and Sun & Sea, and promoted the Festival through its extensive marketing channels to drive visitation to Sydney and NSW. This year Destination NSW provided additional support to help the festival realise the incredible tenweek season of Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon immersive exhibition.

The Festival again partnered with Place Management to present Cupid’s Koi Garden and Maho Magic Bar in its Darling Harbour precinct, and the mesmerising aerial duet The Air Between Us on Tallawoladah Lawn. Port

Authority of NSW and Place Management NSW supported Vigil: Awaken at Barangaroo Reserve – a cleansing of place, a re-awakening of spirit and an honouring of sovereignty. This special evening of ceremony was also livestreamed.

Sydney Festival continues to develop and present quality arts and cultural events in Western Sydney with a focus on programming within Parramatta local government area which is supported by City of Parramatta. Through this partnership the Festival has delivered stand out productions such as the highest selling show of the Festival in Western Sydney, Afrique en Cirque at Riverside Theatres, and the world premiere celebration on Dharug land, Dyin Nura (Women’s Place) at Old Government House. Sydney Symphony Under the Stars returned to The Crescent to delight audiences, made possible by Greater Sydney Parklands and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.



In 2023 the impressive, vibrant and diverse precinct of South Eveleigh, with its strong focus on circular economy and sustainability, hosted the world premiere installation Jenny Kee: The Aunties, plus presented a complementary conversation with the iconic Sydney artist in the historic Locomotive Workshop.

This year we welcomed a new education partner in The University of Sydney, whose commitment to supporting the Western Sydney program enabled events such as Afrique en Cirque at Riverside Theatres, Dyin Nura (Women's Place) at Old Government House and Guttered at Parramatta Leagues

Club to come to fruition.

99designs and Bondi Wash were incredible supporters of Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon exhibition with their designs and products integrated into the immersive experience. Climate and environmentthemed works were proudly presented in this year’s program, including the stellar international performance of Antarctica at Carriageworks. The perfect alignment for our climate pieces was Sydney Festival’s first electric car sponsor, Polestar. A new music hotspot was created in the heart of the Sydney CBD, in Harry Siedler's iconic Commercial Travellers' Association


(CTA) known as ‘The Mushroom’. Dubbed The Weary Traveller, the pop-up space presented a lineup of eclectic, cutting edge music acts, whilst the hotel rooms above offered an overnight stay with The Lucid: A Dream Portal to Awakening

At both The Weary Traveller and Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon exhibition, patrons enjoyed beverages from the bar provided by Bunnamagoo Wines, Campari, Hawke’s Brewing Co. and MODE.

We thoroughly enjoyed working again with Re Agency to evolve our Festival brand into a new feel for 2023 across print collateral, outdoor, motion assets, website and TVCs. Media sponsors provide vital promotional support and coverage, with special thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Radio, TimeOut, TorchMedia, Tribal Apes, Concrete

Playground, Adflow, Signwave Newtown and Limelight Magazine.

Sydney Festival works with a variety of production partners who play a critical role in staging the Festival, most notably TDC, who provided audiovisual technology and expertise across the entire Festival. Special thanks to our other production sponsors: Chameleon Touring Systems, EPS, Stagekings and SafetyCulture. Our artists and crew were delighted to stay with our generous accommodation partners, Kimpton Magot Sydney and Accor. We would also like to thank our Festival lawyers Maddocks, our research partners Woolcott Research and RDA Research as well as Wilson Parking, Business Sydney, Committee for Sydney, CloudWave, Ogilvy, Kawai, Artbank Australia and all our venue partners.


Now in its 23rd year, the Festival Feasts restaurant program offers audiences an elevated dining experience during January. The successful ongoing initiative directs new business to partner restaurants across the CBD, Inner-West and Parramatta.

Thank you to our 2023 restaurant partners: ALEX&Co., BrewDog South Eveleigh, Cafe Sydney, Calle Rey, Chefs Gallery Town Hall, CHI by Lotus, Eat Fuh, Henry Deane, Kittyhawk, Londres 126, Lotus The Galeries, Lucky Kwong, Misfits at The Redfern, Pepper Seed Boutique Thai Bites, Re, The Dining Room and The Wilmot Bar.




Our sincere thanks to Principal Philanthropic supporter Peter Freedman AM and all our private donors - our biggest advocates. This year they enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with each other and Festival artists at a series of exclusives events in appreciation of their support.

I have long been an advocate for Sydney Festival and strongly believe it is one of the world’s most important cultural events – most certainly Australia’s. The Festival has supported thousands of creative artists and behind-the-scenes workers in the industry. These are the people who have supported my career with RØDE, and this is my way of giving back to them.


"Such a pleasure celebrating an inspiring group of people bringing so much joy and stimulation to the community."


Linda Herd and Olivia Ansell, photo by Natalie Boog Zeke Solomon AM, Jules Maxwell and Ian Low, photo by Natalie Boog



What a ripper of a Festival Helen and I have had! Apart from one show we had to skip, we’ve had a super spread of performances (and Frida Kahlo) which collectively were of such high standard and provided us with such a diverse feast. We were delighted to have outstandingly marvellous seats and really do appreciate your incredibly considerate and efficient service.

Congratulations to all of you from us both.


Judith and Jonathan Casson, photo by Wendell Teodoro James Hill and Jennifer Dowling, photo by Wendell Teodoro Eduardo Villa, Maria Villa and Jacob Nash, photo by Natalie Boog Carol Crawford, Jacqui Scheinberg and Brigit Kirk, photo by Wendell Teodoro Previe Freedman, Peter Freedman AM and Mark Jackson-Pulver, photo by Wendell Teodoro Tom Hayward and Fiona Martin-Weber, photo by Wendell Teodoro


The house and garden looked stunning and the whole event ran like clockwork. A true money-can’tbuy experience of the highest order.


Jacqui Scheinberg, James Thiérrée, Sarah Manesse and Richard Scheinberg AM, photo by Wendell Teodoro Penelope Seidler AM, Anthony Maple-Brown, Sarah Manesse and Olivia Ansell, photo by Wendell Teodoro Andrew Cameron AM, Cathy Cameron, Rebel Penfold-Russell and Ian Low, photo by Wendell Teodoro Christopher Tooher, Olivia Ansell and Roslyn Packer AC, photo by Wendell Teodoro Suzanne Maple-Brown and Christopher Tooher, photo by Wendell Teodoro James Thiérrée and Richard Scheinberg AM, photo by Wendell Teodoro James Thiérrée, Popsy Albert and Chris Shaw, photo by Wendell Teodoro
Previe Freedman and Peter Freedman AM, photo by Wendell Teodoro


Sydney Festival makes the start of each new year very special and this year was exceptional. The Festival was a true celebration for all involved showcasing amazing talent from home and abroad bringing energy and hope for the year ahead.



GET INVOLVED IN 2024! or contact Sydney Festival Philanthropy on (02) 8248 6507 or for further details.
Jenny Kee and Rhae Hooper, photo by Marita Supplee Camilla Drover, David Mathlin and Paddy Carney, photo by Wendell Teodoro Peter Freedman AM, Penelope Seidler AM, Jacqui Scheinberg and Richard Scheinberg AM , photo by Wendell Teodoro Chris Shaw, Hamed Sadeghi and Rhae Hooper, photo by Wendell Teodoro
Previe Freedman,Peter Freedman AM, Dennis Wilson, Hon Margaret Beazley AC, Chris Tooher and Olivia Ansell , photo by Wendell Teodoro



Sydney Festival owes a heartful thanks to the 220 wonderful people who volunteered their time and energy towards making the 2023 Festival as easy and enjoyable for patrons as possible. These volunteers contributed over 2,900 hours of service across 25 days in January, with over 700 of these volunteer hours dedicated to Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon. Eight dedicated volunteers logged over thirty hours each throughout January –a generous contribution to the success of 2023.

Volunteers played a particularly prominent role in this year’s Vigil: Awaken, with First Nations community members sourced from Tribal Warrior offering their time and expertise to complete the epic-scale smoking ceremony which formed part of the cleansing and re-awakening of MeMel.

Volunteers, photo by Wendell Teodoro


Public art and live performance deliver more than entertainment and education –they provide opportunities to bring people together and strengthen communities. The Festival encouraged such opportunities throughout its program, from an Afrique en Cirque community night featuring live performance from local artists Worlds Collide, to authentic food offerings at the Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream community night from local Indian suppliers. There was a magical live performance evening to accompany the Old Government House installation, Dyin

Nura (Women’s Place) and the perfect community gathering place in Blouza Hall for Latitudes. Back in the inner city, Tracker: In Conversation was the first event of its kind to comprise of a Wiradjuri nations panel of speakers; the talk brought together members of the Riley Family (whose story inspired the work) and wider First Nations community to hear the inspiration and creative processes behind Tracker

The Festival provided varied opportunities to engage further with events across the program. Its youngest audience members enjoyed creative play accompanying Hide the Dog, and conservation-focused exhibitions and activities accompanying Waru – journey of the small turtle Drumming and dance workshops were held by Afrique en Cirque’s Kalabanté Productions for those ready to get rhythmic and further their understanding of West

African artforms firsthand, and The Huxley’s Stitch n Bitch session offered an unusual opportunity for queer storytelling through sewing. Though concept and composition were Lithuanian imports, the operaperformance Sun & Sea reached out to local singers to help make up its choral cohort, and Festival community members to help populate the sandy banks of Sydney Town Hall with sun-worshipping extras.

Afriqu en Cirque Drumming & Dance Workshop, Photo by Rebecca Spicer






Andrew Cameron AM and Cathy


Hooper Shaw Foundation

Roslyn Packer AC

Jacqui Scheinberg


Antionette Albert

John Barrer

Fiona Martin-Weber and Tom Hayward

Mitchel Martin-Weber

Robyn Martin-Weber

Rebel Penfold Russell

Scully Fund

Zeke Solomon AM

The Tal Family


Robert Albert AO and Libby Albert

Ashley Dawson-Damer

Stephen Fitzgerald

Lisa and Mark Jackson Pulver

David Kirk MBE and Brigit Kirk

Anthony and Suzanne Maple-Brown

David Mathlin and Camilla Drover

Penelope Seidler AM


The Arcadia Syndicate

Canny Quine Foundation

Caroline Beecham and John Lydon

Jonathan and Judith Casson

Anna Cleary

Carol Crawford

Jennifer Dowling and James Hill

Roslyn and Alex Hunyor

Phillip Keir and Sarah Benjamin

Amanda and Andrew Love

Dr Carolyn Lowry OAM and Peter Lowry OAM

Julianne Maxwell

Mary Read

Victoria Taylor

Carolyn and Drew Townsend

Villa & Villa P/L

Ray Wilson OAM


John and Helen Barclay

Helen Bauer and

Helen Lynch AM

Iolanda Capodanno and Juergen Krufczyk

Peter Cooper

George El-Khouri OAM

Dianne and Terry Finnegan

Kiong Lee and Richard Funston

Helena Harris

Karen Moses

Lyndall and Trevor McNally


Olivia Ansell

Paddy Carney

Barry Fitzgibbon

Cheryl Lo

Catherine Maple-Brown

Jerry and Ali Meades

In memory of Jane Matthews AO

Dr Ann McFarlane

Fiona Sinclair and Peter King

Christopher Tooher

Sun & Sea, photo by Wendell Teodoro



The Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Dyin Nura (Women’s Place)

Brenda L Croft’s original artwork from the series Naabami (Thou shall/will see): Barangaroo (Army of Me), commissioned by Lendlease.

Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon

Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon was made possible by the support of our venue partner Place Management NSW. Wats On Events, The Catering Department and Fibonacci Coffee Company provided delicious food and beverages. The Flower Social provided flower crown DIY kits and inperson flower crown making sessions. Silk Flora created the Frida Kahlo flower mural.

Girls & Boys

State Theatre Company South Australia is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and Arts South Australia.


This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., commissioned by Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival and Sydney Festival.

Hide the Dog

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts

Festivals Inc., commissioned by Sydney Festival, Perth Festival, Adelaide Festival, RISING and Brisbane Festival. Hide the Dog was also supported by Sydney Opera House.

Holding Achilles

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., commissioned by Brisbane Festival, Sydney Festival, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Glass Half Full Productions together with Bristol Old Vic and Northampton Royal and Derngate in the UK.

In The Wake of Progress

This Australian premiere presentation at Oxford Street’s Taylor Square was made possible by the NSW Government through the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner. Special thanks to production partners TDC and Stagekings, as well as local restaurant and bars Big Poppa's, Bitter Phew, Cafe Freda's, Claire's Kitchen at Le Salon and Kinselas for creating limited menu items inspired by the installation. A series of fascinating talks with the artist, Edward Burtynsky, were co-presented by the Australian Museum.


FORM Dance Projects would like to thank and acknowledge project funding and support from Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund—an Australian Government initiative, Create NSW, The Packer Family Foundation, Sydney Dance Company, Riverside Theatres, Bundanon Trust, Sidney Nolan Trust and DACS/Copyright Agency.


This project has been assisted by the Australian Government's Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its Arts Funding and Advisory Body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., commissioned by Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival, Perth Festival, RISING, Sydney Festival and Auckland Arts Festival. Manifesto has also been supported by Creative Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts, City of Moreland, City of Melbourne and Creative Partnerships Australia though Plus 1.


A Sadler’s Wells Production with the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels. Coproduced with PACT Zollverein Essen, Pôle européen de création – Ministère de la Culture/Maison de la Danse Lyon, Biennale de la danse de Lyon 2021, CNDC Angers, TAP – Théâtre Auditorium de Poitiers, La Filature, Scène nationale de Mulhouse, Julidans Amsterdam, Théâtre de Liège, MC2: Maison de la Culture de Grenoble, Teatro municipal do Porto, KDF / Kalamata Dance Festival, Torinodanza Festival / Teatro Stabile di Torino –Teatro Nazionale and centre chorégraphique national de Caen en Normandie.


Othering has been assisted by the NSW Government through Create NSW, and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, their arts funding and advisory body. Othering was developed with the generous support of the Critical Stages Touring Regional Touring Residency and Cowra Civic Centre, Bundanon, Phoenix Central Park and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre.

Paul Yore: Word Made Flesh

Paul Yore: WORD MADE FLESH was presented by Carriageworks as part of Sydney Festival in partnership with the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. The work was originally commissioned by ACCA and premiered in September 2022.


RetroSplash! was made possible with support from the Inner West Council and Ashfield Aquatic Centre.


ROOM was created at the Théâtre de Carouge-Atelier de Genève in December 2021 – February 2022. Co-Produced with Théâtre de Carouge (CH), La Comédie de Clermont- Ferrand Scène Nationale (F), Théâtre de la Ville Paris (F), Le Théâtre de Namur (B), Le Théâtre des Célestins, Lyon (F), Chekhov International Theatre Festival, Moscou (RU), Edinburgh International Festival (GB),Théâtre Sénart Scène Nationale de Lieusaint, anthéa Antibes (F), LG Art Center Seoul (K), EquilibreNuithonie – Fribourg (CH), Le Volcan Scène Nationale Le Havre (F), Opéra de Massy (F), Théâtre du Passage Neuchâtel (CH), Le Parvis Scène NationaleTarbes (F), L’arc Scène Nationale Le Creusot (F), Berliner Festspiele (D), Festpielhaus St Pölten (A), Bimot Global Productions (IL), Sydney Festival (AU).La Compagnie du Hanneton is supported by Ministère de la Culture, DRAC Bourgogne Franche Comté and Conseil regional Bourgogne Franche Comté.


This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., commissioned by Sydney Festival, Perth Festival, Adelaide Festival, RISING and Brisbane Festival.



Her Excellency the Honourable

Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of New South Wales


Chair – David Kirk MBE

Andrew Cameron AM

Paddy Carney

Angela Clark

Darren Dale

Kate Dundas

Dr Robert Lang

Catriona Noble (Outgoing)

Karen Mundine (Incoming)


Festival Director

Olivia Ansell

Executive Director

Christopher Tooher

Executive Assistant

Bianca Rey

Administration Officer

Thomas Hamilton


Head of Finance and Administration

Dimitri Cachia

Finance Manager

Jennifer Stallard

Assistant Accountant

Chee-Hsing Pinchen

Accounts Assistant

Julie Crawford

Accounts Assistant

Courtney Lewis


External Relations Director

Jane You

Business Development

Mouche Phillips

External Relations Manager

Kelly Malkin

External Relations Coordinator

Caitlin Stewart

Hospitality Consultants

Fernando Motti, Blake Smith


Head of Philanthropy

Marita Supplee

Philanthropy Assistant

Fiona Jackson


Head of Programming Operations

Ellen Kavanagh

Creative Artist in Residence

Jacob Nash

Producer, Outdoor & Major Events

Charles Coy

Producer, Theatre & Dance

Nick Beech

Producer, Music

Chris Twite

Producer, Digital

Leanne Tufrey

Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon Producer

Lauren Peters

Associate Producer

Rebecca Spicer

Associate Producer

Rebecca Gribble

Associate Producer

Jenny Ainsworth

Associate Producer

Neville Williams Boney

Volunteer Coordinators

Jessica Summit, Rebecca Quinn

Programming Coordinator

Amy Mills


Marketing Director

Aimee Ocampo

Digital Marketing Manager

Alex Wain

Media Advisor

Nia Jones

Publications and Content Editor

Jordan Rahlia

Marketing Specialist

Michelle Balogh-Gray

Marketing & Social Media Specialist

Kate Farquharson

Marketing and Campaign Specialist

Nick Jarvis

Graphic Design Manager

Matthew Sharah

Senior Graphic Designer

Melody Yee

Signage Coordinator

Elise Dupuis


Customer Services Director

Tara Easlea

Ticketing Systems Coordinator

Sarah Toner

Ticketing Systems Assistant

Cameron Ward

VIP Ticketing Coordinator

Christopher Wale

Box Office Coordinator

Ray Chong Nee


Head of Production

John Bayley

Production Manager

Alycia Bangma

Senior Project Manager

Jesse Hilford

Project Manager

Gordon Rymer

Project Manager

Kiri Pedersen

Project Manager

Elizabeth Hunt

Project Manager

Roger Press

Production Assistant

Bridget Hennessy


Production Assistant

Kirsty Mangelsdorf

Logistics Manager

Eleanor Miller

Logistics Coordinators

Madeline Blenkinsop, Felicity Giles

Store Supervisor

Richard Middleditch


AGENCY Re Agency


AGENCY Commonstate




Jacquie Manning, Martin Mischkulnig, Yaya Stempler, Pat Stevenson, Wendell Teodoro

Jenny Kee: The Aunties, photo by Martin Mischkulnig
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