Theatre & shows in Sydney

Let’s face it – you could visit the Sydney Opera House or State Theatre and not see a show. And be perfectly happy. So many of the city’s performance venues are that beautiful. Uniting the two – a stunning location with an equally thrilling show – just seals the deal. Even better if you’re in the vicinity of the city’s hottest restaurants and bars for a little pre- or post-celebration. 

What’s on & coming soon

  • A Raisin in the Sun by Sydney Theatre Company, 27 August-15 October 2022
  • Photograph 51 at Ensemble Theatre, 2 September-8 October 2022
  • Introducing Aunty Jude at Riverside Theatres, 6-10 September 2022
  • Chalkface at Sydney Opera House, 15 September-29 October 2022
  • The Lifespan of a Fact by Sydney Theatre Company, 20 September-15 October 2022
  • Looking For Alibrandi at Belvoir Theatre, 1 October-5 November 2022
  • The Jungle Book at Riverside Theatres, 6-8 October 2022
  • End of . by Griffin Theatre Company, 13 October-15 November 2022
  • The Demon at Sydney Opera House, 13-15 October 2022
  • The Caretaker at Ensemble Theatre, 14 October-19 November 2022
  • The Lovers at Sydney Opera House, 23 October-20 November 2022
  • RGB: Of Many, One by Sydney Theatre Company, 29 October-17 December 2022
  • A Practical Guide to Self Defence at Riverside Theatres, 9-12 November 2022
  • The Jungle and the Sea at Belvoir Theatre, 12 November-18 December 2022
  • The Tempest by Sydney Theatre Company, 15 November-17 December 2022
  • Takatāpui at Sydney Opera House, 17-19 November 2022
  • Queer as Flux at Sydney Opera House, 24-26 November 2022
  • A Christmas Carol at Ensemble Theatre, 25 November-30 December 2022
  • Boxing Day BBQ at Ensemble Theatre, 5 December 2022-15 January 2023
Australian Ballet during rehearsal at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney

The Australian Ballet during rehearsal at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney

Sydney Opera House & Sydney Harbour

Sydney’s most legendary (and lauded) attraction, the Sydney Opera House is not only an architectural masterpiece, but also one of the world’s finest venues when it comes to the performing arts. Every year it hosts hundreds of shows, from opera (but of course) and musicals to comedy and workshops. Drop in to Opera Bar in the shadow of the House’s sails for pre- or post-theatre refreshments, with unmatched views across Sydney Harbour toward the impressive Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Moonlight from the supermoon hitting the Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour

Every year, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed masterpiece, along with the Royal Botanic Garden and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, form the nightly backdrop for your favourite classics in an outdoor extravaganza by Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour (returning in 2023 with Madama Butterfly). Think balmy summer evening, stage ‘floating’ over the harbour, twinkling city lights in the background… and some of the world’s best performers belting out tunes.

Audience watching Carmen, Opera on the Harbour at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Harbour

Audience watching Carmen, Opera on the Harbour at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Harbour

Sydney Theatre Company

A major force in Australian drama since its establishment in 1978, Sydney Theatre Company presents an annual season of diverse productions at its own venues at The Wharf in Walsh Bay and at the nearby Roslyn Packer Theatre. It is also the resident theatre company of the Sydney Opera House. This performance powerhouse has helped launch and nurture the careers of many of Australia’s internationally renowned actors. Be sure to catch Shakespeare’s The Tempest in December.

Entrance to Sydney Theatre Company at Walsh Bay, Sydney

Entrance to Sydney Theatre Company at Walsh Bay, Sydney - Credit: James Horan

Inner-city theatres

Ensemble Theatre is based in Kirribilli and is the longest continuously running professional theatre in Australia. In 1984, a group of 600 theatre-lovers purchased Belvoir St Theatre in Surry Hills, to save it from becoming an apartment block. Since then, the company has presented an enormous variety of shows in a setting that is intimate and makes you feel part of the action.

Couple enjoying a night out at Belvoir St Theatre, Surry Hills

Couple enjoying a night out at Belvoir St Theatre, Surry Hills

Located on the grounds of the University of Sydney in Chippendale, the Seymour Centre’s annual roster of shows is as diverse as it is dynamic – expect everything from theatre and concerts to film festivals. Meanwhile, the Griffin Theatre Company performs in the historic S,B&W Stables Theatre in Kings Cross. This is another intimate experience, but one that has big things in mind: it’s dedicated to the development and staging of new Australian writing.

Woman with 21 Breaths installation during Vivid Sydney 2015, The Seymour Centre, Darlington

21 Breaths installation, The Seymour Centre, Darlington - Credit: James Horan

Outer-city theatres 

Located on the banks of the Parramatta River, Riverside Theatres puts on a staggering number of performances every year. Parramatta’s palate-pleasing ‘eat street’ is moments away for a pre-show meal (or post-show cocktail). In Castle Cove, Puppeteria Theatre is Sydney’s only permanent professional puppet theatre, with a fun roster of events dedicated to little theatre goers.

Couple walking past Riverside Theatre, Parramatta in Sydney's west

Riverside Theatre, Parramatta

Theatres in Sydney