Theatre shows & plays

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. 

Must-see shows


Sydney Opera House

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

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 2024 with West Side Story on Sydney Harbour). 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.

West Side Story on Sydney Harbour, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

West Side Story on Sydney Harbour, Handa Opera on 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. 

Entrance to Sydney Theatre Company at Walsh Bay, Sydney

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

Ensemble Theatre

Based in Kirribilli, on the edge of the Sydney Harbour, Ensemble Theatre is the longest continuously-running professional theatre in Australia. Committed to presenting the best of international plays, well-loved classics and new Australian works, many of Australia’s favourite performers have appeared on stage here, from Lorraine Bayly to Russell Crowe.

Patrons at Bayly's Restaurant enjoying waterside dining at Ensemble Theatre, Kirribilli

Patrons at Bayly's Restaurant enjoying waterside dining at Ensemble Theatre, Kirribilli 

Belvoir St Theatre

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

Seymour Centre

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. The venue aims to foster the next generation of artists and often partners with the city's major cultural events, such as the Sydney's Writer's Festival and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, so expect to see work that champions new and wide-ranging voices.

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

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

Griffin Theatre Company

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.

Patrons outside the Griffin Theatre Company, Kings Cross

Patrons outside the Griffin Theatre Company, Kings Cross - Credit: Ken Leanfore

Riverside 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). 

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

Riverside Theatre, Parramatta

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