In Sydney’s theatres this year, there are many shows to look forwards to – Masquerade, MinusOneSister, and 2014 Griffin Award winner The Bleeding Tree at Griffin; Beckett, Chekhov, Dorfman, Woolf, Shakespeare, Shaw, and new plays from Melissa Bubnic and Kylie Coolwell at Sydney Theatre Company; Radiance, Mother Courage, Samson, Mortido and Ivanov at Belvoir; and a year of staples – Hamlet, The Tempest, As You Like It – from Bell Shakespeare. There’s Sport for Jove’s Edward II; The ANZAC Project at the Ensemble theatre; James Thierrée’s Tabac Rouge, Falling Through Clouds, Kiss and Cry, and The Kitchen at the Sydney Festival, as well as the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim musical Here Lies Love for Vivid, Rocky Horror Show’s long awaited return, the Australian premiere of Matilda the musical, and several shows interstate.
On the bookshelves, there is Saramago, Burgess, Christopher Priest, and Virginia Woolf, as well as new attempts at Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries and Susanna Clark’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. In release this year, new books from Zadie Smith, Daniel Handler and – potentially – Markus Zusak.
On television, there’s the adaptation of Kate Grenville’s The Secret River, and The Beautiful Lie, the new series from producers John Edwards and Imogen Banks on ABC, while The Kettering Incident sounds similar to a local ‘Tasmanian gothic’ take on Jane Campion’s compelling Top of the Lake. There is also the promise of a swag of new British dramas, such as Banished, Wolf Hall, The Casual Vacancy, and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
In cinemas, there is the eagerly-awaited Birdman, The Imitation Game, Theory of Everything, and Neil Armfield’s film of Timothy Conigrave’s Holding the Man, as well as the annual smorgasbord at the Sydney Film Festival, and several National Theatre Live offerings, including the new play from Tom Stoppard, Shaw’s Man and Superman, and Treasure Island.