Sydney’s best theatres

The State Theatre
The State Theatre

It seems that I spend half my life in a theatre of some sort. Whether it’s a movie theatre or theatre venue, Sydney has plenty of hidden gems.

From the very obvious to the totally obscure, here is a list of Sydney’s best theatres where you’re guaranteed to find some culture to sink your teeth into.

  1. Sydney Opera House
    Where all the biggest shows play in Sydney. From the Sydney Festival in January, All About Women in March, TEDx in May and the opera, the ballet and symphony orchestra all year ‘round, you are sure to snag a good show in one of the four main theatres (The Drama Theatre, The Playhouse, The Joan Sutherland Theatre and the main hall).
  2. The Old Fitz
    Hidden away in the basement of The Old Fitzroy pub in Darlinghurst, The Old Fitz is home to multi-award winning new theatre company Redline Productions. With only 50 seats, you can count on edgier productions with in-your-face proximity to the actors.
  3. The Eternity Playhouse
    Housed in the former Burton Street Tabernacle Church, this heritage-listed venue is home to a wide array of shows. It has a romantic front bar, complete with candlelight and a spacious theatre area. Close to the restaurants and bars of Darlinghurst, it’s an ideal lightweight theatre experience for newbies.
  4. The State Theatre
    This building is the folly of architect Henry Eli White who, in 1927, managed to secure a whopping budget of 400,000 pounds. Turns out it was money well-spent as The State Theatre is the glitziest joint in town, complete with cherubs, gilt and red velvet. This is a favourite of touring international comedians so keep an eye out if you’re in the market for laughs.
  5. The Theatre Royal
    Hidden away in a corner of the CBD, this concrete bunker houses a surprisingly large theatre space. Known mostly for musical productions, the Royal is a great place to unleash your jazz hands.

    The Belvoir Street Theatre
    The Belvoir Street Theatre
  6. The Lyric Theatre
    Housed in Star City casino, The Lyric Theatre is a great reason for gamblers to tear themselves away from online casinos and head out to the real thing. Most recently home to Tim Minchin’s Matilda, The Lyric usually plays blockbuster musicals.
  7. The Seymour Centre
    An adjunct to the University of Sydney, the Seymour Centre offers a mixed bag of everything from film festivals, musicals, stage shows and contemporary dance productions. They even have a range of children’s shows so this venue is impossible to categorise.
  8. SBW Stables Theatre
    If gritty, intimate, independent theatre is your bag, you will love SBW Stables in Darlinghurt. This is the theatre where you’re most likely to cop a penis in the face. Fortunately, there are plenty of bars within throwing distance from the front door if your nerves need calming after the show.
  9. The Belvoir Street Theatre
    Home to the odd Shakespeare, as well as plenty of well-respected original plays, it’s worth seeking the Belvoir Street Theatre out. Season passes are what keep this theatre company afloat so why not commit to six months’ worth of drama to get a real cross-section of what is happening in the Sydney arts scene.
  10. Sydney Theatre Company
    With people like Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett on the Sydney Theatre Company board of directors (and regularly gracing the stage) audiences can be guaranteed of a thoroughly high-brow experience. This is also where you’ll find people like Barry Otto and Geoffrey Rush so it’s ideal for star spotting.


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