Sydney Fringe Sideshow brings 9 sizzling nights with unique intimate shows at The Rocks.

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Sydney Fringe Sideshow
📷 Grian E

From Friday 25 February to Sunday 6 March, Sydney Fringe Sideshow, will bring Sydneysiders a summer to remember with 100+ FREE and ticketed events with unique things to see in The Rocks.

A new event, produced by Sydney Fringe, in collaboration with Placemaking NSW and the New South Wales Government CBD Revitalisation Program, Sydney Fringe Sideshow will have Sydney’s historic precinct, The Rocks pumping with a 9-night extravaganza of darkly cool comedy, theatre, music, dance, immersive performance, projection and installation works.

Australia’s most exciting talents will bring the party with live entertainment across three main Sideshow venues on George Street: The TerracesThe Old ObserverThe Old Coroner’s Court plus a secret location The Gallery.

Sideshow goers can walk from one venue to the other to discover curious and exciting acts, performances, and projections, traversing secret laneways, and iconic historic venues, with fun to be found around every corner.

From must-see theatre to laugh-out-loud stand-up, Sydney Fringe Sideshow is a pure joyful celebration of Australia’s rich live performance culture.  Taking place in conjunction with Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett, at First Fleet Park, The Rocks, there’s nowhere more happening this February & March 2022.

Ticketed performances at Sydney Fringe Sideshow are small and intimate, with a limited number available so book quickly to reserve your seats today!

Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade and Minister for Tourism and Sport, Stuart Ayres said it was exciting to see major events returning to Sydney’s streets and venues, helping to support tourism and vital jobs within the arts sector.

“Intimate events like the Sydney Fringe Sideshow are a great way to showcase an amazing array of live entertainment talent and as we continue to work our way through this stage of the pandemic it’s fantastic to see the arts sector continue to adapt to help us have fun and celebrate in the safest way possible,” Mr Ayres said.

Kerri Glasscock, Chief Executive Officer of Sydney Fringe said, “Sydney audiences will be able to see some of Australia’s most exciting artists in safe, intimate indoor spaces and outdoor performances. What an opportunity to experience the hidden buildings and heritage sites of The Rocks precinct in a whole new way. From performances in the Old Coroners Court to Terrace House takeovers this is a once in a lifetime activation and we are thrilled to share it with Sydneysiders,” she said.

The Opening Weekend

Sydneysiders are invited to celebrate Sideshow’s jam-packed precinct-wide takeover alongside the Rosé by the Harbour festival from 12pm – 9pm on the weekend of the 26 and 27 February. With ample opportunity to sip delicious rosé in the gorgeous alfresco dining spaces, signature to The Rocks, festival goers will be treated to homegrown Sideshow talent, with internationally acclaimed theatre duo The Lounge Room Confabulators; uproarious comedy courtesy of Secret Comedy Club and Black Label Comedy; cabaret maverick TRAUMAMISU; and irresistible tunes by Grown Ocean.

The Closing Weekend

Concluding with a bang, Sideshow’s Closing weekend over the 5th and 6th March, showcases luminescent and free projection installations by Tortuga Studios and unmissable performances from eclectic comedy trio The Funniest Comedians You’ve Never Heard of; immersive storyteller and Winner of Best Theatre Weekly Award Adelaide Fringe 2021 Nella; as well as 2019 Sydney Fringe Festival nominee for ‘Best Comedy’ Hot Chick / Tired Mum!

The Terraces

Comedy and storytelling take centre stage at The Terraces, 35-37 George Street, situated in the beautiful heritage space of The Rocks precinct.

Explore The Terraces charming reimagined interiors, with The Lounge Room, The Den, The Kitchen and The Study each being made over for dinner shows, immersive theatre, raucous comedy, theatre and masterful clownery alongside The Secret Garden featuring stellar projection installations by Tortuga Studios.

Sideshow goers can unwind with a drink at The Secret Bar before heading into one of over fifty shows – spanning raucous reflections on the funniest things of the last decade in Christina Van Look’s  A Look Back and hilarious musings about one man’s weight loss surgery journey in Rob Andrews’ Shank Yourself Thin.

Opening Hours (25-27 February, 1-6 March)
Tuesday – Wednesday: 5:30PM – 10PM
Thursday: 5:30PM – 11PM
Friday – Saturday: 5PM – 11PM
Sunday: 4PM – 9:30PM

Comedy Shows:

  • 2 Jokers | $20 + booking fee
    After performing in sold-out shows all over Sydney, David Poltorak and Marty Morgan have combined comedy forces with only one item on their comedy agenda: to avoid an agenda.
  • 7 Comedians for $29 | $25 + booking fee
    Now in their 7th year of sold-out shows around Sydney and regional NSW, expect to enjoy a smorgasbord of 7 comedians – with each show boasting a different line up of diverse and experienced comedy acts.
  • Absolute Goose | $20 + booking fee
    Join award-winning comedian and writer Bel Melrose for a stand-up comedy stand-up tribute to the people who just don’t give a flock. Melrose has featured on ABC TV’s Question Everything and has written for Gruen and Win The Week.
  • A Look Back | $20 + booking fee
    Enjoy decades of laughs as Christina Van Look hilariously brings the past into the present, reflecting on the FUNNIEST things from the past five decades.
  • Aus-Mosis | $20 + booking fee
    Comedian Te Rina Taite has lived in Australia for 14 years and despite her strong New Zealand roots, she has a love for the Aussiest of Australian things; budgy smugglers, Home & Away and Aussie rules. Join Te Rina as she debates her allegiance and the importance of culture.
  • Black Label Comedy | $25 + booking fee
    A bit risqué, a bit exclusive, this show has sold out over the past seven years and features four premium comedy acts providing audiences with top-shelf comedy!
  • Hot Chick / Tired Mum | $20 + booking fee
    An hour jam packed with jokes and songs from one of Sydney’s hardest working comedians, Steph Broadbridge’s first show ‘Female Music Comedian’ was nominated and shortlisted for ‘Best Comedy’ at Sydney Fringe Festival in 2019.
  • Secret Comedy Club | $25 + booking fee
    Comedy, but it’s a secret! Shhhh! Only tell your closest 100 friends. Experience 5 of Sydney’s best comedians as they present their funniest material each show, with the lineup changing every show, making each experience unique.
  • Shambolic Doodles | $20 + booking fee
    Professional ponderer and comedian Peter Gleeson has done the thinking for you. His shambolic word doodles will let you take a peek at things from a different angle. You might remember him from the previous festival shows Fun Bunny (Sydney Fringe 2016) and Frazzled (Sydney Comedy Festival 2017).
  • Shank Yourself Thin | $20 + booking fee
    Weight loss surgery is a huge decision. It’s scary, it’s daunting. It’s also hilarious. Rob Andrews takes you step by step through the bariatric process, from his decision to take the leap, to the shakes, to the big day, the gas pain and all the way to his acceptance of his new body.
  • One of the Good Ones | $20 + booking fee
    One of the Good Ones is about race, relationships and successfully failing to meet expectations. This show is Harry Jun’s light-hearted and heavy-handed approach to uncomfortable situations like the time someone came up to him after a show and told him he loved Triple J and was stoked that Harry was hosting it now.
  • The Funniest Comedians You’ve Never Heard Of | $25 + booking fee
    After a two-year run of sold out shows at Sydney Comedy Festival, these three comedians deliver something for everyone, making this an ideal comedy event for couples or groups.
  • XOXO Gosford Girl | $20 + booking fee
    An ex-Gosford resident trying to make people laugh with her jokes about fish and human pyramids? For one-night only, Fiona Cox performs the world premiere of Gosford Girl, a show about fears and hometowns and trying to get away from both of them.
  • Wil Greenway: Either Side of Everything | $25  + booking fee
    Cult storytelling hero and perennial Edinburgh Fringe sell-out, Will Greenway presents a comedy bursting with heart, hurt and hope.

Spoken Word and Theatre:

  • Nella | $180 for groups of 6 + booking fee
    A mix of immersive storytelling and theatre, Julia Mayer turns a seemingly plain room into her kitchen, cranks her music player and together with her audience members she creates a sense of community, family and a stage. Winner of Best Theatre Weekly Award Adelaide Fringe 2021.
  • The Lounge Room Confabulators | $30 + booking fee
    Award-winning, internationally acclaimed theatre performed by two ragtag ramblers in the comfort of a lounge room.

Visual Art & Design:

  • LIMINAL by Tortuga Studios | Free.
    A multi-disciplinary visual art exhibition tangled up into the stories and heritage of The Rocks. Steeped in folklore, this is a place in which sight, sound and smell are challenged and anything can happen.

The Old Observer Hotel

A hop, skip and a jump away from The Terraces, the Old Observer Hotel at 69 George Street will be the sizzling hub of all things music and will feature a stellar lineup of Sydney’s best cabaret, indie-folk, pop and jazz performers.

With an illustrious history beginning in 1908, this heritage-listed hotel was originally leased by First Fleet naval surgeon William Balmain and was a hot spot for after work bevies until the Pandemic hit.

Sydney Fringe Sideshow will rejuvenate this historic building so patrons can enjoy a pre-show drink at The Public Bar before heading into one of many gigs in The Music Room.

Featuring some of Australia’s brightest musical talents, Sideshow will present performances by trailblazing artists including: The Voice alum Prinnie Stevens; multi-instrumentalist and ARIA nominated Blues singer-songwriter Georgia Mooney; and Tessa Thames whose music has featured in television shows such as Offspring and Underbelly Files: Chopper.

Attendees can also look forward to captivating and immersive installations from LIMINAL by Tortuga Studios that wind their way through The Rocks’ Laneways.

Opening Hours (25-27 February, 1-6 March)
Tuesday – Sunday: 6PM-10PM

Blues:

  • Georgia Mooney | $25 + booking fee
    Georgia Mooney is one of Australia’s foremost singer songwriters. As one-quarter of indie-folk band All Our Exes Live in Texas, she has received abundant international acclaim and picked up a slew of musical trophies, including both the 2017 ARIA and AIR Awards for ‘Blues & Roots Album of the Year’, and two consecutive National Live Music Awards for ‘Folk Act of the Year’.
  • Prinnie Stevens in Lady Sings The Blues | $25 + booking fee
    A story about women in song, their hurts, struggles and pain whilst their beauty in music remains the same. Featuring the songs of the greats; from Billie, Etta, Ella, Aretha to Whitney, Beyonce, Sade and so much more. You will be transported from this speakeasy setting to the very heart of our Lady.

Cabaret:

  • TRAUMAMISU | $25 + booking fee
    Cabaret maverick Billie McCarthy is a country girl who took the jazz bus to the city and had a sordid affair with soul along the way. A consummate storyteller, Billie will make you feel things and laugh till your sides hurt.

Electro:

  • 20 Cent Dog | $25 + booking fee
    This postage stamp incarnation of 20th Century Dog’s Cameron Undy features him on guitar playing the odd time goodness we know and love from the 6-piece band. The expanding and contracting rhythms from his latest electro EP Bloodshot, are transported into an acoustic setting suitable for fragile yet hungry minds on a Sunday arvo.

Jazz:

  • Ella Haber | $25 + booking fee
    Since releasing her first single in February 2019, 23-year-old Sydney artist Ella Haber has made her arrival known. After receiving support for her debut EP, CLAY, from local and international radio (BBC 1XTRA, MiSoul, Jazz FM, Worldwide FM, triple J, FBi radio) Ella went on to sell out her first Sydney show, and complete her first East Coast headline tour, in celebration of the Jordan Rakei-produced record.
  • Stu Hunter | $25 + booking fee
    Stu brings a gang of longtime collaborators to the stage to tear a hole in the cobwebs of 21 – a masterful band of horns, drum, bass and piano will drape tapestries of groove and melody across the minds of any  and all who dare enter. Get out of the rut and into the groove.

Pop:

  • Leah Flanagan | $25 + booking fee
    Leah Flanagan’s third studio album, Colour by Number, sparkles with pop gems. Flanagan draws from the communities of cultures which have bolstered her proud Italian, Indigenous (Alyawarre) and Irish heritage to present songs steeped in a maturity and knowing that cannot be feigned.
  • Tessa Thames | $25 + booking fee
    Tessa Thames’ Dad ran a karaoke business in the 90’s where she operated as a kind of ‘warm up’ to inspire the punters. Through this, Thames cultivated her love of music and song writing, absorbing her dearly held ‘Top of the Pops’ 90’s nostalgia like a sponge. Since then, her music has taken her around the world and has been featured on Network TV series’ like Offspring, Winners & Losers and Underbelly: Chopper.
  • Abby Dobson | $25 + booking fee
    Abby Dobson honed her craft as a singer and songwriter busking the streets of Paris, Athens and New York and has released two solo albums of her own original compositions, It’s Okay, Sweetheart and Rise Up that she co-produced. She was a founding member of the hugely successful band Leonardo’s Bride who topped the charts with Even When I’m Sleeping.

Rock:

  • Grown Ocean | $25 + booking fee
    Grown Ocean’s approach to performance is unique – incorporating elements of rock, electronic, chamber and jazz aesthetics – yet their music is always buoyed by a pervading sense of community, earnestness, and expression. For this performance they will present a specially curated set drawn from their two releases We Are Very Far and Memory Gardens.
  • Last Thursday | $25 + booking fee
    Off the back of a year of releases, writing, and recording, Last Thursday will take to Sydney Fringe Festival to present a refreshed and raucous live set. Expect melancholy melodies wrapped in soaring instrumentals, set to an alt-rock soundtrack of bad decisions. With unreleased and yet-unperformed material, this show is the one not to miss.

Spoken Word and Storytelling:

  • Stuart Bowden: Of Moonset | $25 + booking fee
    In the latest creation by award winning theatre maker Stuart Bowden, experience a musical feast of ethereal melancholia and storytelling weirdness.

Visual Art & Design:

The Gallery

Tucked behind The Old Observer Hotel, discover the secret Sydney Fringe Sideshow location at 73 George Street.

Originally constructed as a public house in 1842, the site is tied to 19th-century historical figures including Surgeon William Balmain, Frederick Garling (senior), Frederick Garling (junior) and Frederick Unwin. The Gallery’s surviving 1880’s sandstone perimeter walls are indicative of its rich historical significance.

The Gallery will feature cutting-edge projection installation and soundscape work presented by Tortuga Studios, providing a sensory and evocative experience that will captivate art-lover’s senses.

Opening Hours (25-27 February, 1-6 March)
Tuesday – Sunday: 6PM–10PM

Visual Art & Design:

The Old Coroner’s Court

The ethereal Old Coroner’s Court will serve as Sideshow’s enigmatic hub for multi-disciplinary art and immersive projection and installation experiences.

A former morgue built in 1906, the heritage listed building will have life breathed into it with HUE + CRY, a creative exploration of liminal space and history presented by Tortuga Studios.

Tortuga Studios is one of Sydney’s largest and longest-running artist-run spaces and will bring works from some of Sydney’s leading visual artists to Sydney Fringe Sideshow.

Opening Hours (25-27 February, 1-6 March)
Tuesday – Sunday: 6PM-10PM

Visual Art & Design:

  • HUE + CRY by Tortuga Studios | FREE
    A creative exploration of liminal space and a history that holds a powerful sense of place featuring the artwork of some of Sydney’s leading visual artists.

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