THE Q has engaged comedian Chris Ryan to perform “Work in Progress”, which would have been seen in her first national tour of comedy festivals last year before the virus struck. Winner of Best Newcomer at Sydney Comedy Festival in 2019, Ryan is The Q’s favourite funny person. At The Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, 7.30pm, January 22 and February 5. Book here.
SYDNEY Festival has defied the odds with a city-wide celebration of Australian art and artists. There’ll be 120 events, exhibitions, workshops and talks, all deploying COVID-19 safety plans and implementing all mandatory regulations. A highlight of the first week was “Sunshine Super Girl”, a play about tennis champion Evonne Goolagong, which has seen Sydney Town Hall transformed into a tennis court. At Riverside Theatres in Parramatta, the play “Queen Fatima” revolves around the Queen Lebanon Australia pageant. For school holidays, the festival’s free and family program includes the family circus adventure “A Bee Story”. Sydney Festival, until January 26. Book here.
MEANTIME, Sydney Film Festival’s summer season kicks off live tonight, January 15, with the documentary, “Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra”. Directed by Wayne Blair and Nel Minchin, it’s the story of the three Indigenous Page brothers, who took a newly born Australian dance company and turned it into a First Nations cultural powerhouse. The festival runs until January 31, details here.
THE Nature Conservancy’s sixth biennial Nature Writing Prize is now accepting submissions. $7,500 will be awarded to the author of an essay between 3,000 and 5,000 words in the genre of “Writing of Place”. The winning entry will be published in “Griffith Review” online as a multimedia essay. Judges are literary critic Geordie Williamson and winner of both the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Award, Tara June Winch. The entry should explore the writer’s relationship and interaction with some aspect of the Australian landscape. Submissions here close at 5pm, Friday, February 19.
PIANIST Kathryn Selby and her musical “friends” are back for live, on-stage concerts with a focus on piano trios, from Schubert to Ross Edwards, Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, Granados, Shostakovich, Bloch, Ravel and more. The five touring concert programs, “Exotic Strudel”, “Patriot Games”, “Mavericks”, “Natural Wonders” and “A Rose Between Two ‘Thorns’”, will each travel to six centres nationally, including Canberra and the Southern Highlands. Book here.