The reinvented Riverside Theatre is bringing an incredibly eclectic season of live entertainment and performance cinema to the Western Sydney suburb of Parramatta next year. After attending the 2017 Season Launch a few weeks ago, and of course being a shameless theatre buff myself, I was absolutely entranced by the array of shows on offer in 2017.

Riverside will boast quite a few world premieres in 2017 and the stage will be shared between Australian and international, large and small production Companies, with each bringing something different to the spotlight. Kicking off the season with Circus Arts is one of my personal picks – if you are interested in the classic “dinner and a show” night out. As part of the Sydney Festival 2017, the show ‘Hakawati’ by the National Theatre of Parramatta is taking over local Arabic restaurant El-Phoenician in January. The show promises to bring its audience a night of “food, music and storytelling…[to] recreate the romance of Arabian nights”. There’s always something appealing about a good feast, ethnic music and a buzzing atmosphere – so this one is easily up there on my list.


‘Hakawati’ – image by Luke Stambouliah

If you have seen all the traditional plays and musical theatre that you can face for the moment and are after something standout, perhaps even a touch risqué, then I would suggest you see ‘Dracula’ by Shake & Stir Theatre Company. You don’t have to be a lover of heightened vampire fiction to enjoy this reimagined gothic story, which was described by Riverside Theatre’s Director, Robert Love, as the “sexiest show we have”. Sounds tempting already, right?

This leads me to my absolute “must see” pick for 2017: ‘Mark Colvin’s Kidney’ by the Production Company Belvoir. It is an innovative production set to make its world premiere on the Riverside stage – with an original, homegrown storyline that is based on actual events. Yes, the story involves Australian Journo Mark Colvin, but it is more about Mary-Ellen Field, who was Colvin’s kidney donor and the woman who saved his life. Belvoir described Field as a victim of “the very worst of journalism” after her time as Elle Macpherson’s “Intellectual Property Confidant”. The hard knocks to Field’s reputation sparked the intervene of Colvin, leading to an unlikely friendship and the spared life of “one of our best journalists”.

There is so much more on offer than the few shows I have mentioned above. If you’re sitting there thinking that you are long overdue for a night out with a show – or you are just keen on musical theatre, cabaret, dance, traditional and innovative plays, comedy, or vocalists – then I suggest you look into purchasing tickets for the jam-packed upcoming season!


‘Dracula’ – Image by Dylan Evans

WHAT: Riverside Theatre 2017 Season

WHERE: Riverside Theatre, Cnr of Market & Church Streets, Parramatta

MEMBERSHIP: $35 per person, per year

TICKETS: Prices range from $29 to $65

BOOKINGS: Click here


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