Sydney Opera House just dropped its 2018 program. There’s no official theme, but we’re going to go with “diversity”. Nigella Lawson, Ai Weiwei and Peppa Pig are on the bill, alongside a Ministry of Sound show where an orchestra will cover dance hits from Moby, Fatboy Slim, Moloko, Eric Prydz, Robert Miles, Underworld, Paul Van Dyk and Inner City.
Shockingly, there’s been no mention of Darude. Yet. Nigella Lawson: A Celebration of Home Cooking is a follow-up to last year’s sold out talk. Once again the chef and “domestic goddess” will take the stage to share personal anecdotes and recipes, with a good dose of her trademark charm. Nigella tragics can get their cookbooks signed after the show. (Did you know she’s written ten of them?).
There are two Weiwei-related events in March, as part of the 21st Biennale of Sydney. The first is a long, “broad ranging” conversation between the Chinese artist and Mami Kataoka, the artistic director of the Biennale. This will be followed immediately by a screening of Human Flow, Weiwei’s Oscar-nominated documentary charting the impact of mass human displacement – an ongoing issue in China. Tickets can be bought separately for each event, though we’d recommend going to both.
Peppa Pig’s Surprise is a 60-minute live stage show which will be performed four times in May.
The Opera House website sets the scene: “It’s a lovely day and Peppa is playing outside with her friends. Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig have got a surprise for her and her younger brother George but no matter how hard they try, they cannot guess what it is.” Not that the plot really matters – kids are reliably hypnotised by Peppa Pig in arcane ways that may well take decades to uncover.
The rest of the 2018 program includes events with The Wooster Group, a long-running experimental theatre company from New York; The Unbelievables, a circus, music and magic show with an X-Factor level of polish; and Meow Meow’s Pandemonium, a comedy show performed with help from the Sydney Symphonic Orchestra.