Canberra is ready to surprise you with its vibrant music and theatre scene.
The city’s growing reputation as Australia’s cultural hub attracts preeminent national and international productions spanning a range of genres.
From alternative to classic music festivals and Shakespeare to contemporary Australian works, there is truly something for everyone.
Here are the best upcoming events, sorted by venue.
The Canberra Theatre Centre
20th March 2017
The Opening Night Gala kick-starts the 2017 festival with an explosive line-up of comedians. This two-hour showcase event features some of the very best acts from the festival line-up – including local, national, and international comedy superstars.
8th April 2017
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt is more than a best-selling artist, respected guitarist, expressive singer and accomplished songwriter … She has become an institution in American Music.
The ten-time Grammy winner is returning with her twentieth album Dig In Deep (2016), the follow up to her critically acclaimed Slipstream (2012). Bonnie Raitt will be joined by her long time touring band: James “Hutch” Hutchinson (bass), Ricky Fataar (drums), and George Marinelli (guitar), along with Mike Finnigan (keyboards).
27th March – 2nd April
A celebration of glamour, gowns and growing up.
The swankiest new home-grown musical since Priscilla was queen, Ladies in Black is a whirling, toe-tapping trip back in time. Based on a novel by Madeline St John, it’s a uniquely Australian fashion-forward fairy tale with all the shine and sparkle of Broadway.
This sparkling production is the work of internationally-acclaimed director Simon Phillips and writer Carolyn Burns, with original music by superstar Tim Finn. It won the prestigious “Best New Australian Work” Helpmann Award.
21st November – 17th December, 2017
Set on a Greek island paradise and inspired by the story-telling magic of ABBA’s classic songs, writer Catherine Johnson’s Mamma Mia! is a heart-warming tale. It tells us of a young bride-to-be on the eve of her wedding, who wants to discover the identity of her father. She brings together three men from her mother’s past, back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.
Over 60 million people all around the world have fallen in love with the story and the music that makes Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good musical.
Mamma Mia! is a global phenomenon, and now, in a stunning new production, you can join the party of a lifetime! A celebration of love, laughter and friendship, Mamma Mia! is a fabulous night out whatever your age!
The Street Theatre
3rd-18th March 2017
Cold Light, based on book three of Frank Moorhouse’s Miles Franklin Award winning Edith Trilogy, will charm and provoke while asking timely questions about Australia’s relationship to women of vision and people of difference. Sexually flamboyant, culturally dynamic, politically and diplomatically engaged, Edith Campbell Berry, the astonishing creation of one of Australia’s greatest novelists, now comes to life on the Canberra stage in a racy, searing, highly entertaining adaptation by celebrated playwright Alana Valentine.
13th-17th April 2017
Join the celebration of traditional and contemporary folk life at the National Folk Festival with high-end entertainment and a program designed to inspire, enliven and entertain.
With over 200 acts representing diverse styles such as acoustic, blues, roots, bluegrass, world, Celtic, traditional, gypsy and country in a program including music, dance, spoken word, film, circus and traditional crafts, there is something for everyone
When? 28th April – 7th May 2017
Experience the music adventure that is the Canberra International Music Festival. A vibrant fusion of expertly curated music, iconic performances both daring and intimate, exceptional music making mixed with culinary surprises – that’s the Canberra International Music Festival, an annual treat for Australia’s culture vultures.
This Festival is more than classical music, although that is a big part of the program. The repertoire includes early music, contemporary and world music – in venues handpicked for their stunning acoustic qualities.