Things I plan to do in Sydney this summer…

Visit Flickerfest (more info) (Done 8th Jan)

Bondi Pavilion, Jan 5-14, $15/$13

Flickerfest began as a small local festival at the Balmain High School in 1991. Over the last 16 years it has grown to become Australia’s only competitive International Short Film Festival with entries coming from filmmakers across the globe.

Flickerfest is considered in International circles as the leading Australian competitive short film festival and increasingly filmmakers view it as one of the main festivals on the world circuit. To maintain this high standard each year the festival director visits festivals around the world seeking new films most of which have not been seen in Australia.

See Crackers? (more info)

Wentworth Common (Olympic Park), Jan 19-21, Free

The World Famous is an internationally acclaimed company of creative pyrotechnicians, with a passion for playing with fire. Their latest creation – a free event for those who dare – is definitely not for the faint of heart.

The world is full of risks to be avoided. Cities are crowded, disease is rife, threats lie all around – and fireworks are too loud. We are only safe when locked in our homes. But some fools deliberately court danger by stepping outside the safety zone, playing with fire, jumping off cliffs, lighting the blue touch paper…

A celebration of the explosive and dangerous beauty of fire, Crackers? is performed ‘in the round’, with the audience surrounded by flames, smoke, spinning wheels and fireworks. A symphony of pyrotechnic sounds fills their ears alongside moments of delicate beauty – dancing flames, glittering saxon wheels and the ‘human sparkler’.

Crackers? is an explosive addition to your Festival calendar.

See Kiss of Life (more info)

Sydney Opera House, Jan 16-20, ~1 hour, $25

A high-risk romantic comedy attempting to do the seemingly impossible: turn a story about attempted suicide into a life-affirming show. Chris is stuck in a rut: dead-end job, no lovelife, and way too much TV. Then a homeless stranger comes into his life and turns everything upside down.

With storytelling, stand-up and a bit of unabashed sentimentality, Kiss of Life is inspiring and disarming, posing tricky questions about the responsibilities that love confers.

Eat in some of Sydney’s best restaurants for $25 (more info) (Planned)

Throughout the Festival between 12noon and 1pm and 6pm and 7pm visit any of the Fast Festival Feasts restaurants listed and treat yourself to a main course and a glass of Preece or Mitchelton wine, or a beer of the restaurant’s choice for just $25 (inc GST). Just mention Fast Festival Feasts to take advantage of this special offer. You can see the restaurants and the meals they are offering here.

I’m liking the idea of five spice duck at Arthouse Dome (Pitt St), the Tagliatelle at Manta (Woolloomooloo) and the spiced ocean trout at Summit (Level 47, Australia Square). I’m going to make sure I get at least those three in.

See the Lost and Found Orchestra (more info) (Booked for 19th Jan)

Sydney Opera House, Jan 15-20 at 8pm / Jan 20-21 at 2pm, A Reserve $80/$70, B Reserve $70/$60, C Reserve $60/$50

The creators of Stomp (Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas) present their brand-new production, Lost and Found Orchestra, featuring up to 50 musicians including the complete Stomp cast and very special guests, in a unique evening of irresistible orchestral manoeuvres.

Stomp has explored the possibilities of household objects as percussive instruments for over 16 years. Now it takes the concept to a new level: an orchestra where the strings are replaced by a bowed saw section,brass become bellows, bottles and kettles, and timpani are fashioned from industrial kitchen cauldrons. In Lost and Found territory even vacuum cleaners and hair dryers are musical instruments!

This orchestra claps its hands, stamps its feet, shouts and dances. Some are even aerialists, swooping across the stage and over the audience as they create music on the fly.

Part concert, part dance, part comedy, part pure performance – Lost and Found is the 2007 Sydney Festival’s loudest, brashest and most exhilarating offering.