Sydney Festival 2023 starts this week with a return to international programming

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Sydney Festival 2023 starts on Thursday and there are three events with French and francophone links for you to attend. Read on to find out about the events from Africa, Canada and Switzerland at Sydney Festival 2023.

Sydney Festival 2023


Afrique en Cirque

Kalabanté Productions

Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

6-8, and 11-15 January

Afrique en Cirque Yamoussa Bangoura grew up in Conkary, Guinea, where his first foray with circus began. He worked his way up through some of the best circus companies in the world before opening his own in 2007. Based in Montreal, Canada, Yamoussa Bangoura’s Kalabanté Productions develops young African circus talent and sharing it with the world.


Afrique en Cirque at Sydney Festival 2023 will see daring acrobats perform authentic and original choreography to the sound of African instruments including the djembe and the kora. Music is as much a part of this showcase of African talent as are the acrobats climbing to dizzying heights.


Ticket prices:

  • Premium Full Price – $79
  • A Reserve Full Price – $59
  • A Reserve Concession – $53
  • B Reserve Full Price – $39
  • B Reserve Concession – $35
  • + booking fee


Afrique en Cirque Dance and Drumming workshop

Kalabanté Productions

Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

10 January 5:30pm & 7pm

Afrique en Cirque

Special guests from the Afrique en Cirque production will lead this African drumming and dance workshop where they encourage people of all levels of practice to experience the liberating joy of dance.


Tickets cost $10 + booking fee for this one hour long workshop.



James Thierrée

Rosylyn Parker Theatre, Walsh Bay

11-14, 16-18, 20-22 and 24-25 January

ROOM Sydney Festival 2023

Swiss-born James Thierrée’s latest work is his most ambitious yet. With his Compagnie de Hanneton he creates a surreal theatrical imagining complete with dance, mime, acrobatics, music and incredible stage-effects.


In this room, the ceiling spins, mannequins come to life, bodies and instruments become one. The walls sing, the room howls with laughter and then disappears into the distance. In this room, everything is possible, everything comes together and then descends into beautiful chaos.


You may have seen James Thierrée’s previous shows at Sydney Festival in earlier years: Au Revoir Parapluie and Tabac Rouge.


Ticket prices:

  • Premium Full Price – $129
  • A Reserve Full Price – $109
  • A Reserve Concession – $100
  • B Reserve Full Price – $79
  • B Reserve Concession – $70
  • Under 30 – $49
  • + booking fee



WHAT: Sydney Festival 2023

WHERE: various venues across Sydney

WHEN: 5 – 29 January 2023

HOW: Purchase tickets via the links above or see the website for the full program

HOW MUCH: Ticket prices vary depending on the event. Sydney Festival also always has some free events and installations.


For other events happening with French and francophone links happening in Australia this month, check out our What’s on in January.



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Cirque Bon Bon is a delicious treat!

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Cirque Bon Bon opened at Adelaide Cabaret Festival Wednesday night. Audiences were in for a treat with Australia’s, and arguably the world’s, premier circus artists dazzling and delighting us.

Cirque Bon Bon

Women in baby pink leotards and shawls, one in matching knee-high feathered legs arrive on stage with men all dressed in black. The show opens with a dance number.


Mario, Queen of the Circus (read our interview with him here) is the MC of the show, strutting on stage with his cropped, fitted leather jacket, leather pants and topped off with a leather cap. A huge fan of Queen, his acts all performed to Queen songs. His signature act, juggling to Another one bites the dust is even better when witnessed live (but YouTube of it here). 


He engages with, and warms up the crowd, even pulling up two “unwilling” audience members (he jokes that he wasn’t looking for willing volunteers) to assist him on stage throughout the performance. 

Cirque Bon Bon
Image: Claudio Raschella

A true variety show with jaw-dropping aerial feats, contortionism, dance and roller-blading, Cirque Bon Bon has something for everyone. They had the audience in the palm of their hand – we would cringe occasionally, fearful that the performer may fall from their very high position way above the stage (kudos to the spectacular male aerial performer, particularly the coat-rack number) or in awe at the skill of the performers. The duo on rollerblades performed feats, and bent in ways we didn’t know possible. 


A simple set saw props rolled out as they were needed but the lighting added to the spectacular nature of the show. You easily forgot you were in the Space Theatre. 


Every single act in the show was as good as the last but we felt a little sorry for the fantastic man with his large hoop who followed the extraordinary contortionist archer as that was a very hard act to follow. Those familiar with La Soirée will remember the sexy bath man who performs aerial tricks above and over the water filled bath. Always an audience favourite, it was the perfect number to close out the delicious night that was Cirque Bon Bon

Image: Claudio Raschella

Cirque Bon Bon has only four remaining shows, across today and tomorrow, and we highly recommend you get along to see it. You won’t be disappointed!


Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of Adelaide Cabaret Festival



WHAT: Cirque Bon Bon at Adelaide Cabaret Festival

WHERE: Space Theatre, Adelaide

WHEN: Only 4 shows remain:

  • Saturday 18 June 2022, 6:15PM
  • Saturday 18 June 2022, 9:15PM
  • Sunday 19 June 2022, 3:30PM
  • Sunday 19 June 2022, 6:30PM

HOW: Purchase your tickets via this link: 

HOW MUCH: Ticket prices (exclusive of transaction fee) are as follows:

  • Premium Adult $89.00
  • A Reserve Adult$79.00
  • Under 30 $30.00



10 shows with French links at Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022

Louise Blackwell presents a show about the life and songs of Juliette Greco ‘Love on the Left Bank’

Enter the world of Meow Meow’s Pandemonium this weekend

La Grande Folie – can stripping save the world?

Don Juan at Adelaide Cabaret Festival: don’t miss out on this party celebrating the legend

Mario, Queen of the Circus invites you to Cirque Bon Bon

Play French for a night with Don Juan at Adelaide Cabaret Festival



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