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Sydney's Must-See Theatre Shows in 2017

14 September 2016 | 1:44 pm | Maxim Boon

There's a bumper year of theatre treats in store for Sydneysiders in 2017.

Sydney's major theatre companies have unveiled stellar 2017 seasons in the past couple of weeks, with a pretty dizzying degree of variety represented. Choice is a wonderful luxury of course, but with so much on offer, it can be tricky to figure out which shows are the must-sees. If you're finding your next ticket purchase a bit of a head-scratcher, don't sweat it: The Music has made that Sophie's choice so you don't have to. Here is a cherry-picked selection of the best and brightest shows gracing Sydney's stages in 2017.

For the classics lover: Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen
Belvoir
16 Sep - 22 Oct 2017

This is a chance to experience a true masterpiece of the theatrical repertoire. Ghosts is a gritty and intense period drama, exploring the bleak consequences of past transgression and the overwhelming power of regret. This production boasts an incredible cast led by one of the great veterans of Australian theatre, Pamela Rabe.

For the comedy seeker: Taking Steps by Alan Ayckbourn
Ensemble Theatre
23 Nov 2017 - Jan 18 2018

From the British master of farce, this play is riotously funny and yet also manages to weave in elements of thought-provoking intelligence. Ayckbourn's genius is to put plausible characters in ridiculous scenarios, as in this play, where a ragtag and highly dysfunctional family play out their damaged relationships against the backdrop of a supposedly haunted Victorian mansion.

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For the experimentalist: Mr Burns by Anne Washburn
Belvoir
19 May - 25 Jun 2017

Pop culture is often the glue that binds out society together, so it makes sense that after the end of the world we'd use those familiar references to reconnect. This surreal musical theatre fantasy imagines a post-apocalyptic world where The Simpsons has become mythology. If that sounds odd, it's because it is, in the best possible way.

For the deep thinker: In Real Life by Julian Larnach
Darlinghurst Theatre Company
15 Sep - 15 Oct 2017

This world premiere offers an intriguing perspective on our modern society's technology addiction. When a young girl disappears without a trace, her mother becomes increasingly drawn to the solace of social media. But is this digital world a valuable lifeline or is it loosening her grip on reality?

For the Aussie and proud: Rice by Michele Lee
Griffin Theatre Company
21 Jul - 26 Aug

Australia is country that is both gloriously multi-cultural and yet fiercely patriotic. This award-winning play puts this duality under tension in a sharply observed study of the relationships migrants of varying generations and backgrounds have with Australia.

For the showstopper: Muriel's Wedding: The Musical by Kate Miller Heidke and Keir Nuttall
Sydney Theatre Company
6 Nov - 30 Dec 2017

Muriel Heslop is making her stage debut in the world premiere of this long overdue adaptation. There're some hints in the publicity schpeel that suggest an update from the 1994 original (Twitter followers factor in at some point, apparently), but the bare bones of the story we all know and love are there, including a ton of ABBA. Get tickets pronto, as this is sure to be one of the biggest box office draws of the year.