Festivals are about secrets. There’s a tension between wanting to be where all the people are and the excitement of finding something new and off the beaten track, shows that take an hour of your time but afterwards occupy years of your life. Sydney Festival is full of little secrets – moments in time that you could miss if you don’t take the leap of faith. Here are some of the shows that I think you’ll be hearing about and I reckon you need to get to before it’s too late…

– A fantastic one person show where Cliff Cardinal plays 20 characters from a native American community, taking you through a day observed by one family. He transforms and challenges you with such beautiful writing that the images stay with you far beyond what your eyes can see.

Anthropologies Imaginaires
– When I saw this show I was gob smacked at how talented Gabriel Dharmoo is. His ability to make sounds and achieve vocal gymnastics was extraordinary. I booked it straight after seeing it.

Blood on the Dancefloor
– This show is rewriting what Indigenous storytelling can do that brings culture and contemporary performance together under one skin. Read the reviews and you will realise this is a must-see show.

Ich Nibber Dibber (pictured at top) – I heard a reading of this show and fell about laughing. It’s like three friends waking up after a huge weekend of partying and trying to piece together what they were talking about.

Tomboy Survival Guide
– Ivan Coyote grew up in the Yukon in Canada and has a story to tell. A story about gender, self awareness, defying the ‘norms’ and being you. A show for our times.