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Sydney Festival Expands to University Campus

Sydney Festival Expands to University Campus
July 23, 2009

The first Sydney Festival under its new director, Lindy Hume, is to expand to the University of Sydney campus.

Although the festival program will not be released until November, Hume and the university's Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence, have announced a three-year partnership to bring a range of performances, art installations, films and forums to an inner west festival hub.

Since taking the artistic reins from Fergus Linehan, Hume quickly scouted out locations throughout the city to engender a spirit of adventure in its theatre, music and visual arts program. One company, Legs on the Wall, is collaborating with the National Film and Sound Archive, the choreographer John O'Connell and others on a large-scale project for next year.

New festival spaces will include Sydney University's historic quadrangle and its newly landscaped Cadigal Green.

The alliance will ease some of the pressure, given a lack of venues available to the festival in January; including the Capitol Theatre, where Wicked will be playing while a revival of Mamma Mia! is expected to be running in the Lyric Theatre, Star City.

It is not known whether the Theatre Royal will be hired by the festival. In recent years it has presented a number of shows there, including Neil Armfield's production of Snugglepot & Cuddlepie and Robert Lepage's Lipsynch.

"We are delighted to be supporting Sydney Festival in such a substantial way for the first time," Spence says.

"This is a natural fit, bringing together some of Sydney's most creative minds.

"I'm sure this strategic partnership will generate fascinating and stimulating ideas and attract new audiences as the festival broadens its focus."

Hume believes the relationship will allow all kinds of creative collaborations.

"Both organisations share a strong belief in the role of the arts, culture and the life of the mind in a prosperous, progressive, humane society. Our discussions have revealed an extraordinary confluence of objectives and ideas."

The Sydney Festival opens on 9th January 2010.

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