Sizzle: Cosy music, food and fun

Claire Edwardes and Marcus Whale performing at Sizzle.

Our much-loved annual event, Sizzle, enters it’s sixth year (and ninth iteration) in 2016. Artistic Director Claire Edwardes looks back on the origins of the event, some highlights over the years and what she’s looking forward to this year.

Why did Ensemble Offspring start Sizzle?
We decided to kick Sizzle off back in 2010 as an alternative musical event for Sydney in winter because people tend to go and hear music less in the colder months. I came up with the title and it was meant to conjure up images of cosy sizzling music, food and fun. We always wanted the venue to be a place that families could access easily and not somewhere that people felt threatened by, so we settled on the traditional Aussie bowling club. That first year we presented a series of three Sizzles each curated by a different Ensemble Offspring member — Waverley (Jason), Petersham (Bree) and Camperdown (Veronique). After the success of that first year we decided to make it an annual event, and aside from our Spectrum Now Festival presentation of Sizzle at Marrickville’s The Red Rattler last year, we have based it at Petersham Bowlo ever since. With the support of Marrickville Council it has turned into a free event in the last two years which has made it even more accessible for audiences of all ages, backgrounds and musical experience!

What are your favourite Sizzle memories?
This year will be our ninth Sizzle so really there are too many great memories to list here. That said there are definitely a few funny and memorable moments: Marcus Whale standing on a table singing up close at a rowdy audience member, Kate Rowe singing her famous Space Rabbits of Brocklevoons to a bunch of dancing 3 year olds (including my daughter), Holly Throsby crooning with Ensemble Offspring members on some of her most well known songs, Accordionist James Crabb wowing everyone with his virtuosity, Bree’s crazy John Cage Sizzle back in 2013 with loads of wacky performance artists (including a massage corner) and the wonderful Grand Salvo, Prophets playing on the green with their huge colourful masks — OK I could go on forever…

What can audiences look forward to at Sizzle 2016?
We always try to present a vast range of musical styles and this year will be no different. We are lucky in that our four Hatched Academy musicians from around Australia, have broad ranging backgrounds and skill-sets, so you can expect a double cello and voice duo of some songs by Arthur Russell, the core Offspringers (Jason, Lamorna, Claire and Zubin) presenting a world premiere by Berlin-based Aussie, Thomas Meadowcroft, and the whole team coming together for Steve Reich’s legendary Eight Lines — a seminal work which we will all be tackling for the very first time. Our friends Kathy Cogill (dancer/whirly specialist), and local DJ’s Paul Mac and Jonny Seymour will bookend the afternoon. It’s all very exciting!

Catch Sizzle at Petersham Bowling Club, 3pm, Sunday 24th April 2016. More details here

Sizzle is supported by Marrickville Council
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