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"Thrifty thrill-seekers, this one’s for you."

On a strict entertainment budget? Audrey picks the eyes out of March with just a couple of C-notes to play with.

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March Minus Mormon

Date: 1 Mar 2018

At the time of writing, a single ticket to The Book of Mormon, which has its gala Sydney opening on March 9, was $176 on the resale site Viagogo.

Add in transport, a drink at the bar … you’re up for $200.

Crazy, right?

So we looked what else you could get for the same outlay – $200 – in the month of March in Sydney’s theatres and it’s a lot more than one night out with the Mormons. Thrifty thrill-seekers, this one’s for you.

The Wolves

Old Fitzroy Theatre, March 14-April 14

Directed by Jessica Arthur, fresh from her fine production of Lethal Indifference for the Sydney Theatre Company, this award-winning American play by Sarah DeLappe offers a fly-on-the-wall look at a girls’ high school soccer team as they go through their training drills and a close examination of what it is to be a young woman right now.

Arthur’s cast includes Zoe Terakes (2017’s A View from the Bridge), Michelle Ny and Sarah Meacham (from last year’s Dry Land) and Puberty Blues star Brenna Harding.

Top whack for a ticket is $55 (previews are $33)

Shakespeare Dance Party

March 11, Hustle and Flow Bar, Redfern, from 4pm, free

The Leftovers Collective bring Bard and beats together in a good-humoured competition in which 16 rappers armed with some of the greatest speeches in the English language will confront a DJ spinning beats they’ve never heard before. Will your “To Be or Not To Be” flow over dubstep? What chance Henry V’s St Crispin’s Day battlecry over a classic funk break?

Success brings a role in an upcoming web series.

Failure is rewarded with a pie in the face.

Makes Eight Mile look kinda tame.

The Lysicrates Prize

March 11, Sydney Opera House from 3.30pm, free but booking is required.

OK, so the actors are script-in-hand but you are in the Sydney Opera House drama theatre on a Sunday afternoon, it costs you nothing, and you’ll get the early drop on what might be the next Australian stage hit.

Now in its fourth year, the Lysicrates Prize sees three playwrights compete for a $15,000 commission from Griffin to finish the play. The runners-up each receive a cash prize of $1,000.

This year’s finalists are: Christine Evans, whose Galilee examines the collision of competing economic and ecological forces in a small coastal town on the Great Barrier Reef; Travis Cotton, who wonders if we’d all be better living a life under the sea in a play titled Starfish; and H Lawrence Sumner, whose The Hollow Queen begins with a popular children’s author receiving a visit from a young Aboriginal lawyer who accuses her of plagiarising Dreaming Stories for her prize-winning children’s books.

The staged readings commence at 3.30pm and afterwards the audience is invited to take a stroll to the Lysicrates Monument in the Royal Botanic Garden (a 15-minute walk) for the awarding of the prize.

Going Down

STC Wharf 2 Theatre, March 23-May 5

Tickets for the Sydney Theatre Company’s new production of Arturo Ui breaks our budget but for a mere $42, you can partake of Michele Lee’s sex-positive new play in the STC’s Wharf 2 space.

Going Down is the semi-autobiographical story of a young writer whose memoir, Banana Girl, a sexually explicit tell-all, is anything but politically correct and a long way from becoming a best-seller. Can her next effort, 100 Cocks in 100 Nights, reboot her career?

Catherine Davies stars in what promises to be a funny and frank examination of sex and expectations.

Step-Up Festival

Kings Cross Theatre, March 5-31

Kings Cross Theatre is bringing together some of Sydney’s leading indie players for a month of edgy shows with short seasons. The biggest bang for your handful of bucks will likely be director Claudia Barrie’s production of Dennis Kelly’s 10-character drama, DNA, depicting the brutalities of high school pecking orders (March 15-24).

At the other end of the scale is writer Pippa Ellams’ intimate two hander The Carousel, an unflinching look at the lives of teenaged siblings.

Tickets are at most $35 but book now and early bird tickets are on offer for $25.

So, by my reckoning, paying top prices, no concessions, we’ve only spent $132 so far … Let’s talk options.

Back to Back

Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, March 15-24

How about this for a bargain: two new works straight out of Q Theatre’s Q Lab development program presented at The Joan in Penrith?

In Everything You Ever Wanted, Rachel Roberts (of Applespiel and Boho Interactive) explores the science of dieting, weight and disordered eating while placing herself under the microscope.

In How I Saved The Western Black Rhino, Nathan Harrison explores the daunting complexity of wildlife conservation and tells an uplifting story of travelling to Africa to try to save one of the last Western Black Rhinos in existence.

Price for the pair? $55. You’re $12 under budget. Congratulations. Go buy yourself an icecream … Or let’s imagine you find some spare change down the side of the couch.

The Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer

Seymour Centre, March 22-29

Full-price seats for this confronting yet upbeat musical about the Big C are $69, which puts us $1 over our $200 limit but hey, this is the trailblazing UK company Complicité and performance artist Bryony Kimmings and from what we read in the British media, this is a must-see.

Mainstage In Living Colour (Do Not Adjust Your Set)
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ArchivedVenues across Sydney 1 - 31 Oct 2019

Mainstage In Living Colour (Do Not Adjust Your Set)

Diversity advocate Bali Padda trawls the mainstage seasons and picks the must-sees from theatre companies putting People of Colour front and centre in 2018.

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ArchivedStables Theatre, Kings Cross, Sydney 11 - 28 Apr 2018

Batch Festival Stages Griffin Takeover

It’s all about the stuff that doesn't fit into traditional genre pigeonholes, says Batch Festival’s curator Phil Spencer.

Millennial lives unfiltered, #no LOLS
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ArchivedKings Cross Theatre, Sydney 30 - 31 Mar 2018

Millennial lives unfiltered, #no LOLS

"We are showing the stuff we usually keep locked out of sight." Pippa Ellams' play takes an unflinching look at adolescence.

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