19 October 2023

Nine things to do in the Illawarra this week (20 - 26 October)

| Dione David
Start the conversation
See everything from stunning aerialists performances to jaw-droppingly dexterous jugglers, illusions, comedy and more at Circus Rio.

See everything from stunning performances from aerialists to jaw-droppingly dexterous jugglers, illusions, comedy and more at Circus Rio. Photo: Circus Rio.

From the circus to theatre and not one, but two major festivals, there’s plenty to do in the Illawarra this week.

Wollongong City’s Council’s highly anticipated multicultural festival is finally here to transform the city centre into a smorgasbord of events and entertainment for the whole family while the edge of Kiama Black Beach becomes a jam-packed playground of international acts, local talent and unique experiences for KISS Arts Festival.

A cast of internationally acclaimed circus performers will put on a jaw-dropping performance in Shellharbour and over in Warilla, a “Reading Day” will aim to build your child’s love of literature from babyhood.

In between there’s dance, theatre, Oktoberfest, author talks and murder mysteries. Here are our top nine picks for the week.

All weekend

Black and white close-up of two dancers intertwined

This season’s uNCOILED eXposed premieres three experimental works by emerging choreographers. Photo: MERRIGONGX.

uNCOILED eXposed

When: Friday 20 and Saturday 21 October, 7:30 pm
Where: Bruce Gordon Theatre, IPAC, 32 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book here.

Billed as “an unravelling of fresh choreographic talent”, uNCOILED eXposed arises from an annual choreographic residency offered by AUSTI Dance and Physical Theatre and MERRIGONGX.

The eclectic new season premieres three experimental dance pieces by emerging choreographers Bonnie Curtis, Buddy Malbasias and AUSTI alumni Jessica Hewett. The performances challenge the stereotypical norms and expectations of gender and beauty, explore the emotional turbulence of cultural reconnection and identity and question the psychological conditions of power.

Flyer for KISS Arts Festival in Kiama featuring montage of festival highlights

KISS is billed as a “seaside celebration of the spectacular, the silly and the sublime”. Image: KISS Arts Fest/Facebook.

KISS Arts Festival

When: Friday 20 to Sunday 22 October, various times
Where: The Kiama Pavilion, 2 Bong Bong Street, Kiama
Cost: Free entry.

The fringes of Kiama’s Black Beach are transformed for one wondrous weekend into a jam-packed playground of international acts, local talent, unique experiences and pure entertainment. A national and international lineup of circus troupes, musicians and comedians will create a cacophony of spectacles fit for a multigenerational audience. Expect jugglers, acrobats, musicians, stuntmen and so much more in this “seaside celebration of the spectacular, the silly and the sublime”.

Flyer for Oktoberfest at German Club Wollongong

From the best-dressed contest to pork knuckles and accordion music, don’t miss Oktoberfest at German Club Wollongong. Image: German Club Wollongong.


When: Friday 20 October, 6 pm, Saturday 21 October, 6 pm and Sunday 22 October, noon to 5 pm
Where: German Club Wollongong, 636A Northcliffe Drive, Kembla Grange
Cost: $70 for food platter, phone (02) 4271 5011 to book.

Live entertainment, friendly competition and massive food platters mark Oktoberfest at our local German club. Music will come courtesy of accordionist “Harald” (aka Rockordion) and there will also be performances from a German choir and dance group.

Throw your hat in for the ‘strong arm’ and best-dressed contests, and don’t forget to book and prepay for your German food platter. There are numerous platters to choose from including the ever-popular “Kings Pork Platter” which comprises pork knuckle, pork ribs, pork bratwurst, fried potatoes, sauerkraut and red cabbage.

All week

Close up of smiling woman in Rio Carnivale style dance costume

A cast of internationally acclaimed performers will blow you away at Circus Rio. Photo: Circus Rio.

Circus Rio

When: Friday 20 October to Sunday 29 October, various days and times
Where: Stockland Shellharbour, parking lot, Benson Avenue, Shellharbour
Cost: Diamond table $75, VIP general admission, $55, gold general admission $45, green general admission $25, book here.

From stunning aerialists gracefully dancing in the sky to jaw-droppingly dexterous jugglers, illusions, comedy and more, Circus Rio’s cast of internationally acclaimed, world-class Australian and international performers will blow you away this weekend.

This is a family-friendly, alcohol-free event suitable for all ages, and includes 50-minute halves with a 15-minute intermission. Replenish with snacks and drinks available for purchase onsite, before heading back in for the grand finale featuring three-time Guinness World Record FMX Stunt rider Brodie Carmichael as he performs multiple death-defying motorcycle stunts through the tent and high above the audience’s heads.


Flyer for Host a Murder night at Illawarra Yacht Club

The theme for the “Host a Murder” night at Illawarra Yacht Club is Grapes of Frath (murder on a yacht). Image: Illawarra Yacht Club.

Host a Murder

When: Friday 20 October, 6 pm
Where: Illawarra Yacht Club, 1 Northcliffe Drive, Warrawong
Cost: $85, book here.

Dinner might come out hot but get ready for a chilling experience anyway as Illawarra Yacht Club invites you to host a murder. For $85 per person your table of 10 enjoys a two-course meal as you nut out a series of clues to figure out who among you is a murderer.

The theme is Grapes of Frath (murder on a yacht). Will you catch the culprit red-handed? Will you get the Mediterranean antipasto plate with grilled Turkish bread or the Peking duck spring rolls served with Asian salad and house-made plum sauce as an entree?

All players have a chance of winning a free holiday in a beautiful villa in Fiji with five friends for six nights.


Banner for Culture Mix multicultural festival by Wollongong City Council featuring African woman in profile against a vibrant yellow background

Culture Mix is set to transform Wollongong CBD with a jam-packed program of vibrant music, dance, workshops, installations and food from around the world. Image: Wollongong City Council.

Culture Mix

When: Saturday 21 October, noon to 8 pm
Where: Various locations in Wollongong CBD centred on The Arts Precinct, Lower Crown Street and Mall, Wollongong Library, Wollongong Art Gallery and Wollongong Town Hall.
Cost: Free (except for some workshops), book here.

Wollongong City Council’s highly anticipated new contemporary multicultural festival is finally here, offering a jam-packed program of action across the CBD. The city will be transformed into one big free party to celebrate Wollongong’s diverse community with vibrant music, dance, workshops, installations and food from around the world.

Download the map and program to guide you through the day, but make sure you leave plenty of time to get lost in the fun.

Author Chris Hammer stands among trees

Join leading Australian crime writer Chris Hammer for an afternoon of conversation, cake and crime fiction. Photo: Supplied.

Author Talk: Chris Hammer

When: Saturday 21 October, 1 pm
Where: Shellharbour City Library, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: $10, book here.

Crime literature lovers devour his best-selling novels and the TV adaptation of his book Scrublands, which is currently in production in Victoria, was recently acquired by the BBC for the four-part series. Now best-selling crime author Chris Hammer is headed to Shellharbour with the release of the fascinating new Australian thriller The Seven.

As part of his Australian tour, meet the leading Australian crime writer for an afternoon of conversation, cake and crime fiction. Refreshments will be served from 1 pm and the talk will begin at 1:30 pm.


The Visitors

When: Wednesday 25 October, 7:30 pm, Thursday 26 October, 6:30 pm, Friday 27 October, 7:30 pm, Saturday 28 October, 1:30 and 7:30 pm
Where: Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, 32 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Premium $84, adult $72, concession/group 8+ $67, under 30s $62, school groups 8+ $23, family of four $248, book here.

Following its Sydney Theatre Award-winning premiere at the 2020 Sydney Festival, Muruwari playwright Jane Harrison’s The Visitors has been reworked for this new production directed by Quandamooka man Wesley Enoch.

It follows the deliberations of seven clan leaders as they gather on a sandstone escarpment overlooking the harbour on a sweltering day in January 1788. A mysterious fleet of giant nawi (water vessels) is amassing in the harbour and, as they creep closer, these seven representatives must choose unanimously: Should they send these strangers on their way or welcome them?


Flyer for Reading Day at Warilla Grove featuring an illustration of a child reading a book

Looking to build your child’s love of literature from the time they are born? Reading Day is a great start. Image: Paint Shellharbour REaD.

Reading Day at Warilla Grove

When: Thursday, 26 October, 10 am
Where: Warilla Grove Shopping Centre (next to Green Valley Spices), 43/57 Shellharbour Road, Warilla
Cost: Free, no bookings required.

Stories, crafts, games and fun shall ensue as Warilla Grove celebrates early literacy and reading for children at its annual Reading Day. Visitors will have the chance to meet Bangu the Flying Fox and the team from Paint Shellharbour REaD, and other special guests including Billy the Backpack and Bright Spark.

Aimed at little ones from babyhood and up to five-year-olds and their parents/caregivers, the initiative is designed to help build a love of books and stories through talking, singing and rhyming with children from the time they are born.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Illawarra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Illawarra stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.