The opportunity for a new live performance venue as part of the Powerhouse Museum site redevelopment is welcome but Australia’s biggest city is still falling behind its Australian and international peers when it comes to venue capacity.
Peak industry body, Live Performance Australia (LPA), today called on the NSW Government to urgently resolve the future of the shuttered Theatre Royal in the CBD. ‘This theatre is a very valuable part of our live performance infrastructure and to have it dark for more than two years now is severely limiting opportunities for our producers, performers and audiences,’ Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson said.
She said the potential to develop a new Broadway-style Lyric theatre at the Powerhouse was good news but noted it would still be a number of years before the venue was open to audiences.
‘Sydney has fallen way behind Melbourne when it comes to live performance venue capacity which is not only bad for Sydney but also impacts on audiences around the rest of the country. The NSW Government cannot idly stand by and allow the demolition or downgrading of existing infrastructure.
‘The loss of the Theatre Royal has materially impacted the opportunity for Sydney to host major productions, depriving local performers and industry workers of jobs, limiting choice for audiences, and short-changing the visitor economy through lost visitation and economic activity generated by live performance,’ Ms Richardson said.
LPA is calling on the NSW Government to bring together the owners of the Theatre Royal site, City of Sydney and industry leaders to secure the future of the venue.
‘Sydney is a vital part of a national touring schedule particularly for international productions. If a show can’t be booked into Sydney, that can affect the touring prospects for other Australian cities. Australian audiences are missing out on seeing great shows because there are not enough venues in Sydney to make presenting these productions viable,’ Ms Richardson said.
‘It doesn’t make any sense to have a perfectly good venue in the heart of the CBD sitting unused. Every day the Theatre Royal is closed is another missed opportunity for Sydney’s live performance industry and audiences and the Government should make reactivation of the site an immediate strategic priority for live performance in NSW,’ Ms Richardson said.
30 April 2018
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