Its the real deal: Pop-up theatre flagged for Sydneys second CBD

Its the real deal: Pop-up theatre flagged for Sydneys second CBD
Its the real deal: Pop-up theatre flagged for Sydneys second CBD

British theatre impresario Sir Howard Panter is providing to deliver a pop-up theatre for high-end musical productions to Parramatta and is individually scouting new theatre areas from amongst half-empty business buildings in the Sydney CBD.

The top of considered one of Britain’s largest theatre operators says a short lived theatre might help audiences and productions whereas Parramatta’s lone theatre complicated undergoes a $140 million renovation from the finish of 2024.

Artist’s impression of Trafalgar Leisure’s pop-up theatre.

As soon as the new Riverside Theatres reopens in 2027, the pop-up theatre might then be relocated to different cities and cities in NSW.

However Panter acknowledges it could require federal and state authorities and council to speculate, and/or give planning help and a web site for the $30 million enterprise to fly.

Arts minister John Graham stated the thought had benefit and was “an instance of the personal sector being prepared to contribute to the cultural infrastructure of NSW – be it in Newcastle or Parramatta”.


“Figuring out the place authorities can help by planning and regulatory interventions is the form of change we’re seeking to make to facilitate significant personal capital funding in tradition because it exists in different worldwide cities,” he stated.

“We’re convening a theatre Business roundtable later this week as a part of A New Take a look at Tradition [policy], and this form of dialogue can be on the desk.”

A reproduction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre travelled to Melbourne and Sydney 5 years in the past, however Panter’s model is not any circus tent or outside selection.

It might be constructed from interlocking modular items with seating, air-con, and correct acoustics. The Troubadour at Wembley Park was one instance of a pop-up construction, and the viewers expertise was akin to any everlasting important stage, Panter stated.

“It’s the real deal, has real air-con, real acoustics, and has between 1200 and 1500 seats,” he stated.

“After the Riverside is constructed, that venue could be moved in about three months to a different metropolis or city in NSW. In precept, it’s in all probability a superb bridge between Riverside because it at present is and Riverside reborn.”

Howard Panter at his Trafalgar Leisure Group’s Theatre Royal in Sydney.Credit score: Edwina Pickles

Parramatta Council lately made a call-out to architects to design a brand new 1350-1400 seat lyric theatre at Riverside, 760-seat Riverside playhouse theatre, a brand new 430-seat black-box drama theatre, and state-of-the-art 80 to 90 seat digital studio and cinema.

Panter has flagged his curiosity in commercially working Riverside’s lyric theatre, as soon as constructed.

The associated fee for a short lived construction would rely on the web site and its entry to utilities and parking however is prone to begin at $30 million. Panter stated his organisation would carry the operational danger below any private-public partnership association.

“It’s nothing like the value of a serious new everlasting venue,” Panter stated. “It’s in [the region] of tens of hundreds of thousands, not lots of of hundreds of thousands.”

Architect’s block picture exhibiting the scale of the new Riverside Theatres.

Panter and spouse Dame Rosemary Squire arrange Trafalgar Leisure in 2013 and function a stable of 18 theatres, together with Sydney’s Theatre Royal. Since the Theatre Royal’s opening in 2021, Panter has made no secret of the truth he needs to broaden his Sydney presence.

The Theatre Royal web site was secured for musical theatre by the former Coalition authorities at a value of about $38 million when the web site become a meals courtroom.

“We’re not going out with a giant bell and saying come on state [government], come on federal [government], come on metropolis,” Panter stated. “It’s applicable for us to debate our ideas with numerous authorities our bodies to see what could be relevant. Cash doesn’t develop on timber, whether or not it’s public or personal cash.”

Basis Theatres, operator of the Capitol Theatre and Sydney Lyric Theatre, is predicted to start out work subsequent 12 months on its authorised plans to transform The Star’s 4000-seat occasion centre right into a two-level 1550-seat Proscenium arch theatre to host main productions, and a 1000-seat stay room for performs, modern music, comedy and cabaret performances.

Due for completion by the finish of 2025, Basis’s CEO Graeme Kearns stated the venues would fulfill demand for bigger theatre areas in Sydney for the subsequent decade.

However Michael Cassel, producer of hit musicals, & Juliet and Hamilton, believes there may be nonetheless room in Sydney for a brand new 1600-seat theatre.

Panter stated Parramatta was simply considered one of a number of locations round Sydney that might take a pop-up venue.

“There does appear to me plenty of buildings that may be repurposed in Sydney, banks and different business buildings that aren’t doing what they had been doing earlier than the pandemic.


“It’s a worldwide challenge: what do you do when persons are now not full-time going to the workplace? What do you do with these buildings? We predict the CBD might take one other theatre, and our analysis backs that up.”

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