Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Les Miserables producer slams inadequate Sydney theatre provision

Les Miserables producer slams inadequate Sydney theatre provision
March 24, 2015

Leading international theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh has criticised Sydney's lack of suitable theatres to allow for productions to have viable long runs.

Mackintosh, currently in Sydney to oversee the final previews of his revival of Les Miserables before its opening night this Thursday (26th March) said Sydney desperately needs medium-sized venues if it is to successfully host long-running shows.

This latest production will be played at the 2,000 seat capacity Capitol Theatre.

Stating that the economics of staging theatrical productions in Australia is getting tougher, Mackintosh told the ABC "what we've lost in Sydney is the 1,500-seaters like Her Majesty's, which were torn down and not replaced.

"And I think one, if not two, 1,500-seaters is the great thing and will level the playing ground and help every producer."

Her Majesty's Theatre in Sydney was demolished 15 years ago and the similar sized Regent Theatre was torn down two years earlier.

That limits the options for musicals in Sydney, with the larger Capitol and Lyric theatres each holding 2,000 people and the smaller Theatre Royal housing just over 1,000.

Mackintosh added "sometimes you'll have a lucky run of shows that just need big theatres, but more often than not, as in London or Broadway, most of the big hits are in 1,400 or 1,500 seaters or less.

"Very few big hits are in the big theatres."

Commenting on Australian production costs, Mackintosh said the economics of doing business in Australia was getting tougher.

He concluded "the biggest problem with doing things in Australia is that it's very, very expensive ... this is one of the most expensive countries in the world, and to do something of this scale and standard which is identical to what I would do in London or Broadway, I have to think hard.

"In fact, we can't do a show here now unless we bring a physical production from another part of the world and then put the best of Australian talent with it.

"In the end making sure we have the right theatres, so we can get the right shows in the right theatres, is more important."

Mackintosh said even financial backing from the NSW Government's Destination NSW agency was not a long-term fix for a global city that lacked enough venues, or venues varying in size.

One of Australia's great 'atmospheric' picture palaces, the Heritage Listed Capitol Theatre was reborn in 1995 as a lyric theatre, due partly to its excellent acoustics, after a massive reconstruction.




Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology


APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology) is the leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and synthetic turf products for sporting and recreational applications. From…

read more

Environment / Sport / Surfaces / Technology



ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation



Humanforce is a global provider of workforce management solutions for companies who need flexibility to manage complex workforces. Companies use Humanforce to manage everything from time and…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Technology / Venues


Tim Batt Water Solutions

Tim Batt Water Solutions are at the very forefront of the commercial aquatic business in Australia, with over 30 years specific experience supplying and installing chemical control and dosing…

read more

Aquatics / Environment / Recreation / Technology / Venues


Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks



At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…

read more

Finance / Fitness / Technology


TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business