Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…read more
Sydney theatres underutilised and inaccessible
A research project into theatre venues in Sydney has revealed a shortage of accessible theatres and the underutilisation of many of the city’s existing theatres.
Investigating the challenges faced by the city's theatre-makers, Steven Hopley’s newly released Sydney Theatre Report 2015, also identified a severe shortage of affordable, suitable theatre venues in the NSW capital.
Playwright, director and theatre producer Hopley’s six month research has produced a document with a detailed analysis of every venue in Sydney including seating capacity, days per year used, days used for theatre and hire rates.
Summarising his findings from the 82 page document he highlightsin three key points:
• There is a severe shortage of theatre venues in Sydney – with no hire venues (non-curated) available under 100 seats, or under $2,000 per week in rental, particularly discouraging younger and emerging artists from involvement within the industry.
• Sydney’s theatres are greatly under-utilised – with an average of only 29% use for performance, and 18% use for theatre, across the 2014/15 financial year.
• Sydney’s theatres are not being used for theatre – with 51% of Sydney’s theatres used more frequently for other styles of performance, or for purposes other than theatre.
With utilisation, the report found Sydney’s theatre venues were used for performance less than a third of the time, with non-performance events and rehearsals accounting for some of the remaining usage.
However, Hopley found that theatres were often empty, and, with performances included dance, music and comedy, only 18% of performances were actual theatre productions.
Hopley also conducted an online poll of independent producers which found 91% of independent producers surveyed have had to postpone or cancel a show due to the lack of a suitable venue, and 55% have had to make creative compromises because of the venue shortage.
He found that 64% of independent producers have cited finding an affordable venue as the single biggest problem they face in putting on a show in Sydney.
In the report’s introduction, Hopley summarised the Sydney theatrical landscape of the past 10 years, stating “the closure of two performance spaces in the Tap Gallery at Darlinghurst recently was a disaster for the independent theatre sector, but this is the mere tip of the iceberg.
“The last decade has seen: the historic Footbridge Theatre renovated into a lecture hall; the Crypt in Balmain strangled with red tape; the Sidetrack Theatre ransacked; an independent space on Alice Street in Newtown demolished; the hall that housed the Actors Centre performances lost in their move; the Newtown Theatre’s lease on the St George’s Hall cancelled for use as a school hall; the Cleveland Street Theatre left abandoned; the Valhalla, once the historic New Arts Theatre, stripped to bare brick by developers before a heritage order could be placed on it; and some very funny things indeed have happened on the way to the Forum.
“The New Olympia Theatre opened in Paddington on a short-term lease in late 2014, with the potential for a second theatre on site, but despite the creator’s best efforts to hand his theatre over for continued use, no support could be found, so the theatre opened only to close again after a few months.
“Two UNSW theatres – Io Myers and Studio 1 – have been earmarked for demolition in the next few years, along with the Bondi Pavilion Amphitheatre, and in the time I have spent writing this report, the historic Fig Tree Theatre – once known as the Old Tote – has been closed, and the Archway 1 Theatre has been given notice of eviction by City of Sydney council.
“And then there are the internal shifts that are the inevitable result of a dwindling choice of venues: theatres changing hands, becoming more insular and exclusive, moving away from performance hire to conferences and private functions and, of course, skyrocketing hire rates.”
Looking to the future, the report calls for several points of action to improve the situation, including greater financial investment in the arts, and more support for artists in the independent sector, from all levels of government; a lowering of hire rates across the board, and greater transparency from venues on their rates and additional charges; more co-operation within the industry; and the opening up of school venues for community use.
Click here to view the Sydney Theatre Report.
29th Novembert 2015 - NEW GUIDE PROVIDES EASIER ACCESS TO ARTS AND EVENTS IN SYDNEY
7th August 2015 - WEST END OPERATOR TO MANAGE SYDNEY’S UPGRADED THEATRE ROYAL
22nd May 2015 - WALSH BAY ARTS PRECINCT CONCEPT GETS GREEN LIGHT
24th March 2015 - LES MISERABLES PRODUCER SLAMS INADEQUATE SYDNEY THEATRE PROVISION
26th October 2014 - BARANGAROO DEVELOPMENT TO INCLUDE NEW SYDNEY THEATRE?
19th May 2014 - SYDNEY’S CREATIVE FUTURE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
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 www.ausleisure.com.au 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.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Aerobic Microphones Australia provides audio products for the fitness industry. Products include the sweat resistant Cyclemic and Aeromic headworn microphones and pouchbelts that are made in…read more
Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…read more
Hydrocare Pool Services Pty Ltd offer 30 years of experience in aquatic industry features, products and water treatment. Hydrocare Pools has undertaken water treatment for aquatic centres and…read more
Regupol Australia Pty Ltd offers a comprehensive range of recycled rubber fitness and leisure flooring surfaces. Their range of products include everroll rubber flooring, Regupol elastic…read more
As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd. 19th July 2018 - ENTA AUSTRALASIA REBRANDS AS VIVATICKET 17th October 2016…read more
Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…read more
ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help all athletes gain the competitive edge. Our…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!