Arts Centre Melbourne’s summer visitor numbers exceeded 1.5 million as people soaked up emotive theatre, musical merriment, a huge program of family shows, variety, cabaret and an exhibition, across the venue’s Hamer Hall, State Theatre, Playhouse, Fairfax Studio and the iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
Season highlights included the box office smash Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical, the critically acclaimed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the newly opened Australian Music Vault and Shakespearean sensation Pop-up Globe.
Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical became Arts Centre Melbourne’s highest selling show, selling in excess of 130,000 tickets and surpassing previous record holder War Horse. David Campbell thrilled in his portrayal of Bobby Darin with an 18-piece big band live on stage and a full cast of extraordinary performers, garnering audience and critical acclaim along the way.
Almost 46,500 people saw the Australian premiere of the award-winning National Theatre production The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time presented by Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Theatre Company. The global theatrical phenomenon, which is the recipient of five Tony Awards and seven Olivier Awards including Best Play for both, proved a hit with Melbourne audiences enjoying a sold out season.
To complement the Australian premiere season and to enrich audiences’ experience of this groundbreaking production, Arts Centre Melbourne hosted their most extensive Associated Program for a mainstage show to date.
Pop-up Globe – the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of one of the greatest theatres in history, popped up at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl from late September through to early February entertaining over 133,900 people with epic battles, laugh out loud comedy, spectacular dances, sword fights in full suits of armour and elaborate costumes ala Shakespeare 1614.
It proved another massive summer music season too at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl with more than 173,000 attendees at classical, rock, folk and dance music performances – everything from Paul Kelly to the Road to Ultra Festival.
Since opening its doors in December 2017, over 180,000 people have viewed the Australian Music Vault – a free exhibition celebrating contemporary Australian music in a purpose-built space within the Theatres building.
Created in collaboration with the music industry, Mushroom Records co-founder Michael Gudinski, music legend Ian “Molly” Meldrum, songstress Kylie Minogue, singer-songwriter Tina Arena and Indigenous singer-songwriter Archie Roach are the founding patrons.
“Arts Centre Melbourne programming has been at an all-time high, bringing together people for a range of remarkable experiences,” said Arts Centre Melbourne CEO Claire Spencer. “I’m particularly pleased that three of the biggest hits, Dream Lover and Pop-Up Globe were presented through collaboration with partners Gordon Frost and Live Nation respectively, while Curious was co-presented with one of our Resident Companies, Melbourne Theatre Company.”
“The huge success of the Australian Music Vault could not have been delivered for the Victorian Government and the people of Victoria without the enthusiastic collaboration of the music industry and our many partners,” added Spencer
For more information about Arts Centre Melbourne’s programs, visit: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au for details.
Image: Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical – photo by Brian Geach