Concept plans for the redevelopment of Adelaide’s Her Majesty’s Theatre unveiled

HMT_Grote Street View_Architects Render_Cox ArchitectureThe concept plans for the redeveloped of Her Majesty’s Theatre by local firm Cox Architecture were unveiled on stage last night at the historic theatre.

The Her Majesty’s Theatre Renewal Fundraising Campaign, set up to raise public funds for the historic redevelopment, was also officially launched at the event in front of various stakeholders and invited guests. Last year the State Government announced a $32 million grant to redevelop the theatre, with the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust pledging to raise at least an additional $3.2 million dollars through public donations to enhance the project.

The Honourable Jack Snelling MP, Minister for the Arts says: “The Government’s commitment to improving the performing arts infrastructure both at Her Majesty’s Theatre and Adelaide Festival Centre is making a once in a generation change to the performing arts landscape in South Australia.”

“Creating a second large commercially viable venue in the CBD will ensure that in the future many of the musical blockbusters that currently bypass Adelaide because of the lack of suitable venues will come here. Creating a second large theatrical venue will also help increase the ‘mainstage’ access venue for our South Australian performing arts companies allowing them to develop their programs in world class venues.”

Douglas Gautier, Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director says: “The Government is providing the base funding for this project but it is right and proper that the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust and the arts loving public of South Australia make a contribution to enhance what can be achieved. We believe a public appeal allows the public to take ownership of the building and this is really important to its long term success.”

“There is a great history of public support for arts infrastructure in South Australia. In February 1970 a public appeal was launched supported by The Advertiser to raise $100,000 for a festival theatre. This target was met in just a week and the final amount raised was in excess of $160,000.”

“We are aiming to replicate something similar in 2017 dollars. In fact, we already have close to $250,000 committed to the fund before the official launch of the campaign. That is on top of the almost $750,000 previously raised to purchase 62 Grote Street.”

Barry Humphries AO CBE is the patron of the Her Majesty’s Theatre Renewal Fundraising Campaign, supported by several other high profile arts identities including Greta Bradman, Todd McKenney, Rhonda Burchmore OAM, David Campbell, Peter Goers OAM, Kate Ceberano and Geoffrey Rush AC.

Her Majesty’s Theatre, the Grand Old Dame of Grote Street, has been serving and entertaining South Australia for more than 100 years. The redevelopment will provide:
– Increased theatre capacity to almost 1,500 seats;
– A vastly improved patron experience with new foyers, bars, more toilets and full disability access;
– A totally new interior layout in the auditorium including, an additional tier, different rakes and more room between aisles, and every seat will have a good view;
– New stage equipment and wider proscenium;
– Improved facilities to accommodate big shows and meet artists’ requirements; and
– Audience attendance to grow to up to 250,000 a year (has been between 60,000-95,000 a year for the last five years).

Benefits of the redevelopment of Her Majesty’s Theatre:
– Restoration of a nationally significant cultural heritage building;
– Improved experience for patrons and artists;
– Improved facilities for South Australian performing arts companies;
– Good for the economy by creating construction jobs and then increased employment for artists, programmers, technical staff, publicity and marketing staff;
– Good for the economy by driving the visitor economy and also helping to retain expenditure in South Australia because people will no longer need to go interstate to see some shows;
– Increased city vibrancy; and
– Provide a bookend along with the Market for the Market to Riverbank laneways project and drive the rejuvenation of that part of the city by boosting the number of theatre attendees.

“The refurbishment of Her Majesty’s Theatre will blend its rich history with a contemporary design approach to create an iconic and landmark performance venue for Adelaide,” said Adam Hannon, SA State Manager for Cox Architecture.

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Image: Architects Render of Her Majesty’s Theatre – courtesy of Cox Architecture