With a total investment of $4.6 million, the upgrade will secure the successful Outdoor Stage as an annual fixture on the Malthouse Theatre’s calendar, while improving conditions and comfort for patrons and helping to preserve the historic Southbank building.
“Whether it’s catching a gig, live theatre or a movie under the stars, Victorians love experiencing the arts outdoors and these upgrades will make an amazing space even better,” said Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson.
“We’re making sure Victoria’s beloved cultural destinations continue to offer the best creative experiences, while providing even more reasons for people to visit Australia’s culture capital.”
Supported by the Victorian Government and Sidney Myer Fund, the Outdoor Stage has been a popular addition to the theatre’s offering, with more than 25,000 people attending 80 live music, comedy and cabaret performances and literary events in the past two years.
Building works will begin in June and the stage will be ready to welcome audiences in time for the Malthouse’s 2022/23 summer season. Audiences will enjoy a refurbished foyer and easier access to facilities including a resurfaced courtyard and a redesigned bar to provide better service to outdoor crowds.
Infrastructure works will allow more ambitious performances with new lighting, stage footings and an outdoor tech-desk – while artists will be supported with upgrades to the Malthouse workshop, providing a dedicated green room for the Outdoor Stage.
Works will also rejuvenate the iconic Southbank building with restorative works and upgrades to include replacement of the roof.
“It’s been 42 years since the iconic Malthouse was converted into our beloved theatre venue and 20 years since our neighbours, ACCA and Chunky Move, joined us to create this precinct of creative practice,” said Sarah Neal, Malthouse Theatre Executive Producer and Co-CEO.
“This vital infrastructure support from the Victorian Government will help us to ensure our precinct is a vibrant and active place for artists and audiences, well into the future.”
The improvements will bolster the broad appeal of the Melbourne Arts Precinct while providing long-term benefits to Malthouse along with its creative neighbours, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) and Chunky Move.
For more information about the Malthouse Theatre, visit: www.malthousetheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Malthouse Outdoor Stage (supplied)