Work is well underway on one of the most exciting and anticipated theatre projects in Australia - the redevelopment of Adelaide’s landmark Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Touring the site today, Premier Steven Marshall said that the $66 million redevelopment will deliver a bigger-capacity and more accessible contemporary theatre space that boosts jobs and drives economic growth.
“Her Majesty’s is the original jewel in the crown of the arts world here in Adelaide and a redeveloped and revived theatre will create enormous flow-on benefits for our visitor economy,” said Premier Steven Marshall.
“We are incredibly fortunate that Her Majesty’s Theatre has remained functional since 1913, and I am confident that this redevelopment will transform the much-loved heritage building into a thriving and commercially successful venue.
“Past redevelopments of the theatre in the 60’s and 70’s have halved its capacity to 970 seats and, over time, it has unfortunately become a less attractive venue for large-scale and long-running productions.
“When it reopens in early 2020, it is estimated that Her Majesty’s Theatre will be able to host at least 50 additional performances each year, which is fantastic news for the arts sector and our economy.
“At its peak, construction work will provide up to 120 jobs and the finished theatre, with its greater activity and increased capacity will also bring more jobs and drive economic activity in the Central Market and Chinatown precinct.”
The transformation of Her Majesty’s Theatre preserves the building’s heritage façade and eastern wall while constructing a completely new 1,472 seat auditorium over three levels with high specification acoustics, spacious backstage facilities and greater capacity to stage large touring shows.
The redevelopment will extend the theatre’s footprint west on Grote Street, making space for new facilities and bars in a new wing with a dramatic glass façade. The original central entrance will be restored, with a new canopy incorporating modern technology and celebrating the building’s Edwardian grandeur.
Chief Executive of Adelaide Festival Centre Trust, Douglas Gautier said, “Years of painstaking work have resulted in a stunning design, which will transform this much-loved theatre. I believe the new Maj will delight her faithful audiences and also draw in new patrons to see the biggest and best shows touring Australia and to enjoy creative work developed here in South Australia.
“Having two large theatres, Her Majesty’s and Festival Theatre, will put Adelaide into the major league for touring productions and accommodate South Australia’s home dance, theatre, orchestral and opera companies. The revenue we generate from this modern and in-demand new theatre will also allow us to invest in our core purpose of bringing arts to all.”
Arts South Australia Executive Director Peter Louca said: “As well as providing access to contemporary performance spaces for our homegrown local companies, South Australians will be able to experience shows that once would have by-passed our city.”