The extensive upgrade of Queensland Theatre’s performance venue on Montague Road represents the company’s first home theatre. Bille Brown Theatre and its adjoining spaces facilitate intimate exchanges between storytellers, performers and audiences. The new space enables the cultural experience of the theatre to last beyond the final curtain. The $5.5 million project, was completed with the help of that state government giving $2.2 million. This upgrade has increased seating capacity to 351. It also gave a whole new look to the theatre bar and external courtyard with an upper level terrace.
The theatre features Brisbane’s first corner stage arrangement, with sloping seating on three sides, an inclusion that is considered standard in other theatres across the country. The new staging will allow opportunities for co-productions with other theatres. “What that means is that you are able to propel actors really quickly into the space. Also the audience is much more enveloped in the action,” says Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Sam Strong.
The refurbished studio arrangement also utilises a specialised cable-net tensile walkway system over the performance and seating spaces. This system significantly increases the efficiency of technical operations through the ease of accessibility to all areas above the studio space.
Conrad Gargett created this Australian design shortlisted theatre with a tight timeframe and budget. The project was a collaborative process between architect and theatre company executives. It was this collaboration that will allow for the theatre company’s desired audience experience to be achieved not just within the theatre but also in the bar, foyer and courtyard areas. The practice was proud to work closely and collaboratively with Queensland Theatre to design and deliver this landmark project and their vision of a sophisticated home venue,” Says Lawrence Toaldo, managing director of Conrad Gargett.
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