I am committed to supporting the growth of a diverse and creative culture in Sydney. Last night I was thrilled to join the theatre community and locals for the launch of the new Hayes Theatre Co.
The Reg Murphy Centre in Potts Point had been home to the Darlinghurst Theatre Company for the past 10 years, before their move last year to our new state-of-the-art Eternity Playhouse. In May 2011 as work on Eternity Playhouse proceeded I asked the City to investigate retaining the Reg Murphy Centre as a theatre. The idea had the strong support of people in the local and performing arts communities
Nine not-for-profit cultural and creative organisations submitted proposals to reuse the space and after a careful process, the City selected a new independent theatre group to manage and operate the theatre.
The group brings together Sydney's leading independent musical theatre companies, producers and creators. The theatre will continue to be a place for emerging and established performers to showcase their talents and try out new ideas, ensuring Sydney audiences have the chance to enjoy a much wider range of musical theatre and cabaret, including new Australian musicals.
To give the venue a fresh identity, they've adopted the name Hayes Theatre Co, after musical theatre legend Nancye Hayes.
The company plans to develop a program of master classes, workshops and other activities to help performers, composers and writers develop their skills and to enable budding thespians, students and the community to learn more about musical theatre.
Hayes Theatre Co is opening with Sweet Charity, the 1960s musical which gave Nancye Hayes her first starring role and introduced the songs Hey, Big Spender and Rhythm of Life.
One of the show's producers, David Campbell, and his father, Jimmy Barnes, were on hand for the launch. With their first season now underway and two more productions, including a new Australian musical, already planned, I expect Hayes Theatre Co will be exciting addition to our city.
You can find out more by visiting Hayes Theatre Co's website - www.hayestheatre.com.au