If you have any theatre outings planned in 2018, check your ticket carefully: the six-month closure of the Civic Theatre means that a lot of the productions that would usually call the venue home are relocating.
The closure, which has already begun and will continue until July, is to allow for much-needed behind-the-scenes upgrades.
North Queensland Opera and Music Theatre (NQOMT) President Vicki Rose said although changes may not be immediately apparent on reopening, the benefits for production crews would be invaluable.
“Whilst it is my belief most of the renovations will go unnoticed to the public, to be able to have a roof that doesn’t leak and a better mechanical system in place can only benefit the community as a whole,” Vicki said.
“In my years with NQOMT, the only other ‘show’ we haven’t done at the theatre was Steel Magnolias in 2003. We’ve performed several cabaret-style shows in other locations over the years, but our March production of Nunsense will be the first musical we have done somewhere other than the Civic Theatre for years.”
Nunsense has been relocated to the NQOMT Hall in Pimlico’s Gill Park.
“Audience numbers are always a great concern for shows, but it’s nice to be able to utilise our own space and bring our theatre audience a variety of comical performance: this also provides the opportunity for us to be more cost effective and it really suits the show we’re doing, which is written to be set in a church hall.”
NQOMT is just one group in a long list of organisations who were left with the ultimatum of taking a hiatus or performing in a different location while the theatre undergoes its upgrades – however, with groups knowing of the closure over a year in advance, they have had time to prepare.
“For local performance groups, the theatre closure just means a new set of challenges in finding other venues that suit their performance – some may find it costly, but we are lucky to be able to use our own hall.”
The Civic Theatre will reopen mid year, however while it is closed, local performances will still be staged at alternative venues. Stay up to date via What’s On Townsville.