Parramatta Lord Mayor Lorraine Wearne has joined the debate about a new theatre for Sydney, saying it should be built in the suburbs and not near the Sydney CBD.
There has been much talk of late about the possibility of building a theatre in western Sydney – a huge growth area with massive audience potential.
Theatres such as the Parramatta Riverside and the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith are extremely successful but could not stage fully-blown commercial musicals.
It is understood the State Government is considering building a new major theatre as part of research into Sydney’s cultural infrastructure needs.
“Within the next 15 years, western Sydney will be home to roughly half of greater Sydney’s population and it’s unfair to expect these people to sit in traffic, or rely on public transport, to travel into the CBD each time an event is being held,” Councillor Wearne told the Sydney Morning Herald.
It is understood that most of Australia’s commercial theatre producers would be unlikely to support the building of a new theatre in the suburbs, as major musicals would struggle to attract the tourist market.
A recent report advising the State Government on cultural infrastructure needs suggest two theatres may need to be build to keep up with demand for musical theatre, ballet and other events