Rein in banks say victims
THE curtains have closed temporarily on Hobart’s historic Theatre Royal, as the building prepares for an upgrade and to allow works to continue on the adjacent Hedberg site.
Last night’s performance by the Imperial Russian Ballet Company was the final show before the six-month shutdown, which will involve the box office moving from the theatre’s cramped ground-floor foyer into a pur- pose-built space within the Hedberg complex.
This new space — which will also house cloakrooms and more bathrooms — will later connect the existing Theatre Royal to the new $96 million Hedberg centre, due to open in November 2019.
While the theatre won’t be presenting works in other venues during the closure, the shutdown has come after a bumper 2018 season, with nine months’ worth of programming condensed into six, including the successful We Will Rock You shows. “Late in November we’ll be launching our new season, as we always do,” said Theatre Royal chief executive Tim Munro.
“We will have a full season with 20-something works, so once we reopen in May, in time for the Uni Revue, it’s full steam ahead.”
The Hedberg performing arts precinct will have three performance spaces, rebuilt back-of-house areas — including better dressing rooms and loading facilities — and lifts. “It’s such an exciting project for Hobart,” Mr Munro said.
“With the new studio stage and the recital space, along with the current theatre, we’ll have multiple stages where we can schedule events at the same time so works don’t miss out.
“We can present contemporary work that requires a more intimate, smaller setting, and we’ll have a platform we can more viably tell, make and export Tasmanian work from.”
Actor and producer John X said with Hobart’s accelerating arts scene a modern arts hub was needed.
“There’s no reason why a whole festival, like the Festival of Voices, wouldn’t be in there for a fortnight and take over the whole place. You could have stuff in the foyers, you could have stuff outside and have the Theatre Royal and the three other spaces to use. I think it will have a lot of appeal.” The Theatre Royal is Australia’s oldest, continuously operating theatre. VICTIMS of bad banking practises have backed the royal commission’s call to implement tighter checks on borrowers.
In the interim report, Commissioner Kenneth Hayne, QC, called out lenders for failing to probe their customers’ living expenses before handing out cash.
Banking experts expect lending standards to be tightened, making it harder for Australians to get a mortgage, credit card or loan.
Rien Low, whose family’s case was presented to the royal commission in May, said banks were “lending money willynilly”. The Financial Ombudsman Service, ruled that one of his late father’s five loans — worth $240,000 — was irresponsible.