from the edi­tor

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Contents - Deb­o­rah Jones

I WAS in Launce­s­ton two weeks ago to re­view a gala cel­e­brat­ing the Princess Theatre’s cen­te­nary and had the great plea­sure of a quick tour of the premises with Robin Lohrey, gen­eral man­ager of the venue’s op­er­a­tor, Theatre North. She was good enough to let me walk on the stage to look out at the au­di­to­rium, which is al­ways a thrill. To see a theatre from the per­form­ers’ per­spec­tive is mag­i­cal. Later that day the theatre was close to ca­pac­ity for the gala, a joint ef­fort from the Aus­tralian Bal­let and the Tas­ma­nian Sym­phony Orches­tra, both of which do­nated their ser­vices as a birth­day gift. Nice one. The Fri­day night au­di­ence was thrilled and Lohrey tells me phones were run­ning hot on the Satur­day as pa­trons sought last-minute tick­ets for that day’s mati­nee and evening show. But it’s not all galas and tiaras for the Princess, which hosts the whole gamut of the­atri­cal ac­tiv­ity: school per­for­mances, ama­teur pro­duc­tions, eisteddfods, com­mer­cial tour­ing shows and vis­its from the sub­sidised sec­tor (such as Bell Shake­speare and the TSO). It also gets in­volved oc­ca­sion­ally in new work. In short, it’s part of the city in a way big­ger the­atres in more pop­u­lous places rarely are. The Princess was, for close to 60 years, used as a cin­ema rather than the live venue orig­i­nally planned, but now looks se­cure to do what it was al­ways meant to do. In an email Lohrey wrote of the AB’s visit: ‘‘When pa­trons see per­for­mances like this they are taken to an­other place and it re­in­forces the im­por­tance of the arts in a healthy and dy­namic com­mu­nity.’’ Hear, hear.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.