THAT EMPTY FEELING
For years prohibitive costs of Perth’s big venues have fed a perception of underperformance in the arts, but the return of the city’s main-stage theatres to the public sector may change all that, writes Victoria Laurie
output. Yet it noted that a review of PTT annual reports during the past several years revealed a fall in total attendance at the five venues.
“This is a critical situation in the face of a rising West Australian population and increased public awareness of the value of arts in society,” the paper’s authors noted.
“In a highly competitive marketplace, some PTT venues are almost at risk of ‘white elephant’ status in terms of usage.”
The report cited His Majesty’s Theatre, with a shortfall of 60,000 attendances (based on PTT 2011-12 figures), and Albany Entertainment Centre with a 28,000 shortfall.
“Why are PTT venues not attracting a ‘critical mass’ of hirers/presenters beyond their resident companies? Is it a matter of cost? Is it a matter of inadequate promotion of the venues to potential hirers/presenters? Is it that the venues don’t meet the needs of potential hirers/ presenters in terms of auditorium size, facilities, catering, staffing, promotion and profile? Do they lack flexibility?”
and producer Humphrey Bower; the Perth Concert Hall interior,