On December 10 The Court Theatre celebrates five years since opening The Shed, its temporary theatre in Addington, with one of its busiest weekends of the year.
On Saturday The Court will stage matinee and evening performances of Legally Blonde The Musical and A Christmas Carol as well as The Court Jesters’ improvised comedy show Scared Scriptless in The Shed; with the closing night of The Court Youth Company’s production of Lysistrata in the YMCA’s Papa Hou theatre. Combined with Court Jester auditions, script workshops and other activities at the theatre, over 1,000 people are expected to come to a Court Theatre production or activity during the celebratory weekend.
The 22 February 2011 earthquakes forced The Court Theatre to leave its home in The Arts Centre. The Court located and leased an Addington grain store, launched a successful fundraising campaign and constructed a new theatre inside the building in sixteen weeks. Since opening to the public on 10 December 2011, The Court has enjoyed record-breaking attendances, with over 500,000 attendances at Court Theatre productions over the past five years. The Court has also added improvements to the space: a wood-fired pizza oven BASE @ The Court for pre-show dining and a revamped bar area courtesy of The Court’s Principal Sponsor Giesen Wines.
Artistic Director Ross Gumbley considers The Shed “a phenomenal lifeboat for the company. It has kept us afloat for five years and will continue to do so as we move towards our future.” While Gumbley loves The Shed, he is pragmatic about The Court’s need to eventually move on. “All the money we raised went into the audience’s experience – into the theatre and the foyer – while behind the scenes we have an incredibly dedicated staff and teams of creative people who have worked in ‘temporary’ facilities for half a decade.”
The Court Theatre has been earmarked as a key part of the Performing Arts Precinct, with negotiations over plans, timeline and funding for the central city anchor project still in progress.
Gumbley credits the support from the community that kept The Court alive through 2011 and has propelled the company from strength to strength since reopening. “They started to send us donations before we even went public with a plan,” says Gumbley.
Chief Executive Philip Aldridge acknowledges there is a huge list of individuals and organisations to thank. “All those who gave their money and their time: volunteers, corporates; all the sponsors, funders, grant makers and trusts; everyone who added a top-up of a few dollars to their tickets – all those people own this theatre and it’s to them we say thank you very much.”
A commemorative video (prepared by Ruffell Productions) will be released on 10 December through The Court Theatre’s YouTube and Facebook channels as well as on their website.
For additional information, interviews or images, please contact Jeff Clark, Marketing Manager – 963 0899 | 021 1199187 | email@example.com