Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 28 Autumn 2011 Contents INSITE AUTUMN 2011 111
ir Ian McKellen is jealous. The great
British actor was given a private tour
of Perth’s State Theatre Centre of
Western Australia in May 2010 when
in town for the Theatre Royal Haymarket’s
touring production of Waiting for Godot.
Walking through the then-raw structure,
he was taken with the quality and scope of
the centre. Yet, more than anything, he was
impressed with the capacity of the theatres.
He described them as perfect mid-sized
venues, and admitted there were not enough
performance spaces of this size in London.
His comments are entirely appropriate.
The Northbridge venue – which experts say
will be regarded as a modern architectural
masterpiece not only for WA, but also the
nation – is now home to Perth’s two leading
professional theatre companies: Black Swan
State Theatre Company and Perth Theatre
Company. Opened in late Janua ry 2011, it
features the 575-seat Heath Ledger Theatre,
the 234-seat flexible Studio Underground,
a multi-purpose outdoor events space, The
Courtyard, two large rehearsal rooms and the
types of public spaces found in luxury hotels.
WA premier Colin Barnett is clearly pleased
with the wholly State Government-funded
project, in particular its warm and sumptuous
interior design. “From my own perspective,
I’m absolutely thrilled at the outcome. Just
walking into the building is an experience.
If you think the theatres are good, you
should check out the powder rooms; even
“Heath [Ledger] loved the combination of polished
concrete and wood... I said to the architect, ‘I
think he must have been sitting on your shoulder
when you designed this’” – Kim Ledger
CLOCKWISE from left The Studio Underground, which is 8.5m
below street level; Melissa Cantwell of Perth Theatre Company
(centre) chats to James Luscombe and Caitlin Ryan about the
theatre; beautiful bronze-coloured cylinders make a dramatic side
wall and canopy for the staircase.
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