New theatre a fitting tribute to Queensland stage icons

The newly-refurbished Bille Brown Theatre has come to life tonight, with an official opening at Queensland Theatre.

Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch said it was great to see the revamped Theatre, which was made possible with the Palaszczuk Government’s $2 million investment.

“The new Bille Brown Theatre has opened with new production Nearer the Gods, which is the latest work by Queensland playwright David Williamson,” Minister Enoch said.

“Tonight is a fitting tribute to two Queensland theatre icons, as we welcome a new work by one of Queensland’s most critically-acclaimed and prolific playwrights, and salute the memory of late actor and playwright Bille Brown AM.

“The new Bille Brown Theatre in South Brisbane, which started out as a studio space and rehearsal room, now features a unique corner stage, capacity for 351 seats, upgraded amenities and improved disability access.

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“The new theatre also delivers the city’s first corner stage, which helps create a unique and intimate theatre experience for audiences.”

Minister Enoch said the Bille Brown Theatre redevelopment reflected the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to the arts and ongoing investment in arts infrastructure.

“The Palaszczuk Government has committed $125 million for a new theatre at QPAC, along with $8 million towards the redevelopment of the Thomas Dixon Centre in West End, home to Queensland Ballet.

“The Bille Brown Theatre also follows on from the $2.3 million redevelopment of the Cremorne Theatre at QPAC, which opened last year,” she said.

Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Sam Strong said the new theatre was the icing on the cake of the company’s recent success.

“Queensland Theatre is already the fastest growing theatre company in Australia and the new theatre will enable us to share even more wonderful Queensland made theatre with the rest of the country,” Mr Strong said.

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“The Bille Brown Theatreis a once in a generation transformation for Queensland Theatre and a rare opportunity to build the ideal theatre experience.

“The new theatre will give audiences ‘whites of the eyes’ intimacy from every seat, it will place their feet on the same floor as the actors, and it will enable us to create theatre with a dynamism and flair that keeps pace with a contemporary attention span.

“I’m incredibly proud to be opening the newest theatre in Australia by personally directing the latest play by Australia’s greatest storyteller, David Williamson. And I’m very grateful to the Queensland Government for helping us lead from Queensland,” Mr Strong said.

/Public Release. View in full here.