More power to the Powerhouse
Posted May 8th, 2010 by debritz
There's an interesting article here at brisbanetimes.com.au about the tenth anniversary of the Brisbane Powerhouse. There's no doubt that the Powerhouse is a great asset to Brisbane, and it's deservedly cherished by many arts lovers. But it is limited in its ability to cater to the broader population of the city for several reasons, including the fact that its main auditorium can hold only about 500 people. Brisbane has many small venues, and exciting things are happening not just at the Powerhouse, but at the Metro Arts, the Judith Wright Centre, the Brisbane Arts Theatre and elsewhere - but, let's be honest, a lot of what happens in these place is for niche audiences with already well-honed theatrical tastes. For the performing arts to truly flourish, Brisbane now needs another large venue that can handle an open-ended run of a big commercial production. The more people who have the chance to see professional live theatre at a high standard, the more theatregoers we will have - and the more people who might just take a chance on seeing at a show in a smaller venue. First-time theatregoers are unlikely to wander in to see an independent production the Powerhouse or the Judy; but they might just go see the Australian premiere of a big musical at, say, a restored Regent Theatre and eventually develop a taste for less mainstream fare. This is one "trickle-down effect" that might actually work.