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Her Majesty's Theatre

  • Theatre
  • Melbourne
Her Majesty's Theatre
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Time Out says

This gorgeous Art Deco venue has a history dating back to the early 19th century

In 1839, a gentleman named George Porter purchased a plot of land in Melbourne for £100, or the modern-day equivalent of more than 20,000 Australian dollars. It remained virtually untouched until the 1850s, at which point it became occupied by offices and shopfronts, and it wasn't until 1880 that it became home to some of our city's earliest cultural events. 

After operating as the Hippodrome for a few years, a property developer caught wind of its popularity and decided to turn it into what was at the time the largest theatre in the Southern Hemisphere. It was named the Alexandra Theatre in honour of the then-Princess of Wales, and thanks to the help of several playwrights, theatrical producers and architects, it prospered. 

The theatre was renamed His Majesty's Theatre in 1924, in honour of King George V, and then in 1953, it became Her Majesty's in honour of Elizabeth II. In recent history, it's been home to productions including Hamilton and Disney's Frozen.

Want to snag the best seats in the house? Consult our guide on where to sit in Melbourne's theatres.

Adena Maier
Written by
Adena Maier

Details

Address:
219 Exhibition St
Melbourne
3000
Transport:
Nearby stations: Flinders Street; Parliament; Melbourne Central

What’s on

Chicago

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Musicals

There has been a disappointing run of big name shows underserved by low-key production design of late, with both the revivals of Rocky Horror and Grease seriously lacking in the razzle-dazzle department. So why does a similarly stripped-back staging of musical maestro Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb’s Chicago pull it off, like so many of the cast’s silken mesh costume changes? Perhaps something in the bare bones of this deceptively dark comedy, set in the Windy City in the fast and loose 1920s, lends itself to simplicity? Delivered via a sassy brawl between warring molls Velma Kelly (Zoë Ventoura) and Roxie Hart (Lucy Maunder), it’s a broken bottle-sharp commentary on an America that values celebrity crime most malignant over justice and the good of heart, that cuts even deeper now we’re staring down the barrel of a possible second Trump term. That swirling, prophetic darkness lends itself well to scenic designer John Lee Beatty’s darkened stage flanked by cabaret chairs and dominated by a bandstand atop which gamely charismatic musical director James Simpson leads a brass-heavy band through John Kander’s razzmatazz music.  “Give ‘em an act with lots of flash in it, and the reaction will be passionate … What if your hinges all are rusting? What if, in fact, you’re just disgusting?”The contradiction is inherent in the work. And so when Roxie opens the show by shooting dead the beefy but not bright Fred Casely (Devon Braithwaite, a stand-out in a spectacular ensemble) because he had the

Beauty and the Beast

  • Musicals

It’s a tale as old as time, but the Australian premiere of Disney Theatrical’s Broadway blockbuster Beauty and the Beast is getting a modern makeover ahead of its run at Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre in June 2024. The production has also been announced a season at Brisbane's Lyric Theatre. The enchanting tale – which Time Out Sydney crowned five stars – will be brought to life in a reimagined production from the producers of The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Aladdin and Frozen. Audiences can expect to be bedazzled by the cutting-edge technology, costumes and Broadway-style dance numbers paired with live orchestral scores by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.  Based on the 1991 animated Disney film, the classic romance story of Belle and her Beast will feature a stellar all-Australian cast including Brisbane's Shubshri Kandiah as Belle, Brendan Xavier as Beast and Melbourne's Rohan Browne in the role of Lumiere. Brisbane's Jackson Head will step into the role of Gaston, Cogsworth will be played by Melbourne's Gareth Jacobs and Gold Coast's Jayde Westaby will play Mrs Potts. For the full cast and creative team, visit the website here. Beauty and the Beast will be staged at Her Majesty's Theatre in June 2024. You can sign up before November 10 to have priority access to tickets, with pre-sales beginning on November 13. Learn more about the waitlist and sign up on the website here. Love the ol'razzle dazzle? Check out the best theatre and musicals in Melbourne this month.  

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