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Southbank Theatre (Melbourne Theatre Company)

  • Theatre
  • Southbank
  1. Southbank Theatre 2014 exterior at night
    Photograph: Benjamin Healley/Melbourne Theatre Company
  2. Southbank Theatre Sumner auditorium supplied
    Photograph: Supplied
  3. Southbank Theatre Lawler auditorium supplied image
    Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

The award-winning Southbank Theatre (formerly The MTC Theatre) is the principal home of Melbourne Theatre Company, and hosts productions in the Sumner (a 500-seat theatre) and the Lawler (a 150-seat studio space). For drinks and dining, try the onsite Script Bar & Bistro.


140 Southbank Blvd
Nearby stations: Flinders Street

What’s on


  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Drama

“What do they do all day in Sydney? Stare at the water?” It is mischievous to single out this line of sassy, intercity rivalry, uttered with a tart exasperation by Heide matriarch Sunday Reed in the Melbourne Theatre Company show named for her. And yet, it gets to the nub of the Melbourne story celebrated here, where Sydney, or rather Sidney, is almost an antagonist. Portrayed with exhilarating panache by an outstanding Nikki Shiels, Sunday is a luminous presence. A woman before her time, she helped shape Australian modernism by founding the artistic commune Heide on a former dairy farm on the city’s then-rural edges.Under her guidance, it became a bohemian refuge where art and love collided in tempestuous eddies by the Yarra. A place destined to become the modern art museum of the same name. Shiels is an actor of such calibre that she swung standing in for Eryn-Jean Norvill during her celebrated turn in The Picture of Dorian Gray. We hang on her every word here. In the opening moments of Sunday, she looks out to us, the audience, standing in for what we come to realise is a Sidney Nolan portrait of her at Heide long after he has abandoned her and this place. Describing in great detail the specific colour of Melbourne’s sky and grass, it’s a provocation to her eventually adopted son Sweeney (Joshua Tighe) – born to Heide resident artist Joy Hester (Ratidzo Mambo) – to look closer. To see and feel more. Sunday was unable to have children, and the play makes much of art as her

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