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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

Touching the Void

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Drama

It’s been a rocky road for Melbourne theatres these last couple of years, so there’s a poetic flourish to MTC reopening the doors at the Southbank Theatre with a true story hung on a Herculean struggle for survival.  Many audience members will come to Touching the Void with some knowledge of the travails of mountaineer Joe Simpson, left for dead in an icy crevasse on the punishing slopes of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. His 1988 memoir of the same name detailed his astonishing fight for survival, after fellow climber Simon Yates lost all hope, cut a rope and let Joe plunge into the icy heart of a glacier with no food or water and a shattered leg.  Adapted into the wildly successful 2003 docudrama of the same name, Scottish playwright David Greig translated it to the stage in 2018, but recreating Joe’s monumental task on stage is no easy ask. Do you strip it right back and rely on stark sound and light design to transport us into this horror, or do you go large and physically recreate the punishing slopes of Siula Grande? Helmed by MTC associate director Petra Kalive (The Lifespan of a Fact), this production ambitiously opts for the latter while dropping the ball a little on the former. After a briefly thrilling moment of actor Joe Klockek (Boy Swallows Universe) dangling from the heavens as Joe, our attentions are diverted to an imagined wake in a pub with a jukebox somewhat shakily represented in the right-hand corner of the stage.  It’s here we meet Joe’s sister Sarah

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