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Taipei Performing Arts Center
Photographer: Hsuan Lang Lin Photography

Is this the world’s most spectacular theatre?

The Taipei Performing Arts Center has been heralded as Taiwan’s most exciting cultural space

Sophie Dickinson
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Sophie Dickinson
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From the Herodeon in Athens to Cornwall’s Minack Theatre, there are some pretty spectacular theatres out there. But this new venue – complete with futurisic orb and protruding auditoriums – could be the most incredible performance space in the world.

Costing a whopping NT$6.7 billion (£178 million or $217 million), the Taipei Performing Arts Center has been heralded as Taiwan’s most exciting cultural space. Three separate theatres branch off the central cube, which is suspended above the ground to create a public meeting place. The Globe theatre (meant to represent a planet) and the Blue Box each seat 800, while the Grand Theater houses 1,500. That’s a hell of a lot of people.

Taipei Performing Arts Center
Photograph: Chris Stowers
Taipei Performing Arts Center
Photograph: Chris Stowers

The building is surrounded by a walkway, which allows members of the public to peer into the theatre and see behind the scenes – think actors learning their lines, or sets being built. The complex, which was designed by architects OMA, is right next to one of the city’s most popular night markets in the historic city centre.

While the theatre is obviously extremely impressive, it hasn’t all been plain-sailing to get to this point. Its opening this summer is nine years behind schedule (you can’t really blame the pandemic for that one!) But in any case, we reckon it’s a pretty damn cool place to see a play. 

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