If you're a culture buff living in Western Sydney, you will have travelled into the CBD plenty of times to see major live acts, blockbuster musicals and our city's biggest performing arts companies. You've probably forked out many a time for parking, petrol, tolls and pre-show dining, and ended at least one beautiful night trapped inside a car park.
But a new theatre is opening in Rooty Hill this December, designed to be a one-stop-shop for large-scale performing arts in the west. The Sydney Coliseum Theatre is a 2,000-seat venue built at West HQ, alongside Rooty Hill RSL. The versatile theatre, which can be reconfigured for everything from standing concerts to conferences and traditional Broadway musicals, has a price tag of $100 million, entirely funded by the organisation behind the RSL. It's been dubbed "the theatre that pokies built".
But what a beautiful way to use that cash! To be honest, they're building better facilities than most of the theatres in our CBD, with a retractable orchestra pit big enough for pretty much any show to go in there, a full-sized rehearsal room and fully retractable seating.
The theatre has just announced its first few performances and the companies that will be presenting shows there. And colour us impressed – this is clearly going to be more than your average RSL function hall-for-hire.
In the first week there'll be concerts from Tina Arena, John Butler, David Campbell with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and a new show from Dame Edna. This will culminate with a gala opening concert on December 21 by Keith Urban, who is bringing some of his famous friends to help christen the venue.
After that, there'll be shows from Sydney Dance Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, the Australian Ballet and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. And you can expect to see much more from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, who have pledged to make the Coliseum their "home away from home", presenting everything from classical concerts to pop singers collaborating with their musicians. Each June they'll perform popular film scores live (they're currently working their way through the Harry Potter movies) and in December they'll perform holiday concerts, including holiday movies in concert.
Tickets will go on sale for the opening week of concerts, and you can join a waitlist at sydneycoliseum.com.au.