Belvoir St Theatre has been added to the list of Sydney’s major live performance hubs that have been given the go-ahead to max out at 100 per cent capacity, marking the beginning of the end of lockdown restrictions.
The NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard granted Belvoir the exemption, which will come into play from the March 20 opening of Stop Girl, the debut play from award-winning foreign correspondent Sally Sara.
Eamon Flack, Belvoir's artistic director, says it feels like a real milestone. "Where else in the world will you get a safe full house in a theatre? Our thanks to everyone who has chipped in to keep us going. Every little bit counts. Even the encouragement. Especially the encouragement.”
They join the Sydney Lyric Theatre, which opens arguably the biggest show of the year, Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, on March 17 to a full house. Sydney Theatre Company was also recognised at its Walsh Bay venues, with Playing Beatie Bow opening to 100 per cent capacity at The Wharf. The Sam Worthington-led Appropriate and queer musical Fun Home will also open at full capacity on March 15 and April 6 respectively. At this stage. STC’s seasons of Home, I'm Darling and The Wharf Revue: Good Night and Good Luck at the Sydney Opera House, and The Wharf Revue's encore run at the Seymour Centre, will proceed with the standard 75 per cent audience capacity limit.
City Recital Hall has also been granted the 100 per cent exemption, but it will kick in from Monday, March 15. That's just in time for the fantabulous Casey Donovan to channel the spirit of Joni Mitchell, Beyoncé, Eva Cassidy, Adele and Ed Sheeran in concert.
Hopefully more venues will follow soon, with the NSW Premier set to officially review public gathering restrictions on March 16.