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Capitol Theatre

  • Theatre
  • Haymarket
  1. Capitol Theatre Sydney supplied 2019 image
    Photograph: Damien Ford
  2. Capitol Theatre Sydney supplied 2019
    Photograph: Supplied
  3. Capitol Theatre Sydney supplied 2019
    Photograph: Damien Ford

Time Out says

Located amid the flurry and culinary excitement of Sydney's Chinatown, the Capitol Theatre hosts long-running blockbuster musicals such as The Lion King, Aladdin and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It's also one of Sydney's most beautiful theatres: the 1892 exterior (originally the home of Belmore Markets) belies an opulent interior designed by John Eberson in the briefly popular American style of 'atmospheric theatre'. The auditorium itself was designed to create the illusion that one is sitting in a twilight amphiteatre.

The Capitol opened in 1928, at which time The Sydney Morning Herald wrote of the interiors: "One seemed to have stepped from under the dull skies of everyday life and passed into an enchanted region where the depth of the blue heavens had something magical about it and something heavily exotic, clouds passed lightly over then stars began to twinkle.”

A heritage order in the 1980s saw the theatre restored to its original splendour and updated for modern theatrical demands, ahead of its re-opening in 1995.

Written by
Time Out editors


13 Campbell St
Nearby stations: Central
Opening hours:
Box Office: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.

What’s on

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Musicals

There is an unspoken understanding that a work of art or entertainment, like a painting or a film, is inherently a product of its time. When writing about it, a critic would reflect on the personal experiences of the creators; what the art world was going through, and what was happening in the wider world at the time.  ​​With theatre, however, it's a lot more complicated. Live performance is a living thing, its elements and relevance reckoned with and revisited by every new creative team that ascends a revival production. There is no visual indication (like the graininess of the film or the fading gold frame of a piece of art) that indicates to an audience they are revisiting a past time. Here, the critique cannot be solely contextual: it must reflect on the show’s relevance to the new world in which it is performed. The choice to include a full cast of children plays out as devastatingly strategic Traditionalists will lament that a product of its time cannot be changed. Seen most starkly in the world of opera, shows like Puccini’s Turandot and Madama Butterfly continue to be produced by mainstage theatre companies in their original form, and audiences continue to buy tickets, despite widespread criticism of their depiction and appropriation of other cultures.  When it comes to the most recent revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a 1960s musical re-telling of a story in the bible’s Old Testament, the narrative is much the same – generations of audience nos

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