Get us in your inbox


Old Fitzroy Theatre

  • Theatre
  • Woolloomooloo
Old Fitzroy Theatre

Time Out says

A beloved local gem staging edgy theatre, Sydney is home to the nation's last-standing pub theatre

Having been around for more than two decades, this 60-seat space is not only the grande dame of Sydney’s literal-underground theatre scene, it also happens to be the last-standing pub theatre in all of Australia. Signalled by a neon-lit box office window out on the street, you'll find the Old Fitz Theatre underneath much-loved Woolloomooloo boozer The Old Fitzroy Hotel (winner of Best Casual Drinking Venue and People's Choice for Best Pub in Time Out Sydney's 2023 Food & Drink Awards). 

The Fitz is your go-to for boundary pushing theatre from some of the city's most talented folks. During its heyday under Tamarama Rock Surfers theatre company, it has been a crucible for talent such as Tim Minchin, Brendan Cowell, Toby Schmitz and Kate Mulvany.

In 2024, the iconic theatre enters a new chapter, led by artistic director Lucy Clements and executive producer Emma Wright from New Ghosts Theatre Company. It's going well, with the duo collaborating with other small scale companies and independent artists to create a range of works, from new Australian plays to American and British classics. The new Late Night Program also takes things further, creating more space to stage indie works and giving audiences the chance to double-dip with two shows in one night. 

The New Ghosts team extends enormous thanks to the theatre's previous custodians, Red Line Productions, particularly Andrew Henry and Time Out Future Shaper, Dino Dimitriadis, for their continued support and extraordinary contributions to Sydney’s theatre sector.

Alannah Le Cross
Written by
Alannah Le Cross


129 Dowling St
View Website

What’s on

Isolde & Tristan

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Drama

What’s in a name? Quite a lot, if you’re the first named character in the title of a play. Particularly when almost every other legend written about you has you named second, or not at all. This is the plight of Isolde, an Irish princess, star of many stories, but most notably Wagner’s influential opera Tristan und Isolde. Her legend is centuries old, one of the most famous involving a love potion – and now, Sport for Jove brings it to the beloved basement stage at the Old Fitz Theatre in the form of a play written (and crucially, named Isolde and Tristan) by German playwright Esther Vilar, and translated by Udo Borgert and Laura Ginters. The original legend features Tristan, a prince of Cornwall, and Isolde, the princess of Ireland, whose countries are at war. After Tristan defeats the Irish giant Morholt (the Irish King’s brother-in-law) he is tasked with traveling to Ireland to bring Isolde back to marry his uncle, the King of Cornwall. However on the journey, Tristan and Isolde fall madly into forbidden love, thanks to a love potion. Deception, punishment, and death ensue.  Vilar’s play not only switches the names, but also some of the details, and turns the legend from a sweeping and dramatic warning against being “consumed” by love into something pointier, and more complex. It’s certainly not your regular medieval romance, or even your regular opera… clever, biting, and appropriately eerie. Damien Ryan (Artistic Director of Sport for Jove) directs this production, setti

The Eisteddfod

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Comedy

The latest treat of the Old Fitz Theatre’s new Late Night program of subterranean pub theatre comes in the darkly comedic form of The Eisteddfod – a weird little world penned by Lally Katz, and brought back to life two decades after its debut by co-directors Miranda Middleton and Jessica Bell, and up-and-coming performers Ziggy Resnick (Feminazi) and Fraser Crane (Dumb Kids). Two orphaned siblings, Abalone and Gerture, live alone. To pass the time, they make up and act out stories. Some of their stories are more realistic than others, but for Abalone, the realest one is about the Eisteddfod – a competition, a goal, and a way to remember their mother through constant rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal.  Like many of Katz’s works, The Eisteddfod is threaded with a twisted sense of humour which slowly unravels throughout the piece, sometimes pushing into uncomfortable places. Resnick’s Abalone and Crane’s Gerture revel in the light and shade of the writing – playing off each other’s silliness and sadness with dexterity and obvious delight. As part of the creative team’s unconventional process, the two performers experimented with both roles before they were cast. By scrapping expected gender norms, the actors are allowed the freedom to inhabit the characters they each feel more authentically aligned with, which brings a juicy extra layer to their performances.  The performance takes place on the set of Sport for Jove’s Isolde & Tristan (currently playing the Fitz's early show slot)

You may also like
You may also like