Which venues do you represent?
Tell us something people don’t know about your venue?
The Civic Theatre has a ghost named Charlie. I’m pretty sure he’s well known though. He likes to creep out the touring techs, and he serves as a deterrent in venue inductions when we tell kids that they can’t go up the perches to the grid. We tell them that he lives up there!
The other thing is that our venues are super busy. We are used for at least 45 weeks of the year, sometimes in all 3 spaces, and a lot of that is local product. For example we have end of semester concerts, speech nights, school musicals, amateur musicals, the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, the Townsville Juvenile Eisteddfod, just to name a few. People don’t believe me when I tell them that I have no dates 18 months ahead. We book 2-3 years ahead to cater for everyone, but it gets tricky when people don’t get in early enough to snag their ideal dates.
What has been the most memorable event at your venue?
I’ve been involved in the venue as a volunteer since I was 13, so there are a LOT! However… the Civic Theatre stage was flooded in 2012 by a contractor playing with the water pressure outside of the building that set off our deluge system, about an hour before a bump-in! We’ve never seen our old tech manager move so fast to turn the water off! There was water absolutely everywhere: in the pit, the basement, in the stage traps, in the carpet, the seating, the curtains, and obviously the stage was trashed. We had to wait a really long time to replace the stage because of our activity level with touring and local product.
What do you love about your audiences?
They can be quite challenging. They are so different and love very different things. They’re usually pretty vocal about what they do and don’t like which makes programming a bit easier, but only after they see something!
Top Tourist tip in your town?
Beware - the public transport in Townsville is atrocious. However, Magnetic Island is 8km off the coast and is a 25minute ferry ride away. The best time of the year is May to October (outside of that is stinger season and just hot). It’s gorgeous! Lots of places to relax in the middle of a hectic tour.
Best place for a short black?
Fratellos and Coffee Dominion are both in Flinders Street. We do have a couple of drive through Zaraffas as well. Nothing is in walking distance of the Civic Theatre, but there are great cocktails at Cactus Jack’s which is walking distance from Riverway!