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Q Theatre Celebrates Construction

Q Theatre Celebrates Construction

Auckland’s Q Theatre is celebrating a major construction milestone with the completion of the new auditorium roof the building is watertight.

It is one year since the first sod was turned for the complex project which involves the refurbishment of an 85-year-old building on 305 Queen St, Auckland and the construction of a new auditorium on Lower Greys Avenue.

“We are absolutely delighted with progress,” says Q Theatre General Manager Susanne Ritzenhoff. “We can really see the auditorium taking shape now and building is on schedule with the theatre’s first show set to open in September 2011.”

The $21million project is funded by Auckland Council (under the former Auckland City Council), ASB Community Trust, the Lottery Grants Board and other private trusts and individuals, and Ms Ritzenhoff says the budget is tight due to some unforeseen additional costs including soil contamination and the restoration of the refurbished building’s foundations.

“The team has brilliantly amalgamated an old building with new construction,” she says. “And we are thrilled that we have been able to retain some of the character of the old building to create something very special for Auckland’s entertainment precinct.”

Original brickwork, ceiling mouldings and beautiful old windows have been retained, and in restoring the old building, the construction company Naylor Love has unearthed hidden treasures including an old safe door which will feature in Q Theatre’s box office area, and a hidden staircase with old tiles.

Ms Ritzenhoff says some additional fundraising will be undertaken during the next 12 months to make up the shortfall in funds and ensure the new theatre will be equipped to the standard that has always been intended.

The Q Theatre complex will include a flexiform 350-450 seat theatre, a second performance space (120-seat) with a separate entrance off Queen St, a café and bar and rehearsal areas.

Next year Q will launch a fundraising campaign through the Q Foundation to deliver dynamic arts development initiatives. “Q Theatre will be a professional performing arts venue in the heart of Auckland which aims to fill a gap in Auckland’s venue requirements and become a popular cultural hub,” Ms Ritzenhoff says

“As a world class venue it will curate a programme with a diverse range of performing arts companies and practitioners including music, theatre, comedy, opera and dance – bringing a real buzz to our city’s entertainment precinct.”

Programming the four month inaugural season is already well underway and details will be announced in early 2011, but it will include Auckland Theatre Company’s production of the Roald Dahl classic The Twits, performances during Tempo 2011, New Zealand’s leading dance festival, and a uniquely New Zealand programme of dance, music and theatre during the Rugby World Cup.


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