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Auckland's Performing Arts Shoot to Front of Q

18 August 2011
News release

Auckland’s Performing Arts Shoot to Front of Q

Unique new NZ venue opens next week with free public party

Q, New Zealand’s hottest new venue, opens in Auckland next week with a massive free party for the public.

Providing an exciting and long-awaited centre for the city’s performing arts, the Q Open Day on Sunday 28 August will give people their first glimpse of the stunning venue plus a unique theatrical experience.

Between 11am and 4pm, visitors will be led on a magical walking tour through the building with vignette performances and unexpected encounters at every turn. This immersive experience, directed by Mike Mizrahi and Marie Adams from Inside Out Productions, features some of Auckland’s brightest stars.

Outside the Grey’s Avenue entrance will be market stalls selling food and drink, as well as performances by local musicians. Inside, visitors will be able to enjoy delicious treats at Q’s cafe and bar – Citizen Q and Lounge.

Q director Carla Theunissen says the venue is unique in New Zealand and the one of the most advanced of its kind anywhere in the world.

“Q offers two completely flexible performance spaces – the 450 seat Rangatira auditorium that can be configured in at least five different ways or have no seating at all, and the 120 seat Loft upstairs that incorporates features of the original building and can be hired for private events as well as more intimate performances.

“These spaces are unlike anything many audiences will have seen before and our programme will reflect that by offering vibrant, stimulating, world-class entertainment.”

Designed by award-winning architect Pip Cheshire, Q’s spaces include Citizen Q (recalling the old building’s previous life as a Citizens’ Advice Bureau) and Lounge – two distinct venues where Aucklanders can chill out and relax, whether they’re going to a show or not. This area features a beautiful kinetic artwork by local artist Lisa Reihana.

Q’s hospitality manager is Hilary Ord, well-known to Aucklanders from her previous ventures Verona and The Musket Room, and she has assembled a top team including chef Kirk Lafferty who brings his vast international experience to Q’s eclectic small plates menu and bar manager Laura Lopez Lopez, a mixologist from Mexico who’s created a unique cocktail menu for Q.

Combining a heritage building at 305 Queen Street with a brand new purpose-built venue, Q is the result of many years of determination and hard work that arose from the demolition of the Watershed Theatre back in 1996.

Theunissen, who has worked at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Festival and Sydney Theatre Company, said Q will be New Zealand’s best contemporary performing arts space as well as a funky destination in its own right with a great cafe and bar open from early until late.

Bookings for Q’s shows can be made at, which features full details of the opening season programme.


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