One of Australia’s oldest theatrical institutions, originating in 1832, Theatre Royal Sydney was built in 1976, designed by acclaimed architect Harry Seidler, offering a broad range of entertainment including dramas, comedy and musicals with many leading Australian and international performers having graced its stage. The performance history includes an interval bomb scare at the Australian Premier of CATS in 1985, with audience members including Prime Minister Bob Hawke, Treasurer Paul Keating, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh and a three year season of Phantom of the Opera from 1993 seen by over one million people, the longest running musicals ever staged at Theatre Royal Sydney.

Photo by James D. Morgan

This week Theatre Royal Sydney is thrilled to be opening its doors to the public after a complete refurbishment that has transformed this iconic 1,200 seat historical Australian theatre. The architectural masterpiece and centrepiece of theatre in Sydney’s CBD will be re-opening its doors this Thursday December 2 with Broadway hit musical, Jagged Little Pill, bringing performance and creativity once again to the heart of Sydney whilst expanding international tour possibilities within Australia.

Harry Seidler’s original design concepts have been honoured in the renewal of the Theatre Royal with the re-establishment of key architectural features including the Mercator sculpture and the thematic feature the colours of red and gold. As original architects of the Theatre Royal Sydney (1976) and 25 Martin Place, Harry Seidler & Associates were engaged together with Woods Bagot to complete designs as part of the Conservation Management Plan for Theatre Royal and 25 Martin Place. In collaboration with Woods Bagot, Harry Seidler & Associates have also delivered the architectural design for the retail podium, public spaces and the office tower lobby at 25 Martin Place.

Penelope Seidler AM of Harry Seidler & Associates said  “I have happy memories of the old ‘Royal’ where I attended many plays and operas: it was a Sydney icon.  In 1976 I attended the opening of the new Theatre Royal designed by my husband. It had the beautiful Mercator and the grand winding staircase within the red and gold plush interior. I am so thrilled I will be at the opening of the Royal again in 2021 when Harry’s original design is renewed and will now be visible from King Street for the first time; the Mercator is back, the red and gold is back. I have no doubt it will become a Sydney icon once again and am sure it will enhance the life of Sydney for many more generations.”

The new auditorium with new seating and staging has been designed to an international standard to house world class productions from Australia and around the world from major commercial musicals, plays, ballet & live music. Trafalgar’s redesign of the theatre added one extra row of seats and increased the capacity to 1200.  Under the new two-tiered design, no seat within the auditorium is more than 23 metres from Theatre Royal’s stage.

Be one of the first to experience a production inside the renovated Theatre Royal Sydney, during the exclusive and strictly limited season of Jagged Little Pill from December 2.