Although Brisbane has a lot to offer in the way of art and culture, with no shortage of museums and theatres, not to mention clubs, restaurants, and other forms of nightlife, travellers to this lively city situated on Australia’s eastern shoreline may be looking for some rather particular forms of entertainment during their visit. The South Bank precinct aims to deliver with an astounding array of performing arts options, many of which may be seen at the venues comprised by the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Also known as QPAC, this installation is only a part of the larger Queensland Cultural Centre, which plays host to a variety of artistic structures, including noted institutions like the Queensland Art Gallery, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, and the State Library of Queensland, just to name a few of the best-known venues. But the QPAC is perhaps the crown jewel in this diadem of arts and culture dotting the South Bank region. And there are enough options for entertainment that even the toughest customer should find something diverting.
There are several incredible structures that make up this centre dedicated to showcasing the performing arts. First there is the Lyric Theatre, the largest building in the centre with seating for an audience 2,000 strong. This venue plays host to the Opera Queensland, although it also features a variety of operas, ballets, and musicals presented by local and touring companies. Slightly smaller is the Concert Hall with seating for up to 1,800, which boasts performances by the resident Queensland Symphony Orchestra. The gorgeous interior of this orchestral venue, complete with balconies, balanced acoustics, and an aesthetic air of understated, modern elegance, is enough to take your breath away. But the performances are what will truly captivate you. Don’t assume that it’s all about the symphony though; the Concert Hall is also suitable for musical and comedy acts, including international recording artists, and it is used for award ceremonies as well.
Still there are two more structures to visit. The Playhouse Theatre, as you may have guessed, is largely used to present plays, although the resident company is actually the Queensland Ballet. With a seating capacity of under a thousand, the Playhouse is one of the smaller venues on the waterfront, which means you’ll get an up-close and personal vibe from every performance. And the final piece of this deliciously rich pie is the Cremorne Theatre, the home of the Queensland Theatre Company. With a stage that can be arranged to create a classic proscenium and a theatre in the round, amongst other configurations, as well as seating for a mere 200-300 guests (depending on how it is situated), the cozy atmosphere lends itself to an intimate theatre-going experience that visitors will find to be truly one-of-a-kind.
Although there are several performing arts venues peppered throughout the growing urban center that is Brisbane, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre has so much to offer that you really can find everything you’re looking for in one place when it comes to the varied performance arts. Whether you’d like to hear a selection of classical instrumental tunes, you prefer to watch twinkle-toed ballerinas float across the stage, or a lively, comedic play is more your speed, you can find it at QPAC. And if you’re more into the modern scene, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding performances by popular musicians, comedians, and just about any type of performer you can think of.
Queensland Performing Arts Centre