After seven years of planning, modelling, restructuring and hard work from many companies and designers, the board of Western Sydney’s new West HQ finally unveiled Sydney’s newest theatre, the Sydney Coliseum.
Located at Rooty Hill in Western Sydney, West HQ features an impressive array of amenities across four key business genres: entertainment, fitness, lifestyle and accommodation. It has attracted some of the country’s best chefs and restaurants, including Stefano Manfredi (PizzAperta Manfredi), Sean Connolly (Steak & Co) and Steve Anastasiou (Chu Restaurant).
The crowning glory last Thursday, however, was the 2,000 seat Coliseum theatre.
The theatre features an unrivalled sound experience, harnessing a 65-speaker system featuring new L-ISA technology to design, process, mix and experience sound in an entirely new way for the patrons of West HQ.
Stepping into the theatre, you wouldn’t think that 1,000 of the premium black fabric seats are entirely retractable. The Jezet engineering system allows the three stall banks to retract in less than five minutes per bank, transforming the theatre into an open floored area for conferences, corporate functions or standing rock concerts.
The theatre itself may be the crowning jewel, but the cabinet in which this jewel in encased is just as beautiful. The unique façade metaphorically represents a theatre curtain drawn across the set. The entry to the building features a 3-level foyer with a grand staircase that is inspired by the romance and golden age of theatre itself.
High above the foyer sits the ‘Field of Stars’ bespoke chandelier, created by Cox and engineered and built by Australian manufacturer Yellow Goat. There are over 240 individual strands of crystals, which look as though they’re suspended in mid-air.
Connecting the theatre to West HQ is the Crystal Bridge, which is highlighted by the Instagrammable LED-lined floor that creates a visual spectacle as patrons enter the theatre for an immersive experience.
The Sydney Coliseum will play host to some of Australia’s most loved and bestselling artists, including Tina Arena, Dame Edna, John Butler and the legendary Keith Urban.
However, given that it is the festive season, it seems fitting for the first performance in this brand-spanking new theatre to be a Christmas concert led by the charismatic David Campbell (co-host of Today Extra, It Takes Two and producer/singer on his album Baby It’s Christmas and son of the Aussie legend Jimmy Barnes) and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
The sound in the theatre itself is superb, every note, every change in tune, every subtlety coming across as if it were coming through your own headphones. The sound system is top of the line and the acoustics sheer perfection, especially with the orchestra (led by conductor Nicholas Buc) emphasising their notoriety.
Campbell is introduced by Today’s Richard Wilkins, our MC for the evening. Wilkins begins by honouring the traditional owners of the land on which the theatre was built, before showing off his charm in highlighting the accomplishment of the theatre itself.
Throughout the performance Campbell treats us to a variety of hits, including the traditional Christmas carols but also a few contemporary classics such as ‘Pure Imagination’, which meshes with the accompaniment of the orchestra to create something truly magical.
Campbell laps up being the first performer to take to the Sydney Coliseum’s stage with the joy of a child at, well, Christmas. He knows how to charm the audience and with the theatre’s world class lighting system, the most traditional and overplayed of carols comes to life and brings the festive season to the audience.
Tina Arena performed two shows in the Sydney Coliseum over the weekend. Why not get your giggles on this week and book to see Dame Edna’s My Gorgeous Life, playing Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 December?
John Butler will follow on Friday 20 December and then the man himself, Keith Urban, with special guest Seaforth, will excite you just before Christmas, playing to audiences Sunday 22 and Monday 23 December.
Photo credit: Robert Catto