Malthouse Upgrade to bring more outdoor events to Southbank

Rebecca Broadhead

The Malthouse Theatre is having a $4.6 million upgrade to refresh the Southbank arts precinct and draw audiences to outdoor events in time for the Malthouse’s 2022/23 summer season.

The upgrade will secure the successful custom-built outdoor stage as an annual fixture on the Malthouse Theatre’s calendar, which debuted in 2021 as a part of the venue’s rollout of covid-safe measures in the wake of the pandemic.

The outdoor stage has been a popular addition to the theatre’s recent offerings, with more than 25,000 people attending 80 live music, comedy and cabaret performances and literary events, thanks to the economic support of the Andrews Labor Government and Sidney Myer Fund.

The amphitheatre has allowed for an expansion of the arts precinct that Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson said all will enjoy because “Whether it’s catching a gig, live theatre or a movie under the stars, Victorians love experiencing the arts outdoors and these upgrades will make an amazing space even better.”

The building works commence in June and will improve the ease of use for patrons as well as restorative works to preserve the historic Southbank building.

Upgrades will include replacement of the roof, a refurbished foyer and easier access to facilities including a resurfaced courtyard and a redesigned bar to provide better service to outdoor crowds.

Performances will be bolstered with new lighting, stage footings and an outdoor techdesk – while artists will be supported with upgrades to the Malthouse workshop, providing a dedicated green room for the Outdoor Stage.

Malthouse Theatre Executive Producer and Co-CEO Sarah Neal said, “It’s been 42 years since the iconic Malthouse was converted into our beloved theatre venue and 20 years since our neighbours, ACCA and Chunky Move, joined us to create this precinct of creative practice.”

Patrons will be able to enjoy an array of events curated by leading performing arts and cultural organisations in the open-air of the Malthouse Outdoor Stage.

When the circus came to Southbank

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