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Thu, 26 February 2015

Ulumbarra Theatre Bendigo The Wiggles

Filed under: Theatre — site admin @ 12:35 pm

Ulumbarra Theatre.
A night at the theatre will soon involve a walk underneath the gallows when Bendigo’s new Ulumbarra Theatre opens in mid-April on the site of the former Sandhurst Gaol.
Open Day, 10am – 4pm Sunday April 19, will feature guided tours, family entertainment, food vans and market stalls.
Prison cells will be left as is or repurposed to form cloaking and ticketing functions in the entrance hall of this new state-of-the-art theatre, which boasts 1000 seats, a fly tower, and a dark history involving ghosts, sieges and notorious former residents.
The $26m Ulumbarra Theatre project has been funded with Australian, Victorian and local government sources, with additional funds raised within the local community and corporate sectors.
The title Ulumbarra means gather together, or meeting place in the language of the Dja Dja Wurring people, and the theatre will be a venue for conferences and conventions, for local community groups, organisations and schools, as well as offer a program of performances from quality international acts and touring companies.

When completed, it will be one of the largest regional theatres in Australia and a multi-disciplinary venue offering a range of functions including music, drama and dance studios and learning facilities to be used by the adjacent Bendigo Senior Secondary College.
Its launch on 17 April marks the realiSation of a long-held dream for the people of Bendigo. “This will be a vital community facility offering a much-needed 1000 seat venue of which we can all be immensely proud,” said Stan Liacos, Director of City Futures for the City of Greater Bendigo.

“It is incredibly rewarding for all of us in Bendigo, after years of planning, to see this beautiful theatre come to fruition, and realise the potential it holds for the community and for future generations,” he said.

“The theatre cements our status as a leader in the area of culture-driven tourism, which creates positive impacts economically and socially on the entire community. We’ve already seen this in spades with Bendigo Art Gallery, which is widely considered to be the best regional gallery in Australia. “
Designed by Melbourne architects Y2 and international theatre design specialists Schuler Shook, Ulumbarra Theatre merges contemporary design with the heritage elements of the old penitentiary architecture.

“Very few regional cities have been able to repurpose their old gaols this way, but in Bendigo we have already successfully transformed former halls, banks and post offices into quality cultural meeting places,” Mr Liacos said.
“Art, culture, heritage and history are something we do very well in here. We’re confident the new Ulumbarra Theatre will extend our cultural offering not only to visitors and tourists, but importantly, to the residents of Bendigo. We know the outcomes will be enormous for both,” he said.

· The $26M project is funded by the Australian Government ($12.3M), the Victorian Government’s Department of Education ($7.7M), the City of Greater Bendigo ($3M) and Regional Development Victoria ($3M).

· The Sandhurst Goal opened in 1863 and was decommissioned in 2006. Former inmates include Chopper Reed and Ronald Ryan. In 1987 it was the scene of Victoria’s longest prison siege, when John Dixon Jenkins, the self-styled ‘nuclear warrior’, took nine people hostage within the goal claiming he had a hand-made bomb.

· The design, with passages radiating from a central hub, was based upon the much-publicised Pentonville concept, which enabled the surveillance of multiple wings from a central point whilst allowing a reasonable amount of air to circulate the cellblocks. Although five wings were allowed for in the original plan, only two wings were ever constructed at Bendigo Prison.

· The Wiggles will perform a warm-up, pre-opening event in the theatre on Tuesday 14 April.

· The official opening will be held on April 17, with a performance of a specially commissioned work created by David Bridie and indigenous artists based on the stories of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.

· A Public opening will be held on Saturday 18 April, with Light Up The Sky, a community concert featuring Jazz legend James Morrison leading a combined-schools band through jazz standards.

· Open Day, 10am – 4pm Sunday April 19, will feature guided tours, family entertainment, food vans and market stalls.

· Upcoming highlights include the premiere of a new Australian musical titled NED, by composer Adam Lyon (King Kong, Global Creatures), based on the life of Ned Kelly. It will co-incide with the exhibition Imagining Ned, the story of Ned Kelly and the art he inspires, at Bendigo Art Gallery.

Further information, bookings and events www.ulumbarratheatre.com.au, email ulumbarratheatre.com.au

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