Newcastle’s heritage-listed Victoria Theatre in Perkins Street is the oldest standing theatre in New South Wales. Built in 1890-91 the Victoria was central to the flow of cultural influences through Newcastle and a hub for entertaining the city’s inhabitants. Currently derelict and in a poor state of decay, the Victoria boasts the tallest fly-tower of any theatre in the state and once attracted leading national and international touring companies that presented comedy, drama, light opera, vaudeville, illusion, and musical theatre. Combining archival and historic research with digital visualisation technology this project is revealing the colourful neo-Grecian interiors of this beautiful late-Victorian theatre. Supported by funding through the ARC-LIEF scheme, this project is a ‘spoke’ in the larger national ‘hub’ project AusStage: Gateway to the Australian Performing Arts.
Dr Gillian Arrighi has been a CI on three ARC-funded cycles of AusStage research (2010, 2014, 2017) and is supported in this project by Stephanie Holms, a SOCI PhD candidate in Natural History Illustration.