Cairns Arts & Theatre Precinct – A Night Away with us
April 18th, 2018
The arts, cultural and theatre scene in Cairns offers many diverse experiences for locals, national and international visitors alike. From free outdoor concerts to full theatre production and international dance troupes. Cairns is a hub of activity and a spread of diversity when it comes to art, music, theatre, dance and comedy.
Through commitment, hard work and a passionate belief in our tropical region, the many small and large groups of directors, writers, performers, theatre companies, artists as well as our Regional Council, have remained committed to ensuring the Cairns and Far North region have a diverse arts and theatre scene.
The development of a purpose-built performing arts centre – the Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) – along with the recent upgrade development of the tropical parklands, stage and amphi-theatre within the Munro Martin Parklands, will culminate in an innovative and inviting Precinct linking these two properties with the Cairns Aquarium and the Centre of Contemporary Arts along Florence Street to the Esplanade and create an inviting gateway to our gorgeous city.
Whilst CPAC is under construction it presents some obvious challenges for all theatre-goers and art lovers in our city, but there is plenty going on in and around town at various venues.
Inn Cairns Boutique Apartments are centrally located in the CBD, in Lake Street, and only a short walk to the Precinct. The other theatres are a short taxi ride or drive away. Check these out:
CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS – 96 Abbott Street Cairns (more information here)
241 seat black box theatre, The Space (large open plan rehearsal and performance venue), 2 x A Class Galleries, Meeting and Workshop Facilities, Paradiso Cairns Café, Theatre Bar Number 96.
THE MUNRO MARTINS PARKLANDS – Cnr Florence Street and Sheridan Street, Cairns (see more information here)
The parklands have really come to life, the gardens and floral canopy displays are spectacular with some 395 vines presented on 72 arbours, 63 gorgeous trees and almost 7,000 smaller plants. The amphitheatre has welcomed many touring productions throughout the year and over 40,000 people have brought their smiles, blankets and chairs to watch a wide range of productions. And there is more to come.
The 13 metre high green proscenium is the only one of its kind in Australia.
JUTE THEATRE COMPANY – 96 Abbott Street Cairns (more information here)
Founded in 1992 when three passionate and uniquely gifted and creative women living in Cairns (Kathryn Ash, Suellen Maunder and Susan Prince) met and they ignited a creative spark that formed the JUTE Theatre Company began to fly. Jute’s first product launched International Women’s Day in March 1993 at the height of summer in the local arts centre, a shed, with no air-conditioning. The work was fiery, raw and unique to the region: it was an instant success.
What JUTE Theatre Company working on …
- The Longest Minute, this Queensland Theatre co production by Robert Kronk and Nadine McDonald-Dowd runs from May 4 to May 12. Find out more here.
- Bukal by Andrea James, produced in association with CQ University and presented during CIAF 2018 runs July 6 to July 14. Storyteller Henrietta Marrie.
RONDO THEATRE – 46 Greenslopes Street Edge Hill (more information here)
191 seat “Thrust/In the Round” space is touted to be one of the most comfortable and versatile small venues in Australia.
Founded in 1953 the Cairns Little Theatre Inc presented its annual programme of plays throughout Cairns in community halls, the Hartley Street Theatre and the Cairns Civic Theatre until RONDO THEATRE was commission in 1983. A Season of Plays at the Rondo has become established as a regular feature in the theatre calendar in Far North Queensland.
What’s on at The Rondo Theatre?
- The Secret Bridesmaid’s Business (see more here)
- Life’s Funny at The Rondo Theatre (3 act comedy – see more here)
- Move Over, Mrs Markham – July 6-14 – see more here.
- The Next Room, or the Vibrator Play – September (at the Rondo Theatre in September, book here.)
TANKS ART CENTRE – 46 Collins Avenue Edge Hill (more information here)
World War II history 3 concrete fuel tanks were constructed by the Royal Australian Navy in 1944 in a carefully selected and camouflaged site under the rainforest canopy of Mount Whitfield. The fuel stored in these tanks was pumped through an underground pipeline to a fuelling jetty in Trinity Inlet. For the next 43 years the fuel stored in these tanks was used to refuel Australian and visiting US and UK ships up until 1987.
The land was purchased in 1991 by Cairns Regional Council and as the need for more arts space grew throughout Cairns the initial redevelopment of the site into a cultural precinct within the botanical gardens was commenced in 1992. By 2006 it was undergoing further redevelopment into the highly recognised environmental parkland, gallery, visitor centre and theatre precinct it is today.
Regular markets are held each Month where local artists and artisans sell their products.
What’s on at The Tanks Centre?
- Sarah McKenzie – live performance from Sarah on May 11. Book here.
- Spoken Word and Music – Jimmy Barnes Working Class Man tour is sold out.
- Casey Chambers Campfire Tour – coming to Tank 5 on 9 August – book direct here.
CAIRNS CHORAL SOCIETY HALL – 31-33 Greenslopes Street Edge Hill (more information on their Facebook page)
Hundreds of years of rich history are attached to the Cairns Choral Society Inc and the versatile hall can be configured into tiered seating for theatre performances such as musicals and tabled seating for theatre restaurant style events. Boast a full stage and state-of-the-art sound system.
What’s on at the hall?
- Rachael Beck This Girl, listen to song, story and have plenty of laughs as Rachael dissects her life! June 18
- Just a Couple of Song and Dance Men – wow, this is a trip down memory lane, hope you can all remember the tunes. August 13
Rehearsals have started for WICKED … rumoured to be presented on January 15, 2019 at the new CPAC!
THE YOUNG COMPANY THEATRE – 169 Bunda Street Cairns
Established in 2009 to provide a positive platform for creative curiosity this company has grown to become an award-winning, nationally recognised professional youth theatre company.
What are they up to now?
Rehearsing for Olivia the Musical – Friday 15 and Saturday 16 June from 7pm – book tickets here.
Popular Cairns Galleries in and around the area:
- Cairns Art Gallery – Cnr Abbott & Shields Street Cairns
- Doongal Aboriginal Art – 49 The Esplanade Cairns
- Underart Gallery – Founded by iefje Boissevain jewellery artist in 1999, this electic mix of art, jewellery and ceramics is at 12 Spence Street Gairns
- Bundarra Fine Art Gallery – 31 Macrossan Street Port Douglas presents indigenous artists and exhibit work from Northern and Central Australia as well as Cape York and the Cairns Region.