The home of Hobart theatre since it opened its doors in 1837.

Our interview

Originally published on 18 September 2019.

The Theatre Royal has been the home of Hobart theatre since it opened its doors in 1837. In its life it has endured a changing city landscape, escaped demolition several times and even come back after a significant fire. It has played home to countless performances and even a resident ghost!

The future of the theatre is just as exciting and interesting and we wanted to share some of what is to come with our followers.

“The Theatre Royal belongs to the people, to us all,” says the CEO of the Theatre Royal, Tim Munro, as he describes the new spaces.

Tim took the Hello Hobart team on a fabulous tour of the new Hedberg performing arts centre, which includes a new box office, expanded bars, cloakroom, upgraded and accessible amenities and will also house the UTAS Conservatorium of Music.

Working between the historic building that is the Theatre Royal and then incorporating new-age spaces was never going to be an easy task. Yet, the design of the new space is in keeping with the flow of old vs new. The building even incorporates a beer garden, which Tim describes as the ,lungs of the building, because it draws light from the exterior into the building. The Hello Hobart team can tell that this will be a new place for people to meet both before and after a night at the theatre.

We asked Tim what he is most looking forward to in the remainder of the 2019 season. “I am excited to see Bangarra that launches on 3 October,” says Tim.

The 2020 program will be launching in November and Tim tells us to expect a good inclusion of Tasmanian works.

“If we were to only import culture on the stage, then we would have failed. We have fantastic talent and culture right on our doorstep, which we will be including in our programming along with interstate and international performances.”

Tim is no stranger to the Theatre Royal, he has worked in his current role for 15 years, but has had plenty of experience in the space prior to that, including a number of years working in operations. “I was attracted to the space as a kid and I keep coming back,” tells Tim.

We couldn’t leave without asking Tim about the resident ghost, Fred. “I am not a huge believer, but there certainly has been some strange events that cannot be easily explained. I remember late one evening when I went to change the lighting in the Gallery seating and I felt a cold electric shock go through me as I walked in the door. It was a very strange feeling I had never felt before,” tells Tim.

We are pleased to tell you that the final touches on the Hedberg will be done towards the end of this year/start of 2020 and will be worth the wait. Hello Hobart will bring you more updates as they come online.