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After 133 years, theatre to receive a launch fit for a Princess

Culture

A refurbished 133-year-old Princess Theatre will officially open its doors in August as part of The Tivoli’s Open Season, a huge program of concerts and events running until December. The two venues will host performances by The Paper Kites, Julia Jacklin, Regurgitator, and more.

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The huge line-up of events will welcome inter-state and international acts to The Tivoli and The Princess Theatre for the rest of the year following a bid to ignite some life in Brisbane’s Covid-troubled music scene.

Open Season will coincide with the launch of The Princess Theatre, with Melbourne indie rock band The Paper Kites agreeing to the first gig on the billing without having seen the refurbished space.

The Paper Kites, without any specific knowledge of what the venue re-design would look like, was the first of many bands that trusted us and enthusiastically jumped on board to participate in this momentous occasion. From here on in, the rest will be history,” said Dave Sleswick, venue co-owner.

“The announcement of the 2021 Open Season line-up coincides with the re-launch of The Princess following a complete refurbishment and gorgeous fit-out of this historic 133-year-old heritage building,” he said.

Sleswick said that culture and community play a big role in The Princess Theatre’s rebirth and the upcoming shows are an effort to visibly redefine its identity within Brisbane’s entertainment scene.

As well as theThe Paper Kites in August, The Princess will also see a five-show residency by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Regurgitator will perform their debut album Tu-Plang, with performances from Melbourne punk outfit Amyl and the Sniffers, Julia Jacklin, Sunnyboys, Jarryd James, HTRK, The Murlocs, Tropical F*ck Storm, TEEKS (NZ), and COLLAR also billed.

Open Season full lineup poster (Image: Supplied)

The Tivoli will see New Zealand’s own Roy Orbison, Marlon Williams, perform his first solo tour in six years, a performance by Young Franco, recent winner of Queensland Music Award for Best Electronic Artist, and the Nine Lives Festival with headliners Big Scary and Stella Donnelly.

Open Season gives us the freedom and agency to set our creative tone of The Princess right from the beginning, giving our audiences an indication as to who we are, what our vibe is and what we want our future to look like,” said Sleswick.

He said that programming was an effort to reignite Brisbane’s live music scene as the difficulties of Covid-19 continue to plague the music industry.

“Our last Open Season program was an experiment of sorts. It was a direct and intentional action designed to positively counteract the industry-wide devastation brought by COVID-19 – to breathe life back into Brisbane’s live performing arts scene,” Sleswick said.

“In 2020, the response from audiences and artists was overwhelmingly positive, selling 92 per cent of available tickets over 32 performance dates, with 18 completely sold-out shows over nine weeks.”

Open Season will also play host to full-scale theatrical productions ORACLE, Briefs Factory and Sahara Beck’s Bite Club, and Betty Grumble’s Enemies of Grooviness Eat Sh*t.

Brisbane’s best queer nights Bowerytopia, a collaboration between Shandy and The Stitchery Collective, and The Alexander Ball from the House of Alexander crew are also on the billing.

More line-up announcements are expected in July in partnership with Brisbane Festival, and a second line-up announcement will be delivered 4 August.

Pre-sale tickets are available from 9am Thursday 1 July with general public tickets from 9am Friday 2 July at Open Season’s website.

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