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Monday 16 December 2019

Sydney Coliseum at West HQ: REVIEW

I consider myself a well rounded, cultured up Sydney gal, having been to many theatrical opening nights, plays staged on actual creaking floor boards, Sydney Opera House red carpets, comedy theatres in the Inner West and West, both Powerhouses, umpteen concerts in every stadium in Sydney, and other states too, and my favourite experience of all: operas including a very special night with my mamma watching 'Cavelleria Rusticana' at said Opera House, which any self respecting Sicilian must go see!

So, when it was announced that Sydney's western suburbs was getting its own cultural and arts hub, I was beyond excited. Ask any 'westie' and they will tell you: we are so fine with the travel to the city, and beyond. But we also kind of prefer if something was just down the road for us, so we could cab it, drive it, bus it, walk it even, and we arrive at our event with plenty of time to enjoy a meal and a drink, and just relax before the performance. And it's not just about the proximity - it's about truly feeling like you belong to a community, like something is yours to enjoy, and show off, and invite others to your neck of the woods, proudly saying: this my hub. This is where I go.

Ah, Sydney Coliseum at Theatre at West HQ.

What a welcome addition to my cultural education, and that of my 12 year old twins. It's now the place I want to take them for a theatrical play, a concert, some downtime.

Josie's Juice was thrilled to be a part of the opening week celebrations at the the new Sydney Coliseum Theatre which opened only a few days ago, seeing the inimitable, divine, supremely talented Tina Arena in concert.

We've seen Tina before in various venues (and have fortunate to interview Tina several times over the years for this blog, for a Jetstar magazine cover story, for magazines I edited) but this... this was something special.

The new venue, the excitement around that, the lovely comfy seating, the acoustics, and... Tina.

It was a next level kinda night. And it'll be one of many to come over the decades.

What a real privilege to be a part of something so big, to be able to say: "yes, I was there."

And after two nights of Tina, the woman who has charted at #1 in both Australia and France, and has gained recognition for her lifelong contribution to the arts, and was recently inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and received an Order of Australia Medal, the opening program continues!

(See my pic from the night here, and catch more photos and my Insta profile and Insta stories here: @josiesjuicejournalist

Earlier this year, West HQ Chief Executive Officer Richard Errington announced that the grand dame of world theatre, Dame Edna Everage, has been forced out of retirement by the demands of her adoring possums, and will bring her housewife megastar power to the Sydney Coliseum Theatre’s Opening Program with the Tony Award winning star announcing two performances of 'Dame Edna My Gorgeous Life' this Wednesday 18 December and Thursday 19 December.

Paul Dainty AM, President and CEO of TEG DAINTY, said he was delighted to announce Dame Edna would join the opening program of the Sydney Coliseum Theatre. “Dame Edna Everage is one of Australia’s greatest ever exports, an iconic performer, artist and star of stage and screen," Mr Dainty said. 

"Dame Edna has toured the world since the mid 1950s and we are thrilled to join the celebrations opening Sydney’s next great theatre with “Dame Edna My Gorgeous Life”.

Then: ARIA award winning John Butler will also perform on Friday 20 December in the line-up of all Australian performers appearing in the opening week celebrations of the landmark new theatre. During the inaugural year of programming Sydney Coliseum Theatre will also welcome Australia’s leading arts companies to its programming, including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus by Circa, the Australian Ballet’s family favourite “Storytime Ballet”, multi-award winning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Bangarra Dance Theatre, the iconic Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Philharmonia
Choirs, Sydney Youth Orchestras and in early 2021, the internationally acclaimed St Petersburg Ballet.

Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s CEO Emma Dunch had also announced earlier this year that the highly lauded orchestra would present an exclusive collaboration with much loved swing-king and television star David Campbell over two special performances, and these took place to great review on Thursday 12 December and Friday 13 December, and a major multi-year performing partnership with the Sydney Coliseum Theatre.

Of the move to the West, Dunch said “Greater Western Sydney is the future of our city. The establishment of this amazing venue is testament to the extraordinary growth that is happening in the region. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has been performing in Western Sydney for over 20 years, and I am delighted to be taking this next step to bring the best of orchestral music to audiences at the Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ.”

West HQ CEO Richard Errington said at the time: “Today’s announcements of these world class opening acts, and the partnerships we have established with the cream of Australia’s arts and entertainment industry, are just the beginning of a long-term plan to bring the very best artistic and entertainment content to Greater Sydney. Our diverse program of contemporary and classical performances is a direct response to the audience demand in the region, and we can’t wait to roll out further amazing shows to audiences of Greater and Western Sydney and beyond. It’s been a privilege developing these exciting partnerships with the leaders in Australia’s arts and entertainment industries, all of whom are embracing our new venue with open arms.”

Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ Executive Director, Craig McMaster added “The support of the Australian performing arts industry has been nothing short of extraordinary and on behalf of the team at West HQ we’d like to extend our thanks to all who have so enthusiastically embraced this exciting new venue. We look forward to further developing and expanding those relationships with all our current and future content partners.”

We've saved the best until last:

At the official Grand Opening on Saturday December 21, the performance by world renowned Keith Urban hits West HQ!

At time of this blog going live, the Saturday and Sunday 22 December shows are sold out, with the Monday December 23 show on sale with tickets still available. See THIS LINK for tickets.

For information and waitlist:


And join the conversation here: @sydneycoliseum

West HQ is located at 55 Sherbrooke Street, Rooty Hill

Phone: 02 9851 5912


Sydney Coliseum Theatre is owned and operated by West HQ Limited, which also owns the Sydney Gymnastics and Aquatic Centre, one 55 Fitness, Sydney West Sports Medicine, Rooty Hill RSL, Novotel Sydney, West HQ, Zone Bowling.

Breathtakingly beautiful and technically brilliant, Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ is Sydney’s new home of great musicals, live music, drama, dance, comedy and family entertainment.

With a 2000 seat capacity in seated 'theatre mode' and 2200 in 'concert mode', the theatre features a sophisticated retractable seating system which means that conversion from a seated conference during the day to an energy filled concert at night can be achieved in just an hour.

With 84 fly lines and a stage measuring 14.7 in depth, the Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ is comparable to the great theatres of Sydney and the world.

From December 2019 Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ will welcome a huge line up of diverse entertainment from live popular and rock artists, through to Symphony, Ballet, contemporary and indigenous dance, Broadway musicals and theatre.

West HQ as a destination currently welcomes an annual visitation of approximately 3.6 million and in the next 3 years will welcome a 5 star Pullman Hotel which will provide premium accommodation in the heart of Greater Sydney.

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