Queensland Theatre is celebrating a record-breaking 2017, with the company smashing a string of records for ticket sales and subscribers in Artistic Director Sam Strong’s first season at the helm. “I’m so proud of 2017 – my first year as Artistic Director and our first as Queensland Theatre,” said Strong, who took over the Artistic Directorship of Queensland Theatre in November 2015. “I want to thank our audiences for a record breaking year. Together, we’ve created our highest selling show ever in Brisbane, our highest selling year ever in the history of the company, and the highest number of subscribers in 20 years.”
Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Sam Strong.
Under Strong – who has an impressive track record, having overseen a 60% increase in audience numbers and doubled subscriptions over his two years as AD at Griffin Theatre – Queensland Theatre has significantly expanded its reach.
“No other theatre company in the country has had our geographic footprint,” he said. “In 2017, you could see Queensland Theatre shows in 2000 seat theatres in Sydney and Melbourne, in a festival in London, or in an outdoor venue on Thursday Island, in the Torres Strait. We played to audiences from Cairns to Perth to Albury Wodonga. In 2017, we have reached more people outside Brisbane than the Sydney Theatre Company reached outside Sydney in 2016.”
“We’ve made leading from Queensland a concrete reality,” Strong said. “Our first Helpmann Nomination for Best Play in a decade, Queensland exclusives like Marta Dusseldorp in Scenes from A Marriage, staging a world premiere in Cairns, and the directorial debut of one of our country’s most significant artists in Nakkiah Lui.”
Queensland Theatre’s Helpmann nomination was for Michael Gow’s Once in Royal David’s City, Strong’s directorial debut for the company. It was the first time the company had had a nomination for Best Play in the Helpmanns since 2006, when Gow’s Away was nominated.
The Artistic Director is already looking forward to the company’s 2018 season, however, which will include Nakkiah Lui’s Black is the New White, Osamah Sami’s Good Muslim Boy, Kate Mulvany’s adaptation of Jasper Jones and Melissa Bubnic’s reimagining of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, to name just a few. “My advice for Season 2018 is don’t wait,” said Strong. “Because with the calibre of plays and artists lined up for next year, shows will absolutely sell out.”
Tickets to Queensland Theatre’s 2018 Season are on sale now.