Sydney Theatre Company has posted a total net operating loss for 2019 of $7.75 million. Writing in the company’s Annual Report, STC Chair Ian Narev, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Bank Group, warned of a risk to the future viability of the company. Referring to the impact of COVID-19 and the loss of at least six months revenue, Narev said: “our Board and our auditors agreed that under the ‘Subsequent Events’ part of our financial report, it was appropriate to note a material uncertainty as to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

Yael Stone and Noni Hazlehurst in Sydney Theatre Company’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Photograph © Brett Boardman

Like all arts organisations, STC has been severely affected by the shuttering of venues due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it was already weathering financial pressures due to the closure of The Wharf for redevelopment. The venue, which temporarily ceased hosting performances in June 2018, is scheduled to reopen in February 2021. Last year was the first full calendar year that STC operated without being able to perform there.

In the 2018 Annual Report, Narev noted that...

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