The stage is set for a new theatre at Darlinghurst with plans on exhibition after being filed with the City of Sydney.
The new Griffin Theatre has been proposed for the site of the company’s The Stables theatre at 10 Nimrod Street and an adjoining terrace at 12 Nimrod Street, which was acquired in 2022.
The Griffin Theatre Company secured $5 million from the NSW government’s Creative Capital Fund and is raising a further $5 million for the development.
Designs for the planned 140-seat theatre were inspired by the existing Griffin’s unusal kite-shaped stage.
The plans will expand the site, turning one theatre into three performing arts facilities.
The building design will match the brickwork facades of the current 135-year-old SBW Stables Theatre, with “the iconic stable doors reinterpreted in acoustically isolating concrete ... [to] express the history and distinctive DNA of the old Griffin Theatre”.
Plans from the company also include new rehearsal rooms as well as a new entrance foyer, which doubles as an event space.
The purpose-built infill Griffin Theatre building will be designed to meet all safety requirements, allowing equitable access for all patrons and actors, as well as building compliance that the existing building lacks, according to the submission.
Structures on site will be removed to make way for major upgrades such as a basement rehearsal space, accessible lifts and increased seating capacity.
The new theatre will provide a “significant opportunity” to increase the reach of the theatre by increasing patron capacity.
Located near the intersection of Victoria and William streets just south of Kings Cross, the Griffin Theatre is within the Oxford Street Cultural and Creative precinct, which aims to make the area greener, more pedestrian-friendly and a destination for the arts and cultural industries.
The Griffin Theatre Company says it is the only theatre company in the country exclusively devoted to the development and staging of new Australian writing.
According to the company, the latest plans will help the City of Sydney achieve its target of 40,000sq m of additional cultural infrastructure in accordance with the 2030-2050 Community Strategic Plan.
The Griffin Theatre development follows hot on the heels of another cultural project; the new Belvoir Street theatre at Surry Hills, for which plans were lodged in October last year.