After 35 years on The Wharf at Walsh Bay, the Sydney Theatre Company has moved out. But it will be moving back in about 18 months. That will be after a major upgrade, the first since the almost derelict and redundant Wharf 4/5 was identified as a home for the company in 1980. This majestic wharf had serviced international and coastal passenger and freight ships since before World War I. The NSW Government commissioned a dramatic renovation of the wharf and, to our specification, the conversion of the vast upper level created a scenery workshop, wardrobe department, rehearsal rooms, theatres (Wharf One & Two), and the wonderful foyer bar and restaurant. Completed in 1984, The Wharf proved to be one of the great gifts to the city; the site of many great productions and performances. However, 35 years of intense usage have taken their toll; major work is required. The lower level became working homes for Sydney Dance Company and the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), alma mater of stars such as Nicole Kidman and Rebel Wilson. Wharf One theatre will be reconfigured and refitted with state-of-the-art equipment along with new dressing rooms and rehearsal spaces. The bar and restaurant will benefit from a larger kitchen and modern facilities but will remain in their glorious position at the harbour end of the wharf. Twin heritages will be preserved, indeed enhanced, that of a shipping wharf and that of a vibrant theatre company.
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