Comedy Theatre, Melbourne
J C Williamson Comedy Theatre
|Address||240 Exhibition Street, Melbourne|
|Opened||28 April 1928|
The Comedy Theatre is a 1003-seat theatre in Melbourne's East End Theatre District. It was built in 1928, and was designed in the Spanish style, with a Florentine-style exterior and wrought-iron balconies. It is located at 240 Exhibition Street, and diagonally opposite Her Majesty's Theatre.
Erected on the site of one of Melbourne's earliest play-houses, the old "Iron Pot", (officially the "Coppin's Olympic Theatre") a theatre originally built 1855 and abandoned in 1894. It was a prefabricated iron theatre purchased in Manchester, England by George Selth Coppin.
The Comedy Theatre was built and operated for fifty years by J.C. Williamson's. Paul Dainty purchased the theatre in 1978 for $800,000. Since 1996 the theatre has been owned and operated by Marriner Group.
It typically hosts commercial seasons of plays and smaller-scale musicals, as well as comedy and other entertainment events.
Previous notable productions and performers at the Comedy Theatre include:
- 1928: Our Betters
- 1945: Blithe Spirit
- 1946: The Kiwis Revue Company
- 1949: Born Yesterday
- 1950: A Streetcar Named Desire
- 1956: Summer of the Seventeenth Doll
- 1958: The Shifting Heart
- 1960: Phillip Street Revue
- 1961: Irma la Douce, The Sentimental Bloke
- 1963: A Shot in the Dark, Goodnight Mrs. Puffin, Mary, Mary
- 1966: Barry Humphries, The Boys from Syracuse, The Odd Couple
- 1967: Half a Sixpence, There's a Girl in My Soup
- 1968: Man of La Mancha
- 1969: The Boy Friend, Your Own Thing, Plaza Suite, Canterbury Tales
- 1972: Jesus Christ Revolution, Last of the Red Hot Lovers
- 1973: Godspell, A Voyage Round My Father
- 1977: Side by Side by Sondheim
- 1980: Boy's Own McBeth, Piaf, A Star is Torn
- 1981: They're Playing Our Song, The Dresser, Chicago,
- 1982: The Rocky Horror Show, Candide, One Mo' Time
- 1983: Noises Off, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Student Prince
- 1985: Little Shop of Horrors, Stepping Out
- 1986: Brighton Beach Memoirs
- 1987: Nine, Jerry's Girls
- 1988: The Rocky Horror Show, Seven Little Australians
- 1990: Steaming
- 1992: The New Rocky Horror Show, Return to the Forbidden Planet
- 1993: Aspects of Love, High Society
- 1994: Blood Brothers
- 1995: Shirley Valentine, An Inspector Calls, Ken Hill's Phantom of the Opera
- 1997: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Trainspotting
- 1999: Rent
- 2002: Slava's Snowshow
- 2003: La Bohème, Noises Off
- 2004: XXX, Carmen, The Barber of Seville
- 2005: Menopause - the Musical, My Fair Lady, Stuff Happens, La Traviata
- 2006: Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, The Woman in Black
- 2007: Under Milk Wood, Keating!, Alan Bennett's Talking Heads
- 2008: Boeing-Boeing, The Rocky Horror Show
- 2009: Stephen K. Amos: Find the Funny!, Tripod, Dave Hughes is Handy, Avenue Q
- 2010: Wilful Misconduct, Waiting for Godot, Calendar Girls
- 2011: Rock of Ages
- 2012: Yes, Prime Minister, Driving Miss Daisy, Flowerchildren - The Mamas and Papas Story
- 2013: Slava's Snow Show, Stomp
- 2014: The Rocky Horror Show; Mother and Son, The Last Confession
- 2015: The Rocky Horror Show
- 2016: Dawn French (Thirty Million Minutes), Little Shop of Horrors, Fawlty Towers
- 2017: The Play That Goes Wrong, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, Blame it On Bianca Del Rio
- 2018: American Idiot, Madiba the Musical
- 2019: Calamity Jane, 33 Variations, Barnum, Come from Away
- "Comedy Theatre Opening". The Argus. Melbourne. 28 April 1928. p. 26. Retrieved 4 December 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
- "NEW MELBOURNE THEATRE". The Argus. Melbourne. 27 April 1928. p. 11. Retrieved 4 December 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
- "GOPPIN'S OLYMPIC THEATRE". The Argus. Melbourne. 27 July 1855. p. 4. Retrieved 4 December 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
- George Coppin 1819–1906, Live Performance Australia
- "MELBOURNE'S OLDEST THEATRES". The Mercury. Hobart, Tasmania. 21 January 1930. p. 2. Retrieved 4 December 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Theatre bought". The Canberra Times. 52, (15, 584). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 23 May 1978. p. 18. Retrieved 28 April 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- "AusStage - Comedy Theatre". www.ausstage.edu.au. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
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