A party was held on Sunday 17 August 2014 to celebrate the role of the original shareholders who, through their immense generosity, over one weekend in 1984 secured Belvoir’s future.
We send a huge thank you to our dedicated organising committee who worked tirelessly on this event: Gil Appleton, Anne Britton, Mitchell Butel, Ann Churchill-Brown, Christine Dunstan and Deborah Kennedy.
View all the photos from the party here. Photos by Patrick Boland.
A little bit of history
In 1974, architect, Viv Fraser created a new theatre venue for Sydney from the abandoned Salt & Sauce vacated by Cerebos in 1971. The productions that Nimrod Theatre created within this building over the following decade employed thousands of workers and excited the audiences who flocked to see a distinctly Australian brand of theatre in an era when foreign stars were still the prevailing reality. Under the management of John Bell, Richard Wherrett and Ken Horler, a decision was made to sell the building to expand to a larger, more commercially viable venue.
So, over a single weekend in March 1984, two ex-Nimrod workers, Chris Westwood and Sue Hill, managed to raise the $50,000 deposit needed to secure a bid to buy the building.
Rather than raising money at the big end of town, these two charismatic and persuasive women turned to fellow theatre workers, convincing 850 people to buy a share in Belvoir St Theatre and raising the remaining $450,000 needed to buy the building. All those who bought a share had an equal say in voting fellow shareholders onto two boards: one to preserve the building as a working theatre, the other to put on the shows. The collective decisions hammered out then are still evident today and stand as a testament to the power and endurance of a vision conceived by two workers.
And if you are an original shareholder…
and we didn’t manage to track you down in time for the party, please do get in touch with us – we’d love to have your details on file so we can keep in touch. You are really important to us! Please contact Development on 02 8396 6209 or firstname.lastname@example.org