There’ll be a new attraction in the Hunter Valley later this year after local theatre producer, Kath Perry, opens a pop-up venue in the barrel room at Kevin Sobels Wines in Pokolbin. The Hunter Valley Summer Theatre @ Sobels will present a variety of shows over nine weeks, following a Gala Opening on 28 September.
Perry’s aim is to provide professional entertainment for visitors and locals, alike. ‘We will be putting on six different shows over our first nine week season with performances mid-week, as well as at the weekends. The aim is to offer people great entertainment and a fun night out with comedy, drama, a musical and even a play that includes wine-tasting.’
Kevin and Margaret Sobels are both keen theatre-goers and welcomed the chance to host the theatre. ‘We think this is a great idea and are keen to see it succeed’, said Kevin. ‘We have plenty of space in the barrel room at that time of year and it would be hard to think of a better use for it’, he added.
The theatre will be an intimate space, seating only 60 people. Lined by barrels, it will feature a flat acting area with raked seating to ensure everyone has a great view. The design is simple in that there won’t be a front curtain or elaborate sets. But there will be state-of-the-art theatre lighting and sound and the shows will be professional productions either touring from Sydney or locally produced.
‘My longer-term aim is to build a theatre company in the Hunter Valley and produce all of the plays for the program locally,’ says Perry who is an actor and writer as well as a producer. ‘There’s lots of talent in the Valley and on the Central Coast and it would be great to be able to offer theatre professionals paid work here, rather than their always having to commute to Sydney.’
Tickets for the first season’s six shows go on sale on August 1 at www.eventbrite.com.au
More information about the shows will be available, also from 1 August, at www.huntervalleysummertheatre.com.au .