Richard Suters speaks to the Newcastle Herald about supporting The Civic Theatre


Hailing from Brisbane, Circa has some of the finest acrobatic circus talents and is one of the world’s leading performance companies, having staged shows in New York, London, Berlin and Montreal.

The Civic Theatre’s season offers us an incredible opportunity to see productions of this calibre on our doorstep, rather than having to travel to other major cities. It is particularly valuable for our up and coming performing artists who are inspired by such professional performances.

The season brings national, and sometimes international, tours to our historic and magnificent theatre venue. Alongside the ‘out of town’ acts, it also provides opportunities for local performers, writers and producers.

Unlike many of the ‘big name’ touring productions, subscription season shows are generally only made possible thanks to the support of the City of Newcastle.

Behind the scenes, just a handful of local businesses provide some financial support that allows the Civic to keep presenting its curated season of shows and attract acts which might not otherwise include Newcastle on their tour. Additionally, the support of those businesses helps to develop a generation of new audiences and new programming experiences.

As a lifelong lover of the arts and proud Novocastrian, I believe it is vitally important for our local theatre industry to not only survive but thrive.

There is no doubt business can play its role to help ensure the shows go on, and we need more businesses to take on that supporting role.

We know that our creative arts scene has helped Newcastle produce some of the country’s best talent in a range of fields, not to mention the many benefits that flow on to boost our local economy. A recent survey of patrons shows people attend season performances for quality and diversityof programming, an overall appreciation of and support for the theatre arts and, importantly, to support our city’s cultural scene.

I’ll be heading along to the Civic’s latest offering where audiences have been promised a “jaw dropping” show.

As I sit in my seat, I’ll be appreciating the opportunity to enjoy a world-class production, and hoping other businesses might also consider supporting the creative arts in Newcastle.

Richard Suters is managing principal at SWS Lawyers, which has sponsored The Civic Theatre’s annual subscription season since 2014.”