An original design render for Southbank Theatre from 2008
Exterior image 2024
The 559 seat Sumner Auditorium showing the LED 'Word Wall' feature
Backstage of the Sumner
The Level 1 Foyer.

Southbank Theatre

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ARM Architecture 2009


Southbank Theatre is the main performance home of Melbourne Theatre Company. The building façade is a matrix of glowing tubes in angular geometric shapes that seem to hover around the black box of the building. The theatre has two main venues: The Sumner, a single-rake proscenium arch theatre with 559 seats; and The Lawler, a 163-seat black box studio for small performances and workshops, rehearsals and events.

In conjunction with adjoining venue the Melbourne Recital Centre, Southbank Theatre received the 2009 Victorian Architecture Medal, the Joseph Reed Award for Urban Design, the Marion Mahony Award for Interior Architecture and the William Wardell Award for Public Architecture.

What's On

Go behind the scenes at the home of Melbourne Theatre Company. 

On Saturday, explore the public spaces of Southbank Theatre and view an exhibition of the building’s design and history and see aspects of the company’s performance operations, including a display of costumes and other staging elements of its productions. 

On Sunday, see the exhibition or join a tour to see backstage and the set for the production of ‘English’ by Sanaz Toossi, before it opens on July 29. See the actors’ dressing rooms, technical operations and other spaces not usually open to the public.

Images: (1) Original architects' render. Photo: ARM Architecture. (2) Exterior day. Photo: Heath Warwick. (3-5) Sumner Auditorium and the Level 1 Foyer. Photo: Benjamin Healley.

Important Details

Time & Date

Saturday 27 July
Open access 10am-4pm

Sunday 28 July
Open access 10am-4pm
Tours running every half hour starting at 10am. Last tour departs at 3.30pm
Running for 30 minutes in groups of 15

No bookings required. Tour group capacity is limited and operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

Enter main foyer through front doors. Welcome desk inside.


Fully wheelchair accessible, Accessible bathroom, Accessible parking nearby, Elevator access


140 Southbank Blvd, Southbank VIC 3006

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