The Court Theatre: Creating theatre in the heart of Christchurch

Adam Rennie, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, 2019. Image courtesy of Danielle Colvin Photography

Caleb Jago-Ward, Jesus Christ Superstar, 2019. Image courtesy of Danielle Colvin Photography.

The Court Theatre: Creating theatre in the heart of Christchurch

A 21st Century home for New Zealand’s largest producing theatre company.

The Court Theatre is officially moving back to Chistchurch's central city. Come 2024, you’ll be able to head to a shiny new theatre in the Performing Arts Precinct to eat, drink, socialise, and see mind-blowingly great professionally produced musicals and plays in the centre of Ōtautahi.

Designed by London’s leading theatre specialist architects Haworth Tompkins and New Zealand’s own Athfield Architects, the new Court Theatre will be unrivalled in New Zealand and be a drawcard for national and international audiences. The concept is a sustainable building, saving energy and carbon expenditure through clever ecological design.

The theatre will be the cornerstone of the Performing Arts Precinct on the corner of Colombo and Gloucester streets. It’ll bring even more buzz to the growing central city, liven up the nights with regular performances and massive shows, grow the city and country's performing arts scene with education and outreach programmes, and employ a generation of Christchurch creatives, actors, comedians and musicians.

It’s going to be a pretty big deal – a main 360-seat theatre, with an auxiliary supporting family theatre seating another 120 to 150 people. It’s also going to be flexible, with different studios in the building to be used for performance, practice, and other creative endeavours. There will also be an outreach space which The Court will use for its education and wellbeing programmes.

Take your opportunity to support professional theatre in Ōtautahi. Cityscape publisher SOMO Creative is proud to be working with The Court Theatre on the APPLAUSE campaign to raise money for the brand-spanking-new home of performing arts in central Christchurch. The Court is building its new home, and you can be part of it – contribute to this incredible piece of our community, then give yourself a round of APPLAUSE.

Talking money

The new Court Theatre will cost some $40 million to build. The Court Theatre team are now well on their way to raising their contribution of $10m, and they’re asking donors and sponsors to get it across the line. Big or small, all funds go towards creating high-quality theatre in Christchurch. Talk to the APPLAUSE team about how you could get involved.

The important stuff

Food? The famous Court pizza oven is coming to the new building! Drink? Yes, there will be a bar and heaps of space to hobnob before the show. Car parks? Word on the street is Christchurch City Council has a parking building planned for right next door.

Render images courtesy of Athfield Architects Limited (NZ) and Haworth Tompkins (London, UK).

What's Hot New Zealand Newsletter

Stay in the loop with all the latest food, fashion, trends, events and more. Delivered hot to your inbox every month.