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It's not necessary to get dressed up to come to QPAC, although if you are coming to an opening night, it's likely that guests will be dressed to attend a special occasion. Usually smart casual dress is perfect. Because all of our theatres are air conditioned, you may want to bring a light wrap or jacket, especially if you are dressed for Brisbane summer weather.
For many visitors to QPAC, their introduction to live performance is musical theatre, as musicals tend to have lots of colour and movement and a simple, but engaging story line. However, if you're new to live performance and aren't fond of people suddenly bursting into song, then perhaps choose a play as there will usually be a story and dialogue that is easy to follow. It's often a good idea to do some research first, by reading a synopsis or looking at video footage on the QPAC website or internet.
QPAC is located in a vibrant part of the city and there are often multiple performances and events happening in the precinct that may affect travel time and parking availability. We recommend you arrive early for your performance. It's better to arrive early and relaxed and enjoy the atmosphere or a drink beforehand than arrive stressed and late and miss the start of your performance. Theatre doors usually open around 20 minutes before the start of the show.
People turning up late to a performance can be very disruptive to performers and other audience members. For that reason, doors are closed and late comers are often not admitted until there is a break in the performance - which is sometimes half an hour or more into the show. That can be very disappointing. To make sure you don't miss a moment of your performance, please always allow extra time for travel or parking. Or plan to arrive early and have a meal or drink before the show.
All of our theatres have cloakrooms where you can leave larger items. For the Lyric Theatre and Concert Hall, the cloakroom is located on Level M on the Melbourne Street side of the building. The Playhouse cloakroom is on Level G of the Playhouse, while the Cremorne Theatre cloakroom is on the ground floor. Large bags and umbrellas must be left at the cloakroom as there isn’t space for them in the theatre.
All the information is printed on your ticket, so please check your ticket to see which theatre and door number you need. Once you have that information, look up for signage or ask one of our friendly staff.
Check with the bar staff during your visit, but it is usually OK to take drinks in to the theatre, as long as they are in plastic cups. No food, though, as the sounds and aromas can be disruptive to other patrons.
All devices must be switched off completely. Switching to silent is not sufficient as the radio frequencies of mobile phones can interfere with our technical equipment including radio microphones. Sneaky texts or checking footy scores cast light that is distracting to the performers and other audience members, so please don’t do it.
No; all performances are protected by copyright and photography is a breach of that copyright. Plus… one of the extraordinary things about live performance is that it happens in the moment and that moment will never occur in the exact same way again – you don’t want to miss it! As Beyoncé said to a video-taking fan during a concert, “I’m right here in your face, baby. You gotta seize this moment. Put that damn phone down!”.
All performers love applause, but it can sometimes be a bit tricky for new audience members to know when to clap. For absolute beginners, the best advice is to wait for someone else, but here is a rough guide:
Yes…no…not always! With a musical, play or classical ballet, there will mostly be a storyline that should be relatively easy to follow. If in doubt, check the website before you come for a synopsis, which will give you a summary of the story. The synopsis is also sometimes included in the program, which can be really helpful, particularly for ballet or opera.
Other types of performance may or may not be based on a story, so again check the website or your favourite search engine beforehand. The focus is on how it makes you feel rather than what it means, so sit back and let the emotions wash over you.
If you experience anything that is negatively impacting your enjoyment of the performance, please speak to an usher so we can try to rectify the situation and make sure you enjoy every moment of your performance.
Activities such as talking (or singing along!) during the show, noisy food wrappers and kicking the backs of seats impact the enjoyment of other guests. Live performance is a shared experience, so please respect the space and comfort of those around you, including the artists on stage. If you find that your enjoyment is being negatively impacted by others, please talk to an usher so that we can try to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.
Theatre acoustics are very good at projecting any sound, but coughing into a handkerchief or tissue is a good way to muffle the sound and decrease the impact on others. If you have a persistent cough or experience a sudden coughing fit, please see our ushers for a throat lozenge. If your coughing continues, our staff may offer you access to a viewing room, available in all theatres except the Cremorne Theatre, subject to availability.