As the principal home of Melbourne Theatre Company, Southbank Theatre hosts MTC’s annual season of up to 12 plays and other events such as the Cybec Electric play readings series and Education performances.
Southbank Theatre is also available for other companies to hire, with a range of other performances presented throughout the year.
Designed by the multi-award winning ARM Architecture, the Theatre opened in 2009 and contains two performance spaces, bars, function rooms, foyers and extensive backstage facilities.
Located in the Southbank Theatre building, the Sumner is a state-of-the-art 500-seat venue offering the most advanced stage technology and a level of intimacy not previously seen in Australia. Named after our first Artistic Director, John Sumner, the Sumner has been designed to provide comfort and excellent stage views for all the audience, with a flexible stage that allows MTC to present the entire gamut of theatre – from large scale spectacles down to tightly-focused dramatic performances.
View a seating map of The Sumner here.
The Lawler is a flexible space with seating for 150 people, perfect for performances on an intimate scale. MTC’s focus for the space is to produce more works of an experimental, cutting-edge and developmental nature, as well as presenting regular play readings of new works by emerging playwrights.
Wheelchair and mobility access
Facilities for wheelchair access and seating that allows more room for the use of mobility aids are available in all theatres. Please make your requirements known when booking.
Captioning and FM hearing systemAn FM hearing system is available for all performances in the Sumner, Playhouse and Fairfax Studio at no charge upon presentation of identification to theatre ushers. Audience members receive either a headset or neck loop enabling use of a hearing aid via the T-switch.
Companion CardsMTC offers Companion Card holders a free ticket for their companion to attend the performance and assist with their access needs.
For routes travelling up and down St Kilda Rd (numbers 1, 3, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67, 72) you can get off at the Arts Centre stop and walk to Southbank Theatre and Arts Centre Melbourne. Route 1 (to South Melbourne Beach) goes down Southbank Blvd, and stops on Sturt St just outside Melbourne Recital Centre, located next to Southbank Theatre.
TrainSouthbank Theatre and Arts Centre Melbourne are within easy distance of Flinders Street Station. After exiting the station simply walk south down St Kilda Road (away from the CBD), or catch a south-bound tram from the Flinders Street Station/Federation Square tram stop.More Info
Tourist ShuttleMore Info
The Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle runs in a loop through Melbourne’s CBD every 30 minutes, and stops at Arts Centre Melbourne on St Kilda Road (Stop 1).
Script Bar & BistroVisit Website
Within the Theatre building, Script Bar & Bistro offers predominantly Italian-style menu and uses seasonal produce, sourced locally where possible, to create approachable dishes for the entire family showcasing the best Victoria has to offer.
Downstairs Bistro and LoungeVisit Website
Downstairs Bistro and Lounge is located on Sturt Street, 750 metres from Southbank Theatre. It offers a relaxed space from casual drinks to the full dining experience, featuring fresh seasonal produce with a diverse selection of beverages.
Southgate ComplexVisit Website
Southbank Theatre is ideally located just five minutes from the Southgate complex on the Yarra River, with a ten minute stroll from the Melbourne CBD. The complex offers an enormous range of dining and bar opportunities to explore.
More Dining OptionsLearn more
Learn more about other great dining options in the Arts Precinct, including; Southbank Theatre foyer bars, Melba Restaurant, Taxi Kitchen, The Deck Southbank and Transit Rooftop Bar.