Theatre of choice for Bayside and Peninsula residents
From Her Majesty's Theatre, Princess Theatre to the beautiful Regent Theatre, Melbourne boats some of the finest buildings in which theatre-goers can see their favourite live performers on stage, in saying that, there isn't always the need to travel into the heart of the city to see a live show.
Art hubs such as Frankston Art Centre (also known as The FAC) make theatre-going more accessible to suburban dwellers. Sitting on the edge of Melbourne's South Eastern suburbs, The FAC has become the theatre of choice for Bayside and Peninsula residents.
The centre itself opened in May 1995, and is now one of the largest metropolitan and regional art venues in Melbourne, offering 3 gallery spaces, an 800 seat theatre, purpose built digital media space, function centre and workshop spaces.
From comedy acts to broadway productions, drama performances, circus feats and live music through to workshops and exhibitions, The FAC covers all genres, offering a variety of entertainment to attract crowds both young and old.
We recently went to see Tall Stories' musical adaptation of The Gruffalo at The FAC; a performance seen in London's West End over a five year period, followed by UK-wide and now international theatres.
Although The FAC is easily reached via public transport (Frankston Train Station just 5 minutes walk), we chose to park at the centre's underground car park; a handy option during a cold July downpour, and positioned ourselves in the foyer with our purchased hot drinks before finding our allocated seats in the theatre.
Not knowing what to expect of a suburban theatre production, we were pleasantly surprised by The FAC's red seated auditorium, almost at full capacity which is no surprise considering the show's very reasonable $16 ticket price tag.
We have been to see a number of family friendly theatre performances, and this particular show stood out for us in terms of humour, talent and enjoyment. Limited performances of The Gruffalo were showing at The FAC this time around, however, big name international circus acts, The Australian Ballet, popular comedians and a variety of musical talent will be taking to the stage in coming months, so it is worth keeping an eye on the centre's what's on guide for future performance information.
I'm a member of the local amateur orchestra and we have at least two concerts here per year, though often only have the bottom level of audience seats available, but sometimes have managed to almost fill that. (around 450-500, I believe)