The Gold Coast isn’t usually a place people would associate with theatre, but it’s been said that we have one of the highest concentrations of amateur theatre companies in Australia right here. And with that comes a growing appetite for theatre more broadly. Which is good news for cultural tourists and locals alike. Here’s where you can get your fix of theatre when visiting the beautiful Gold Coast.


Home of The Arts. Image: Tim Minchin.
Spectacular productions at Home of The Arts. Image: Tim Minchin.

The name really says it all, previously known as The Arts Centre Gold Coast, HOTA is home to the city’s growing arts scene. With a huge investment in a new art gallery and a green bridge better linking the precinct to Surfers Paradise and public transport, HOTA has been undergoing a steady transformation. And while all of that has been happening, it has continued to host leading theatrical productions. Every week you can see performing arts at HOTA – from contemporary dance through to opera and circus – it’s a popular stop for touring productions.

In the next few months, HOTA plays host to productions of Aladdin Jnr and The Little Mermaid from local schools as well as artists like Djuki Mala. Much Ado About Nothing, Hair and Wicked also have runs at HOTA. And the kids are never forgotten at our Home of the Arts with productions like Possum Magic also playing over the school holidays. Get full program information at HOTA.


Bleach at Burleigh. Credit Scott Belzner
Gather around and be entertained at Bleach* The Gold Coast Festival. Image: Scott Belzner.

Held in April every year, Bleach* is the city’s signature cultural event with an eclectic mix of performing arts, contemporary music and cross-disciplinary works taking centre stage. Through its partnership with Griffith University, Bleach* regularly presents theatrical and classical works in the city’s outdoor spaces. But it’s the performing arts where Bleach* really pushes boundaries. From grindhouse cabaret through to slam poetry and story-telling, Bleach* presents theatre in all its forms during its annual festival. Get dates and program details year-on-year at bleachfestival.com.au.


Spotlight Theatre Gold Coast. Image: Samantha Morris.
Spotlight Theatre Gold Coast. Image: Samantha Morris.

Celebrating more than 60 years on the Gold Coast, Spotlight Theatre Company caters for most age groups by performing a mix of classical productions as well as new releases. With four major musicals and two plays and pantomimes as well as Christmas events and six youth theatre productions every year, Spotlight Theatre is also one of the city’s most prolific companies. Entirely run by volunteers and with a costume hire shop that generates additional funds for its operations, Spotlight’s Benowa theatre is a beautiful space to be immersed in local theatre. More at spotlighttheatre.com.au.


Amateur Theatre
Amateur Theatre.

One of the best resources for finding out what’s on in local theatre is the Gold Coast Theatre Alliance. Their aim is to support the diverse live performing arts community on the Gold Coast and into northern NSW. With a printed directory outlining an annual program of live theatre performances as well as a digital listing for upcoming performances, Gold Coast Theatre Alliance is an important hub for all things theatre on the Gold Coast. Visit goldcoasttheatre.com.au.


Spiegeltent performance Gold Coast 2019.

The Spiegeltent has made an appearance on the Gold Coast for the past few years and often in conjunction with Bleach* Festival. While many of the productions focus on cabaret, there’s a range of other performing arts brought to the Gold Coast by organisers Strut and Fret including comedy, music and theatre. Find out when the Spiegeltent returns to the Gold Coast at spiegeltentgoldcoast.com.


male female cabaret dancers
The newest venue showcasing cabaret, burlesque, live music & cirque. Image supplied by The Pink Flamingo Gold Coast.

Love the old school cabaret? Well, you’re in luck. Opened in August 2019, Broadbeach’s newest venue, The Pink Flamingo, is perfect for an evening outing showcasing some seriously raunchy yet downright hilarious performances. With a mix of cabaret, burlesque, live music and cirque, the show will have you laughing out loud before leaving you gobsmacked at the aerial ability of the performers in this intimate, pink-laden venue. Taking over from long-time resident East Nightclub, this 1920s deco-inspired establishment boasts some of the best performers from around the world. Imagine aerial artists, sexy silhouettes, comedy and killer vocals that will bring the sophisticated entertainment hub, The Pink Flamingo to life Wednesday through Saturday nights.


Dracula's new Gold Coast show Nine Pints.
Dracula’s Cabaret new Gold Coast show Nine Pints.

Dracula’s has a special place in the heart of Gold Coast art lovers, delivering its quirky and somewhat bawdy cabaret experience for some 34 years, acting as a breeding ground for some of the city’s most successful performing arts workers. Dracula’s new show ‘Nine Pints’ flits between “jaw-dropping contortionist acts, ribald comedy, live rock ‘n’ roll, mime, video and sassy vaudeville.” ‘Nine Pints’ runs five nights a week with punters able to opt for show only or show and dinner tickets.

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