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A Manager’s Tour of Ulumbarra Theatre is a chance to see the historic elements of this exciting new performing arts centre rising from within the walls of the historic Sandhurst Prison – and much more! Guests will also have an exclusive opportunity to sneak backstage for close inspection of the theatrical and technical infrastructure that allows Ulumbarra Theatre to deliver a wide range of performing arts and events activity.
Bendigo's Ulumbarra Theatre rises majestically from within the walls of the Central Victorian City's 1860's Sandhurst Gaol.
Meaning "gather together or "meeting place" in the language of the local indigenous people, Ulumbarra blends heritage and modern elements beautifully, offering distinctive state-of-the-art performance and event spaces.
The Sandhurst Goal opened in 1863 and was decommissioned in 2006. Former inmates include Chopper Reed and Ronald Ryan. In 1987 it was the scene of Victoria’s longest prison siege, when John Dixon Jenkins, the self-styled ‘nuclear warrior’, took nine people hostage within the goal claiming he had a hand-made bomb. The design, with passages radiating from a central hub, was based upon the much-publicised Pentonville concept, which enabled the surveillance of multiple wings from a central point whilst allowing a reasonable amount of air to circulate the cellblocks. Although five wings were allowed for in the original plan, only two wings were ever constructed at Bendigo Prison.
Designed by Melbourne architects Y2 and international theatre design specialists Schuler Shook, Ulumbarra Theatre merges contemporary design with the heritage elements of the old penitentiary architecture.
With an auditorium capacity of 951, expansive foyers, studios and meeting rooms, Ulumbarra Theatre's architects have cleverly adapted this historic gaol to create an extraordinary arts and community facility.
Ulumbarra's main stage - the largest in regional Australia - can accommodate any performer or touring company with a fully-functional fly tower and world-class production capabilities.