Like Kings Cross itself, the second floor of the historic Kings Cross Hotel has worn many different faces over the years, from home of the popular FBi Social to its more recent incarnation as the Bandroom. Now it’s adding theatre to that list. Its second storey is now Sydney’s newest theatre space.
Known as KX, the theatre has been taken over by Sydney Fringe Festival for the month of September. It will hold around eight shows a week in the space. Once the Fringe bumps out, indie theatre collective Bakehouse Theatre company will take over, managing and programming the theatre.
Licensee of the Kings Cross Hotel Lloyd Boolkin says he hopes the new space will help return the area to its bohemian heyday, when music halls and burlesque shows were the order of the day.
“Back in the 1940s and ‘50s there was lots of performing – burlesque and so forth – before it went through various lifecycles and transformations to clubs; and we’re trying to be true to what the Cross was originally,” he says.
Dedicated to cultivating emerging theatre makers, Bakehouse’s first show in KX will be Roadkill Confidential, opening in November. “We think Bakehouse is offering something unique to the market – nurturing up-and-coming young artists and offering them a platform to showcase their work at an affordable price,” Boolkin says.
With a seating capacity of 60 to 80 people, the plan is to keep the space flexible and open to reconfiguring for one-off music gigs, forums and exhibitions in addition to the theatre season.
Given the proximity – and popularity – of neighbouring theatre companies (Griffin Theatre Company, the Old Fitz Theatre, Darlinghurst Theatre Company and Hayes Theatre Co in Potts Point) it will be interesting to see whether the area has the audience to support another cultural space.
Boolkin says he believes the hotel’s ability to also offer food and drinks is the secret weapon.
“We want to be the destination of choice when it comes to culture, entertainment, live music, drinking, dining and theatre – all under the same roof. “Collaborating with people who are really passionate about what they do is really exciting, [targeting] anyone with a love of theatre and art.”