Arts

New creative precinct opens in Mile End

The arts and creative complex on Sir Donald Bradman Drive includes Gravity & Other Myths’ rehearsal space, production house, a dance studio & retail institution.

Header image: Gravity and Other Myths.

Australia’s creative spotlight is shining on the inner west of Adelaide with the official opening of the Mile End Creative Precinct on Thursday 22 April.

The arts and creative complex on Sir Donald Bradman Drive includes an elite training centre and rehearsal space for one of Australia’s leading physical theatre companies, offices for an international theatrical production house, a professional dance studio, and a new home for a beloved Adelaide performing arts retail institution.

Servicing more than 150 creative workers and students, the Mile End precinct is home to:

● Gravity & Other Myths’ just-announced new rehearsal space and elite training school, The Forge

● The Stage Shop’s spectacular new retail location

● GWB Entertainment’s production house offices

● GWB Studios’ 5 state-of-the-art dance studios

● Rehearsal spaces available to hire for local performing arts companies and freelance artists

Premier Steven Marshall, as Minister responsible for the Arts, is excited for the project.

“The creative hub brings together a precinct of complementary arts organisations to foster collaboration and cooperation across the sector. The Mile End cluster enables an expansion of the services of the constituent businesses supporting our state’s vision to see our creative industries grow to $2.1 billion by 2030,” he says.

For GWB Entertainment’s Richelle and Torben Brookman, the Mile End Creative Precinct is a passion project that has seen a significant investment of time, energy and money to enhance South Australia’s creative capital and provide a pathway and opportunity for artists, creatives, technicians and students.

From first class training to professional outcomes locally, nationally and internationally, the Mile End Creative Precinct will provide a launch pad for the development of South Australian talent and work that is then exported to Australia and the world.

“We feel very strongly about creating a home for like-minded, ambitious and entrepreneurial creative professionals as well as providing world class training for the next generation of performers,” says Richelle Brookman. “We’ve been fortunate enough to work all over the world and as passionate South Australians we are looking to create a supportive and safe space in Mile End that provides an environment for performers and creatives of all levels to achieve their very best.”

The internationally acclaimed Gravity & Other Myths (GOM) will use Mile End Creative Precinct as the home for their elite new acrobatic and circus training facility, The Forge, where the 30-strong company will also rehearse new work to be seen across the globe.

GOM Director Jascha Boyce says: “With performance and touring opportunities few and far between for the foreseeable future, The Forge will allow us to meaningfully engage our artists by providing them with a safe, accessible and inspiring training and creative space.

“A venue of this kind, specifically designed to cater for high-level acrobatic training does not yet exist in South Australia, it will be a space where shows, skills and community ties are forged, housing open training jams, masterclasses, creative developments and performances,” she says. “The vast opportunities that this space offers will enable GOM to offer consistent work to our artists while also supporting and strengthening the South Australian movement community and encouraging growth in the sector.”

The Mile End Creative Precinct’s state-of-the-art rehearsal studios will also be used by arts companies and organisations such as the Adelaide Festival, which rehearsed its operatic production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the studios. Local freelancers and creatives can hire the studios.

“It is brilliant to see a friendly multi-use space open and available for members of different arts organisations, a place where they can connect in with one another, a place where artists of all ages and disciplines can cross over. It’s a reminder that the arts is a whole-of-life undertaking. Seeing 8-year-olds being dropped off for ballet or drama classes and then working in studios alongside Gravity and Other Myths or the Festival opera – and now especially with The Stage Shop added to the locale – I know it will become embedded in performers’ earliest memories as a place of inspiration, possibility and practical creativity,” Neil Armfield, Adelaide Festival’s Artistic Director, says.

The retail element of the Mile End Creative Precinct is the stunning new home for The Stage Shop, an Adelaide institution that has served South Australia’s performing arts industry for more than 65 years.

Previously located on Leigh Street, The Stage Shop’s iconic neon red light has made the move to Mile End with previous owners Lesley and Michael Visintin handing the reins to Richelle and Torben.

Lesley Visintin says: “We have lived and breathed The Stage Shop for the last 16 years and as we move on in our own lives, we welcome Torben and Richelle and look forward to seeing the new direction and next generation of the iconic Adelaide institution. We look forward to continuing to be part of the community, however, this time supporting it from the other side of the counter.”

Torben Brookman says: “The Stage Shop is a South Australian icon that has serviced the performing arts community since the 1950s and since that time has had a small number of very passionate owners and operators. We are excited to join this club and contribute to the next chapter of its story.”

The collaborators are as follows.

GWB Entertainment

Co-founded by Adelaide’s Torben and Richelle Brookman and with operations in the United Kingdom and Australia, GWB Entertainment is an internationally recognised theatrical producer and presenter specialising in conceptualising, producing and managing first-class theatrical productions. Recent productions and tours include the international tours of Matilda, School of Rock, The King and I, West Side Story as well as general management for international tours of The Phantom of the Opera and Cats.

GWB Studios

GWB Studios provides elite and recreational dance and performing arts education in a professional and supportive environment. Directly linked with the professional industry both across Australia and internationally, GWB’s permanent and guest faculty provides its students with exposure to top industry professionals and high-quality training.

Gravity & Other Myths

Gravity & Other Myths (GOM) is an acrobatics and physical theatre company pushing the boundaries of new circus. Formed in Adelaide in 2009, GOM has rocketed to acclaim with a series of thrillingly accomplished ensemble works that have been seen all over Australia and around the world. GOM utilises an honest approach to performance, to create work with a focus on human connection and acrobatic virtuosity. Their most recent production The Pulse was one of the stand-out hits of the 2021 Adelaide Festival.

The Stage Shop

The Stage Shop is a South Australian icon that has served the performing arts industry for over 65 years. The Stage Shop takes pride in providing friendly, professional and experienced service and are always willing to help customers with their individual needs. Customers can be assured that they will always make the right choice for their classes, performances and recitals with The Stage Shop’s large range of products.

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