Princess diaries: Grand reopening of theatre halted with hours to go

The highly anticipated launch of the new Princess Theatre has been postponed due to Covid restrictions, with a smaller, unofficial relaunch going ahead in its place.

Sep 29, 2021, updated Oct 01, 2021
The Princess Theatre post-renovation (Image: Dave Sleswick)

The Princess Theatre post-renovation (Image: Dave Sleswick)

The owners, brothers Steve and Dave Sleswick, said they don’t have a new date for their official launch as they’re playing it by ear but will instead hold a smaller event.

“This weekend, we’ll open up Fables Bar and Café and our courtyard space for The Warmup: the Un-Official Relaunch of The Princess.” 

The soft relaunch will include DJs playing live sets across the Fables Bar and Cafe and their outdoor Clarence Courtyard.

On Friday 1 October, it will host Jet Black Cat Music DJs, while across the weekend Quivr DJs and live sets from Squidgenini and 1TBSP will happen across the Fables Cafe, The Gallery, and The Clarence Courtyard.

“We don’t want to turn away neighbours and friends. We don’t want to force people to sit down. We don’t want to tell our artists how they can perform. We don’t want COVID to be the centre of attention,” they said.

“Throwing open the doors to The Princess after all the love, sweat and tears we’ve poured into this building over the past year should be cause for celebration.

“We would rather wait until restrictions ease, and we can roll out the welcome mat, pop the champagne corks, freely and joyously welcome our community and show off The Princess like the proud parents we are,” they said.

The Sleswicks, along with investment partner Steve Wilson, purchased the Princess at the start of 2020 and have fully renovated the 900-capacity auditorium amidst the pandemic, with postponements and rescheduling constantly causing them to pivot through the pandemic.

“This city has followed our journey and they’re invested in us. We intend to honour their patience and overwhelming support with a party that won’t be shut down, if it’s a case of third time lucky,” said the Sleswicks.

“On Tuesday night, we had our very first band (Great Sage) plug into the new epic sound system. When the time is right, we can’t wait to show you the whole thing.”

Dave Sleswick, Creative Director of The Tivoli and The Princess

Dave Sleswick said the event, Open Housewarming, was a celebration of the Brisbane community as interstate lockdowns have allowed extensive programming of local bands and ticket costs have been kept low to get people through the door to explore the new space.

Open Housewarming has been postponed, with new dates to be announced. 

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