New to QPAC

A few tips to help you feel at home at QPAC, whether it’s your first visit or your fiftieth

If you can't find the answer to your question here, you may want to check our FAQ page. If you have a general question or comment about this website please contact us.

 


Before you leave home tips

What should I wear?

It's not necessary to get dressed up to come to QPAC, although if you are coming to an opening night, it's likely that guests will be dressed to attend a special occasion. Usually smart casual dress is perfect. Because all of our theatres are air conditioned, you may want to bring a light wrap or jacket, especially if you are dressed for Brisbane summer weather.

What performance should I choose?

For many visitors to QPAC, their introduction to live performance is musical theatre, as musicals tend to have lots of colour and movement and a simple, but engaging story line. However, if you're new to live performance and aren't fond of people suddenly bursting into song, then perhaps choose a play as there will usually be a story and dialogue that is easy to follow. It's often a good idea to do some research first, by reading a synopsis or looking at video footage on the QPAC website or internet. 


Getting to your theatre tips

What time should I arrive?

QPAC is located in a vibrant part of the city and there are often multiple performances and events happening in the precinct that may affect travel time and parking availability. We recommend you arrive early for your performance. It's better to arrive early and relaxed and enjoy the atmosphere or a drink beforehand than arrive stressed and late and miss the start of your performance. Theatre doors usually open around 20 minutes before the start of the show.

What happens if I'm late?

People turning up late to a performance can be very disruptive to performers and other audience members. For that reason, doors are closed and late comers are often not admitted until there is a break in the performance - which is sometimes half an hour or more into the show. That can be very disappointing. To make sure you don't miss a moment of your performance, please always allow extra time for travel or parking. Or plan to arrive early and have a meal or drink before the show.

Where can I leave large bags or umbrellas?

All of our theatres have cloakrooms where you can leave larger items. For the Lyric Theatre and Concert Hall, the cloakroom is located on Level M on the Melbourne Street side of the building. The Playhouse cloakroom is on Level G of the Playhouse, while the Cremorne Theatre cloakroom is on the ground floor. Large bags and umbrellas must be left at the cloakroom as there isn’t space for them in the theatre.

How do I find my theatre/door/seat?

All the information is printed on your ticket, so please check your ticket to see which theatre and door number you need. Once you have that information, look up for signage or ask one of our friendly staff.


Inside the theatre tips

Can I eat and drink in the theatre?

Check with the bar staff during your visit, but it is usually OK to take drinks in to the theatre, as long as they are in plastic cups. No food, though, as the sounds and aromas can be disruptive to other patrons.

Can I use my phone or other mobile device in the theatre?

All devices must be switched off completely. Switching to silent is not sufficient as the radio frequencies of mobile phones can interfere with our technical equipment including radio microphones. Sneaky texts or checking footy scores cast light that is distracting to the performers and other audience members, so please don’t do it.

Can I take photographs in the theatre?

No; all performances are protected by copyright and photography is a breach of that copyright. Plus… one of the extraordinary things about live performance is that it happens in the moment and that moment will never occur in the exact same way again – you don’t want to miss it! As Beyoncé said to a video-taking fan during a concert, “I’m right here in your face, baby. You gotta seize this moment. Put that damn phone down!”.

When do I clap?

All performers love applause, but it can sometimes be a bit tricky for new audience members to know when to clap. For absolute beginners, the best advice is to wait for someone else, but here is a rough guide:

  • Theatre – Usually applaud at the end of an act (i.e. when the lights start to come up in the auditorium), although sometimes audiences will also applaud at the entrance of a well-known performer
  • Opera – Very like Theatre, but often with extra applause at the end of an impressive aria
  • Ballet and dance – Similar to Opera, but replace “aria” with “solo” or “choreography”
  • Classical – Often one piece within a classical music concert can be comprised of a number of sections or movements. It is customary to hold applause until the piece is finished, rather than applaud between movements. The orchestra will usually provide a signal at the end as you will see them relax and the conductor may turn around. Between movements, they pause, but maintain their concentration.
  • Musicals and popular music – Just clap whenever you feel like it!

Will I understand what’s going on?

Yes…no…not always! With a musical, play or classical ballet, there will mostly be a storyline that should be relatively easy to follow. If in doubt, check the website before you come for a synopsis, which will give you a summary of the story. The synopsis is also sometimes included in the program, which can be really helpful, particularly for ballet or opera.

Other types of performance may or may not be based on a story, so again check the website or your favourite search engine beforehand. The focus is on how it makes you feel rather than what it means, so sit back and let the emotions wash over you.

What happens if I have a problem?

If you experience anything that is negatively impacting your enjoyment of the performance, please speak to an usher so we can try to rectify the situation and make sure you enjoy every moment of your performance.

What things might impact the enjoyment of others?

Activities such as talking (or singing along!) during the show, noisy food wrappers and kicking the backs of seats impact the enjoyment of other guests. Live performance is a shared experience, so please respect the space and comfort of those around you, including the artists on stage. If you find that your enjoyment is being negatively impacted by others, please talk to an usher so that we can try to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.

What if I have a coughing fit?

Theatre acoustics are very good at projecting any sound, but coughing into a handkerchief or tissue is a good way to muffle the sound and decrease the impact on others. If you have a persistent cough or experience a sudden coughing fit, please see our ushers for a throat lozenge. If your coughing continues, our staff may offer you access to a viewing room, available in all theatres except the Cremorne Theatre, subject to availability.

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