Home found for Mousetrap Theatre

Published 2:30pm 13 December 2023

Home found for Mousetrap Theatre
Words by Kylie Knight

Mousetrap Theatre has secured a five-year peppercorn lease for part of the Sutton Centre at Redcliffe, ending more than 12 months of uncertainty which began when its home of almost 60 years was condemned.

During its general meeting this morning, Moreton Bay City Council unanimously decided to grant the $1-per-year lease to the community theatre group.

It follows a sustained community campaign and petition to find the much-loved organisation a permanent home after it was discovered the building it had used since 1967 was no longer structurally sound.

It is expected the building will be demolished by the end of March 2024.

Granting of the lease is subject to sufficient funds being available in Council’s 2023/24, and future year budgets, for remedial and maintenance works needed at the facility.

A report to Councillors said council staff had liaised with Mousetrap Theatre Company to relocate to the ground floor of The Sutton Centre for the medium-term.

“There will be some remedial and maintenance works required to bring the building’s services and interior up to a suitable condition for occupancy,” the report said.

“Subject to Council’s support, officers would continue to liaise with MTC in relation to the delivery of the remedial and maintenance works, with negotiated access for the organisation to be provided, where possible, whilst works are being undertaken.”

It is not clear when relocation will happen.

Mousetrap Theatre Company has been performing primarily at John Neumann Hall, Deception Bay, since it was forced to vacate its theatre at Redcliffe Showgrounds.

Mousetrap Theatre Company President Karen Matthews welcomed news her organisation had been granted a lease and said she was keen to work with council in the months ahead to finalise the design to best use the space.

“It’s a huge relief. The uncertainty has been the hard part, especially for a community organisation,” she said.

“We’re in the process of planning the initial layout of the building to make it work for us and costings. We will have to contribute, so there will be some fundraising coming up.”

Mousetrap Theatre volunteers are presently clearing the old theatre building of unwanted items and preparing to move those they need to the Sutton Centre ahead of demolition.

Karen is optimistic the group will be able to use the centre for youth workshops and rehearsals in the interim.

She says shows planned for 2024 will be staged at Deception Bay’s John Neumann Hall

“I’m very grateful to the council for making the effort to find us a building,” she said.

Home found for Mousetrap Theatre

Great result

Councillor Karl Winchester (Div 6) said it had been a difficult time for Mousetrap Theatre and commended the organisation for the way it had advocated for community theatre on the Redcliffe Peninsula.

He said the Sutton Centre was perfectly positioned, so theatre-goers could enjoy dinner and a show.

“I think it will be a terrific uplift for Sutton St as well and bring a bit of foot traffic around there as well,” Cr Winchester said.

He said there was still much more to do and he looked forward to working with the committee and council officers to make the building fit-for-purpose.

Mayor Peter Flannery said: “This is a temporary facility for a number of years until we work out a longer-term solution for our arts groups particularly around the areas where they need to do their productions.

“I think we’re doing a review of that through the needs analysis of our City and I’m happy to support this as well.

“It’s a very important component for our community and I look forward to them getting in and having a home.”

Cr Gilliam (Div 8) said he looked forward to the results of the needs analysis, saying millions of dollars was spent on sporting facilities in the city and more needed to be done to support the arts.

Home found for Mousetrap Theatre
Caption: Street view of the Sutton Centre at Redcliffe. Google Maps.

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