The New Theatre

The New Theatre

by Lisa Milner

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The Sydney New Theatre is one of Australia’s oldest continuously performing theatres, with an unbroken record of performances from 1932 to today. It originally began as part of a network of radical theatre groups which were founded in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Newcastle and Adelaide from the 1930s onwards. 

A new book, published by Interventions and edited by Lisa Milner, collects stories of New Theatre branches, filling a vital space in Australian cultural history. Radical left-wing theatre history tales, told by theatre practitioners, historians, academics and political ratbags, reveal a rich vein of Australia’s hidden cultural heritage. New Theatre advocated for freedom and democracy, aiming to activate audiences politically, and create authentic, non-commercial Australian drama by telling the hidden stories about the real lives of working-class people.