Monday, 11 April 2016

#50 - Sydney Lyric Theatre

So, now we're in to the top 50.  The 50 best things to do in Sydney.  A very prestigious list indeed.  After all, Sydney Harbour National Park only managed to make number 75.  You probably think that to get into this esteemed company you must be a very special attraction.  And you would be absolutely right to think that.  To get in to TripAdvisor's list of the top 50 things to do in Sydney, you have to be very special indeed.

Or the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

Sydney National Harbour Park - 75th best thing to do in Sydney

Sydney Lyric Theatre - 50th best thing to do in Sydney
If you've read some of my other posts you will probably gather that I'm not a huge fan of the more cultured things in life.  Museums and theatres just don't really do it for me.  I probably should have considered that before committing to spending a huge amount of time and money on completing a list of activities that contains quite a few of these very attractions.  However, even allowing for my lack of enthusiasm about all things theatrical, I still don't quite understand why people would rate the Sydney Lyric Theatre as the 50th best thing to do in Sydney.

Now, I've already had a go at the TripAdvisor categorisation of things to do on a couple of occasions.  In fact, I'm starting to think this entire blog was a subconscious excuse to vent my frustration at some of the inconsistencies.  But maybe the reason for the high ranking of the Sydney Lyric Theatre is more of a tribute to the shows it delivers, rather than the theatre itself.  That doesn't feel quite right to me though.  The attraction should be the thing that attracts you.  Which in this case, would be the show, not the theatre.

I suppose there is an argument that if a venue consistently showcases high quality events that are not available elsewhere, then that would make the venue an attraction in its own right.  The distinction in that case is that you may choose to go to the venue, regardless of the show that was on, based on a confident expectation of a wildly enjoyable night, borne out of a well deserved reputation for quality entertainment.  However, I don't feel that is the case with the SLT.  It tends to show big name productions that are no better than the productions being shown at other venues.  I don't think you would choose to go to the SLT ahead of another venue, unless it was because you preferred the show.

Now, I also admit that there are some venues that are just better than others.  They have better atmosphere, more energy, and just add to the experience.  But the SLT just felt like a fairly bog standard large events theatre to me.  It just feels to me like there has been a bit of a cross over in reviews from people who liked a particular show, and posted the review under the theatre.  If anyone from TripAdvisor ever reads this, please sort it out.  Honestly, it's hard to believe the mainstream media continue to devote so much coverage to trivialities like global warming, while issues like this remain unresolved.

Anyway, this has been one long rant to basically say that the Sydney Lyric Theatre is a perfectly good event venue, that generally shows big name productions.  When we went, it was to see Dirty Dancing.  It was about as good as the film.  Interpret that whichever way you choose.  I thought the guy who played the Patrick Swayze character was hilariously camp, but Lisa assured me that wasn't the case, with just a bit too much enthusiasm.  Maybe I need to dust out my old cuban heels.

It is located in the same building as the Star Casino, and has everything you would expect from a modern theatre.  The usual food, drinks, programmes and overpriced memorabilia relating to whichever show is on at the time.  It's pretty big, and holds about a couple of thousand people.  Views, legroom and atmosphere are all reasonably good, but didn't leave us gasping in awe and wonder.

This whole review has sounded a bit harsh, but I genuinely don't have anything against the Sydney Lyric Theatre.  It is perfectly good, and I would happily go there to watch a show I was interested in.  I definitely would not make a special trip just for the theatre though.

Do you share my bewilderment, or do you love the venue?  Do you find that the shows themselves actually get in the way of your enjoyment of the splendour of the theatre?  Where do you stand on the whole TripAdvisor categorisation debacle?  So many questions, please get involved and leave a comment.

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