STUNNING DANCE: Ekaterina Shalypina in a scene from the Moscow Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty. They will perform at MEC on Tuesday, April 7, at 7.30pm.
STUNNING DANCE: Ekaterina Shalypina in a scene from the Moscow Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty. They will perform at MEC on Tuesday, April 7, at 7.30pm. Nadya Pyastolova

Ghosts quiet as Moncrieff revamp nears end

THE ghosts of the Moncrieff have been very quiet of late.

No unexplained creaking or groaning at midnight.

Maybe they are curious about all the changes being made to the venue lately.

Should a theatre be just a place for sitting and watching?

Or should it be a vibrant, multipurpose, multi- functional space for engaging with the community and a space for the community to engage with each other?

The friendly MEC staff and the Bundaberg Regional Council say 'yes' to the latter.

We are in no doubt about the purpose of this historic, classic, legendary space.

It's a public place and should have a life and identity of its own, not just follow outdated traditions.

A series of changes have taken place this year, to activate the venue and to enhance visitors' layers of experience.

The foyer has been converted into a gallery space and local artists from the Brag Trade Collective are curating exhibitions each month. While audiences are waiting to go into the theatre, they can now look at and buy some great local art.

Social issue-based forums, supporting the themes of some of the movies presented are also on the program.

These forums have deconstructed topics such as dementia and the effect of war on prisoners of war.

The next forum will discuss the issues raised in the movie Big Eyes, including plagiarism, ownership and creation of art - even touching on what makes good and bad art.

The liquor licence has been extended to include the auditorium, so our audiences can now have a level of theatre sophistication not known in Bundaberg before.

Drinks can now be sipped and enjoyed while sitting and watching great entertainment in the theatre.

The often forgotten orchestra pit, right down in the basement of the building directly under the stage, is being considered for an exhibition of industrial sculptures with luminary projections.

The viewing audience will be taken on a journey, through the theatre and the dressing rooms, down into the pit for viewing.

Just watch out for a stray ghost or two.

The dressing rooms have had a massive makeover, and will reopen in another week. Nice to have bright, shiny new floors, white tiled showers and toilets, and a new Green Room. It's great to be able to offer these new facilities to visiting artists.

Movies this week include The Second Best Marigold Hotel (PG) and Mr Turner (M), both brilliant British productions.

Starting on Thursday, April2, are Aussie film Paper Planes (G) and Chappie (MA15+).

All movies are still $7 a ticket.

THE MEC will be closed on Easter Saturday and Easter Monday.

Don't miss the brilliant surreal comedy of Ross Noble, on Good Friday, April3, and stars of The Moscow Ballet performing the classic Sleeping Beauty on Tuesday, April7, at 7.30pm.

The free community movie, presented by the Bundaberg Regional Council, is on Monday, April20, at 10am, and features St Vincent (M), starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy.

This is the story of a young boy whose parents have just divorced, who finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the bawdy war veteran who lives next door.

Coming soon

Ten Tenors on Broadway: (selling fast), Friday, April24.

Charmaine Wilson: Monday, May4.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra: Saturday, May23.

Glenn Miller Orchestra tribute: (selling fast), May29.

Tickets are available online and from the box office between 9am-6pm.

Don't forget to indulge this Easter and try one of our new flavoured ice-creams - salted caramel or coconut - or the classic flavours of macadamia and boysenberry. All come either smothered in chocolate or not.

Visit www.moncrieff-bundaberg.com.au or phone 41304100.