There was something strange in the air at the reopening of Sydney’s Theatre Royal on 29 November – optimism. Not just that this theatre was reopening after five years, during which we all assumed the worst, but that this could be the start of something even bigger.

Theatre Royal

After two years of cancellations and closures, Sydney enters 2022 in the unusual situation of having a number of new venues to look forward to. Pier 2/3 at Walsh Bay Arts Precinct will open in early 2022, with office space and bespoke performance venues for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Theatre for Young People and Bell Shakespeare; Judith Neilson’s stunning Phoenix Central Park in Chippendale, a hub of lockdown livestreaming, is looking to host actual audiences soon; the Theatre Royal is back, not merely recapturing its former glory but improving on it; and of course in...