Hayes Theatre Co staged its first production in 2014 in the cosy 111-seat Potts Point theatre it calls home. The production was a revelatory production of Sweet Charity, directed by Dean Bryant, that was received with cries of joy and rewarded with a continuing life on tour, including at the Sydney Opera House.

Sweet Charityin many ways set an ideal for the Hayes, which was founded for the express purpose of specialising in musical theatre. Charityshowed that a production created for a small space could breathe out, travel and – hope of hopes – create a little more return on investment. It’s not easy to turn a buck in a 111-seater, which is why it’s wonderful to see shows from the Hayes get a life elsewhere in important theatres. (It’s what happens to excellent musicals developed at the 180-seat Menier Chocolate Factory in London.)

Ben Gerrard in American Psycho: The Musical, Sydney Opera House, 2021. Photograph © Daniel Boud

Another Hayes smash hit, Calamity Jane(2017), proved there was a huge amount of life in what might have been thought a...