A Day in the Life of Theatre Royal Sydney Box Office Supervisor Matilda Dwyer
Archie Rose Distilling Co is thrilled to come onboard as a cultural partner of the iconic Theatre Royal Sydney. Since reopening at the tail end of 2021 following lengthy restoration works, the theatre has already seen a number of high-end productions grace its stage to sell out audiences, from Girl from the North Country to an American in Paris and more recently, rock musical Jagged Little Pill featuring Australia’s own Natalie Bassingthwaighte.
With a jam-packed schedule locked in for the remaining months of 2022, we thought now would be a great time to chat with Theatre Royal Sydney Box Office Supervisor Matilda Dwyer about exciting new productions, a day in the life of her role and her favourite cocktails behind the Theatre Royal Sydney bar.
What does a day in your life as a Box Office Supervisor for one of Sydney’s leading theatre venues look like for you?
I joined the team back in April of 2021 as part of the theatre's reopening journey after being closed for six years as restoration works were being completed. At the time there were four or five of us and I was working as a Box Office Assistant whilst the theatre was still an active construction site before moving into the finished theatre (and new box office) in December 2021.
Day to day my role can be really varied, which can especially depend upon whether or not we have a show on. The day usually starts with lots of reporting on all our various productions and then dealing with our wonderful customers. We are actually one of the only theatre venues in Australia that have a dedicated box office operational seven days a week as well as a phone number for customers to call., We liaise quite closely with our customers, in particular, our group bookings and accessibility requirement customers, to make sure they are achieving everything they want out of their booking. This makes our theatre truly unique as this box office experience is unfound anywhere else.
I’ll often also chat to the front-of-house team about anything from new procedures to fun things like new names for cocktails at the bar and then of course when there is a show on we go into show mode and help welcome up to 1200 people into the theatre.
*The Theatre Royal Sydney recently underwent extensive restoration works, has much of the original theatre remained? *
Because the theatre is actually heritage listed by the City of Sydney Council, there is a lot of the theatre that is still as originally designed, including the curved walls on the ceilings. We have made sure that during the restoration works that the theatre is comfortable for audiences with fresh new floors, new carpets, new bars, bathrooms and more. The end result has been wonderful to see, especially when the space has remained as intimate as it was before.
Favourite production you have seen at the theatre in the 2022 season so far?
That’s a really tough question! I really liked An American in Paris which was a co-production with The Australian Ballet and had some incredible dancing. Whilst I wouldn’t call myself a ballet fan, there in the audience, my breath had just been completely taken away. I also really enjoyed Girl from the North Country which was directed by one of my favourite directors Conor McPherson who does really interesting work. Now, I am looking forward to watching SIX the Musical which has just opened. It’s a really high-energy, high-octane show, and short and sweet in just the one jam-packed 75-minute act.
What productions can keen theatre-goers expect to see on the Theatre Royal Sydney stage in the coming months?
I'm also really excited about The Mousetrap, a genre-defining murder mystery from best-selling novelist Agatha Christie, which if you didn’t know is the world longest running play, performing on the West End in London for the past 70 years. To have this production come here and to be able to take part in a story that so many people have seen worldwide and everyone knows is really exciting.
Have you tried the Archie Rose x Theatre Royal Sydney Tailored Gin? Any cocktail favourites behind the bar?
I certainly have tried the Archie Rose x Theatre Royal Sydney Tailored Gin, it is especially delicious in a Theatre Royal martini!
My cocktail favourites do change because our bar team creates custom cocktails for each show. I'm really excited for SIX the Musical because our Bar and Beverage Manager Thomas Schmid has designed six cocktails for each of the Queens in the show.
I just want to encourage everyone reading this to come on down, see a show in our theatre with a drink in hand and enjoy themselves, there is something for everyone!