Hidden in the depths of our building are a set of backstage hallways performers use to navigate their way around the building out of sight. The hallways can take you from Vault all the way past the dressing rooms, beneath Rangatira and up to the ceiling of the building, without going through any of the public spaces. It’s almost like a hidden network of tunnels we use to make the magic happen.
Most theatres have a set of hallways, staircases, and rooms like this. They’re essential to running a smooth, seamless and safe show. But here at Q, we like to think our hallways are a bit special because they’re lined with the signatures of ten years’ worth of past performers. Many of the people who’ve made an appearance at Q have left their mark in these dark annals of history, and for the first time, we’re going to share some of them with you!
On June 19th 2010, students from 20 New Zealand Secondary Schools and some industry professionals made a historical time capsule left embedded in the walls of Q Theatre during construction. It’s located behind their framed signatures, the first autographs left on these walls. We’ll be opening the time capsule this year during our tenth birthday celebration, so stay tuned for that!
Following construction, we were able to begin hosting shows at Q, and some performers left not only their signatures but a work of art that represents their show. Above the door to the green room is a landscape bearing a shining cross from the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar. Similarly, the above substage door is a piece from The Wizard of Ōtāhuhu (2018) bearing the Tongan and Samoan flags.
Hudson & Halls Live left a delightful quote from the show above their signatures, and more recently, the National Youth Theatre Company left a near-perfect recreation of the FROZEN logo.
Some parts of the walls are much less organised but equally atmospheric. Check out this gallery of different parts of the walls and see if you can spot anyone you recognise.
We’re proud of these walls because, to us, they represent a rich history of performers we’ve had the pleasure of working with. In that way, the walls have become an archive of experiences. When the venues get busy, and everyone’s nervous about going on stage, the signatures say, ‘we’ve all done it before, and you can too!’.
Next time you’re at Q, remember you may be walking above these hallways with performers, technicians, stage managers, ushers and producers rushing around beneath you, perhaps even signing their name to our walls as well.