Odd Culture Group, operator of Sydney’s Old Fitzroy Hotel, has partnered with the Old Fitzroy Theatre to host a fundraiser street party for the theatre.
The theatre, more frequently referred to as the Old Fitz Theatre, is located in the basement of the 150-year-old Old Fitzroy Hotel and has been a leading venue in Sydney’s theatre scene for its 26 years of operation. The Old Fitz Theatre is known for its daring, bold, and innovative independent work, and provides an inclusive, accessible platform for new work and new artists.
‘A Street Party Named Fitz’ reflects the connection between The Old Fitzroy Hotel and The Old Fitz Theatre, with Odd Culture Group donating a portion of the event’s revenue to the theatre, along with several other opportunities for guests to donate on the day. Additionally, the event will present a sneak peek into the theatre’s upcoming Act 2 2024 productions.
Supporting the arts is important to Odd Culture Group, as CEO James Thorpe told Australian Hotelier.
“The arts were among the worst affected by the pandemic, and the Old Fitz Theatre is the last remaining theatre pub in Australia. In a market where huge Sydney rents put an emphasis on scale and revenue per seat, the Old Fitz Theatre exists as a bit of an oasis where true art can take stage in a small intimate environment, somewhat shielded from these pressures. It truly is among the last of its kind, and it’s worth supporting.
“Progress in the arts has a direct corollary to progress in broader culture and society — to paraphrase Aaron Sorkin: the age of Pericles was also the age of Phidias; the age of Elizabeth was also the age of Shakespeare; and so on. This stuff is close to our heart, not just because of our keen interest in the arts, but because it moves society forward, and sets the tone of our discourse. There has never been a more important time to support the arts,” he said.
Odd Culture Group will host a number of streetside pop-up bars, hosted by renowned bartenders Matt Whiley (Re), Evan Stroeve (The Waratah, Rhubi Mistelle), and Eduardo Conde (El Primo Sanchez) with support from spirits partner, Four Pillars Gin.
The Dowling Street cul-de-sac outside the Old Fitzroy Hotel will shut down for the event, with a stage set up for an all-day performance program. Acts include The Wiggles’ Murray Cook in Murray Cook’s Soul Movers, live theatre performances courtesy of the Old Fitz Theatre, a set from DJ Aunty Jonny, and roving performances ranging from comedy to burlesque.
Odd Culture Group executive chef James MacDonald has created a Cajun cookout menu inspired by the New Orleans setting of Streetcar Named Desire, where meats and vegetables roasted on the huge outdoor barbeque will be served alongside classic sides like Jambalaya. The Old Fitzroy Hotel kitchen will also be serving a limited menu with a similar theme, with options like smoked cheeseburgers and loaded fries.
The Old Fitz Theatre’s Emma Wright explained the importance of the fundraiser.
“It means so much to us to work alongside Odd Culture to ensure that the Fitz remains a local favourite and a home for experience-seekers all over Sydney to return to. Funds raised through this exciting event will support our Act 2 season and contribute towards keeping the lights on at the much-loved Old Fitz Theatre. As a small, independent theatre space, support from the community and opportunities to reach beyond our 55-seat space make a world of difference and help us continue to champion independent artists and stories within this iconic space,” she said.
The event will take place on Sunday 11 February, from 12pm to 7pm.