Theatres of War at QPAC


The touring exhibition Theatres of War: Wartime Entertainment and the Australian Experience recently hit the road and will open in the Tony Gould Gallery, QPAC on Tuesday 9th February.


This free exhibition highlights the crucial role played by music and in the lives of Australians from the First World War to Afghanistan. Drawn primarily from Arts Centre Melbourne’s Performing Arts Collection, the exhibition explores the power of performance in bringing people together, lifting spirits and offering a form of escapism during times of great adversity. Photographs, scrapbooks, letters, posters and audio-visual material are used to tell stories ranging from concert party performers on the Western Front, female impersonators and opera singers in the jungles of New Guinea, to pop stars taking music from home to Vietnam.

Last week two staff members traveled to Brisbane to assist in the installation.

Theatres of War during installation
Theatres Margie
Margaret Marshall, Curator installs shirt decorated with souvenirs given to Patti McGrath (Newton) while entertaining troops in Vietnam, 1967 (Kindly lent by Patti Newton)
Theatres - Sarah
Sarah Morris, Project Manager installs material relating to Doc Neeson’s time entertaining troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (Kindly lent by the Estate of Doc Neeson)

Theatres of War: Wartime Entertainment and the Australian Experience is a touring exhibition proudly presented by Arts Centre Melbourne and supported by the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Fund.

Published by

Performing Arts Collection

Arts Centre Melbourne's Performing Arts Collection is the national leader among specialist performing arts collections in Australia. Established in 1975, it is formally recognised as a State collection and encompasses the history of circus, dance, music, opera and theatre. The Collection features over 640,000 items including costumes, designs, photographs, set models, puppets, props, posters, programs and archives.

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