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Q Theatre hits all the right notes

Recently home to Tartuffe and currently hosting Auckland Theatre’s version of Roald Dahl’s The Twits, Queen’s Street’s new Q Theatre has well and truly established itself on the Auckland arts scene.

For Annie Dow, its success is cause for celebration – Dow Design worked as consultants to the Q Theatre initiative for seven years.

“There’s no other freeform performance space like it in New Zealand, and just like the theatre itself, we designed the Q brand to be fluid, agile, vibrant and diverse. We chose the simplicity of the name for similarly appropriate reasons, Q for Queen Street, Q for queue, Q for theatre cue.”

The first purpose-built theatre in central Auckland since the Aotea Centre opened in 1990, Q is partly contained within a heritage building.

“The interior is a great mix of old baroque and contemporary styles,” says Dow Design creative director Donna McCort.

“We collaborated with Cheshire Architects to incorporate natural textures and hand-done artistry to make the space feel comfortable, as well as vibrant mixes and juxtapositions that help encapsulate Q's essence of the human spirit, ingenuity and excellence.”

Q director Carla Theunissen says the involvement of the theatre community and Dow Design is evident in the final design.

“The venue was planned perfectly to fit artists’ needs, tell their story and celebrate art. It is a fantastic, funky, and most importantly flexible performance space, where almost anything is possible.”

The Q logo and signature elements first seen in the street hoarding during construction have been carried through to the interior of the theatre and its promotional material.

“The freeform creative line and expressive splodges represent artistry and expressive energy,” says McCort. “While the customised typeface of the logo is simple and round in form, but rich and bold in colour, creating a confident, contemporary and vibrant look.”