Theatre steps on toes

A DISPUTE is brewing between the Melville Theatre Company and ballroom dancers who all want access to Melville council’s Main Hall.

Melville Theatre needs a new home because its current Stock Road location is due to be redeveloped into an aged care facility next year. Melville council is considering putting the troupe in the Main Hall at its Civic Centre, but that means pushing out ballroom dancers and the halls other users. 

They are unhappy and recently presented a petition to the council, saying alternatives being offered by the administration aren’t what they’re made out to be.

Irreplaceable

Stan Morgillo, who conducts many of the ballroom classes, claims the alternatives being suggested by the council aren’t a shade on the Main Hall, which is “irreplaceable” for his waltzers.

“It’s the best shape, it’s the best size, it’s got the sprung wooden floors [and] it’s central and they’re going to put a theatre company in there that doesn’t need [these attributes],” Mr Morgillo said. 

“It defies logic that you would give someone a premises where they don’t even need its greatest attributes and other people are screaming for these attributes.”

Mr Morgillo said displacing the ballroom dancers could see older participants quitting and missing out on the physical and mental benefits. 

“It’s just fantastic to see how [dancing] can affect people’s lives, the buzz they get out of it and the benefits of dancing are endless,” Mr Morgillo said.

Melville mayor George Gear agrees the theatre company would “clog up” the hall, but reckons there might be a way to give everyone what they want. 

“We could look at the buildings we are are putting up because … our existing library will have to go during the Garden City expansion, and it might well be that we can make [the new one] a dual use building,” Mr Gear said.

The Herald contacted the theatre company for comment.

by EMINA HAJDAREVIC

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