Kucom Theatre (formerly known as Mackay Community Theatre) has been entertaining audiences in Mackay for over 70 years
Founded at a public meeting on 11 July 1947, the Mackay Community Theatre got off to a flying start, with a season of three one-act plays:
The Dear Departed
The Monkey’s Paw
The Spinsters of Luske
The company produced four plays a year at the Olympic Theatre which, with a seating capacity in excess of a thousand, was always well packed. When this building was demolished, the company moved to the Theatre Royal.
In the 1970s a group of members broke away to form Kudos Theatre. The first production was the Feydeau farce Hotel Paradiso, and Kudos Theatre was off and running. It functioned well for a couple of years, then an approach was made to the Mackay Community Theatre for a merger (rumour has it that Kudos had all the talent and the MCT had all the money!)
The merger ensued, thus the ‘Ku’ from Kudos and the ‘Com’ from Community formed the Kucom Theatre Inc.
With a small but loyal and enthusiastic membership, Kucom Theatre for many years occupied an old Queenslander (serendipitously located in Shakespeare Street) that had been gutted to form a theatre with a flat acting area and a raked seating capacity of 65. A small but well-planned kitchen with servery catered for cold drinks and supper after the shows.
The Shakespeare Street Playhouse was sold in August 2010, and December 2011 saw the last production in that venue.
Over the next six years, the theatre group staged productions at various venues including the MECC, the Conservatorium, and Paxton Markets. Committee meetings and rehearsals were held in The Salvation Army rooms on Gregory Street, while the CWA and Studio 53 provided the venue for various Club Nights.
The unstinting support provided to Kucom by the operators of these venues sustained the group while they made plans for their new permanent home.
Thanks to Mackay Regional Council and a generous grant of $250,000 from the Better Communities Building Fund, the new Kucom Playhouse was constructed in 2017 – our 70th Anniversary year.