Hayes Theatre Company

A home for Music Theatre and Cabaret in Sydney.

Hayes Theatre Company

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Hayes Theatre Co is a not for profit company governed by a Board of leading industry experts. Named after Australian musical theatre legend, Nancye Hayes AM, the venue is dedicated to honouring the vast history of Australian Musical Theatre and its practitioners and developing the next generation of performers, creatives and producers.

In 2012, a group of independent producers of music theatre works came together with the idea of creating a permanent home for music theatre and cabaret in Sydney. They were successful in securing the tender for the space at the Reginald Murphy Hall formerly occupied by Darlinghurst Theatre Company who had relocated to the newly built Eternity Playhouse.

The doors to Hayes Theatre Co opened on 7 February 2014 with the first performance of Sweet Charity produced by Luckiest Productions and Neil Gooding Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co. This inaugural production went on to be nominated for 8 Helpmann Awards, winning 3 Awards for Best Direction of a Musical, Best Choreography of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical, followed by a national tour in 2015.

Since then, Hayes Theatre Co has continued to build on this success presenting an annual season of 8-10 mainstage productions, a Cabaret Season and a number of one-off cabaret performances. By providing independent producers with a venue to mount productions of new and reimagined musicals Hayes Theatre acts as a co-presenter of each production staged at the venue. Several productions that began at Hayes Theatre Co have gone on to interstate transfers and national tours including Blood Brothers, Heathers and Little Shop of Horrors.

Productions staged at Hayes Theatre Co have been nominated for and won numerous awards at the Helpmann Awards, Sydney Theatre Awards and Glugs Awards. In a very short time, the company has gained national and international recognition for its contribution to the Australian music theatre industry.

Hayes Theatre Co is the home for the New Musicals Australia program designed to foster the development of writers and composers of new Australian musicals. Each year, a production is selected to go into full production after going through the development process offered through New Musicals Australia. The first of these productions was The Detective’s Handbook, book & lyrics by Ian Ferrington and music by Olga Solar, presented in 2016.

Artists appearing in the productions staged at Hayes Theatre Co are contracted on either a co-operative (profit share) or Award-rate paying basis. All productions directly produced by Hayes Theatre Co are on Award-rate contracts in accordance with the Live Performance Australia Award.

Hayes Theatre Co is made possible through the City of Sydney’s Accommodation Grants Program, and assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Nancye Hayes is one of Australian musical theatre’s true triple threats, being a superb dancer, fine singer, actor, and now also a choreographer, director and teacher. She has performed and starred in numerous musicals in Australia such as Promises, Promises, Cabaret, Pippin, Irene, Nine, Sweeney Todd, Chicago, Annie, 42nd Street, Guys and Dolls, Follies in Concert and Showboat to only name a few.

Ms Hayes has received many accolades for her contribution to the Australian theatre scene which include two Helpmann awards, Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Variety Club, the Green Room Awards Association and the Sydney

Theatre Awards. In 2011 Nancye was honoured to be a recipient of the JC Williamson Award that recognises outstanding contribution to the Australian Live Performance Industry and in 1981 her services to the performing arts were recognised with the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Board Members

Lisa Campbell


British born Lisa Campbell is a producer and casting director.
She has a company with childhood friend Richard Carroll and husband David, called Luckiest Productions.  Luckiest Productions has produced national tours, international documentaries and live recordings for DVD and cinema release.  They have won Helpmann and ARIA awards.  She was producer of Adelaide Cabaret Festival from 2009-2011, with David as Artistic Director.
Lisa is a founding member of Hayes Theatre Co, and is now Chair of the Board.  At Hayes Theatre Co. Luckiest Productions has produced four musicals at the Hayes: Sweet Charity (with Neil Gooding Productions), Miracle City, Little Shop of Horrors (with Tinderbox Productions) and Only Heaven Knows.
She also works as a Casting Director. She has cast numerous productions including Heathers, RENT and most recently cast the forthcoming national tour of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert.
In addition to producing theatre, Lisa also produces children – seven year old Leo and two year old twins, Billy and Betty.

Nick Hart

Nick Hart

Deputy Chair

Nick is a leading theatrical lawyer and a director of boutique technology, media and entertainment law firm Blueprint Law (www.blueprintlaw.com.au). At Blueprint Law, Nick heads up the theatre and live events practice, one of the only practices of its kind in Australia. Many moons before becoming a lawyer, Nick cut his theatrical teeth in Edinburgh, programming and emceeing at the Fringe Club at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He subsequently gained extensive experience as a media and entertainment lawyer, working across the full breadth of the music and theatre industries at specialist law firms and in-house in London and Sydney.
Nick combines technical expertise with a commercial approach gained from working at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group in London and as Head of Legal & Business Affairs for Global Creatures. He has wide-ranging experience across all aspects of developing, producing and licensing theatrical and arena productions in Australia and worldwide.

Richard Carroll

Richard Carroll directed an acclaimed re-imagining of Calamity Jane at Hayes Theatre Co in 2017, which won 2 Sydney Theatre Awards and toured Australia in 2018, including a mainstage season at Belvoir. At Hayes Theatre Co he has also directed a new production of Gypsy starring Blazey Best, and the Australian premiere of Side Show, which was nominated for 3 Sydney Theatre Awards. He co-directed An Act of God at Darlinghurst Theatre Co, and co-created and directed The Show Goes On at Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne for award-winning performer Bernadette Robinson.
As part of Luckiest Productions, Richard has produced the musicals Sweet Charity and Miracle City, and has produced High Society and Darlinghurst Nights for Hayes Theatre Co, as well as producing Side Show, Calamity Jane and Gypsy as One Eyed Man Productions.
Richard sits on the board and the programming committee for Hayes Theatre Co in Sydney. He is also a member of the artistic assessment panel for New Musicals Australia, and the cabaret panel for the Helpmann Awards.

Darren Challis

Darren is an executive and board search consultant. As Managing Director of Challis & Company, he has led many successful assignments to find Chairs, NEDs, CEOs, country managers and functional leaders across a range of industries. Before founding Challis & Company, Darren worked as a consultant with Egon Zehnder; a senior executive at Fairfax Media; a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, and a solicitor at MinterEllison.

Over the years, Darren has also served on a number of commercial and community boards. He has twice been elected to the University Council at UNSW Sydney, its governing body, where he also served on the University’s Finance Committee, Planning Committee and as a Governor of its Alumni Association.

Darren is passionate about the arts, particularly musical theatre.

Kerry Comerford

Kerry has extensive experience in the arts and entertainment industry internationally. Since 2016 she has worked as an independent Consultant. She is a Director – Hayes Theatre Sydney, Circa, Brisbane and Destination Sydney Surrounds North – NSW tourism board.

From 2012-2016 she was Vice- President, Asia Pacific for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group. She joined the company in 1996 as Executive Producer and was responsible for Cats; the Australian and Asia tour; The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1996; and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. In 2001 Kerry was appointed General Manager for RUG in the Asia Pacific region and oversaw the presentation of; the first Korean Language production of The Phantom of the Opera in South Korea; The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber in Beijing and Shanghai; the Australian production of The Graduate; and The Phantom of the Opera productions in South Africa, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. She has been responsible for numerous international Cats seasons including presentations in Lebanon, Qatar, Kuala Lumpur, Korea, Shanghai, Taiwan, Scandinavia, Athens, Macau, Philippines, Thailand and an 8-city tour of China.

Kerry worked for many of Australia’s leading theatrical companies including the MLC Theatre Royal, The State Theatre Company of South Australia and The Adelaide Festival Centre Trust. As Executive Producer for the AFCT she was responsible for the national and international tour of Me and My Girl, the Australian tour of Stephen Berkoff’s One Man and the national tour of Hello Dolly. She was Marketing Manager for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Director, Tandanya, Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Administration of Come Out Youth Arts Festival and Office Manager with the State Theatre Company of SA.

Michelle Guthrie

Michelle Guthrie has worked in the entertainment industry for over 30 years.
Having created Neglected Musicals in 2010, Michelle has presented 21 musicals over the past 10 years. She is the Associate Producer of the critically acclaimed and Award winning Calamity Jane starring Virginia Gay, which  toured  Australia in 2018 and Monty Python’s SPAMALOT touring in 2020.  Michelle is also a board member of Hayes Theatre Co.
Michelle has produced the Coogee Carols for Randwick City Council for 18 years and each year provides Christmas Entertainment events across Sydney .
With over 20 years as one of Australia’s leading Entertainment Publicists, Michelle has managed the media for Cyndi Lauper, Barry Humphries, The Dali Lama, CATS, The Graduate, The Phantom of the Opera, Guys & Dolls, Bernadette Peters, Kristin Chenoweth, The Helpmann Awards and more.
Previously Michelle has been General Manager of Peter & Ellen Williams Presents at the Sydney Opera House, director of Australian Creative Management, Client Manager with the Harry M Miller Group, Publicist with Mollison Consulting and The Really Useful Company Australia before setting MGM Publicity & Promotions in 2002.

Mark Johnson AO

Mark Johnson is the Chairman of Alinta Energy, a Director of Westfield Group and Senior Adviser to Gresham Partners.   He is also Chairman of The Australian Securities and Investment Commission External Advisory Panel, and Adviser in Australia to The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFG.Mr Johnson has spent more than forty years in banking and corporate finance and retired as Deputy Chairman of Macquarie Bank in 2007 and was Chairman of Macquarie Infrastructure Group in 2010.  He was Chairman of AGL Energy and Guinness Peat Group.He was also Chairman of the Australian Financial Centre Task Force, an Australian Government initiative directed towards ensuring efficiency and competitiveness in the financial services sector.  From 2002-2013 he was one of the three Australian representatives on the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and Chairman of the APEC CEO Summit in Sydney in 2007.Other current affiliations include:   Chairman of the US Study Centre Foundation at Sydney University, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the APEC Study Centre at RMIT University and a member of the Board of Governors of the Institute for International Trade at the University of Adelaide.

Wayne McKenna

Wayne has had a lifelong interest in the performing arts since first performing on stage at an early age.

He commenced his professional career in the performing arts as General Manager of The Queensland Ballet and went on to become Business Manager of Opera Queensland. He subsequently moved to Sydney to further his interest in commercial theatre where he has worked for The Gordon/Frost Organisation, Jacobson Entertainment and, more recently, Newtheatricals. Over the years he has been involved with a number of major theatrical productions including The Sound of Music (GFO), the world premiere production of Shout! (JE), The Witches of Eastwick (JE), Jersey Boys (NT), Rock of Ages (NT), The Addams Family (NT), The Blue Man Group (NT) and Legends! (GFO).

Wayne has also worked for a number of years in the Government sector as the Business and Financial Analyst for the Major Performing Arts Board of the Australia Council.

 Reginald Murphy

Reginald Murphy Hall

Reginald Murphy was the Alderman for Fitzroy Ward, 5 December 1959 until 13 November 1967.  He was a member of the Finance Committee, 1960-74 and its Vice-Chairman in 1962, the City Planning and Improvements Committee, 1960-67, and the Community Services Committee, 1969-74. He was a member of the Australian Labor Party.

It is not known when Reginald Murphy was born, but there are two possible births that could be him either in 1909 at Cobar or in 1910 at Tenterfield. In 1937 at Canterbury he married Mary (Molly) Pritchard who pre-deceased him. He died at his Hillsdale home, aged 85, on 28 October 1994, survived by his children Judy, John and Rita. He was interred at the Northern Suburbs Lawn Cemetery.

The Reginald Murphy Community Hall at Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point, was named for him whilst still he was still in office in 1967.

 At The Hayes Podcast

At The Hayes Podcast


At The Hayes is a regular podcast featuring behind the scenes scoops and in depth interviews with performers, directors, producers and other creative people. Hosted by Hayes Theatre Co in Sydney.


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