If you’re a theatre lover, appreciate architecture, or both, the Incinerator Theatre is a must-do when you’re in Ipswich. Yes, it was originally used to burn waste and opened in 1936 as the Ipswich Municipal Incinerator. It’s also renowned for being the only building in Queensland designed by Walter Burley Griffin, who also designed the city of Canberra.
Luckily, after the incinerator was decommissioned in the early 1960s, the Ipswich Little Theatre convinced the council not to demolish the historically significant building. It became their home in 1969. Since then, it’s entertained Ipswich locals and visitors with its sell-out plays in the charming and intimate setting for 80 people. It’s wheelchair-accessible including the courtyard and toilet facilities.
The heritage-listed Incinerator Theatre is the only example of Burley Griffin’s work in Queensland and the former chimney stacks are visible from Ipswich’s beautiful Queens Park to which it’s adjacent, so you can combine a visit with its various attractions. Take your chances that the theatre’s open for rehearsals or cleaning and pop in for a look, or book one of the tours that operate between April and September that include a short play and meal package.