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Farewell To Hackett Hall – March, 2023

From the President, News | Comments Off on Farewell To Hackett Hall – March, 2023



It is with much sadness I write to inform you that, as of Friday 17 March 2023, Hackett Hall ceased to be Playlovers home venue.

For the last 6.5 years, Playlovers has been in a desperate fight for its home of over 60 years, and sadly this fight has ended!

On February 14, I was asked to a meeting at the City of Nedlands where I was told that the council was requesting the club surrender its lease of Hackett Hall as soon as possible. The reason for this request was due to community safety and the cost to rectify the problem.

As you can imagine, I was completely gutted but not surprised. The council allowed us to choose when this surrender would occur as they understood that we would need the time to plan for this exit.

The reason behind this early exit of Hackett Hall and the surrender of our lease was in the end due to a termite-ridden beam that had begun to fail, bringing down a section of the ceiling. I found the beginnings of this issue just under two weeks before Christmas while rehearsing ‘The Western Jukebox’, but it very quickly escalated. As the President of the club, I made the decision to block entry from the front on the hall, and notified the council.

After Christmas, the council inspected the venue and officially stopped us from entering the hall section – which was completely understandable. They put structures in place to secure the beam and make sure that it dropped no further.
In the first week of February, their insurer inspected the building and 4 weeks later deemed the building unsafe and a severe risk for the City of Nedlands. This led to an instant cancellation of our lease which was due to run out in 12 months.

The sad thing is that, at the beginning of December, we were told that the council had agreed to find the funds to upgrade the hall which would have seen us eventually back into the venue to perform – but now this is not to be.

While the council has no venue for us to permanently move into, they are supporting us with somewhere to store some of our possessions and assets. The council has offered to supply a 20ft sea container that will be kept behind Dalkeith Hall in Nedlands.

Prior to the fence going up around the venue on March 21, we were in the process of conducting an audit of all our possessions and assets to enable us to come to a decision on what we were keeping, what we were selling and what we needed to get rid of, in order to be able to decide on an exit date. This audit was completed last weekend and we are now in the process of making those decisions. We will require help to transfer the items that we intend to keep to the sea container, so we quite possibly will put out a call for your assistance.

One of our main assets is the retractable seating that has not been used since we were locked out back in 2016. We are hoping to sell this to help fund whatever is needed moving forward.

If you know of anyone who might be interested in purchasing the seating or have a network that may be able to assist us in selling this asset, please let us know as soon as possible.

If we are unable to sell this it may end up becoming part of the rubble once the building is torn down. We will keep our fingers crossed that someone out there may be interested.

While your committee has fought hard to keep the hall, unfortunately the curtain has come down on this chapter of Playlovers’ history. Our focus now turns to keeping the club going while hopefully securing a place to perform and call our home. You can help by letting us know of any venues that may be worth us having a look at. Contact any of the committee or email the club ( In the meantime, I will attempt to keep you updated on what happens in the near future to Playlovers and our exit from Hackett Hall.

This has been a distressing time for the committee and long-standing members who have invested so much time to keep Playlovers going.

The last 6 years have been some of the most frustrating because we have been engaging with a council that has, up until 18 months ago, sought to get rid of us and who had no care about what happened to us.

Frustrating because we, in good faith, have spent upwards of $80,000 to rectify issues within the hall in the belief that we would get back in to perform shows once again – but to no avail.

Frustrating because we have such a long history in the City of Nedlands but it would seem that our loyalty and service to the Nedlands community is not appreciated or reciprocated by the council.

Thank you to those who have supported us in our endeavours during this time and giving us the energy to push through these frustrations. I’m sorry that we haven’t been able to pull off what has turned out to be the impossible.

Again, if you believe that you can help us in some way or would simply like to send a message of support please don’t hesitate to reach out via the club’s email.

Best wishes
Alex McLennan
Playlovers Community Theatre Group