The 18th century Rocaille (or French Rococo) styled room, featuring ornate plasterwork and large gilt mirrors on its walls, has been named ‘le Salon Grand’.
Le Salon Grand’s existence is the result of a collaboration between the hotel’s owners and local theatrical entertainment producer Bryan Cutts of Entertainment Blue Mountains.
The ballroom has hosted private weddings, parties and live shows such as the annual Blue Mountains Elvis Festival on an ad hoc basis for many years, however Ron Chongbang, one of the Hotel’s owners, felt that the space’s potential was not being realised.
In 2018 he was approached by Cutts, who was looking for a new ‘home’ to stage his annual Yulefest Blue Mountains dinner and show, a recreation of the cult BBC Radio comedy series the ‘Goon Show’, which has been successfully running since 2013. After the show’s overwhelming success in the new venue, Chongbang and Cutts began discussing possibilities for the ballroom.
The venue was given its own identity at the beginning of this year. A modular stage was purchased, a drinks bar was built at the back of the room, and the new venue now boasts a website and Facebook page which will be used to inform the public of upcoming events.
“What I’m offering at le Salon Grand,” says Cutts, “is an intimate space which is accessible to independent artistes, and where discerning audiences who are looking for a completely immersive night out can enjoy themselves.”
While the 418-seat Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub in Springwood has successfully established itself as a venue offering an extensive programme of entertainment to the local community and visitors, Cutts feels that smaller productions and independent artistes could more easily exploit the opportunities offered by a smaller, accessible venue. He argues that the new venue complements the live entertainment industry as a whole and gives audiences a wider choice. Says Cutts, “The Blue Mountains is this state’s (NSW) first official ‘City of the Arts’, and the establishment of le Salon Grand further enhances the region’s reputation as a melting pot of great talent, ideas and creativity.”
The new venue is a flexible space which can host cabarets, concerts, comedy, theatre and so on, with configurations for seating smaller audiences of 50 to 100 patrons at tables for dinner and show events, and up to 200 people theatre-style.
Apart from his own show “The Goon Show LIVE!”, Cutts has begun filling le Salon Grand’s calendar, with touring cabarets and other acts booked through to May 2020 so far. They include tributes to Neil Diamond, Carole King and Elton John. Says Cutts, “I want to include burlesque, classical music concerts, choral events, theatre, magic, comedy and other entertainments, with an emphasis on a balance between local home-grown talent and artistes from the wider scene.”
In the Blue Mountains, Cutts says there is a wealth of community theatre and musical societies, musicians and bands, dancers, choirs, actors etc., “…and the establishment of le Salon Grand presents an opportunity to them to expand what they already offer in the Blue Mountains, and enjoy the growth of cultural tourism that the region’s visual arts sector is already taking advantage of.”
“Here at le Salon Grand,” says Cutts, “we have one of the most beautiful venues in the wider Sydney region, let alone in the Blue Mountains itself. Here it is for everyone to enjoy.”
The programme of events can be found, and bookings made, on the website salongrand.com.au; and by phoning the Palais Royale’s reception on 02 4784 6300.
Entertainment Blue Mountains
Enertainment Blue Mountains has been producing and presenting theatre, live entertainment and childrens' shows throughout the Blue Mountains region, including tours to Sydney and regional NSW, since 2012.