Quarry Ampitheatre celebrates 30 years


Diana Waldron and Cambridge Mayor Keri Shannon. Picture: Andrew Ritchie           d464384
Diana Waldron and Cambridge Mayor Keri Shannon. Picture: Andrew Ritchie         d464384

AUDIENCES have rocked out to Paul Kelly, Tim Finn and The Church at the Quarry Amphitheatre throughout the years but not many of them would have known the struggle of getting it built.

The iconic Perth venue, and brainchild of Perth City Ballet director Diana Waldron and her husband Ken, celebrates 30 years with a sold-out concert on February 28 and an exhibition in March at Cambridge Library.

The quarry opened in 1834 when Henry Trigg was granted 500 acres of land and started up a quarrying and lime-burning business.

After expanding and changing hands throughout the years, private quarrying stopped in 1906 and the site remained unused for decades.

Ms Waldron said she and her husband Ken came up with the ambitious idea of converting the abandoned quarry into a performance venue in the 1980s.

“We couldn’t afford to book His Majesty’s Theatre for performances, so we needed to find somewhere for us, but that was where the big fight began,” she said.

“Ken was an architect and we ploughed through the sand and came into the quarry where the stage is now and we said, ‘This is it’.

“Nobody knew what on Earth we were doing.”

Despite resistance from the community, the couple received a $500,000 government grant to get started.

The first live performance was held on Sunday, November 9, 1986.