The future’s looking bright for the NPDC’s TSB Showplace

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The lights that have shone down on some of the region’s favourite theatre moments at NPDC’s TSB Showplace have gone out for the last time – replaced by new, energy-efficient LED lighting.


A total of 86 lights in the TSB Showplace’s two main auditoriums, The TSB Theatre and The Theatre Royal have been upgraded - a move set to improve the experience for venue hirers and the viewing audience.


“The upgrade not only means an estimated 80 per cent decrease in power consumption and therefore lower energy costs, but also that the creative potential has dramatically increased for venue hirers,” says TSB Showplace Operations Supervisor David Liggett.


“And for the audience, a small percentage might be aware of lighting design but 100 per cent of them are affected by it as quality lighting can completely transform the meaning, mood and atmosphere on a stage.”

The lighting in the TSB Theatre had four colour options and just a single white in the Theatre Royal, meaning that additional options often had to be brought in at cost to create a particular look, and whereas the old lights were 1200 watts the new LED lights are 270 watts.

Many of the fittings dated back to the 1970s and had not only reached the end of their life but weren’t energy efficient and replacement parts were no longer available.


In keeping with the venue’s focus on sustainable practices the lights were on-sold so didn’t go to landfill and the new LEDs don’t require bulb replacements or as much air conditioning to combat heat from the lights.

Sam Ryan, TSB Showplace Manager, says the venue had been looking forward to flicking the switch.


“The venue celebrates its centenary in 2025 and as the region’s main theatre these updates are essential to ensure that the TSB Showplace meets the needs of touring companies and that we can cater for a wide range of events well into the future.”

Caption: TSB Showplace Operations Supervisor David Liggett.


TSB Showplace fast facts

  • The TSB Showplace is Taranaki’s main theatre and conference venue.
  • Built in 1925 as the New Plymouth Opera House, it was renamed TSB Showplace in 1997.
  • In 1998 the building was renovated and extended, adding a second auditorium, the Theatre Royal, and the Alexandra Room.
  • In 2013 the building closed its doors for six months for extensive earthquake strengthening.
  • The main auditorium is the TSB Theatre which has a capacity of 957.
    The Theatre Royal has a 527 capacity and the Alexandra Room varies depending on the planned use.
  • Around 52,000 people go to the TSB Showplace each year to see comedy, musicals, plays, classical concerts and more.
  • Shows coming up in 2023 include Chris Parker, Mitch James and New Plymouth Operatic Society’s season of We Will Rock You.
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