Surely no one loves the theatre more than Jason Marriner. As the CEO of the Marriner Group, the family run company caring for four of Melbourne’s heritage theatres, performing arts is not just a family passion – it’s in his blood. See below to read about Peter Jones and Jason’s recent chat…
Peter: How do you take your coffee?
It’s either a cappuccino or latte, with only one sugar – not fussed either way. One or two a day – no more and the last by 11am at the latest.
Peter: What in your background led you to the CEO of the Marriner Group?
I’m actually a country boy who grew up in Colac and studied Agricultural Science at Melbourne Uni. The family moved to Melbourne and my father bought the Princess theatre back in 1986. I think I’ve done just about every job possible at the theatre, everything from the selling of popcorn to taking drink orders behind the bar.
Peter: Great way to learn a business, particularly with such an important family environment.
What have been some of your most memorable shows at the theatres?
The two standouts have been King Kong – over 300,000 tickets sold – and of course Harry Potter which is on now.
Peter: How long will Harry Potter run?
It’s an open-ended contract, but I’d say a minimum of two years.
It’s the most spectacular I’ve ever seen and appeals to everyone regardless of how big of a Harry Potter fan you are.
Peter: What has been the longest and shortest show?
Phantom of the Opera ran for 2 and a half years, and the shortest was Chess. I think it closed even before it opened!
Peter: What are your favorite events to attend in Melbourne?
Besides any opening nights at one of our theaters, I’m a tiger’s fan so it would definitely be the finals, and of course nothing is better than being at a winning Grand Final.
With four boys who love car racing, the Grand Prix is also a favourite for all of us.
Peter: Why is Melbourne such a great city for events?
It’s in our DNA – we just get out and support events of all types; cultural, sporting, theatre, you name it and we turn up.
I’ve never ever seen it in any other city in the world.
Importantly, we also have all the facilities and infrastructure that allows us to hold these events which a lot of other cities don’t have.
The theatres in Melbourne go back over a century. The Athenaeum was founded in 1839, The Princess 1854 and the Regent 1929!
Melbournians have grown up with some of the best theatres in the world and that means we’ve had some of the best shows!
Peter: Which Melbournian do you admire?
I’d have to say the current Premier Daniel Andrews for the way he has gone about getting a lot of things done in Melbourne over recent years. It’s a tough gig, but we need politicians who can do the work.
Peter: Favorite place for a coffee?
Frederici Bistro at the Princess Theatre.
Peter: Why am I not surprised!
And lastly, any big events coming up?
There is always lots in the pipeline, but in particular there is one we’re really excited about!
Peter: Can you give us a hint?
Not at the moment, but you’ll have the scoop when I can share!