David Frazer’s exhibition HUG at fortyfivedownstairs will not only showcase recent prints and paintings but also launch his latest handmade artist book little aches and pains in collaboration with singer songwriter Paul Kelly. This book was made completely in the old fashioned way, using wood engravings, letterpress and was hand bound, with words by Paul Kelly.
It becomes the perfect marriage between Kelly’s narrative based songs and Frazer’s narrative based art. In fact Frazer at one time tried to be a song writer only to become a karaoke act, he now approaches his art with the mindset of a songwriter.
Image: Holding, 2013, linocut, 690 x 490mm.
Sea & Sky
“Michael Prideaux’s photographs draw attention to the liminal edge of the city laid out along the great puddle of Port Philip Bay, where he has lived for the last 40 years. He uses dazzling natural effects of light to illuminate the multiple layers of bay-side traffic.
Prideaux mostly makes the foreground silhouettes of people and animals an incidental presence in the landscape. Only occasionally do they loom into focus like the exquisite bunch of satin pink Muslim bridesmaids waiting on the Lagoon pier.”
- Dr Ann Stephen Senior Curator University Art Gallery & Art Collections, Sydney University.
Image: Cormorants Elwood, 2009, crane silver rag paper, 432 x 648mm; Bridesmaids Lagoon Pier, 2013, crane silver rag paper, 432 x 648mm.
BY CONOR MCPHERSON
It’s Christmas Eve and James ‘Sharky’ Harkin, battling alcoholism, has returned to live with his hard drinking older blind brother Richard. As the night rolls on and the storm clouds gather they are joined by friends, one of whom brings an unfamiliar guest insisting on a game of poker. With two demons at play this night, one of which is ‘the drink’ the stakes in this card game do not come any higher.
THE SEAFARER was written in 2006 by acclaimed Irish playwright Conor McPherson, who has been described as ‘the finest playwright of his generation’. It was nominated for multiple Tony Awards as well as the Laurence Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Play.
‘…sparkling and suspenseful…’ – Michael Billington, The Guardian
Directed by Wayne Pearn & produced by HOY POLLOY .
Image: THE SEAFARER. Designer: Jacqui Lau. Image: THE SEAFARER – Cast, photographer: Fred Kroh .
NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST
Contemporary Australian Indigenous art from The Torres Strait, Tasmania, Victoria, East Kimberley and South Australia featuring Ricardo Idagi, Vicki West, Maree Clarke, Phyllis Thomas, Peggy Patrick & James Tylor.
North South East West is an exhibition that spans the continent physically: north to south from the Murray Island in the Torres Straits to the north east coast of Tasmania; and east to west from Mildura in north west Victoria to the east Kimberley region in Western Australia. It traverses the countries of the Mer people, the Trawlwoolway people, the Mutti Mutti/ BoonWurrung, the Gija, and Kaurna and explores the intersections and connections between the artists, with a specific focus on identity – identity of place, of body, and of the individual and the impact of their shared and unique histories.
Image: Maree Clarke, Kimberley, 2014, digital print on polypropylene, 200 x 120cm, courtesy the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne.
R E Ross Trust Playwrights' Script Development Awards
The R E Ross Trust Playwrights’ Script Development Awards are designed to foster Victoria’s theatre industry by providing support to Victorian-based writers to develop their play scripts. Over the past decade the Awards have produced many wonderful new plays – and most have all had their first public rehearsed reading at fortyfivedownstairs.
Tuesday 12 August
The Unknown Man on Somerton Beach
by Tobias Manderson Galvin
Based on the true event of the discovery of a body on Somerton Beach, South Australia, on the first of December 1948. Tobias Manderson Galvin focuses on the effect the discovery had on the people of Australia in a post-war, cold-war Australia.
WRITER: Tobias Manderson Galvin
Wednesday 13 August
Prophet by Jodi Gallagher
A man returns to his broken city from a devastating war. He brings home a vision of the end of the world. In the middle of the banalities of everyday life and political expediency, events converge on a single point of action. Prophet explores lovers, mothers, sons, fathers and politics in the end times.
WRITER: Jodi Gallagher
DIRECTOR: Tom Healey
PERFORMERS: James Wardlaw, Carolyn Bock, Belinda McClory
Thursday 14 August
Oriel by Merrilee Moss
Told in a series of flashbacks, Oriel depicts the left wing bohemian world of the playwright Oriel in the early 1950’s. Oriel is played out in vibrant moments between Oriel’s passionate love life, and her involvement with New Theatre Sydney, and the Australian Communist Party. In 1955, Oriel Gray shared the prize for best play with Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, but since then has faded from public memory.
WRITER: Merrilee Moss
DIRECTOR: Kim Durban
PERFORMERS: Sarah Hamilton, Adrian Dean, Spencer Scholz, Alyson Gale, Nicolette Minster
Left Bauer Productions
Inspired by Maria Callas’ famous 1971 visit to New York’s Juilliard School of Music, Master Class is an insightful look into the life and art of opera’s most beloved and controversial diva.
At the time, Callas’ own career singing on the world’s great stages had drawn to a close, her voice a shadow of its former glory. Six years later, Callas’ death at the age of fifty three sealed her legend as a real life tragic heroine.
Starring Maria Mercedes and featuring three of Melbourne’s most exciting young operatic talents, Master Class sees Callas prod and provoke her students in a searing, funny and touching depiction of a woman who knows what it takes to walk the high wire and the sacrifices required to attain the dream. Forty years later, Callas’ story as a woman forced to choose between professional power and a personal life remains as relevant as ever.
Image: Masterclass. Photographer: Sarah Walker .
James Yuncken returns to fortyfivedownstairs with Places Nearby; an exhibition that captures scenes of inner Melbourne at a time in its history when self-confidence is flowering like perhaps never before.
The cultural cringe is in recession and we have attained a level of sophistication and maturity that is starting to measure up. Gone is the necessity to flee this city in the search.
Places Nearby is James’ perspective on that Melbourne, from places near where he lives and works, reflecting that new-found self-confidence.
Image: The Max, Brunswick St, afternoon of 3rd October, 2012, acrylic on board, 840 x 1120mm.
Imperfect and Pervasive
Mans impact on the world is dramatic and extraordinary, and the consequences are increasingly deviant and freakish. Things we never thought possible are dictating our lives and the boundaries between mans world and the wild environment are interacting like never before. This will be an exhibition that reflects on the repercussions of this for us as individuals, and as a part of the bigger picture.
Catherine Hull Sinclair is intrigued at how nature finds new ways of existing as a result of Mans brutal impact on the environment. Robyn Rich reflects on our mania for creating the perfect environment and the unnatural obsessions this creates in our mind. Terry Barclay creates sculptures that are half animal half mechanism. They appear surreal – but are they?
Image: The Protector (detail) by Robyn Rich, 2014, oil on canvas, 560 x 560mm; Fish Steamer (detail) by Terry Barclay, 2014, painted timber and copper, 600 x 600 x 600mm; An Eye for a Pear (detail) by Catherine Hull Sinclair, 2014, oil on wood, 195 x 180mm.
Co-produced by fortyfivedownstairs & HeLD Productions.
‘I followed him one morning, in the car, in my pyjamas.
He didn’t see me.
I don’t know what I was expecting to find.’
How do you grieve for someone you shared a life with, when that life was a lie? Waking Up Dead: an intimate journey of love, betrayal, and the subjective nature of memory.
Award winning team: writer Trudy Hellier, director Susie Dee, performer Caroline Lee and artist Callum Morton, come together to create Waking Up Dead, an evocative new work that will intrigue as it unfolds in a visually arresting, emotional landscape.
A woman loses her husband under shocking circumstances that simultaneously expose his elaborate double life.
In an intimate atmosphere of suspense, she slowly reveals a picture of their lost relationship… or at the very least, one version of it.
Image: Waking Up Dead – Caroline Lee. Photo by Callum Morton.
The Decorated Self
My Jewellery is Really Talkative
“The Decorated Self is an exhibition of jewellery, a walk backwards in my own small history. As a child I wanted to be a painter, and as a “young thing” I wanted it even more. I spent or wasted my time at art school doing just that, but at the end of my post-grad at the VCA in the early eighties, I abandoned painting and I set myself the task of “applying art” to the little world around me, rather than making a world inside Fine art for myself. Fine Art was full of modern orthodoxies and rules especially for women. The word “decoration”; was a pejorative and was always linked to excess, decadence, a lack of discipline and control and even more criminal proclivities such as being female. The words “fashion” and “illustration” were spat, rather than said.
Presented by THE COLLECTIVE
Atlanta, Georgia. 1913. Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-born Jew, is put on trial for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan, a factory worker under his employ.
With the whole town screaming for justice, his only defenders are a governor with a conscience and his assimilated Southern wife who finds the strength to become his greatest champion.
This mysterious and glorious musical by award-winning composer, Jason Robert Brown, tells the true story of a landmark American court case that provided one of the world’s earliest examples of sensationalist media. With a score and book to die for, you don’t want to miss Parade.
Image: Parade. Design by Dean Gordon .
New Music Network presents
After the Light
After the Light sees three of Melbourne’s most acclaimed and diverse artists come together for the birth of new project ‘press, play’. The universes of pianist Sonya Lifschitz, percussionist Leah Scholes and flutist Lina Andonovska have collided as they set about to interpret and re-image modern masterpieces.
The three originate from different countries with distinctly evocative landscapes that have profoundly shaped their creative sensibilities. The program explores the immensity, beauty and power of landscape, centred around Andrew Byrne’s acclaimed White Bone County which will have its Australian premiere in this concert. This work is inspired by Australian landscape painter Fred Williams’ evocative statement ‘To see the desert is like peeling the skin off a landscape’. Also in the program will be John Luther Adams’ After the Light, whose music is famously embedded in the magic beauty and starkness of the Alaskan tundra.
Image: Lina Andonovska, Leah Scholes, Sonya Lifschitz. Photographer: Asher Floyd .
Written by Gareth Ellis
Meet Shelly, a ‘normal’ girl who finds herself becoming more and more fish-like every day.
Join her as she finds refuge in a world under the sea only to find that one-day even the sea is not enough, and she must search for a way to walk on land again.
This is a whimsical tale tracing the emotional landscape of the performer’s experience of losing her hearing, receiving a cochlear implant and finding her way in the world again.
The Sound of Waves combines text, sound and light to deliver a spell binding theatrical event.
A play by Gareth Ellis in collaboration with Jodie Harris (Performer), Naomi Edwards (Director), bluebottle – Frog Peck (Design & Light), Jethro Woodward (Sound & Composition), Katherine Manson (Costume), Geraldine Cook (Voice Coach) and Maxine Buxton (Movement Coach).
Image: The Sound of Waves. Photo by Ivanka Sokol.
fortyfivedownstairs is proud to announce the Australian premiere production of Dreamers, written by Daniel Keene and directed by Ariette Taylor.
We are thrilled to bring together this extraordinary creative team for the first time in over a decade. They previously collaborated in the highly successful and ground breaking Keene Taylor Theatre Project which ran from 1997 until 2002. Together they presented seventeen seasons of works, a total of 47 productions, including full length and short plays.
Dreamers will build upon this extraordinary collaboration, whilst producing a play with searing contemporary relevance.
Daniel Keene’s work has been performed in Europe, China & Australia. In Australia it has been presented by Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company. He is 2 times winner of Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and 3 times winner of NSW Premier’s Literary Award.
Ariette Taylor’s directorial work has been seen nationally and internationally including Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company. She has been awarded a Green Room Award and Unesco Prize for Promotion of the Arts.
STRICTLY LIMITED EARLY BIRD TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PERFORMANCES ON THE 9 – 14 NOVEMBER!