fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne | 03 9662 9966 | info@fortyfivedownstairs.com
The Age Review For Trainspotting Live

The Age review for Trainspotting Live

★★★★ March 26 2017 Cameron Woodhead Dubbed the "poet laureate of the chemical generation", Irvine Welsh came to prominence with Trainspotting in 1993. The novel captured the nihilistic hedonism of the zeitgeist – the '90s were also a high-water mark…

Read More
Stage Whispers Review Of Taxihi

Stage Whispers review of Taxihi

Stage Whispers Patricia Di Risio This is a gripping performance that will have your toes tapping and pull at your heartstrings all at the same time. Helen Yotis Patterson has written a truly exceptional piece of theatre and found true…

Read More
The Australian Review Of Taxithi

The Australian review of Taxithi

Chris Boyd The Australian March 4 2016 Taxithi: An Australian Odyssey relates dreams of Greek community The unspoken word in this powerful and touching celebration of the Greek community in Australia is “refugee”. Aside from the initial waves of migration…

Read More
The Age Review Of Taxithi

The Age review of Taxithi

Review from The Age by Cameron Woodhead: March 4, 2016 ★★★★ A moving tribute to the courage and resilience of migrants, and an open road into the Greek soul, Taxithi: An Australian Odyssey sprang from interviews Helen Yotis Patterson conducted with…

Read More
The Australian ‘Triumph’ Review

The Australian ‘Triumph’ Review

Louris van de Geer’s Triumph at fortyfivedownstairs full of ideas Chris Boyd The Australian February 22, 2016 A small group of men and women gather in a community hall to share their experiences of a recent terrorist attack. After hearing…

Read More
Theatre People Meeka Review

Theatre people Meeka review

Review from Theatrepeople by Adam Rafferty: February 8, 2016 Meekatharra in Western Australia’s remote mid-west is a naturally evocative Australian setting. Flat, red earth as far as the eye can see, dry, isolated and with a population of only about…

Read More

Reservoir Dogs

Four perfect killers. One perfect crime. Now all they have to fear is each other. Human Sacrifice Theatre presents a one off live cold reading of Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic Reservoir Dogs. Some of Australia’s finest actors have volunteered their…

Read More

Dione Joseph reviews MICHAEL JAMES MANAIA for australianstage.com.au

See the review in its original context here.

Michael James Manaia by John Broughton is one of the highlights of this year’s Melbourne Festival.

Brought to Australian audiences by the team at fortydownstairs, this is an electric production guaranteed to offer you a quintessential glimpse into Kiwi culture. More than just an autobiographical story of a young lad with Maori and Pakeha roots Broughton’s superb writing offers a platform for intense theatricality within the cultural context of being Maori in New Zealand.

Read More

Andrew Fuhrmann reviews MICHAEL JAMES MANAIA for TimeOut Melbourne (**** Stars)

See the review in its original context here.

A powerful one-man show offering an emotional glimpse into the heart of alienation

Dunedin-based playwright John Broughton spent 17 years in the New Zealand Territorial Army, and has written a number of works for theatre that deal with the psychological effects of war on returned soldiers. His close familiarity with the material about which he writes is evident throughout this one-man play. There is a roughness in the writing that sounds like intimacy, and a passion and directness in the argument that manifests as a real sense of distress for his central character.

Read More

Kate Herbert reviews MICHAEL JAMES MANAIA (**** stars)

See the review in its original context here

NEW ZEALAND ACTOR, TE KOHE TUHAKA, with his formidable muscularity, blazing, dark eyes and sensitive portrayal of a man on the edge of violence and despair, is a powerful presence as Michael James Manaia in John Broughton’s 1991 play.

With bold and unsentimental self-narration, Tuhaka imbues the story with an ominous undercurrent of mania and rage as he leads us through Michael’s early life with his war veteran, Maori father and English mother and extended Maori family.
Read More

Michael James Manaia featured on Beat.com.au

In it's first foray into international collaboration, arts space fortyfivedownstairs is touring and presenting the Australian premiere of John Borughton's Michael James Manaia. The venture is driven by fortyfivedownstairs artistic director Mary Lou Jelbart in association with New Zealand national…

Read More

Glimpse

Facebook. Twitter. Youtube. iPhones. Skype. It’s never been easier to keep in touch; to stay in the loop; to have your finger on the pulse of the world. But in this tangle of technology, it’s easier than ever to turn…

Read More

Simonne Michelle-Wells reviews Rhonda is in Therapy for Australian Stage

See the review in its original context here.

Rhonda is in Therapy should come with a warning: the subject matter is provocative and dark. It’s impossible not to be moved by it, but it’s no easy thing to absorb; with no interval, there’s no chance to escape from it, and at times I felt too provoked, too weighed down.

Is this the sign of good writing, good direction, or a heavy hand? The show is laboured at times. While it starts with a good balance of light and shade, it isn’t carried through the entire production and so, as the play progresses, it does feel somewhat heavy-handed.

Read More

Andrew Fuhrmann reviews Rhonda is in Therapy for Time Out magazine

See the review in its original context here.

Recipient of The RE Ross Trust Playwrights’ Script Development Award 2009 makes its debut at fortyfivedownstairs.

“What is refused in the Symbolic Order returns in the Real,” wrote Jacques Lacan, referring to a patient’s hallucinations described in one of Freud’s famous case studies. For Rhonda, whose Symbolic Order has been stolidly refusing to accept quite a lot these past five years, the return is a particularly dramatic one in this entertaining but ultimately anti-climactic psycho-drama by Bridgette Burton.

Read More

John Bailey reviews Rhonda is in Therapy for The Age

See the review in its original context here.

THE death of a child is a low-rent, low-risk device with which to ratchet up an audience’s sympathy, so it’s something of a shock to see such an incident mentioned almost in passing within this confident play’s first minutes.

Chemistry lecturer Rhonda is in session with the latest in a string of counsellors and the passing of her five-year-old, Jamie, doesn’t rate for much of an airing.

It’s unclear what school of thought this therapist adheres to, but a psychoanalyst might point to Jamie as the structuring absence of this drama – a total enigma almost never referred to, yet whose short life dictates almost every thought and action. Rhonda’s relationships with her gentle, bearish husband Lief, her second child Arabella, and the guileless young student with whom she has a loveless infidelity are all infected by the grief she’s unable to articulate.

Read More

Kate Herbert reviews Rhonda is in Therapy for Herald Sun

See the review in its original context here.

THE pain of loss is sweetened by a little gentle humour in Rhonda Is In Therapy, Bridgette Burton’s play about a successful woman who grieves after the accidental death of her five-year old son.

Rhonda, played with brittleness and untamed passion by Louise Crawford, is a professor of chemical engineering who is driven by her work, compulsive about her therapy, unable to bond with her second child and unwilling to share her grief with her husband.

Ben Grant is warm, engaging and totally credible as Lief, Rhonda’s stoical, good-humoured but emotionally abandoned German husband, who is also a professor of chemical engineering but chooses to stay home to raise their child.

Rhonda’s grief and despair drive her into a clandestine, foolhardy and lusty affair with her student, played by Jamieson Caldwell with youthful exuberance mixed with coyness and blind adoration.

Burton’s script keeps us guessing about Rhonda’s secrets and compulsions, although we do not like or sympathise with her as much as one would assume when we witness her neglect of her living child and loyal husband.

Read More

Katherine Collette reviews Mademoiselle for Onyamagazine

See the review in its original context here.

If the words ‘gothic camp music theatre revue’ don’t get you into a tizz then a) what is wrong with you? and b) let me tell you why it should.

Mademoiselle, currently playing at Melbourne’s fortyfive downstairs, is set in the boudoir of an unnamed billionaress, who has gone out for the evening.  While the cat’s away, her valets play…  everything from middle management, to Germans, choir boys and debutantes.

Read More

Myron My reviews Mademoiselle for Theatre Press

See the review in its original context here.

I was not sure what to expect from the world premier season of Mademoiselle, advertised as “a gothic camp music theatre revue” with two satirical manservants singing tunes about what could have been, but I knew I would be in for a treat.

Our two manservants, played by creators Michael Dalley and Paul McCarthy, sneak into their employer’s boudoir and let loose some glitzy musical numbers revolving around fantasy, regret, power and servitude.  The very opening song relaxed the audience and assured us that we were in for a night of cheeky laughs.

Read More

Liza Dezfouli reviews Mademoiselle for Australian Stage


See the review in its original context here.

Michael Dalley is the real deal when it comes to the Melbourne cabaret scene; he is a sophisticated pisstaker extraordinaire who delights once more with his new work, Mademoiselle, an exercise in supreme nastiness. Very funny and rude. We last saw his talent comically tarring and feathering the world of real estate in Urban Display Suite.

Here Dalley and co-deviser/performer Paul McCarthy present in song the most professional pair of bitchy queens you will ever meet, sad little men with evil minds and a penchant for going through other people’s rubbish. The best thing about this show is how it has a go at two of Australia’s wealthiest, most famous and least civic minded ladies. Recognition brings glee. Music is provided by John Thorn; the songs are co-written by him and Dalley.

Read More

Corey Ignace reviews Mademoiselle for Laneway Magazine

See the review in its original context here.

Michael Dalley’s newest work, Mademoiselle, was the most vulgar, crude and amazing display of comedic theatre I’ve ever seen. Dalley and Paul McCarthy embodied two sparkly, overdressed, flamboyant man-servants that had the crowd in stitches from beginning to end.

Heading down into fortyfivedownstairs, I had no idea what to expect, the promo description of ‘gothic camp’ meant I was in for something unique to say the least. I got my tickets, grabbed a wine and headed in, ushered by a lovely older man to our seats. The audience, which was very ranged in age, gender and level of flamboyance, filled every seat. All we could see from the performing end was a small podium with a toilet in the centre. Lights dim and I’m anticipating a small time, pleasant little show… how wrong could I be? I suppose the toilet should have been a give-away.

Read More

Lucy Graham reviews Mademoiselle for Stage Whispers

See the review in its original context here.

Mademoiselle is a whirlwind of political incorrectness. Michael Dalley’s witty hour-long script had the packed audience in Flinders Lane laughing and gasping in its assault on the “lower middle-class”.

Michael Dalley and Paul McCarthy feature as two effeminate man-servants of a certain Mademoiselle, who get creative in her absence in “an orgy of ridicule” and “a litany of abuse”. The irony of their relentless and superior sneering is that it’s dished out at the expense of their own social class, even as they attempt to position themselves apart from it.

Read More

Farce stabs a rich vein

Liza Power
The Age
28/07/2012

AS A satirist, Michael Dalley has made a career of taking the mickey. Middle-class values, real estate agents, the nouveau riche, his closest friends and acquaintances – nothing is out of bounds. ”I could make a cabaret about the Labor Party or Family First,” he jokes over coffee, ”but it would be too easy and pointless. It’s more interesting to pick apart what you’re supposed to hold sacred.” Better still to do it in a slick, mordant, wildly witty way, which is of course precisely what Dalley is renowned for.

Read More

Preview: Mademoiselle

Tessa Hayward
02/08/2012
City Weekly

Michael Dalley is a self-confessed control freak. He has written, stars in, produces and directs the upcoming gothic music theatre revue, Mademoiselle.

Dalley (pictured above right) and Paul McCarthy (above left) play two valets, or butlers, who are left alone for the evening when their boss unexpectedly goes out. “They decide to use it as a chance to let out all the oppression that has been holding them in,’’ Dalley says. ‘‘They don’t like each other very much. They feed off each other and end up ridiculing each other and putting each other down quite a lot.’’

Read More

Richard Watts reviews The McNeil Project for ArtsHub

See the review in its original context here.

Hailed in the 1970’s as Australia’s answer to Jean Genet, prisoner turned playwright Jim McNeil was destroyed by the very fame that saw him released early from a 17 year jail sentence. Without the strict routine of prison life, McNeil’s violent alcoholism soon got the better of him, and he never wrote again. He died in 1982, aged 47.

The McNeil Project at Melbourne’s fortyfivedownstairs, features two of Jim McNeil’s one-act plays: The Chocolate Frog – a relatively simple work – and the altogether darker, more complex The Old Familiar Juice.

Read More

Cameron Woodhead reviews The McNeil Project for The Age

See the review in its original context here.

**** 4 STARS

IMPRISONMENT and modern drama have an intriguing relationship. Arguably the first audiences to ”get” Beckett’s Waiting for Godot were the inmates of San Quentin, in the famous 1957 jailhouse production. These men were living at the sharp end of the fiction that we’re all at liberty to act rationally in our own self-interest: they knew the ways in which we’re radically unfree.

Read More
Search