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Please join us in our Drive to Survive

Hello to friends of fortyfivedownstairs, written from the bunker! Thank you to all those who have donated to Drive to Survive. Actually, it’s not quite a bunker in a corner of the theatre, it’s a very unbusinesslike corner of the…

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fortyfivedownstairs Drive to Survive

If you’ve enjoyed an experience at fortyfivedownstairs, chances are you understand the enormous value the arts bring to our quality of life. You’re probably also well aware that our industry is in crisis. Thanks to the support of our staff,…

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Sneak preview: James Yuncken

James Yuncken is a longtime fortyfivedownstairs exhibitor and supporter. Sadly his exhibition of small paintings of Hong Kong scenes has been postponed, but we couldn’t resist sharing some of our favourite pieces! Keep an eye out here and on our…

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Flashback: All We Can’t See 2018

As a non-profit exhibition space striving to show diverse, open and thought-provoking art, we've had some excellent group exhibitions at fortyfivedownstairs over the years. One of the more important exhibitions we have hosted was the incredibly moving All We Can't See:…

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Flashback: The Long Pigs 2014

  • April 22, 2020
  • Arts

Once seen, never forgotten! The Long Pigs, devised and performed by Clare Bartholomew, Derek Ives-Plunkett and Nicci Wilks, with director Susie Dee, galvanised our audiences in early 2014. Alternately hilarious and horrifying, these are the darkest black-nosed clowns you could…

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The Age review of Fly

Fly review: an emotional slice of Australian opera history Bridget Davies August 26, 2019  ★★★½ If there is an art form where one is to be commended for bucking trends, it's the grand old world of opera. And it's a…

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The Saturday Paper review of LOVE/SHIT

Saturday 8 June Alison Croggon Love and Shit, an exhilarating double bill by Patricia Cornelius at fortyfivedownstairs, expose the uncomfortable realities of Australia’s underclass. In doing so, these plays remind us how vital theatre can be.  Sometimes, I really do…

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ArtsHub review of Bottomless by Dan Lee

  • November 30, 2018
  • Arts

Friday 30 November, 2018 Liza Dezfouli Bottomless, by Dan Lee, premiered this week at fortyfivedownstairs, where its first reading was held in 2015. Directed by Iain Sinclair, Bottomless, which won the RE Ross Trust Script Development Award in 2014, is a…

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The Age review of Krapp’s Last Tape

  • November 7, 2018
  • Arts

Cameron Woodhead ★★★★★ If you care about acting, rush to see Max Gillies in this Beckett   Actor Barry McGovern – one of the world’s leading interpreters of Beckett – told me some years ago the key to performing him…

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The Age review of Lottie in the Late Afternoon

  • September 18, 2018
  • Arts

Cameron Woodhead ★★★½ The KIN Collective stands out on Melbourne’s indie theatre scene. Actor-led ensembles are common enough, but few unite experienced, popular actors (Noni Hazlehurst is a member, as is Marg Downey) with rising talent in the same way.…

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Arts Hub review: Fallen

  • August 21, 2018
  • Arts

Monday 20 August 2018 Liza Dezfouli ★★★★ An institution for women set up by Charles Dickens in the 1840s was the inspiration of this production by She Said Theatre. She Said Theatre takes the story of Urania Cottage, a home for…

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Stage Whispers review Sneakyville

  • August 5, 2018
  • Arts

5 August 2018 Michael Brindley Sneakyville is at once a visceral experience and an intellectual and emotional challenge.  It is brilliantly and inventively realised by bold and risk-taking direction, a stark, stripped back aesthetic and a cast capable of astonishing transformations. …

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The Age review for Earshot

  • December 1, 2017
  • Arts

30 November 2017 Cameron Woodhead ★★★★ We've all overheard random conversations in public spaces. Most of us respond with a private smile, a discreet eye roll, perhaps a sympathetic glance or look of alarm. With Earshot, experimental theatre-maker Kate Hunter…

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The Music Review Angels in America

  • September 19, 2017
  • Arts

★★★★★ September 8 2017 Maxim Boon Speaking with a friend earlier this week, I shared my excitement about attending the opening of a new production of Angels In America, the first in Melbourne for nearly two and half decades. "That's…

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The Age Review of Angels in America

  • September 19, 2017
  • Arts

★★★★ September 7 2017 Cameron Woodhead Though Belvoir staged it in Sydney in 2013, Tony Kushner's Angels in America hasn't been performed in Melbourne for 23 years. Having watched this production spread its wings over two consecutive nights, I'm awed…

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Timeout Review of Angels in America

  • September 19, 2017
  • Arts

★★★★★ By: Tim Byrne Tony Kushner's epic 'gay fantasia on national themes' gets the warm, thoroughly human production it deserves It’s difficult to overstate the significance to LGBTQI theatregoers of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. When it premiered in Melbourne…

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ABR review of The Usefulness of Art

  • August 29, 2017
  • Arts

Des Cowley Monday, 28 August 2017 ★★★★1/2 It seemed apt that Adam Simmons chose to perform his large-scale suite The Usefulness of Art in a space generally devoted to art and theatre, rather than in one of Melbourne’s jazz clubs.…

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The Age review of The Rapture

Human Frailties Wrapped up in Fur ★★★★ Thursday 6 July Jordan Beth Vincent Directors Moira Finucane and Jackie Smith understand better than most how to set the mood for a show. Their fingerprints are all over the theatre from the outset;…

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ArtsHub review of Shrine

★★★★ Tim Winton's poetic text is brought to life by Marcel Dorney and the Kin Collective. Image by Glen Wilson Georgia Symons Sunday 28 May, 2017 Last year, 1,290 people died on Australian roads. Their stories are many and varied,…

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ABR review of Trainspotting Live

  • March 28, 2017
  • Arts

★★★★1/2 Monday 27 March, 2017 Dilan Gunawardana When ticketholders are forewarned not to wear white clothing to a small-scale production, feelings of trepidation are understandable. The aptly named ‘In Your Face Theatre’ troupe’s Trainspotting condenses Irvine Welsh’s 1993 critically acclaimed…

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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…

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The Music review of I Am My Own Wife

  • January 20, 2017
  • Arts

Maxim Boon Thursday 19 January, 2017 4 Stars History is a muddy mingling of fact and fiction - truth warped through the prisms of emotion, bias, and sentimentality. Perhaps the only tangible, uncompromised connection we have to the past is…

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ArtsHub review of The Gathering

  • December 6, 2016
  • Arts

Deborah Stone, 1 December 2016 The Gathering of Millenial talent A surprisingly polished new musical bursting with fresh talent shows the value of going 'off-Broadway'. The morning after I attended the opening of this youthful new musical at 45 Downstairs…

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Herald Sun review of The Last Five Years

  • December 2, 2016
  • Arts

Review: The Last Five Years is a tender, passionate and heartbreaking story. Kate Herbert, November 28 2016 BE warned! If you are feeling vulnerable about love lost, then this intimate and poignant musical about the end of a marriage may…

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