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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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Stage Whispers review of As One

Suzanne Sandow Monday 27 January 2020 AS ONE is a beguiling, absorbingly unique contemporary opera experience.  The music is sublimely hypnotic and the singing exquisite. It portrays an intense, very personal and individual reassignment of gender, from puberty to young…

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The Age review of Punk Rock

★★★★ Cameron Woodhead Thursday 12 December 2020 Simon Stephens’ study of adolescence takes us into a Manchester grammar school, where seven students wait for their final exams. We get a fly-on-the-wall portrayal of teenagers in their natural habitat – a…

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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 Age review of The Ghetto Cabaret

Cameron Woodhead August 7, 2019 — 2.11pm   ★★★★ A cabaret set amid the horror and deprivation of Jewish ghettoes in World War II? You’d have to be crazy. Totally meshugah. Yet Galit Klas has created one of the most…

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ABR review of A Room of One’s Own

Wednesday, 24 July 2019 Lisa Gorton ★★★★ In this intelligent and unusual play, director Peta Hanrahan arranges Virginia Woolf’s great essay A Room of One’s Own into an hour-long play for four voices. Curiously, perhaps, it works so well as…

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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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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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Taxithi, Image By Sarah Walker

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…

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Taxithi - Maria Mercedes, Helen Yotis Patterson Image Sarah Walker

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…

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Taxithi - Maria Mercedes, Artemis Ioannides, Helen Yotis Patterson Image Sarah Walker

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…

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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…

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Meeka, A New Play By Dan Walls

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…

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.
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