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Review: Do not go gentle… on Crikey

This review of Do not go gentle… was written by Andrew Fuhrmann for Crikey.  See it in it’s original context here.

DO NOT GO GENTLE-®Jeff Busby_120

Photo by Jeff Busby: Malcolm Robertson, Pamela Rabe, Terry Norris and Anne Phelan

Dylan Thomas’ famous exhortation that old age should burn and rage at close of day is here filled out with a specific and passionate argument by playwright Patricia Cornelius: the rage against the dying of the light is the rage of memory, of memory projected forward into action, into the renewal or reconsideration of old convictions, into reconciliations, into fresh desires, into affirmations, and into new adventures.

This is the much-anticipated premiere production of 2006’s Patrick White Award winner, Do Not Go Gentle. It’s an unflinching, imaginatively drawn, life-and-death scenario, similar in the directness and ardency of its argument to Cornelius’s work with the Melbourne Worker’s Theatre and related in its arrangement to her contribution to Who’s Afraid of the Working Class?

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Interview: "I know some really stupid old people"

See the below interview by John Bailey with some three of the Do not go gentle… cast and the director.  See the interview in it’s original context on Bailey’s blog, Capital Idea, here.

Do not go gentle…is written by Patricia Cornelius, directed by Julian Meyrick and produced by fortyfivedownstairs. The play runs from 6 – 29 August.

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A few weeks ago I sat down with director Julian Meyrick and some of the cast of Do not go gentle…, opening tomorrow at fortyfivedownstairs. At the table were:

Rhys McConnochie, 73

Malcolm Robertson, 77

Terry Norris, 80

And Mr. Meyrick.
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Interview: Julian Meyrick on Curtain Call

An interview with Do not go gentle… director Julian Meyrick from Crikey’s Blog Curtain Call.  See the interview in its original context here.

Next week, Melbourne’s fortyfivedownstairs will present the world premier of Do not go gentle… , written by Patricia Cornelius and directed by Julian Meyrick. It’s an award-winning script using Robert Falcon Scott’s final — and fatal — Antarctic expedition of 1910-13 as an allegory for life in an aged care facility and the final journey that five of its residents take through dotage into death.

Cornelius employs Scott’s tragic end to amplify the struggle of her five geranauts against the dying of the light. In Antarctica, twilight lasts for weeks, the colours are spectacular and the views infinite: the terrible sublime of an endless sunset. On reaching the pole, Scott wrote in his diary: “Great God! This is an awful place.”
The script won the 2006 Patrick White Award and was also short listed for the Griffin Award. Despite critical acclaim, it has waited four years for its first production.

Dr Julian Meyrick
is and has been a passionate contributor to Australian theatre for more than 20 years, as a practitioner, historian and theorist, critic, administrator and occasional polemicist-cum-pamphleteer. He is currently a Research Fellow at La Trobe University and has previously been Associate Director and Literary Advisor at the MTC, directing many productions in Melbourne and around Australia. As an historian, he has written histories of Nimrod Theatre and the MTC, as well as Trapped by the Past: Why Our Theatre Is Facing Paralysis, a bracing 2005 Platform Paper written as part of Currency Press’s quarterly essays on the performing arts.
We interview’d the engaged and engaging Meyrick during rehearsals for Do Not Go Gentle.
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Review of Manbeth on Captain's Blog

This review of Manbeth is from White Whale Theatre’s Captain’s Blog.  See it in it’s original context here.

I was, I have to admit, a little worried as I made my way down the familiar set of stairs at 45 Flinders Lane last night.

The idea of an all-male Macbeth, set in a jail, has some cheesy potential.  In theory, it could have been cheesier than a deep fried wheel of King Island Blue Brie.  But a number of my most trusted carrier pigeons had informed me that this was not the case.  And, I’m happy to say, they were right.

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Patricia Cornelius on Australian Stage Online

An article about Patricia Cornelius and her upcoming play Do not go gentle... from Australian Stage Online, written by Trevar Alan Chilver.  See it in it's original context here. Dreams, Visions and Constipated Old Farts Images of an ageing Ghandi…

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Review: Manbeth

The review of Manbeth below is written by Joanna Bowen for Australian Stage Online.  See the original review here. Manbeth is a riot of masculinity; within minutes, you can smell the testosterone. This retelling of Macbeth is set in a…

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Review: Othello by The Kingsmen

Below is a review of Othello by The Kingsmen, written by Liza Dezfouli for Australian Stage Online.  See the original review here.

Othello | The Kingsmen
Written by Liza Dezfouli
Thursday, 10 June 2010 11:02

The geometric 90s looking set design tell you immediately that you’re in for something new and different with this production of Othello. The windows of the theatre space at 45 Downstairs are festooned with tapes of black and primary colours, suggesting the bars of a prison, the narrow window openings of a castle, or the timbers of a ship. Lighting is simple and there are few props. The action happens on the bodies of the actors, tightly choreographed into a piece that at times almost veers into dance. The actors tumble and roll; there is clowning and buffoonery a-plenty. The extensive development of a vocabulary of body language provides an original and vivacious aspect to this presentation of Othello’s dark story. The marrying of Shakespeare to physical theatre is an ambitious undertaking with a whole new level of performance to keep track of along with the demands of the language. It does make for a particular effort from the audience and, although the physical aspect is meticulously designed to support the script, the clowning is at times distracting; it may be that the cast hadn’t quite settled into the form and was having to work hard to deliver the story on so many levels.

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Othello: Moor than the role of a lifetime

Article by Michelle Griffin, published in The Age, 7 June 2010:

AS A 1.9-metre-tall Tongan, 27-year-old actor Anthony Taufa is very conscious of resisting typecasting. ”I’ve always said I’m more than a security guard,” says Taufa, who has just graduated from NIDA’s prestigious acting course.

”I want to show the world that Islanders are as liberal and complex as any other nationality in Australia. ”I do want vulnerable roles, I do want to be in love, to do romantic leads.”

But there is one role Taufa happily accepts as his lot in life: Othello, the Moor of Venice. At 27, he is about to play the 50-something soldier for the fourth time, as the lead in The Kingsmen’s production at fortyfivedownstairs.

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Oz Baby Boomers' review of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

Read the review below or on the Oz Baby Boomer’s website.
Review by Prue Bentley:

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by David Myles

Human Sacrifice Theatre | fortyfive downstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne | Until 30 May

Alarm bells start ringing when you discover there’s a cast of 20. They really begin to get going when you find out you’re about to see a cast of 20 play in a small theatre, for THREE hours.

And it really goes all Saint Peter’s on you, after reading that it’s “loosely based on” The Bible.

In normal circumstances this could see the more half-hearted theatre-goer conveniently wimping out, lingering a little too long over their last mojito and waiting for the perfect moment to blush “Oh look at the time!”

But they’d be wrong to.

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Review: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

Reviewer Cameron Woodhead
May 15, 2010

Review published in The Age

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
By Stephen Adly Guirgis Human Sacrifice Theatre fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, city, until May 30

BETWEEN heaven and hell, there’s courtroom drama. With The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, American playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis – a writer for NYPD Blue and The Sopranos – takes us into a theatrical retrial of Jesus’ betrayer.

Human Sacrifice Theatre has assembled a huge cast (the play has more than 20 characters, and there’s no doubling up) to deliver an ambitious, probing and diabolically entertaining production.

Heard in purgatory, the case is presided over by a hanging judge (Bruce Kerr), hearing argument from an unctuous prosecutor (Adam Mattaliano) and an impassioned liberal defence attorney (Holly Shanahan).

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Capital Idea Review: MEN

The below review is by John Bailey and was posted on his blog, Capital Idea, on Friday 19 March 2010: This one's arriving a little late, but I've been super busy of late with this great new hobby. It involves…

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MEN in the social pages

MEN in the social pages of The Age. Clockwise: Rush's Catherine McClements, Jay Bowen and Rodger Corser at the premier of MEN; Underbelly star Asher Keddie and MEN director Sarah Hallam; Josef Ber congratulates his Rush co-star Samuel Johnson; Television…

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Congratulations to our Green Room Awards winners

Last night at the Arts Centre Playhouse was a triumph for productions presented at fortyfivedownstairs last year: For their work in Progress and Melancholy (November 2009), Bagryana Popov was awarded Best Director (Independent Theatre) Todd Macdonald (Lopakhin) won Best Actor,…

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Arts Hub Review: MEN

A review of our current production of Men from ArtsHub: Men By Shelley Blake ArtsHub | Tuesday, March 16, 2010 There’s something quite raw about Brendan Cowell’s debut play Men, now playing at fortyfivedownstairs. After a brief season in 2009,…

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No longer a man in a hurry

"ACTORS are used to playing many different roles, no matter how far from their own personalities. But Samuel Johnson is rehearsing for a role he says contains uncanny echoes of his own life. ''I was born to play this role,''…

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Memory Progressive Review #2

Two reviews in one day... not bad for a show that only runs for 4 nights. "The Memory Progressive blends dance movement with theatrical text, animated projections and a blistering score, to examine the aftermath of severe memory loss. Focusing…

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Thanks for the memory….

There is a review of The Memory Progressive by Chloe Smethurst in The Age today: "DANCE THE MEMORY PROGRESSIVE Phantom Limbs, fortyfivedownstairs, until tomorrow THE fleeting nature of dance, which only exists in the moment of performance, owes a huge…

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The Memory Progressive

The Memory Progressive by Phantom Limbs opens tonight at 8pm to a full house. See more gorgeous images and information about the show on Phantom Limbs' blog. Tickets are $23/$18, and are available to purchase here.

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Searchlight: The Home Stretch and Directors Cut

Sally Smith in Director’s Cut The fortyfivedownstairs foyer as Sally Smith lead the crowd into the theatre for Director’s Cut. David Wells in Director’s Cut David Wells in Director’s Cut Sally Smith in Director’s Cut Sally Smith in Director’s Cut…

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More Searchlight photos…

Benn Bennett and Wes Snelling in Black Bag. (Note the sparkly 'Ken Done' pants in the 3rd photo.. just luverly) Jodee Mundy, Mal Webb and Francesca Waters in Sandra Fiona Long's Tyrant with Sharks Ellie Nielson in Waiting for Isabella…

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Searchlight Festival is open!

Searchlight Festival opened last night to a very appreciative audience.   The programme continues tonight, with a reading of Sandra Fiona Long's Tyrant with Sharks, followed by a double bill featuring Antoni Jach's Waiting for Isabella and Wes Snelling and Benn…

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Searchlight Festival

In February this year fortyfivedownstairs and Tashmadada are (very proudly) presenting the second Searchlight Festival. The programme is looking super... check it out on the Searchlight Festival website: searchlightfestival10.wordpress.com The Festival begins on the 17th of February 2010. Tickets will…

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