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In August 2010 fortyfivedownstairs produced and presented:

Do not go gentle…

How is it possible to enter old age with grace when there’s so much to be done, things to achieve, places to go, loves to be loved and sex to be had?

The characters in Do not go gentle… are not settling in for their twilight years – they are in a ‘rage against the dying of the light’ as they make one last and enormous journey in their life.

fortyfivedownstairs presented the world premiere of the multi-award-winning Australian play Do not go gentle… by Patricia Cornelius in August 2010, directed by Julian Meyrick and featuring Paul EnglishJan FriedlRhys McConnochieTerry NorrisAnne PhelanPamela Rabe and Malcolm Robertson.

A poignant and compelling drama, Do not go gentle… is a brilliantly humorous exploration of lives well lived – highlighting the fragility and beauty of human existence.

Do not go gentle… is set in a landscape of icy plateaux, deep crevasses and labyrinthine ice corridors – a sublime, mysterious and treacherous terrain that provides a brilliant background to the stories of characters battling the realities of ageing.

Cornelius’ metaphor of Scott’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition, juxtaposed with the parallel story of six vibrant and opinionated Australians, grapples with existential questions of love, death, loss, happiness and the lust to live life to its fullest.

In 2006 Cornelius was the recipient of the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award and R.E. Ross Trust Playwrights’ Script Development Award for Do not go gentle…, and was also shortlisted for the Griffin Award. In May 2011 Cornelius won the Play Award in the  NSW Premiers Literary Awards for Do not go gentle.. followed by the Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize, and the 2011 Major AWGIE and AWGIE Award for Stage.

fortyfivedownstairs’ unique theatre space provided a distinctive setting for the play’s world imagined by Marg Horwell (designer) and Richard Vabre (lighting) with original score by Irine Vela (composer).

The premiere of Do not go gentle… was a fusion of outstanding talents and resources – the play is performed by experienced older actors, visualised by upcoming and recognised younger designers and presented in fortyfivedownstairs’ intimate environment,” Meyrick said.

The Age
, review by Martin Ball, 9 August 2010
The Australian
, review by Alison Croggon, 9 August 2010
, review by Andrew Fuhrmann, 9 August 2010
Australian Stage Online
, review by Liza Dezfouli, 7 August 2010

fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000
Friday, 6 August – Sunday, 29 August 2010


Do not go gentle… cast, from left: Paul English, Jan Friedl, Rhys McConnochie, Terry Norris, Anne Phelan, Pamela Rabe and Malcolm Robertson.
Photo by Jeff Busby.

Do not go gentle… was produced by fortyfivedownstairs and was also supported by the Hartline Fund of Melbourne Community Foundation and the Sunraysia Foundation.

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