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Michael Pearce

Michael Pearce has developed a series of luminous, lyrical and evocative pastel and charcoal works on paper. Lacuna explores the contrast and balance between the vertical and horizontal; and positive and negative space. This exhibition is the result of Pearce’s…

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Master Class

★★★★1/2 The Herald Sun (review from 2015 season) Inspired by Maria Callas’ 1971 visit to New York’s Juilliard School of Music, Terrence McNally's Master Class is a searing, funny and touching depiction of opera’s most beloved diva. At the time,…

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The Long Red Road

★★★☆ The Age, August 2015 I wish every American play we staged here was performed with this level of assurance and flair - Cameron Woodhead, The Age The play gets under your skin - Variety A POWERFULLY redemptive celebration of forgiveness…

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Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has regrettably been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience. Images: SHORTS@45 graphic design by Miranda Costa.  

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METASYSTEMS is a contemporary dance performance that analyses our human interactions with the environment from the individual to the universal. Through the documentation and translation of the processes taking place at the construction site, METASYSTEMS is an observation of the…

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“You know who I am, don’t you?” When a young man turns up on Mel and Leo’s doorstep asking for peanut butter on toast and a band aid, they want to believe he might be their missing son…but is he…

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Maude Davey, Anni Davey, Anna Lumb and Gabi Barton present RetroFuturismus, a new future-focussed vaudeville with a retro twist: Post-burlesque, anti internet, completely live! RetroFuturismus will present a fabricated and tightly managed world overseen by the Davey twins channeling the…

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Chris Orr

Bone Idol is the result of Chris Orr’s fascination with the manipulation of digital images as art forms. Orr obsessively scans and photographs a chosen object to achieve optimum light and shade, revealing previously unrecognised terrains through the ensuing layers…

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Gavin Brown

Gavin Brown's exhibition The Printed Painting demonstrates a vibrancy of colour and collage. This exhibition revisits the process of printmaking that was a hallmark of Brown’s early textile designs of the 1980s. As an exploration of changing technological printing methods,…

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Dear Scott—

A playwright’s more or less unrequited correspondence with the Minister/s for Immigration & Border Protection. I’d signed petitions and marched on demonstrations. For all the anger I felt about Australia’s treatment of asylum-seekers, what had I, Noëlle Janaczewska, actually done?…

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Curlew River by Benjamin Britten

Gertrude Opera’s second Culture Project, connecting opera with stories of social justice and humanitarian issues of our time, takes a Benjamin Britten Church Parable loosely based on a medieval Japanese Noh play and moulds to tell a modern tale, of…

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La Mauvaise Réputation

THIS EVENT HAS SOLD OUT. PLEASE CALL US ON 03 9662 9966 TO BE ADDED TO THE WAIT-LIST. French gypsy swing virtuosos La Mauvaise Réputation are Australia’s most authentic interpreters of the wild rhythms and passion of 1930s Parisian hot jazz…

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Tamandua play Brazilian Choro (Portuguese word pronounced SHOH-roh), a genre that encapsulates the sonic complexities of jazz, the dance-able rhythms of tango and samba and the subtleties of classical chamber music. The members of Tamandua have all performed regularly with…

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Tomás Arroquero Y Su Grupo

Tomás Arroquero male dance, Jini Lim female dance, Manolo Jaen singer, Kieren Ray guitarist. Dancer Tomás Arroquero sees contemporary Flamenco as an art that evolves from within the dancer, informed and shaped by intense study of the aesthetics and essence of the magnificent, ancient…

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What if someone you love vanished without a trace? A young boy is separated from his mother and goes missing in Disneyland. Adrift in the artificial world of giant mice and noisy parades, nobody can account for what happened in…

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"I opened the door and there was red everywhere. On the desk, on the carpet. About half a metre away, was this hammer. F***ing red as." One morning at a remote Western Australian school in Meekatharra, an Education Department auditor's head is bashed…

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Mozart – Stolen Beauties

“Sweet beauty to be stolen” Don Giovanni - Mozart Ironwood teams up with Anneke Scott, historic horn (UK) to launch their new ABC Classics recording – some rediscovered world premieres of Mozart – stolen by him and by others. Playing…

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Emerging Artist Award 2015

fortyfivedownstairs and Future Leaders present the inaugural Emerging Artist Award 2015. The Emerging Artist Award 2015 brings together the best emerging artists from universities across Victoria for a two-week exhibition. With $3000 of prize money on offer, esteemed judge Ron Ramsey will select…

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The Age- Company

  • March 31, 2015
  • news

See article in its original context here by Cameron Woodhead for The Age. Stephen Sondheim show in fine Company at fortyfivedownstairs Home-grown music theatre company Watch This has only been around for a handful of years but in that time has…

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Lisa Sewards & Anna Taylor

Flight from Silence honours lost memories and untold experiences. Artists Lisa Sewards and Anna Taylor deliver bodies of work that both complement and define the other. Taylor’s Home Sweet Home - a Memorial for families of veterans is a collection…

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BUZZCUTS: Young & Jackson

  • March 14, 2015
  • news

See article in its original context here by Nisha Joseph for BUZZCUTS.

Project Series: Young & Jackson the Play, Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program 2015

If paintings could talk, what stories would they tell us? Chloe – the model in a painting that has hung in the Young & Jackson bar since 1908, has seen everything from new friends to world wars.

The year is 1945 and in a bid to defend Chloe against an American serviceman and his glass of beer, Jimmy and Keith step in, all bravado and drunk excitement. The two energetic, newly recruited sailors are itching to get their feet wet and finally be part of the war effort. As the play progresses, we are shown the stark reality of wartime in the form of Les – a more experienced sailor suffering from PTSD – and Lorna. Lorna is shrouded in mystery for the young men; she is a force of nature and a fierce dose of feminism in all the right places.

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Melbourne.Arts.Fashion: Young & Jackson

See article in its original context here by Meagan Welsh for Melbourne.Arts.Fashion.


Presented as part of the 2015 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’s Cultural Program Project Series, this world premiere prequel to Reid’s seminal Australian play Codgers, continues the tradition of war time larrikinism and mateship in this delightfully heartwarming romp.

Young & Jackson centres around two young seamen – the energetic, immature and feisty Jimmy (Jacob Machin) and his just slightly older, more focussed and steadfast ship mate Keith (Charlie Cousins) – who are currently on leave from the Navy and shored up in Room 24 of the iconic Melbourne hotel Young & Jackson. Using it as base camp as they sample the delights that war-time Melbourne has to offer, they fit in dances and attending the races between planning their latest skit, “Good Night Nursie”, as members of the Navy’s Concert Party troupe.

While out gorging themselves with the culinary treats found in China Town one night, they meet the intriguing Lorna (Gabrielle Scawthorn), a young ‘Rosie the Riveter’ in training, who’s not backwards in coming forward with her physical affection, determined to do anything she can to ease a young soldier’s path through the dark world of combat. Emotionally distant, she hides a dark past relationship behind fancy clothes, a quick wit and strong ability to improvise. The men fall quickly and swiftly in lust with her; Jimmy employing a serious of near embarrassing flirtatious moves while Keith supplies the black market liquor. They set up a series of fortnightly dates, choosing to meet underneath the clocks at Flinders Street train station, where a wager is put in place between the shipmates as to whether their new paramour will come back for Date #2.

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Arts Review: Young & Jackson

  • March 14, 2015
  • news

See article in its original context here by Arts Review.

On the Couch with Jacob Machin

March 11, 2015 

Who is Jacob Machin?

I am a Melbourne-based actor, who spends a vast majority of my time either mucking around on various instruments, eating far more than a single human being ever should or reading literally anything that is within arm’s reach. It’s a tough life.

What would you do differently to what you do now?

Consume more. Not food. Information. I have a thirst for knowledge- whether it be from Dr Karl, Stephen Fry, a book, a film, or my father’s amazing retentive brain. I eat all that interesting trivia up. Just like a tasty snack for my brain. I could actually go for a snack. MnMs. Or Skittles! Or an unhealthy combination of the two. I’m hungry.

Who inspires you and why?
British actors. Oldman, Day-Lewis, Cumberbatch, McAvoy, Hopkins. They have a magnificent theatricality that, through some mysterious alchemy, shines through their eyes. They lace every role with compassion. They listen, they are generous and they are humble. To me they are collectively the epitome of great acting.

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Steph Bolt

Steph Bolt photo documents daily life. The subject matter is deliberately non heroic and celebrates our differences and similarities. Central elements of Bolt’s art practice are photography, travel and colour. Through print and sculptural media she observes, records and explores…

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A radical abstraction by Colin Moody. Directed by Chris Mead. MR & MRS MACBETH is a radical abstraction of Shakespeare's Macbeth. It places literature's most infamous couple in a holding pen of infinite justice. Here all their lost dreams and…

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The Age: Young and Jackson

  • March 10, 2015
  • news

See article in its original context here by Cameron Woodhead for The Age.

Young & Jackson – the pub opposite the clocks at Flinders Street Station – is a Melbourne icon. It celebrates its 140th anniversary this year, and as the setting for Don Reid’s play of the same name, every attempt has been made to recreate the atmosphere, right down to a replica of the famous nude painting in Chloe’s Bar. The audience is seated at tables laden with jugs of lemon squash and longnecks of Melbourne Bitter.

A prequel of sorts to the successful Codgers, the play resurrects the febrile days of World War II. Two teenage mates have enlisted in the navy, and are billeted at the hotel before they’re sent off to fight the Japanese.

There’s Jimmy (Jacon Machin) – a hot-tempered larrikin with an eye for the ladies – and the more gentlemanly, good-natured Keith (Charlie Cousins) sharing a room at the pub. That’s not all they end up sharing with the arrival of Lorna (Gabrielle Scawthorn), an independent-minded woman whose beau was killed in action and who feels compelled to offer company and comfort to the boys going off to war.

The charm and delicacy of the acting in the first half can’t be overstated. Machin and Cousins bring to life not just the period lingo of the script, but a whole lost aspect of Aussie male intimacy.

You don’t see male acting as sharp, or humour as well-tuned as this very often, and it’s a pleasure to watch.

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Stage Whispers: Young and Jackson

  • March 10, 2015
  • news

See article in its original context here by Michael Brindley for Stage Whispers.

It’s early 1945 and the war’s not over yet.  Two Royal Australian Navy lads, Keith and Jimmy, only seventeen, are in training.  Any day now they may be sent ‘up north’ to join the fighting.  They don’t know what to expect – although Jimmy thinks he does.  The play depicts a series of their weekend leaves.  The lads stay at Young & Jackson’s Hotel, having pulled a bit of a swifty to get in there.  They get pissed, get into fights with the ‘septics’ (Yanks), rehearse their smutty cabaret skits – all about poofters – and keep an eye out for girls.  Then they meet Lorna, eating alone in a Chinese restaurant.  She comes back to the lads’ room.  She’s got a broken heart and she needs to forget… Meanwhile, Keith’s best mate Les has already been ‘up north’ and he’s in a psychiatric hospital, wracked by visions of what he witnessed.

For interstate readers, Young & Jackson’s is a famous hotel on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets in Melbourne, opposite the iconic Flinders Street Station and almost as iconic itself.  It’s famous not least for the near life size nude, ‘Chloe’, that has hung over the bar since 1909.  As a history of the hotel says, Chloe may well have been the first naked female a lot of young blokes saw before they went off to die in either war.

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Palya Art

Palya Art has a long history of working with, and for, Indigenous peoples living in far reaching communities across NorthWest Australia. "PALYA", (a Pintupi greeting word) is an outstanding exhibition of fine, traditional and contemporary Aboriginal artworks, with impeccable provenance, from North West…

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George Papadimas

greyscale spectrum marks George Papadimas' first exhibition in his native Melbourne after a nine-year period of living and working in Ho Chi Minh City and New York City. Papadimas has created a series of works that reflect his ongoing fascination…

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The Age: Young & Jackson

  • March 6, 2015
  • news

See article in its original context here by John Bailey The Age.

Young & Jacksons: A tribute to a Melbourne pub celebrating 140 years

Harking back: Young & Jackson looks back at when the old guys from Codgers were young. Photo: Sarah Walker

Wayne Harrison is no stranger to the world stage. He’s directed the closing ceremony of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and the New Year’s Eve Celebrations on Sydney Harbour, and these days when he’s not at home in London he’s jetting across the US directing the Spiegelworld productions in New York and Las Vegas.

It puts him in good stead to comment on the changes his youthful stomping ground of Melbourne has undergone over the decades.

“In Vegas everything has a shelf life of 25 years and in Sydney they managed to destroy all the Victorian and Edwardian theatres, whereas Melbourne very sensibly kept them,” he says. “I think that distinguishes Melbourne. But I have to say that the city I come back to now and enjoy immensely is very different to the one that I grew up in the ’50s and ’60s. It’s been completely transformed.”

One of his Spiegelworld outings, Absinthe, opens at Crown this month, but he’s really here to direct a play centred on a Melbourne institution that would spur riots were it ever to be torn down for redevelopment. Young & Jackson Hotel celebrates its 140th anniversary this year, and Harrison is at the helm of the world premiere of a new work named after the venerated old pub.

The show tracks the fortunes of three sailors in the closing days of World War II  and a mysterious woman who arrives in their lives. No, she’s not Chloe, though the painting indelibly associated with the hotel’s history of course makes an appearance.

“It seems to me a very Melbourne story,” says Harrison. “Lots of nitty-gritty details from the period are used as the argot of the play.”

There’s far more to it than nostalgia. “The great motivator is what war does to people. It disrupts their lives and then forces them to make choices about their futures. Sometimes they don’t actually know that they’re making those choices, but that’s what happens when they come to Melbourne.”

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Theatre Alive: Young & Jackson

  • March 4, 2015
  • news

See article in its original context here by Theatre Alive.


A graduate of the Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts, Helpmann Award winner and all-round nice guy, Charlie Cousins is probably best known at the moment for his work as Charlie Davis in ABC’s The Doctor Blake Mysteries.
Taking a time out from TV, he’s now about to tread the boards in the world premiere season of Young and Jackson at fortyfivedownstairs. We chatted with him in the lead-up!

Tell us a bit about the show. What’s your role within it all?

Young and Jackson is about these four young adults coming to terms with what it means to truly live on their own terms in a time of great unrest and major change. The Second World War has raged for six long years and has forever left a mark on everyone involved, near and far.

For Jimmy and Keith it is a chance to see the world, have a great adventure and experience life to the full. For Lorna it is the potential to change the rules of how women are seen and the opportunities they are given. For Les, it is the challenge of how to reintegrate back into civilian life after living through the horrors of war.

What do you hope audiences will take away from the piece?

The play is full of so much life; youthful joy and exuberance, sexual awakenings, comedy of errors, missed opportunities, misunderstandings and meaningful connections.

There’s something so special about seeing these four lives being thrust out of that simpler time into a newer, more complicated and frenetic world.

What’s more we get to see how the identity of the nation has changed as we revisit the beautiful and nostalgic period of the 40’s.

It’s going to be a really lovely immersive theatre experience, time travelling back into that world.

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Richard Besley

Richard Besley is a Melbourne based painter who has won acclaim for his contemplative colourist improvisations over the past 15 years. His delicate and ethereal compositions reveal a preoccupation with surfaces, layers and light. Recent Painting features large scale works…

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