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The Age: My Name is Rachel Corrie

This review of My Name is Rachel Corrie was written by Cameron Woodhead and published in The Age on Tuesday 9 November 2010. See it in its original context here. By Rachel Corrie, edited by Katharine Viner & Alan Rickman,…

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My name is Rachel Corrie in The Age

This article about My Name is Rachel Corrie was written by Liza Power and published in The Age on Saturday 30 October 2010. See it in its original context here. An idealistic life remembered Liza Power October 30, 2010 Image:…

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Review: Carnival of Mysteries on Oz Baby Boomers

This review of Carnival of Mysteries was written by Christine Hill and published on Oz Baby Boomers on Saturday 16 October 2010. See it in its original context here.

The Carnival of Mysteries, created and directed by Moira Finucane & Jackie Smith

fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne | Until 30 October

Step right up folks. Be amazed, be surprised, be thoroughly entertained by this extraordinary spectacle, created and directed by Moira Finucane and Jackie Smith, and brought to you by the Melbourne International Arts Festival and fortyfive downstairs.

Finucane and Smith’s trademark mix of provocation and entertainment starts in the theatre lobby where, on arrival, everyone is rubber stamped, issued a ‘passport’, and given 30,000 carnival dollars. A suitably sleazy spruiker (David Pidd) explains the rules to the bemused but eager audience-in-waiting before we troop down the stairs to enter the world of the Carnival.

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Review: Bare Witness on Trip the Light Fantastick

This review of Bare Witness was written by David Maney for Trip the Light Fantastick. See it in its original context here.

I was always susceptible to liking Mari Lourey’s new play, Bare Witness. What with an interest in areas of conflict; that I’d just re-read Hare & Brent’s Pravda and an equally scathing depiction of journalism in a friend’s new play that is the glorious bastard child of Hare, Brent, Stoppard and Beckett; I was almost certain to be provoked. But where BW differs is that its focus is the corruption of the image, not words. Whereas the latter can be nimble and conjure the trick of “truth” in front of eyes — hearing how it’s done behind the by-line would deflate anyone insistent on objectivity — an image is supposed to be bare A camera is a witness, a machine that doesn’t need to decipher right from wrong. But this is not true either.


Photo by Marg Horwell

The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own. – Susan Sontag

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Review: Bare Witness on Man About Town

This review of Bare Witness was written by Richard Watts for Man About Town. See it in its original context here.

A rare collaboration between two of Melbourne’s most important creative spaces, Mari Lourey’s Bare Witness is a joint presentation by La Mama Theatre and fortyfivedownstairs, in the latter organisation’s bunker-like venue beneath Flinders Lane. The space suits the work admirably, for Bare Witness is an expressionistic exploration of the experiences of a diverse group of photojournalists in three different war zones: Bosnia in the early 1990s, Timor Leste in the dark days before its independence from Indonesia, and contemporary Iraq.

The audience’s introduction to this blood, developing fluid and adrenaline-soaked world is Australian photographer Dani Hill (Daniela Farinacci), who in a short space of time goes from snapping hats and frocks at Flemington race course to photographing corpses and grieving widows in the Balkans. Years later, Dani looks back through her old photographs, recalling the stories behind the 11 most powerful shots; stories which are then played out for the audience, counting down slowly to the traumatic revelation behind the final, heartbreaking photograph.

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Review: Bare Witness on Oz Baby Boomers

This review of Bare Witness was written by Christine Hill for Oz Baby Boomers. See it in its original context here.

When you see pictures of the casualties of war on the television news or in the newspapers, do you ever wonder about the person who took them? This special La Mama Theatre presentation in conjunction with fortyfive downstairs is about that person.

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Review: Bare Witness on Curtain Call

This review of Bare Witness was written by Andrew Fuhrmann for Curtain Call. See it in its original context here.

Bare Witness is an amazing dramatic collage describing the exhilaration, the horror, the outrage, the anguish and the dread hopelessness of combat-zone photography, fusing a compelling life story, expressive choreography, poetic visual effects, a complex moral dilemma and the best sound design of any production seen in Melbourne this year. It’s written by Mari Lourey and directed by Nadja Kostich, and it’s showing now at Melbourne’s Fortyfivedownstairs.

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Review: Bare Witness on Theatre People

This review of Bare Witness was written by Nathan Slevin for Theatre People. See it in its original context here.

Without realising I pass into the zone of a dangerous place…
‘…to see truth, to capture it, to wing it home…landing on my doorstep wrapped in newsprint…tripping into the lounge room through the screen…No-one remembers how it works’
(Excerpt from The Aerodynamics of Death, Robyn Rowland)

Bare Witness by Mari Lourey explores this very idea by scrutinising and paying homage to the experiences of a group of photojournalists seen through the eyes of Australian correspondent Dani in the warzones of the Balkans, East Timor and Iraq. The story follows Dani from her beginnings in the field through to the aforementioned countries. She sets out to ‘capture the perfect image’ but it eventually all becomes too much for her and she realises she has to face the humanity staring at her through the lens. As Lourey states in the program notes she found herself asking why these people place themselves in such extraordinary and often dangerous situations for the sake of maybe one published image.

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Review: Bare Witness on Theatre Notes

This review of Bare Witness was written by Alison Croggon for Theatre Notes. See it in its original context here.

I’m loath to say this, for several reasons, but nevertheless: sometimes you have to point out the obvious. (In Ms TN’s case, pointing out the obvious is my raison d’etre). The City at Red Stitch and La Mama’s Bare Witness at Fortyfivedownstairs are productions which demonstrate that our indie women directors can be as ambitious, imaginative, intelligent, out-there theatrical and aesthetically tough as any man.

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Bare Witness: Review highlights

CURTAIN CALL

Andrew Fuhrmann
16.09.10

….an amazing dramatic collage describing the exhilaration, the horror, the outrage, the anguish and the dread hopelessness of combat-zone photography, fusing a compelling life story, expressive choreography, poetic visual effects, a complex moral dilemma and the best sound design of any production seen in Melbourne this year…..

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Openings: Philip Faulks and Alana Kennedy

Last night we held the exhibition openings for our two current exhibitions:  Stink by Philip Faulks and Orpheus Diningroom Project MMX by Alana Kennedy. Image: Opening of Orpheus Diningroom Project MMX by Alana Kennedy. Image: Opening of Orpheus Diningroom Project…

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Review: The Orpheus Diningroom on Not-Quite-Critics

This review of Alana Kennedy’s exhibition Orpheus Diningroom Project MMX was written by Georgina Lee for her blog Not-Quite-Critics.  See it in its original context here.

Who: Alana Kennedy
What: Orpheus Diningroom Project MMX
Where: fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000
When: Until 25 September 2010

When my friend Sarah alerted me to this exhibition opening, I just knew I had to go! Normally I wouldn’t be able to do anything on Tuesday nights as we have class at the VCA, but fortyfivedownstairs is literally a 1 minute walk from my office (not even) and it was perfectly convenient to pop into before class.

When I entered the gallery I was greeted by free flowing wine and gorgeous macarons wrapped up in mini cones using pages from the book, The Mystical Hymns of Orpheus. I gobbled mine up pretty quickly! They were absolutely delicious and were made by none other than the master chocolatier from Shocolate, which is my favourite chocolate cafe in Melbourne (conveniently located right near my house!).

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Review: Bare Witness review on Arts Hub

This review of Bare Witness was written by Smiljana Glisovic for Arts Hub. See it in its original context here.

As in a flipbook, fragments of a life are animated, moving through the war-zones of Bosnia, East Timor and Iraq. The limits of the space, of this photojournalist’s life, are constructed and dismantled, along with the ethics and moral boundaries of the situations that she is thrust into. Flashes of light explode from cameras, bombs and light-boxes. A chorus of actors bends in and out of liminal spaces, dodging and re-assembling the shrapnel, like snap-shots, telling a multiplicity of stories and possible versions/takes. The live music score (by award winning Jethro Woodward) is relentless, but beautifully so, writing in a phraseology that departs from the single elements of the narrative and deepens the echoes of metaphor.

This piece comes from writer Mari Lourey, who comes to this piece via a music career, various arts projects, critically acclaimed Dirty Angels (La Mama 2003), and award winning The Bridge (Green Room and Vic Health Award, 2003).

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Review: Bare Witness review in The Age

This review of Bare Witness was written by Martin Bell for The Age. See it in its original context here.

THE camera never lies, according to the adage, but of course neither can it tell the whole story, because what is left out of the frame is often just as important as what is left in. This paradox is central to the ethical dilemmas faced by photojournalists working in war zones, who must constantly balance their own moral commitment to the truth with the media industry’s thirst for a graphic picture.

Bare Witness is Mari Lourey’s exploration of these contradictions, the pun in the show’s title drawing attention to how photojournalists can themselves become victims of a conflict, emotionally wounded by the images they ”shoot”.

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Review: Bare Witness on Stage Whispers

This review of Bare Witness was written by Geoffrey Williams for Stage Whispers. See it in its original context here.

The cultural influence of photojournalism on the battlefield has resulted in some life-changing images. Some, like the Associated Press’s Nick Ut’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of a naked little girl running along a road immediately after a napalm attack during the Vietnam War – are defining images of a generation.

Controversy, too, has challenged the reputation for authenticity of both written and photographic journalism that has emerged from places to which few of us would dare travel – especially given the life and death stakes that exist in constantly unpredictable war zones. Renowned war photographer Robert Capa’s iconic “The Falling Solider” – a photograph of a ‘soldier at the moment of death’ – has long been the subject of controversy, with a Spanish newspaper declaring it a fake in 2009. Capa, who most memorably (and miraculously) photographed World War II’s D-Day Landings in 1944, also once wrote: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Ironically, Capa was killed by a landmine in 1954 while on assignment for Time-Life magazine covering the first Indochina War. He died, it has been reported, “with his camera in his hand”.

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Review: Bare Witness on Australian Stage Online

This review of Bare Witness was written by Liza Dezfouli for Australian Stage Online. See it in its original context here.

Bare Witness, by Mari Lourey, has been in development for many years and is a meticulously researched play. As a work of performance, it is wonderful, employing eloquent and dramatic theatrical devices, multi-media, and some terrific physicality where the actors turn themselves inside out to say the unsay-able. The play creates with authenticity and verve the fraught hyper-reality of the world of the foreign correspondent, often in peril, living an unholy and thrilling existence surrounded by horror, and all the while documenting it. The play gives us to understand how the war journalist is very nearly another sort of human being. Bravery exists in all sorts of guises but very few of us are required to demonstrate the sort of immediate courage required of a photojournalist in a war zone. It’s an extraordinary thing to bring to life in an inner-city theatre space this sort of atmosphere and tension and it is to the credit of the team involved in Bare Witness that it succeeds in this so well. The form of the play itself crosses boundaries; it is, as well as a drama, a work of choreography. The live music score adds to the frequent effect of breathlessness and numerous devices are brought into play to serve the world it is portraying. You can nearly smell tear gas, sweat and blood.

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Review: Bare Witness on ABC Arts

This review of Bare Witness was written by Prue Bentley for ABC arts. See it in its original context here.

Mari Lourey’s newest play explores the life of the self appointed “eyes and ears” of the world, the photojournalist, writes Prue Bentley.

You could argue that the media is in an ugly place at the moment. Opinion journalism has ascended under the auspices of the 24 hour news cycle. Fact-averse, deadline-hungry news agencies are increasingly enslaved to the easy headline.

So, while words can be moulded to an agenda, there’s still a perception of purity in the undoctored, still image.

Mari Lourey‘s newest play Bare Witness tours the life of the self appointed “eyes and ears” of the world, the photojournalist; curious, disconnected individuals who go from conflict to conflict, seeking truth, justice and the next front page.

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Bare Witness in The Age

An article about Bare Witness from The Age. See it in its original context here.

A photographer’s frustration and exploitation is explored on the stage, writes Robin Usher.

PHOTO-JOURNALISTS risk their lives so people can see the ravages of war from the safety of their homes. Yet the paradox is that the photographers do not decide what people see, despite their battlefield exploits, and they can be left feeling frustrated and exploited.

This is one of the themes explored in the new play Bare Witness, by Mari Lourey, about frontline photographers that she has been researching for about six years. ”There have been other projects during that time but I was always thinking about this,” she says.

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New content on our website

  • September 2, 2010
  • news

I have just added some extra content to our website, in a continued effort to make things easier and more transparent for our hirers.  You can now download our logos directly from our 'logos' page,  in both .jpeg and .eps…

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Nadja Kostich discusses Bare Witness on Australian Stage Online

And interview with Nadja Kostich, director of upcoming play Bare Witness.  Interview by Paul Andrew, published on Australian Stage Online.  See the interview in its original context here.


Bare Witness by Mari Lourey draws on the real life experiences of photo journalists and foreign correspondents in the Balkans, East Timor and Iraq, roles which have become increasingly dangerous, while their moral validity is increasingly questioned.

Australian Stage’s Paul Andrew speaks to Director Nadja Kostich ahead of the show’s Melbourne season.

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Bare Witness on Theatre People

An article about Bare Witness from Theatre People.  See it in its original context here.

Without realising, I pass into the zone of a dangerous place…

Bare Witness, a new Australian play by Mari Lourey (Dirty Angels, The Bridge, Digging Into The Green Mountain, ) and directed by Nadja Kostich, will premiere at fortyfivedownstairs, as a special La Mama presentation, featuring a stellar cast including Isaac Drandic, Daniela Farinacci, Todd MacDonald, Adam McConvell and Maria Theodorakis.

Set in the Balkans, East Timor and Iraq, against the complex terrain of contemporary photojournalism, Bare Witness scrutinises the way we view our humanity – through the fragmenting lens of the media. Photographs, memories and dreams collide in a physical multi-media performance that follows a pack of complicated flawed characters who share the unbreakable bond of war journalists. Searching for the pieces of herself lost to years in the field, a young Australian woman is at a point when thrusting the camera between herself and her subjects ceases to protect her.

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X-Field exhibition opening

Photos of the opening night of X-Field are below.

X-Field are a collaborative group who work across the disciplines of art, architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism.  The exhibition features work by Charles Anderson, Richard Black, Mel Dodd, Sand Helsel, Andrea Mina and SueAnne Ware.

X-Field runs in the fortyfivedownstairs galleries until the 28th of  August 2010.

Opening of the X-Field exhibition in the fortyfivedownstairs galleries

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Review: Do not go gentle… on Theatre People

This review of Do not go gentle… was written byNatasha Boyd for Theatre People.  See it in it’s original context here.

Submitted by K.E. Weber on Tuesday, 10th Aug 2010

Do not go gentle…grapples with existential questions of love, death, loss, happiness and the lust to live life to its fullest.

The intention of former arts broadcaster and writer, Mary Lou Jelbart, who is the founder of fortyfivedownstairs, has been successfully realised in a short space of time and obtained a well deserved reputation as creating a venue that produces a varied range of independent theatre and art space. And it was this that created much enthusiasm amongst the packed audience which greeted opening night of Patricia Cornelius’ avant-garde piece “Do not go gentle….” this weekend.

Cornelius, after all, has been working on this script for six years, including being rewarded as the proud recipient of both the Patrick White playwright’s award and RE Ross Trust Playwright script development award. Cornelius surely felt her work was in safe hands as good friend and experienced director, Julian Meyrick, who has brought two of her pieces to life previously, as well as other works for MTC, STC, and State Theatre of South Australia, was at its creative helm. Not to mention the high calibre and experienced cast that were attracted to this piece and on hand to bring this piece to life.
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Review: Do not go gentle… on the ABC

This review of Do not go gentle… was written by Prue Bentley for 774 ABC Melbourne. See it in it’s original context here.


Pamela Rabe as Bowen in Patricia Cornelius’ Do Not Go Gentle. Photo by Jeff Busby.

We fear the unfulfilled life.

In the world as we know it, full of aspiration and glamour, there is something monstrous about coming to our end full of regret.

In Do Not Go Gentle, the latest work from Patricia Cornelius puts a group of ageing characters out on the ice to face their lives, their choices and their challenges. And they do it through the goggles of the ill-fated antarctic explorer Robert Scott.

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Review: Do not go gentle… in The Age

This review of Do not go gentle… was written by Martin Ball for The Age. See it in it’s original context here.

Do Not Go Gentle

REVIEWED BY MARTIN BALL

August 9, 2010

An extraordinary cast

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

By Patricia Cornelius
45 Downstairs, 45 Flinders Lane. Until August 29.

DYLAN Thomas’s famous poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night is a passionate clarion call to live life to its utmost, even into old age. Such a philosophy of not going quietly – spelled out in the poem’s refrain, to ”Rage, rage against the dying of the light” – provides the starting point for Do Not Go Gentle, Patricia Cornelius’s wonderful new play about a group of characters in a nursing home, facing the trials and tribulations of old age.

The genius of Do Not Go Gentle, however, is that the characters double their roles in telling the parallel story of Scott of the Antarctic’s doomed expedition to the south pole and this astounding leap of poetic imagination sets up abundant connections between the image of Scott’s men trudging wearily one foot after another into blinding snow, and the creeping onset of senescence that dims the light for so many of our older folk.

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Review: Do not go gentle… in The Australian

This review of Do not go gentle… was written by Alison Croggon for The Australian. See it in it’s original context here.

The poetry of age in an uncertain world

PATRICIA Cornelius’s award-winning play borrows its title from Dylan Thomas’s poem Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night. Perhaps the most beautiful villanelle written in English, Thomas’s poem celebrates the vivid life of old age, pressed hard up against death: “Old age should burn and rave at close of day”.

Likewise, Do Not Go Gentle . . . explores the flare of vitality that reaches a desperate intensity in the face of death, through seven characters who live in an old people’s home.

The central character, Scott (Rhys McConnochie), is obsessed with the tragic heroism of Robert Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole, a race he lost to Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, and that ultimately cost him his life.

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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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Independent and “Unrepresented”

From the Walk to Art blog.  Read this post in it’s original context here.

Unrepresented, in Melbourne

I feel very fortunate to be given the opportunity to curate a show at fortyfivedownstairs, in Melbourne. “Unrepresented”, with artworks by Nicholas Jones, Christopher Koller, Ted McKinlay, Chloe Vallance and Ben Walsh, opens on Tuesday 3 August 2010 (5pm to 7pm).

Mary Lou Jelbart, artistic director of fortyfivedownstairs, describes the show: “‘Unrepresented’ responds to the vagaries and minefields of the art world that contemporary artists encounter. Curator Bernadette Alibrando, who delves beneath the surface of Melbourne’s commercial gallery scene and spreads her network far and wide, has selected five artists who have chosen to remain independent. While most artists see representation by a gallery as the best possible situation, others deliberately remain outside the accepted system.”

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