Following rave reviews and a sell-out season, fortyfivedownstairs is delighted to announce a return season of RUNT by Patricia Cornelius, Susie Dee and Nicci Wilks as part of its April-July theatre program.

Opening the program in late April with a performance of The Bach Project, Zoe Knighton will collaborate with photographer Pia Johnson to create images that express the character and essence of Bach’s suites for solo cello. Pianist Yiyun Gu will then perform From Don Giovanni to Peking Opera, a recital featuring music by Liszt, Goossens and young female Chinese composer, Wang A Mao. In July, pianist Coady Green returns with a week of curated events, including Duo Eclettico’s (Green and saxophonist Justin Kenealy) performance of Jane Hammond’s Songs from The Box and Swamp and Ross Edwards’ Full Moon Dances; Two Pianos Eight Hands, a virtuosic event featuring Green, Tristan Lee, Gina Gataveckaite and Christopher Smith; and Fantastique! The Life and Loves of Hector Berlioz with mezzo-soprano Karen van Spall, baritone Adam Miller, and actors Eva Torkkola and Hannah Vanderheide.

From 29 April, fortyfivedownstairs will present two weeks of cabaret, featuring Steven Kramer’s Don’t Make Me Play Piano Man and a return season of Electric Loneliness by Night Creatures (Joachim Coghlan and Alexandra Aldrich), following a successful run at The Butterfly Club in 2019. Steven will take audiences on a journey through the piano hits of Elton John, Carole King and Peter Allen, while Night Creatures present a dream-like mashup of music from Whitney Houston to Cole Porter and Daft Punk. Rounding out the cabaret program is fortyfivedownstairs favourite and Helpmann Award winner Michael Griffiths with his new show Greatest Hits, drawing from his previous hit shows including In Vogue: Songs by Madonna and Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox.

Directors Ruby Rees (Patalog Theatre’s Punk Rock) and Jennifer Dean (Bloomsday’s Travesties) then return to fortyfivedownstairs following their 2019 successes. Rees will direct the Good Girl Song Project’s new Australian musical Voyage by Helen Begley, inspired by the stories of immigrant women who travelled from Britain to Australia on convict ships, enticed by promises of a better life. Dean will then direct a moving and contemporary new production of King Lear for Melbourne Shakespeare Company.

Completing the program is a strictly limited season of Hell Ship: The Journey of the Ticonderoga, a play about the ship’s nightmare voyage from England to Port Melbourne in 1852, written and performed by Michael Veitch (which is finally having a season at fortyfive following its postponement due to lockdown in 2020); and Still by Jen Silverman, a poetic, funny and frequently absurd play about motherhood.


Image: Pier Carthew