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The Theatre

Until the middle of the twentieth century, the building at 45 Flinders Lane housed the industrial equipment and cloth bales of the rag trade. In 2002, Mary Lou Jelbart AM and Julian Burnside AO QC took over the lower ground floor and founded fortyfivedownstairs with a vision for it to become a unique curated space for both live performance and visual art.

For the first five years, exhibitions and theatre productions alternated in the space now known as the gallery. In 2007, following a successful first five years, fortyfivedownstairs expanded and took over the derelict basement to create a dedicated performance space. Here are just 45 of the numerous theatrical highlights presented at fortyfivedownstairs over the years.

Promotional image for 'Sailing on a Sea of Tears' by Jesse Griffin and Fiona Roake, the very first performance at fortyfivedownstairs in 2002
Paul English and the cast of Ariette Taylor's 2005 production of 'Ivanov' by Anton Chekhov, photo by Jeff Busby
Angus Cerini in his solo work 'Chapters from the Pandemic' (2007), photo by Marg Horwell
The cast of Simon Stone's 2007 production of 'Spring Awakening' by Frank Wedekind, photo by Jeff Busby
Paul English, Evan Jureidini and Marco Chiapi in Ariette Taylor's 2008 production of 'The Lower Depths' by Maxim Gorky, photo by Jeff Busby
Carole Patullo and Tom Considine in Susie Dee's 2009 production of 'A Black Joy' by Declan Greene, photo by Lachlan Woods
Esther Hannaford, Sam Ludeman, Christie Whelan-Brown and Sally Bourne in Dean Bryant's 2009 production of 'Once We Lived Here' by Bryant and Matthew Frank, photo by Jeff Busby
The cast of Bagryana Popov's 2009 production of 'Progress and Melancholy' based on Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard', photo by Paul Dunn
Moira Finucane in Finucane and Smith's 'Carnival of Mysteries' (2010)
Pamela Rabe in Julian Meyrick's 2010 production of 'Do not go gentle...' by Patricia Cornelius, photo by Jeff Busby
Katherine Tonkin in Naomi Steinborner's 2010 production of 'Duets for Lovers and Dreamers' by Sandra Fiona Long, photo by Carla Gottgens
Cabaret performer Michael Griffiths ('In Vogue: Songs by Madonna', 'Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox' and 'Cole'), photo by Christopher Parker
The cast of 'Cafe Scheherazade', adapted from the book by Arnold Zable by Thérèse Radic, and directed in 2011 by Bagryana Popov, photo by Jeff Busby
Tony Yap in Tony Yap Company's 2012 production 'Rasa Sayang', photo by Matteo Cardin
Te Kohe Tuhaka in Nathaniel Lees' 2012 production of 'Michael James Manaia' by John Broughton
Yumi Umiumare in her self devised work 'Das Shoku Shake' (2012), photo by Vikk Shayen
Sarah Ward AKA Yana Alana in the 2014 season of 'Between the Cracks', photo by Peter Leslie
Elizabeth McColl and Emily Goddard in Beng Oh's 2013 production of 'True Love Travels on a Gravel Road' by Jane Miller, photo by Glenn van Oosterom and Sophie Dewhirst
James O'Connell, Lyall Brooks, Luke Elliot and Mark Tregonning in Susie Dee's 2014 production of 'Savages' by Patricia Cornelius, photo by Sarah Walker
Derek Ives, Clare Bartholomew and Nicci Wilks in the 2014 production 'The Long Pigs', directed by Susie Dee, photo by Ponch Hawkes
Michala Banas and Noni Hazlehurst in Declan Eames' 2014 production of 'The Beauty Queen of Leenane' by Martin Mcdonagh (presented as part of Kin Collective's full Leenane Trilogy), photo by Lachlan Woods
Image from 'KaBoom', conceived, directed and performed by Deborah Leiser-Moore in 2014, photo by Lachlan Woods
Maria Mercedes and Georgia Wilkinson in Daniel Lammin's 2014 production of 'Master Class' by Terrence McNally, photo by Clare Hawley
Helen Morse and Yomal Rajasinghe in Ariette Taylor's 2014 production of 'Dreamers' by Daniel Keene, photo by Jeff Busby
Liza Meagher, Mark Diaco and Red Horse in David Myles' 2015 production of 'The Long Red Road' by Brett C Leonard, photo by Tracii Caroline
Maude and Anni Davey in the 2015 season of 'Retro Futurismus', photo by Ponch Hawkes
Maria Mercedes, Artemis Ioannides and Helen Yotis Patterson in Petra Kalive's 2016 production of 'Taxithi' by Helen Yotis Patterson, photo by Sarah Walker
Paul Capsis in Gary Abrahams' 2016 production of 'Resident Alien' by Tim Fountain, photo by Sarah Walker
Jillian Murray in Laurence Strangio's production of 'L'amante anglaise' by Marguerite Duras (which premiered at La Mama in 2015 followed by seasons at fortyfivedownstairs in 2016-17), photo by Oscar Strangio
Jane Montgomery Griffiths in Ben Pfeiffer's 2016 production of 'Wit' by Margaret Edson, photo by Lachlan Woods
The ensemble of Weave Movement Theatre's 2016 production of 'White Day Dream', choreographed by Yumi Umiumare, photo by Paul Dunn
Adam Simmons' Toy Band performs the 'Concerto for Piano and Toy Band' in 2017, photo by Sarah Walker
Emily Goddard in 'This is Eden', written by Goddard and directed by Susie Dee in 2017, photo by Sarah Walker
The cast of Outer Urban Projects' 2017 production 'Poetic License', photo by Miguel Rios
Moira Finucane in her self devised work 'The Rapture' (2017), photo by Jodie Hutchinson
Gary Abrahams' 2017 production of 'Angels in America' by Tony Kushner, photo by Sarah Walker
Max Gillies in Laurence Strangio's 2018 production of 'Krapp's Last Tape' by Samuel Beckett, photo by Sarah Walker
Uncle Jack Charles and Margaret Harvey in Iain Sinclair's 2018 production of 'Bottomless' by Dan Lee, photo by Sarah Walker
The cast of John Kachoyan's 2019 production of 'Mr Burns' by Anne Washburn, photo by Sarah Walker
Sarah Ward, Peta Brady and Nicci Wilks in Susie Dee's production of 'SHIT' by Patricia Cornelius (premiered at MTC in 2015, followed by seasons at fortyfivedownstairs in 2016 and 19), photo by Pier Carthew taken in 2019
The cast of 'The Ghetto Cabaret' (2019), directed by Gary Abrahams and written by Galit Klas, photo by Jeff Busby
Ben Walter and Zoe Hawkins in Ruby Rees' 2019 production of 'Punk Rock' by Simon Stephens, photo by Craig Fuller
Nicci Wilks in Susie Dee's 2021 production of 'RUNT' by Patricia Cornelius, photo by Pier Carthew
Holly Durant in her 2021 self devised work 'Alter Edith', photo by Alexandre Dubois
Margot Knight and Paul English in Christopher Tomkinson's 2022 production of 'Death of a Salesman' by Arthur Miller, photo by Ben Andrews
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