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A very special gift to fortyfivedownstairs to share with you all & more staff in lockdown

A very special gift to fortyfivedownstairs to share with you all.

Over a decade ago one of our great friends, the distinguished Melbourne academic Colin Nettelbeck, demonstrated his talents as a jazz pianist and composer at fortyfivedownstairs in a concert that included his piece Forty-Five Alive. More recently, he was joined at the piano by his son, Alexander, and elder brother Ted for Three of a Kind – two evenings that have been among the most memorable we’ve experienced at fortyfivedownstairs.

Superb photographs were taken by Waldek Skibinski and friends, capturing the mood of those wonderful evenings. During lockdown, Alexander has mobilized the musicians from the concert (now scattered around the country) along with others, using current technology to recreate the emotion of the original performance of Forty-five Alive. Although recorded in isolation, they nevertheless brilliantly convey the camaraderie of musicians who love performing together. This inspired recording lifts the spirits in a dark time.

We are thrilled that Colin has most generously dedicated his composition to us and to fortyfivedownstairs. It is a truly wonderful gift, and we couldn’t be more honoured.

Mary Lou and Philippa Jelbart.


To listen to Forty-Five Alive and support the artists, you can download or digitally stream the recording here:


fortyfivedownstairs in lockdown
Continuing on from our last eNews, we share with you a little more of what the staff have been up to during lockdown:

Andy (Production and Operations Manager)

‘Enjoyment from being a more present father, bush walking in neighbouring Kalimna park, gardening and reading. Very much looking forward to witnessing and supporting the creative response to this period, at some point when permitted…’ 




David (Box Office Manager)

‘Apart from staring into the abyss by the phosphorescent glow of a computer screen with its sphynx-like gaze staring back into me… I’ve been rereading ‘Fury’ by Salman Rushdie, ‘Dr Faustus’ by Christpher Marlowe and ‘Chroma’, a book about colour by painter/director Derek Jarman; watching silent movies by Murnau and Lang; listening to Vivaldi, Verdi, Ravel, NIN and Laibach; keeping on with my filmmaking using a super cheap camera that I can take on a walk and quickly catch what, and how, I’m seeing. And rediscovering toast.’



Katy (Theatre Comms Coordinator)

‘I’ve been enjoying getting back into knitting, finishing off all those pesky half-finished projects at the back of the cupboard, and have decided to give quilting a go. Getting out of the house and going for lots of walks has become an important ritual over the past few months and also keeping up with my singing practice. I love singing – anything from country to opera and I’ve been making the most of watching the Met Opera’s free streamed performances over the past few months.’

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