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5 Minutes With the Artist: Abby Storey

We sat down with contemporary photographer Abby Storey to chat about her work and practice. Her exhibition is currently running in our gallery space until next Saturday, the 5th of July.


Contemporary photographer Abby Storey

What is the inspiration behind your current body of work ?

Moving to Melbourne from New Zealand made me really think about where the meat I was eating came from. In NZ I had a good source of genuinely free-range, humanely slaughtered meat, and this was something I initially struggled to find in my new home.  My research into areas such as animal welfare, invasive species, food production and land management made me increasingly aware, and in many ways appreciative of the specific knowledge and skills of someone who hunts animals for food and conservation. I have always struggled with killing anything, even a mangled mouse who has been caught in a trap. My inadvertant cruelty in such instances (thank goodness there’s always been someone else around!), sits uneasily beside the fact that I eat meat. I have a huge admiration for someone who is able to – humanely – slaughter and dress the animal they are going to eat, there’s an honesty to this that many of us lack. This is not to say I am pro-hunting however, more pro competance and accountability.


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See Juliet's side of the story – Stephen Russell interviews Zoey Dawson for Melbourne Weekly

Stephen Russell
Melbourne Weekly

A CLASSIC tale of doomed romance, Romeo and Juliet is usually performed with Romeo as the protagonist. But a new all-woman production of The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet at fortyfivedownstairs puts Juliet front and centre, focusing on her attempt to navigate through the perils and pitfalls of high-octane teenage dreams.

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The Age interviews Dan Giovannoni

The Age
Robin Usher

The Age interviews Dan Giovannoni – see the article in its original context here.

PLAYWRIGHT Dan Giovannoni is suspicious of the tolerance afforded minorities in contemporary Australia, even though he is a member of generation Y that he acknowledges has little direct experience of prejudice.

”I could live my whole life quite happily in a lefty bubble having a great time with friends and family,” he says.

Giovannoni shared in last year’s fringe festival award for best emerging writer for the comedy Cut Snake and won the the Malcolm Robertson Prize for his new play, Two by Two, which is at fortyfivedownstairs next month.

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Time Out Melbourne interviews Zoey Dawson

Time Out Melbourne

Time Out Melbourne interviews Zoey Dawson – see the article in its original context here.


Actor and director Zoey Dawson presents an all-female production of Romeo and Juliet at fortyfivedownstairs, sharing the space with an all male production of Henry IV.

How did you come to this play?
I’d never seen a production that was really concerned with Juliet herself. Romeo and Juliet usually come as a couple. I wanted to yank them apart and just look at what happens to her. The fact that she meets a boy at a party and four days later she kills herself. What is that?

This production emerged out of an honours year project, is that right?
That was in 2010. I’m calling it an extensive development period. Before then I wasn’t so keen on it, really. But after I was assigned to it at university, and read it through, I was like, shit, this is a 13-year-old girl, and yet it’s part of this great romantic mythology.

I thought, OK, so my cousin is 13, and she’s obsessed with Twilight. I look at her, and other 13-year-olds, and I think: she is a child. How did this romantic mythology build up around a child? That was where it started, when I realised Juliet was 13.

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Michael Griffiths salutes Madonna, on Cabaret Confessional

Cabaret Confessional
by Lena Nobuhara

Interview: Michael Griffiths salutes Madonna – see the article in its original context here.

Adelaide born, WAAPA trained, Sydney based performer Michael Griffiths made a sensational cabaret debut at the 2011 Adelaide Cabaret Festival with In Vogue: Songs by Madonna. He premiered the show to sold-out crowds and pulled off a compelling performance as the pop diva – without wigs, costumes or an accent. The show was such a success that he is about to take it to Melbourne, New York and Sydney. As Michael gets ready for the tour, he chats to Cabaret Confessional about his hit show he calls “Madge Unplugged”, his collaboration with a cabaret wunderkind Dean Bryant and his thoughts on cabaret.

Michael will be starting a tour diary just before he kicks off the 2012 Midsumma Festival season in Melbourne. Watch this space and follow his adventures as he gives us an insider look at the In Vogue: Songs by Madonna Tour!

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Mary Lou Jelbart on 10 Years Downstairs – in Time Out

Time Out
By Andrew Fuhrmann

Mary Lou Jelbart on 10 Years Downstairs – see the article in its original context here.

Former ABC arts reporter and current fortyfivedownstairs artistic director Mary Lou Jelbart is overseeing the tenth birthday celebrations of the creative hub in February 2012.

“The original impetus was more toward chamber music and exhibitions,” says Mary Lou Jelbart, who together with Julian Burnside, famous collector of dictionaries, founded the venue in 2002. “But it quickly changed.”

After hosting a series of critically applauded works by Ariette Taylor and Daniel Keene, Jelbart saw the light. “I suddenly recognised how important it was to have a theatre for new work.”

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Burlesque Hour Loves Melbourne review and interview with Beat Magazine

Interview and review by Christina Amphlett for Beat Magazine, see it in it’s full context here.










Forget those tired old burlesque dancers swooning on stage, all dolled up in sequins and feathers galore. The Burlesque Hour brings a far more surreal experience to the table, startling and exciting audiences through a rather whacky method of seduction. Feathers and all.

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The Age interview with Moira Finucane

Flourishing on the fring
By Michael Lallo for The Age.
Published on 17 June 2011
Moira Finucane bills her latest burlesque show as a love letter to Melbourne writes Michael Lallo, see it in it’s original contect here.











HAVING being told her show would never attract more than a ”fringe” audience, Moira Finucane opted to take bookings through her home phone. ”We thought, ‘We’ll just see how it goes’,” she says of the 2004 debut of The Burlesque Hour, now seen by more than 60,000 people internationally, ”and the phone rang every minute. It was just crazy.’

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Interview: "I know some really stupid old people"

See the below interview by John Bailey with some three of the Do not go gentle… cast and the director.  See the interview in it’s original context on Bailey’s blog, Capital Idea, here.

Do not go gentle…is written by Patricia Cornelius, directed by Julian Meyrick and produced by fortyfivedownstairs. The play runs from 6 – 29 August.


A few weeks ago I sat down with director Julian Meyrick and some of the cast of Do not go gentle…, opening tomorrow at fortyfivedownstairs. At the table were:

Rhys McConnochie, 73

Malcolm Robertson, 77

Terry Norris, 80

And Mr. Meyrick.
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Interview: Julian Meyrick on Curtain Call

An interview with Do not go gentle… director Julian Meyrick from Crikey’s Blog Curtain Call.  See the interview in its original context here.

Next week, Melbourne’s fortyfivedownstairs will present the world premier of Do not go gentle… , written by Patricia Cornelius and directed by Julian Meyrick. It’s an award-winning script using Robert Falcon Scott’s final — and fatal — Antarctic expedition of 1910-13 as an allegory for life in an aged care facility and the final journey that five of its residents take through dotage into death.

Cornelius employs Scott’s tragic end to amplify the struggle of her five geranauts against the dying of the light. In Antarctica, twilight lasts for weeks, the colours are spectacular and the views infinite: the terrible sublime of an endless sunset. On reaching the pole, Scott wrote in his diary: “Great God! This is an awful place.”
The script won the 2006 Patrick White Award and was also short listed for the Griffin Award. Despite critical acclaim, it has waited four years for its first production.

Dr Julian Meyrick
is and has been a passionate contributor to Australian theatre for more than 20 years, as a practitioner, historian and theorist, critic, administrator and occasional polemicist-cum-pamphleteer. He is currently a Research Fellow at La Trobe University and has previously been Associate Director and Literary Advisor at the MTC, directing many productions in Melbourne and around Australia. As an historian, he has written histories of Nimrod Theatre and the MTC, as well as Trapped by the Past: Why Our Theatre Is Facing Paralysis, a bracing 2005 Platform Paper written as part of Currency Press’s quarterly essays on the performing arts.
We interview’d the engaged and engaging Meyrick during rehearsals for Do Not Go Gentle.
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