45 Downstairs – Melbourne’s Underground Theatre

45 Downstairs is underground theatre, literally and culturally. The underground space has added to the cultural hotspot that is the Exhibition St end of Flinders Lane for many years now and as a guest I always enjoy the descent down several flights of stairs, loosing mobile reception and a journey into the unknown. The space takes on many forms and I love that so many of its performances are from independent local artists.

Photo courtesy Richard Butler

Photo courtesy Richard Butler

On previous occasions I have seen everything from the weird to the wonderful and everything in between. This time around I was witness to Johan Padan’s Discovery of the Americas. Johan Padan (Steve Gomes) plays the protagonist in an intimate one person show that has a cast of thousands. Gomes does a fantastic job at painting the imagery of newly discovered lands. More importantly though, he manages to straddle the line between the darkness that was part and parcel of colonial discovery and moments of comic relief from the indefatigable Padan who somehow always manages to find himself deep in merde!

There’s always a host of fantastic exhibitions and performances at 45 Downstairs at any one time. I can’t wait for the short story sessions which are on every couple of months! I hope that you manage to work in at least a couple into your itinerary this year.

~ Ruki

Dario Fo’s hilarious Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas 
Season: 4 – 15 February 2015
45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne