Continuing to provide a brave and invaluable platform for new Australian writing, fortyfivedownstairs presents Dan Lee’s award-winning play Bottomless in a world premiere season from 29 November 2019.
Once desperate alcoholic, Wil returns to Broome with a radical plan to break the cycle of booze he was once caught up in. Broome Prison sits across the road from the Sober Up Centre, like just another resort in a tourist town, promising a temporary reprieve from the tightening cycle of “black out” drinking.
On a chaotic night, as the usual suspects stagger into the stifling heat of the centre, Wil’s unorthodox method is revealed. But he has a much deeper connection to the town and its past than anyone could have imagined, including himself.
Capturing the diversity of Broome’s residents and its alcoholics, Bottomless is a shared story for all, and a reminder that no group is out of addictions’ reach. “I wanted to put the audience right at the centre of it,” said playwright Dan Lee. “I wanted them to feel the ‘dis-ease’ in a very visceral way. If people can feel it, then they can have empathy for those stuck in it.”
Written in 2013, Bottomless was a recipient of the RE Ross Trust Script Development Award in 2014. Following a reading at fortyfivedownstairs in 2015, Artistic Director Mary Lou Jelbart felt Melbourne audiences needed to experience Lee’s powerful work and set her sights on producing the play.
Now, under the direction of multiple award winner Iain Sinclair (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Ensemble Theatre and A View from the Bridge at Sydney’s Old Fitz), Bottomless will finally have its world premiere.
Featuring a stellar cast – Uncle Jack Charles, Mark Coles Smith, Jim Daly, Julie Forsyth, Margaret Harvey, Alex Menglet and Mark Wilson – Bottomless is a tragicomedy inspired by the real places and people that Lee found while pursuing his own sober life nearly ten years ago in Broome.
Uncle Jack Charles, who has been attached to the project since its inception, has developed a close relationship with Lee throughout the process. “I have intimate knowledge of his chosen characters and believe Dan is on a winner with this production,” says Charles. “I reckon it’ll be a hoot.”
Director: Iain Sinclair Featuring: Jack Charles, Mark Coles Smith, Jim Daly, Julie Forsyth, Margaret Harvey, Alex Menglet, Mark Wilson Design: Romanie Harper Design Assistant: Bethany J Fellows Sound Design: Russell Goldsmith Guitar: Tim Rogers Lighting Design & Production Manager: Andy Turner Stage Manager: Claire Shepherd
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 29 November – 14 December 2018 (preview: 28 November)
Information and Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com
Image: Uncle Jack Charles (supplied)