Caryl Churchill’s Far Away opens at fortyfivedownstairs

Alison-Whyte-stars-in-Far-Away-courtesy-of-Patalog-TheatreFollowing the success of Punk Rock at fortyfivedownstairs in 2019, Patalog Theatre returns with a new production of Caryl Churchill’s masterwork Far Away, directed by Cassandra Fumi and featuring Alison Whyte, Lucy Ansell, and Darcy Kent.

A seminal work by one of the world’s greatest living playwrights, Far Away delivers a dazzling satire on the divide between virtue and iniquity, good and evil, and “us” and “them”.

“Where Punk Rock was violent and fiery, Far Away is delicate and cerebral,” says Producer and Patalog Artistic Director, Ben Walter. “Both plays however, share a precision and intensity that make them exhilarating prospects for a burgeoning theatre company.”

Recently seen performing onstage as Albus Potter in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre, Ben juggled performer and producer responsibilities, assisted by co-producer Thalía Dudek.

“I had the very good fortune to work with both Lucy Ansell and Alison Whyte on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child through 2021/22, and I am so pleased that they agreed to come on board when I approached them with Far Away,” said Ben.

“As for Darcy, he is an actor I have admired for some time, particularly since his Green Room Award nominated performance in Redstich’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning in 2022.”

“They, like me, were immediately taken with Churchill’s dazzling vision of a world sliding into chaos. They are all formidable actors and I cannot wait to see them share the stage,” added Ben.

Following successful collaborations on The Mermaid at La Mama in 2021 and The Crocodile at fortyfivedownstairs earlier this year, Director Cassandra Fumi will re-team with Set and Costume Designer Dann Barber to realise Churchill’s absurd and wildly imaginative vision.

They are joined by Lighting Designer Rachel Burke (Yentl at Arts Centre Melbourne and The Amateurs at Red Stitch) and Composer Rachel Lewindon (The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven at Theatre Works and fortyfivedownstairs).

“Set deep in a forest, far away from the world we know, we are approaching this piece as a contemporary fable,” says Fumi. “Familiar domestic settings and foreign wildernesses collide to create an absurdist fever dream. Think M. Night Shyamalan meets Paddington 2.”

The importance of millinery in Far Away has also inspired a collaboration between Dann Barber and a crew of Melbourne’s best theatrical hat-makers.

Together they will create a collection of extraordinary hats to be paraded through the theatre night after night, but also displayed off-stage in the theatre for patrons to enjoy. The hats will be available for purchase at the end of the season.

Director: Cassandra Fumi | Featuring: Alison Whyte, Lucy Ansell and Darcy Kent, with Darcy Sterling-Cox and Noray Hosny | Designer: Dann Barber | Lighting Designer: Rachel Burke | Composer and Sound Designer: Rachel Lewindon | Assistant Director: Kuda Mapeza | Associate Designer: Savanna Wegman | Technical Lighting Assistant: Spencer Herd | Stage Manager: Luci Watts | Assistant Stage Manager: Finn McLeish | Producers: Ben Walter, Thalia Dudek

fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 14 – 30 July 2023
Information and Bookings:

Image: Alison Whyte stars in Far Away – courtesy of Patalog Theatre