L’amante anglaise returns to fortyfivedownstairs

fortyfivedownstairs L'amante angliaseA brutal murder is committed in a small town in France. The dismembered corpse is dropped from a railway viaduct onto passing trains below… All except the head.

Following successful collaborations with La Mama in 2014 and 2016, fortyfivedownstairs continues its commitment to reviving successful independent productions with a second encore season of Marguerite Duras’ L’amante anglaise from 7 February 2017.

Pierre (Rob Meldrum) and Claire Lannes (Jillian Murray in her 2015 Green Room Award winning performance) are ordinary human beings leading everyday lives until a gruesome catastrophe occurs. In simple conversation, they effortlessly reveal the beauty and brutality of their inner selves, and create a painstaking portrait of lost passion.

It is a rare distinction for any production to have four Melbourne seasons, but L’amante anglaise proved so popular that its first two seasons at La Mama sold out as well as 2016 season at fortyfivedownstairs.

“With L’amante anglaise, Marguerite Duras has created such a perfect example of pure theatre”, says director Laurence Strangio. “No frills, no gimmicks, no special effects, just us, the audience, and two consummate actors in a room exploring a rich and complex text.”

fortyfivedownstairs co-founder and Artistic Director Mary Lou Jelbart understands the need for Australian and independent works to find life beyond their premiere seasons: “The independent theatre scene is incredibly wasteful”, says Jelbart.

“Wonderful productions are seen for a couple of weeks and then disappear forever. L’amante anglaise is a thrilling psychological drama, beautifully served by superb performances. I have rarely been as impressed by performance as I was by this production.”

Marguerite Duras (also known as Marguerite Donnadieu was a French writer and film director of a great many novels, plays, films, interviews and short narratives, including her best-selling, apparently autobiographical work L’Amant (1984), translated into English as The Lover. This text won the Goncourt prize in 1984.

The story of her adolescence also appears in three other forms: The Sea Wall, Eden Cinema and The North China Lover. A film version of The Lover, produced by Claude Berri, was released to great success in 1992.

Other major works include Moderato Cantabile, also made into a film of the same name, Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein, and her film, India Song. She was also the screenwriter of the 1959 French film Hiroshima mon amour, which was directed by Alain Resnais. She died in Paris in 1996 at the age of 82.

L’amante anglaise
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 8 – 19 February 2017 (preview: 7 February)
Information and Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com

Image: Jillian Murray and Rob Meldrum star in L’amante angliase (supplied)