The show to go on as La Mama Theatre rebuilds

Caitlin Dullard and Liz Jones survey the aftermath of the fire at La MamaThe Victorian Government has thrown its support behind La Mama’s recovery efforts with a special funding package, following the fire that devastated the iconic Carlton theatre last month.

$180,000 in funding will support La Mama to employ additional staff to focus on the recovery efforts, provide expert heritage and project management advice and manage its regular program while the massive rebuilding project is underway.

Since the fire on 19 May, La Mama’s program has gone on uninterrupted. Alternative venues have been found for productions and the Courthouse Theatre program has continued. This has been an extraordinary feat for the small team but is unsustainable over a longer period while they also grapple with the complex project to rebuild.

Insurance assessments are still underway on the heritage theatre site which is expected to take up to 18 months to rebuild. Once the final costs for the rebuild have been assessed, the company will launch a campaign to support the project. Until then, donations to assist with relocation costs can be made via the La Mama website.

As part of the package, a $30,000 grant will support La Mama’s first ever international residency project and tour. In October, the company will lead a team of Victorian creatives on a trip to Bandung in Indonesia where they will begin developing a new performance work with Indonesian theatre group Mainteater.

The performance, which will reimagine the Greek legend of Hades, is planned to tour to four locations across Indonesia in 2019 before being remounted for a season in Australia in 2020. La Mama has collaborated with Mainteater in the past in Melbourne but this project will mark the first time the 50-year-old company has produced work outside of Australia.

In addition to the State Government funding package, the City of Melbourne has offered the company a range of support, including access to city’s spaces and venues for performances, administration and fundraising activities. For more information, or to support La Mama’s fundraising efforts, visit: for details.

Image: Caitlin Dullard and Liz Jones survey the aftermath of the fire at La Mama – courtesy of La Mama