SET DESIGN | mothersmilk, fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne.
mothersmilk is an original Australian theatre work written by Joanne Trentini; its premiere season was held at Melbourne’s iconic fortyfivedownstairs from 31 October 2012. The story of Kitty is an ordinary woman living an extraordinarily complicated life. An early morning visit instigates a series of choices; leading her on a journey to discover a side of herself she doesn’t want to know. Struggling with the consequences, Kitty believes one thing – she is everything that no one wants to be.
The design concept encompasses the idea that the human mind can cocoon itself, protect itself, shield itself from the real world and what is happening around them. From this initial idea the set reflects two parts of the human; the real and surreal. It is this juxtaposition that shows through in the set design. The simplicity and pared back nature of the set ensures that the content of the script remains at the core of the performance and also speaks to the state of mind of Kitty. Embracing the historical building that is fortyfivedownstairs with its towering walls the tissu hangs centre stage and allows interaction with the actors and doubles as a wall to divide the space from front to back or side to side. With the sofa set on wheels this ensures that the set is completely adaptable and moveable depending on where and how the Director requires.
The design concept is the first collaborative work of independent designers Kathryn Trentini of Dallape Chant and Renee Trentini of The Winnifred Effect.