She Said Theatre’s ‘Fallen’ Takes the Stage at fortyfivedownstairs – August


Written by Seanna van Helten

Directed by Penny Harpham

15 – 26 August, 2018

fortyfivedownstairs – 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Inspired by the history of a home for fallen women, (founded by Charles Dickens) Fallen is an imaginative new Australian work that examines what happens when the promise of a clean slate is built on silencing your past.

Running from the 15th to the 26th of August at fortyfivedownstairs, Fallen is set in 1848, London. Here, six women have been promised a fresh start on the other side of the world, in the new colonies of Australia. Sealed off from the outside world they cook, clean, sing, and sew, and practice the art of being female while they wait for their new lives to begin. But as the date of departure draws near, they begin to wonder what reinvention will cost them.


What will such promises make them do? And what about the fall yet to come – the unknown tumble down the edge of the world to a far-away continent…

“The ‘home’ in which our play is set is a microcosm of the British Empire in the Victorian era.” explains Director and She Said Theatre Co-AD Penny Harpham.

“It was a time of rapid change and industrialisation, technology, expedition, poverty, and expansion. As someone living in Australia, examining this era of British history is vital in examining what we’ve inherited. The women in this play are living in a society that colonised and populated the continent we are living in now, and it stands to reason that the lessons of silence and shame they were indoctrinated with and brought here are the same lessons we have inherited. I mean, we’re still part of the Commonwealth, we go ga ga over the Royal family and still have a Union Jack on our flag. I’m deeply concerned with what we’ve inherited and our resistance to challenge it. Fallendrives into the complexity of what it means to a be a woman living under the roof of the patriarchy in 1840s London, but it speaks as urgently and truthfully to what it means to be a woman living under the roof of the patriarchy in 2018 Melbourne, too.”

Currently based in Melbourne, She Said Theatre was founded in 2006 by co-Artistic Directors Penny Harpham and Seanna van Helten. Founded as a direct response to the lack of creative leadership opportunities for women in theatre, they aim to create more active roles for women and other under-represented artists, and to bring to life their skills in acting, directing, writing, production, and design.

After a highly successful Australian premiere season at Sydney’s Seymour Centre, She Said Theatre now bring their powerful new work to the Melbourne stage. Running this August at fortyfivedownstairs in the CBD, Fallenis a must-see event on the 2018 Arts Calendar.

Directed by Penny Harpham
Written by Seanna van Helten
Performers include Zoe Boesen, Gemma Bird Matthews, Jing-Xuan Chan, Tahlee Fereday, and Artemis Ioannides
Set and Costume Design by Chloe Greaves

Composition and Sound Design by Clemence Williams
Lighting Design by Rachel Lee

★★★★ – Time Out Sydney

15 – 26 August, 2018
Preview 15 August

Opening Night 16 August
Tues – Sat 7:30pm, Sun 5pm
Tickets: $43 Full, $33 Concession, $38 Groups 6, $25 Preview
Bookings: 03 9662 9966 and
Venue: fortyfivedownstairs – 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne