La Mama returned stronger than ever after three-and-a-half years when in May 2018 it was forced to close due to fire. It rose from the ashes with a four-day celebration inspired by rebirth and the War-Rak/Banksia flower in December 2021 and the treasured independent theatre is not skipping a beat in 2022 with plenty of theatre on offer.
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is on stage this April at La Mama with two shows—Empathy Training followed by Subhumans.
Then, it’s time for La Mama’s autumn calendar of shows which include a play where the young have a competitive edge for survival (#Noexemptions); a four-piece vocal ensemble improvises and experiments with sound (Khyaal Vocal Ensemble); OCD meets parenting (Have a good night, Walter!); there’s non-theatre theatre (WAITING…… for?…..); a show about labels and meanings (Artemis: Utter Mess); and a comedy that is mad and wants to question life (POINT8SIX).
They’re just some of the theatre shows on stage at La Mama over the coming months. There is plenty more including playreadings, book launches and a heap of shows for kids as well.
For the uninitiated, La Mama at 349 Drummond Street, Carlton, has long been about independent theatre-making. Its values are at the core of what every arts organisation should be but many cannot be. From the lack of artistic parameters imposed on artists and their work to the diversity of voices that are “celebrated, championed and regularly programmed”, La Mama is theatre for all, by all.
Thousands of Australian “playwrights, directors, actors, and technicians as well as poets, musicians, performance artists and experimental film-makers” have passed through La Mama over the years and been given the space to not only create freely but also been given the support to produce.
La Mama is a vibrant and prolific platform for artists in Melbourne and across Australia—it’s one that should be visited regularly.