The Carnival of Mysteries


Production Design
for ‘The Carnival of Mysteries’

“45downstairs has been exquisitely transformed by the Sisters Hayes into a nostalgic but timeless world of sideshow and cocktail bar…”

-Anne-Marie Peard


Overhead, underfoot and throughout four extraordinary intricate sites, the Carnival of Mysteries seduces audiences with the work of 30 unique artists commissioned to respond to the Mysteries of Innocence, Passion, Mercy, Forgiveness and Love.

Audience members receive $30,000 Carnival Cash, a Passport and a Map and are unleashed in a solid world of wonder where the walls,the performance, the artists and the ephemera that pass through their very fingers are inspired by these Mysteries. Behind the baroque hoardings of the Sideshow Alley intimate pleasure halls offer provocative entertainments of every kind. In the hand painted , velvet lined Tent of Miracles, , epic theatre works unfold every ten minutes; in The dark and gothic Library, literary adventures creep from the mouth of the Librarian; The Shrine holds the wishes and prayers of Carnival goers, The Pleasure Garden is taken over by Spectacles throughout the Carnival.

Image Above: Jodie-Hutchinson (photography) and The Sisters Hayes (retouching and illustration), The Carnival of Mysteries, 2010

fortyfivedownstairs – October 6-30, 2010
for the 2010 Melbourne International Arts Festival

Created by – Moira Finucane & Jackie Smith
Production Design – The Sisters Hayes
Signpainting  – The Sisters Hayes
Costume Design – Doyle Barrow
Sound Design – Adam Hunt
Lighting Design – Bronwyn Pringle

Featuring acts by
Maude Davey, Toni Lamond, Azaria Universe, Yumi Umiumare, Sosina Wogayehu, Carolyn Connors, Brian Lucas, Holly Durant, Harriet Richie, Darrin Verhagen, Shirley Cattunar, Julian Chapple, Derek Ives, Lois Olney and more

Performance Shots

“Each set-piece has been elaborately and carefully crafted to achieve the appearance of nostalgia. It perfectly creates an aura of trickery and intrigue…”

- Siobhan Argent / ArtsHub


“An opulent den of iniquity and awesomeness.” – The Age

“Intricately designed, tightly organised and fabulously detailed” – Herald Sun