Melbourne’s iconic La Mama Theatre has been thrown a lifeline by the state government after a fire destroyed its Faraday Street Base in May, The Age has reported. A $180,000 rescue package will help the company continue staging its shows while the extensive rebuilding process takes place. The grant also enables La Mama to retain its small staff as well as hire somebody to oversee its recovery project.

“I feel like I’ve had my heart totally broken, but in this process it’s totally opened, the love’s just poured in,” said Caitlin Dullard, La Mama’s Company Manager and Creative Producer.

La Mama TheatreLiz Jones and Caitlin Dullard. Photo © La Mama Theatre

The heritage-listed Carlton venue was completely gutted after a fire tore through it in the early hours of the morning on May 19, but Dullard and La Mama’s Artistic Director and CEO Liz Jones vowed to rebuild. The news was met with an outpouring of support from those in the arts industry.

The company’s small staff has kept things running from a nearby community centre, with most of its season restaged in alternative venues. However, it is in need of offices and a theatre space to see out the next 18 months, or until the theatre is rebuilt.

Before that happens, La Mama has a new season to launch and its first overseas tour to plan. “We feel so supported to move forward,” Dullard said. “There’s an actual hope and a future.”


Learn how to support La Mama Theatre here