Midsumma Festival celebrates queer art with The Inheritance

The Inheritance

Following a hit run in London’s West End and on Broadway, The Inheritance made its Australian debut at fortyfivedownstairs on January 21 as part of Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival.

The groundbreaking production is performed in two parts, taking viewers on a journey through New York City where a group of queer men are living at the time of the 2016 election between Clinton and Trump.

Adapted from E.M. Forster’s timeless novel Howards End, it promises a thought-provoking and emotionally rich experience.

“I would describe the play as a very smart, sophisticated soap opera that spans generations in its exploration of love, legacy, and what we owe to those who came before us,” artistic director of fortyfivedownstairs, Cameron Lukey said.

“I wanted to begin 2024 in a big and bold way, so The Inheritance – a two-part, six-hour, multi award-winning play by Matthew Lopez – seemed like the perfect choice.”



The show’s ensemble comprises 13 actors, with director Kitan Petkovski leading the creative team.

“It’s rare to come across a project that delves so deeply into the search for a community, yet alone a queer one,” Mr Petkovski said.


As a teenager, I didn’t have any gay elders to look up to as role models, I knew very few openly gay men – The Inheritance made me realise that I wasn’t alone in that.


Audience members are given an opportunity to watch the two parts across two nights or back-to-back on Sundays in fortyfivedownstairs’ intimate theatre setting, creating a space for “reflection, celebration, and healing”.

“It feels like binge-watching a great miniseries in terms of how it's structured, it moves fast and there are definitely a few cliffhangers,” Mr Lukey told CBD News.

The Inheritance is presented as part of the annual Midsumma Festival, a three-week celebration of LGBTIQA+ art and culture.

The show also received grant funding from the festival to run in their Midsumma Presents program.

“After a record-breaking festival last year, we are eagerly looking forward to what is shaping up to be the biggest Midsumma yet,” Midsumma Festival’s CEO, Karen Bryant said.

The Inheritance will run at fortyfivedownstairs from January 17 to February 11.


Photography credit: Cameron Grant​​​​​​​

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