Strahan is a small quaint town on the west coast of Tasmania. A former port, it is a base for boat trips to the notorious former penal settlement of Sarah Island and home to the acclaimed Round Earth Theatre Company.
Here, for the past 20 years, they have produced a daily play called “The Ship That Never Was”, which with over 5,000 performances is Australia’s longest running play, and for good reason.
Set in the amphitheatre of the Visitor Centre in town, the play is a theatrical, entertaining reenactment of a true and historical event.
The scene is set ……….. Sarah Island, macquarie Harbour, January 1834.
The last ship to be built at this convict settlement, “The Frederick”, s due to set sail for Port Arthur. However, 10 convict shipwrights have other ideas and stage an amazing escape.
You are greeted with warm blankets as a good portion of the stage isn’t covered from the elements, and for AUD $20 you are thoroughly entertained for the next hour and a half. Local entertainers, 2 in this case, engage and recruit audience members to aid the relaying of this hilarious true story as they miraculously construct a ship on the stage.
Various parts are up for offer including a parrot, a cat, pirates, convicts and even a jelly fish as a sit down part. With paper bags to pop for gun fire effects, rainwater splashed for stormy weather the story unfolds before your eyes and from start to finish you are mesmerized.
We shared the boat being built, the convicts escape, their recapture, hilarious trial and ….. I won’t spoil the ending for you!!
This is entertainment at its most raw and absolute best. It is no wonder the play has been running so successfully for so many years. It is professionally written, hilariously and precisely executed and fantastic entertainment for the whole family.
With a performance at 5.30pm you can book a day trip and return to Strahan for pre dinner entertainment, and I bet you will still be laughing about it when you turn in for the night.
Don’t be put off by audience participation, its all very informal and you will be laughing so much you won’t feel embarrassed.
- For information about Round Earth Company, check here.
- Read a detailed history of Sarah Island and available tours.
- For details of performances of the play and pricing, read here.
- Wrap up warm if it is a cool night.
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