Jan
19
2014

Illustrating Port Arthur’s history

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You'll likely know about Tasmania's extremely significant convict heritage site, Port Arthur, which is located an hour and a bit outside of Hobart.

A former convict settlement, remnants of the society remain today. You can go to the site to explore ruins, buildings that are still in remarkable condition, and hear stories about how the facility operated. It's illuminating to see the rooms where these prisoners lived up close, and learn about how they dealt with harsh conditions. You can even partake in night-time ghost tours, which delve into the more spooky side of the compound's history.

Then there are the Port Arthur history plays. Now's your last chance to catch this year's summer series, which brings the history of the facility to life. Up until January 24, you can catch a live performance on site, with various sessions available throughout the day.

There are three short dramas on the billing, which are all written by Tasmanian playwrights. Each 20-minute short play engages with a part of Port Arthur's history. Best of all, access to the plays is included in the price of your entry ticket to the facility.

The three plays on show this month are The Man Who Threw A Stone, The Shingle Strike and A Boy's Life. These address hunger strike, bullying and other aspects of penitentiary life that were all too common during Port Arthur's operational years. The plays take place in the Separate Prison and outside behind the Penitentiary, so it won't be hard to suspend your disbelief.

Head to the extremely fascinating site of Port Arthur to check it out, and you'll see a whole new side of the compound's interesting and eerie history.

History plays at Port Arthur - Image Credit: Port Arthur Historic Site

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