History Plays

Bringing history to life

Our ever-popular series of Port Arthur History Plays consist of three short dramas, all by Tasmanian playwrights. Each play examines a fascinating aspect of Port Arthur’s history in an entertaining and engaging way.

The plays are performed on site during January and during the Easter holidays.

Each performance lasts approximately 20 minutes.

Admission to performances is included in the cost of Site entry.

The Man Who Threw a Stone

The Man Who Threw a Stone by Richard Davey, is based on the story of Port Arthur convict Dennis Collins who, as an old man, found that a hunger strike was the only form of protest available to him. As his life ebbs away, the play follows the desperate attempts of Charlotte Lempriere to save him.

The Shingle Strike

The Shingle Strike by David Young tells the story of Irish poet Francis Macnamara’s endeavour to overcome the bullying tactics of an unscrupulous overseer. The convicts’ only hope of resistance and justice is to strike, but can Macnamara persuade his gang to join him?

A Boy’s Life

A Boy’s Life by Les Winspear, tells the story of a London urchin who is sent across the world to Point Puer, where he is offered an opportunity for a new life. However he fi nds that this new life comes at a price he is not prepared to pay, so he chooses instead to continue his life of crime.