‘Aptly, the entry ticket to the Port Arthur site is a playing card. Each visitor is given a one at random and invited to ‘find the convict’ who corresponds with it.’


I wonder what immersive theatre fans make of sites / experiences like the Port Arthur Historic Site? I think it feels too close to home for me – the tragedy and weight of the history there – I think I’d find it hard to slip into the receptive, playful mindset that’s my norm for shows like Sleep No More and Then She Fell. Or, if I did, I think I’d feel guilty about doing so.

I remember my first trip back to Tasmania after the Port Arthur massacre. I was on the boat from the mainland to Tasmania and as we neared land large groups of passengers (and me) stood looking quietly out the windows. For a minute or two there was no excited – end of a long trip, start of a holiday or return home – buzz. Just quiet. I wouldn’t have known what to say then. I don’t know what to say about it now.

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Too close to home