Live History Productions “Ticklebelly Tales” World Premiere!

Whilst Louisa’s Walk will always be the core and flagship of our Live History business, a glance at the pages of our web site will reveal that we can be commissioned to research,script & perform any historic event at a chosen venue. Last year we received just such a commission from Hydro Tasmania to script and perform a play portraying the history of the Hydro in this State for the National Trust Heritage Festival this month. The theme for this year’s Festival is ” Water- Our Island’s Life Force” a gift for the Hydro and a gift for us! Last year, Hydro Tasmania launched a book entitled “Ticklebelly Tales” written by Heather Felton. This is an excellent book for anyone with an interest in the history of the development of hydro-electric power in Tasmania. It’s also a huge tome & took Chris (the author and playwright of Live History) many hours unpacking and scrutinising its pages for stories and anecdotes that he felt could be dramatically re-lived.
Last Saturday saw the Premiere performance of “Ticklebelly Tales” (we decided that such a delightful quirky title deserved to be re-used, in fact it’s the name for the married men’s quarters at Tarraleah, one of the early power stations). This was actually performed at Tarraleah, a fitting site given the content of the play! This old Hydro village has now been converted into a prestigious tourism complex. It’s luxurious yet completely preserves the integrity and feel of the Village. With our cast of four – we had to employ a couple of male actors as Chris found it too difficult to write about such a blokey history just using he and I – we performed the World Premiere of “Ticklebelly Tales” in the old Highland Church (now beautifully converted to a conference centre).
We had been unsure about what houses we would receive as Tarraleah is a good two hours from Hobart but, we played to two nearly full houses. Our audiences were so appreciative and gathered around the “Stage Door” afterward or spoke to us whilst we were on the Power Station tour which followed, all saying how informative and entertaining they had found the show.

As we drove home through the highlands of beautiful Tasmania, through the bush and along the winding road to Hobart we realised that we would never again take switching on an electric light for granted. Now we had seen the surge towers, the penstocks, the canal. We had seen the huge pylons marching down the valley bringing power to the people and because of Heather Felton’s book and our play we now understood some of the hardship endured by those early workers to bring about this great power scheme.

We have six more performances: four in Hobart on the 14th & 15th of May and two right over on the West coast on the 23rd May.

Bringing history to life in this way is fascinating for us and our audiences. We have learned so much.

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