The First Fagin.

Probably some of you are familiar with the theory that Charles Dickens based his character, Fagin on Ikey Solomon, the Jew who got transported to Van Diemens Land as a convict?  Well, Alan Rosenthal has written a feature length documentary disputing that theory rather convincingly.  To be screened as The First Fagin and premiering in Melbourne some time next year, it was filmed over the last few weeks here in Tasmania.

Cast entirely from Tasmania’s rich acting talent and showcasing our historic sites and houses, the film is expected to be a real eye -opener as far as dispelling any connection between Fagin and Ikey Solomon.  I won’t give too much away here, because I hope you will watch the film, but I can tell you it was a fascinating experience to be part of the making of this documentary.

Yes, Chris and I both got parts – I play a convict woman (well I am used to that!) and Chris plays Moses Julian (Ikey Solomon’s father-in-law).  So, if anybody came on Louisa’s Walk recently and neither Chris nor I were performing, that’s probably where we were!

I filmed my part out at Kempton at Dysart House the home of Leo Schofield; it made a brilliant backdrop for our scenes and I couldn’t take my eyes off the herbaceous borders!  Chris  filmed his role at Annie’s Farm at Kempton and the Victorian Gothic stables at Shene (not far from Kempton).   The highlight for him was driving a hackney cab, only a few metres but it involved a “giddy- up”!

Samuel McClellan at Great Expeditions also obtained a part as an extra and you can see images of Chris and Samuel below in their First Fagin costumes.

Getting these other diverse roles is rare but the stimulation it gives us is immense and we return to our first love, Louisa’s Walk, with renewed vigour!

Chris playing Moses Julian in First Fagin


Samuel McClellan in his role in First Fagin

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