Wet, But They Loved Louisa’s Walk!

There was a cruise ship in Hobart today. We already had four booked on Louisa’s Walk this morning but by the time I came back from church Chris had booked on another eight! Part of the reason for this big jump in numbers ( at a time when most of the town is quite quiet) was apparent as we drove down the Southern Outlet to see a cruise ship moored at the wharf. Normally cruise ships don’t affect our business that much. Those who have bothered to do some research, and find out for themselves, what excellent things there are to do in Hobart via the internet, may have discovered and booked us before they arrive but, generally, cruise ship passengers are whisked off, on coaches, to other surrounding Hobart destinations.

As we set off, there was a gentle drizzle, I handed out umbrellas but some of our audience were clothed in floor length ponchos (or “slickers’ as one of our American guests dubbed them) what a good idea! Maybe we should stock up on some for Louisa’s Walk? However, the rain was very kind and before too long it had slowed to almost nothing. We decided we would take the audience up to what we call “the top deck” which is where we imagine we are on the top deck of the ship “The Rajah”. The park, at this point, is shaped very like a boat and it enables us to descend down some steps into the stinking “orlop deck”. ” Louisa’s Walk” is all about using our imaginations and, utilising these natural features of the environment, is what we do! However, the top deck is a bit tricky when everyone is holding umbrellas!

Bill, one of our cruise ship Americans wouldn’t play ball with me when I asked him for sympathy so I turned to Seamus (yes, a genuine Irishman) who was much more sympathetic. Interaction with audience members is very much part of what we do on “Louisa’s Walk” and it means that we, as actors, have to be prepared with whatever our audience members throw at us and adjust our responses accordingly! Seamus and partner, Lucia, came in very handy later when I asked them to identify the shamrock, “Some people call it a clover and I have to smack them around a bit!” This audience was fantastic! They were mesmerised from start to finish. The utter silence in the nursery yard as I told of the fate of Eliza, the smattering of applause as I finished ” Abide With Me”, these are things that we feed off. Yes, we need to earn a living but it’s the approbation of our audiences that are our real meat-and-drink!

It was too wet; the rain came over again as I had sent the audience back into “the nineteenth-century”, to bring out “Louisa’s Larder” jams and chutneys and the Guest Book. We had to disperse quickly and get everyone back into the warm and the dry. However, it was music to our ears to hear that, once more, we had taken our audience back in time; “We were really there” you said. “I will remember this for a long time to come” you said. “We heard about you through a friend – he said it was a must- do” you said.

The muse that is ” Louisa’s Walk” is alive and well. She is unique. She is original. She is memorable. If you are looking for something different, “Louisa’s Walk” is for you.

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