Phil Cameron Smith

June 6, 2016

“It has been my great privilege to work on Point Of No Return with Alaine Beek. Most

Australians are aware that the first convicts from Britain were sent to Port Arthur, but

this play depicts a very little known part of our rich history, the boys prison at Point

Puer just across from Port Arthur. The first attempt by the British government to

rehabilitate prisoners.I relished the opportunity to play the role of Hawkins, the guard

responsible for a group of lads within the prison. The role is extremely well defined

and complex. Hawkins is an ex-prisoner from Port Arthur and is conflicted within his

role as disciplinarian and protector.


There is so much to love about this play. All of the characters are beautifully defined,

something our audiences always commented on. It is a part of our history, as

opposed to the kitchen sink dramas, cop and hospital shows we are bombarded with

(is that all there is to us?) and the youth element is one to which our audiences were

riveted. The hardships these boys faced, the risks they, as boys, would take and the

lengths they went to in order to survive are all so compelling to the viewer. Point Of

No Return is a play with extremely wide appeal and it must be said that this is

achieved without the sacrifice of substance. It is immensely entertaining. There is a

wonderful balance of danger, tension and humour. It is very moving.”


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