© 2016 BY ESSENCE PRODUCTIONS

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Frankston High School

To whom it may concern,
Recently, I made the decision to take my Year 11 Drama students to see the performance of
Essence Productions’s “Point of No Return”, written and directed by Alaine Beek. I was
particularly interested in the historical aspects of the play, as it intended to capture the lives
of the first “boys” to serve in a juvenile prison in Point Puer, Tasmania in the 1830’s. In light
of recent events concerning the harsh treatment of young boys in detention, I felt compelled
to see a play that could shed light on whether or not imprisonment can provide opportunities
for rehabilitation- and if over the years, we have learnt from mistakes of the past.
Everyone in the theatre that day was blown away by the performance that was “Point of No
Return”. We were able to see the show in a small, intimate setting that allowed for us all to
be transformed into this world that existed nearly 200 years ago, to a time that ordinarily
would be incredibly hard to imagine. To the world around them, these boys were unwanted,
they were forgotten, and they were unimportant. But for those 80 minutes, they mattered.
They mattered to us. They became our children, our brothers, our allies, who we worried
about, who we cared for and who we longed to save. That in itself is the heart of this play- it
serves as a reminder that no one is too hopeless to save. Everyone needs to belong, and be
loved, and be counted. It is through Alaine’s courageous writing, and the incredible
performances of this wonderful cast, these boys, and other boys like them, will matter.
I wish I could put into words the most amazing atmosphere that was created that day, but
that’s the magic of theatre- it is live and in the moment. All I can say is that the audience was
on the journey with these boys, in every breath and every heart wrenching moment. And
that, in itself, is something truly special.
My Year 11’s also wanted to share their experience of seeing “Point of No Return”:
“The realistic portrayal of the Point Puer boys allowed for the performance to connect with
the audience, creating touching and heartwarming moments between the audience and
actor. You won’t know whether to laugh or cry within this performance.” – Mathilde Lambert
“Point of No Return” is a truly amazing show, orchestrating the true meaning of brotherhood
in a community, using the hardship of real historical events portrayed by some of the finest
actors. Saying that this show is enticing is an understatement as the story captures you and
brings you back to the world of young convicts.” - Jackson Pfeil
“Point of No Return” brilliantly and effectively reflected the life felt by those who experienced
similar scenarios in prison during the 1800’s. The sensational cast successfully brought to
life the emotions and impact prison life had on those who went there and sometimes didn’t
come out.”
“The performance was amazing! I was so astounded by every single cast member. The story
was portrayed really well and made the audience feel many emotions. The message was
shown really well and opened my eyes to the ongoing problem. Well done to everyone
involved.” – Erin Kent
“Point of No Return” is an inspiring performance surrounding the lives of inmates and
guards. Funny and symbolic, the show has take-home messages for everyone. The
audience felt connected to the emotional plight of the characters and the journey they go

through. The actors powerfully capture the hope, the joy and heartbreak of the characters
that leaves the audience not wanting the performance to end.” – Lauren Campbell
“The sheer realism held behind this play is emotionally enthralling and captivating. The cast
really brings this piece to life. This show captures you at the start and has you held until the
end.” – Max Oliver
“Brilliant performance. All actors portrayed their characters extremely well. An extremely
heartfelt, beautiful and emotional performance. Never a dull moment on stage.” – Em
Dickinson
“Bloody brilliant! The cast of “Point of No Return” really captivates the audience with its
contrasting characters and stunning story.”
“The performance was reflected as being truly amazing, passionate and heartfelt, which left
the audience wanting more! Amazing group of actors who portrayed each character very
effectively and overall a 10/10 performance!”
“The play raises a pertinent issue in a raw, powerful way; the treatment of our youth, and
whether prison can ever be a rehabilitative environment.” – Tandie Banana
“Extremely realistic and heartbreaking in moments to watch, in a very good way. Loved it so
much.” – Emy Hammill
“Very thought provoking – the parallels of the events at Point Puer and Don Dale were very
real and startling.” - Ruby Hartley
I would strongly recommend our students, our kids, in the society with live in, to go and see
this play- this is a light that needs to be shone, and these are voices that need to be heard.
Thankyou to Alaine and her incredible cast and crew for welcoming us into the PONR world,
and for giving us such an unforgettable experience.

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