Reviews

Potato Shed, Drysdale

To whom it may concern, We recently booked two performances of Essence Production’s “Point of No Return”, written and directed by Alaine Beek. The production formed part of the 2018 Theatre Season at the Potato Shed - Bellarine Multi Arts Centre at Drysdale. The setting was perfect - the set simple yet extremely effective, the soundtrack and lighting working so well in an intimate space. The audience were taken on an incredible journey – back to Tasmania back hundreds of years – to the halls and the scrub - and into the hearts of the young convicts. The writing and the character development along with some outstanding performances touched all who viewed the production. I would recom

Creative Spaces, Capital Venues and Events

To whom it may concern Please accept this letter of support for Essence Productions and the work of writer and director, Alaine Beek. Capital Venues & Events presented Point of No Return as part of our 2018 Theatre Season. This important and historically significant work was equally engaging for both traditional and new theatre audiences with its exploration of an overlooked part of Australian history. Alaine's enthusiasm and dedication to her craft is inspiring. I admire her courage and determination to tour her work regionally and she was such a pleasure to work with on all aspects of this project. I would recommend this company to anyone looking to engage with new Australian writing, the

Frankston Performing Arts Centre

To Whom It May Concern, RE: ESSENCE PRODUCTIONS – POINT OF NO RETURN On behalf of Frankston Arts Centre (FAC), I am writing to support the production of Point of No Return that we presented as part of our 2018 Season. The play is written by an Australian author Alaine Beek and explores a little known but interesting part of Australian history – the first boy’s prison, Point Puer built in 1834 opposite Port Arthur Tasmania. We had an extremely positive response with schools, with 81 students from two local schools attending the performance. They were highly engaged by the performance and also benefited from the opportunity to speak with Alaine prior to the performance. This enriche

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

Alice Miller School, Mount Macedon

To Whom it may concern, I wanted to write regarding the plays of Alaine Beek, and in particular "Point of No Return'. At my school I do a subject called Text to Performance. In this subject we take plays, read them and look at the wider cultural context if the play, Alaine's plays are perfect for this. Using Point of No Return we were able to look at early convict life through the lens of children. Something that was exceptionally engaging for the students in my class, who are about the same age. Using the play we delved deep into the world of the child convict and the students were able to connect with the text. This kind of connection to text is invaluable and with Point o

The Australian

“The prison for boys at Point Puer, near Port Arthur, was the first of its kind in the British Empire. Thousands of boys, some as young as nine, were separated from adult male transportees in the 1830s and taught religion and trades in the hope they could be turned into worthy citizens of the new colony. Had the guards not been violent and illiterate crims in their own right, it just might have worked. Alaine Beek’s play about a tight group of boys and a guard (who is a friend of the lead boys’ father and is secretly charged with looking after the lad) manages to be historically responsible, educative, psychologically credible and entertaining to boot. Point of No Return is a natural

NDS Productions

“A powerful story. A totally enjoyable and sometimes confronting performance, I loved every moment, congratulations.”

Pop Culture-y.com

“The actors deliver highly convincing performances in which the depth of their bond and affection is apparent. A play worth seeing.”

Australian Arts Review

“I was fortunate enough to see an early iteration of Point of No Return in 2014. What’s wonderful about this production is seeing how the text and performances have developed. The play is based on a real detention facility for boys 10-20, near Port Arthur in the 1800s. It focuses on an imagined tight group of inmates and how things change when a new lad arrives and is forced to join them. It’s a slightly unfortunate space in the Spiegeltent, but the cast navigated it well. Despite having to run up and down stairs to get to and from the wings, they kept a good pace. Admittedly, the piece did get too declamatory in places, and the characters’ penchant for shoving and lapel-grabbing nee

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