Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Farewell to Deena Hattersley

Deena Hattersley shared her final sherry with the cast of The Trial of the Fifteen last Wednesday night before leaving the island to relocate to New Zealand. She has been the Director of ‘The Trial’ for all but about six months since it opened in mid 1999. Since then it has been performed twice weekly to over 35,000 visitors, travelled to Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney and been one of the top ‘must see’ attractions on Norfolk. A good measure of that success has been due to Deena’s steady influence and guidance as Director.

Deena has been responsible for training all the actors who have joined the cast over the years, as well as supporting long standing performers to keep their performances fresh and energised. Amazingly there are three actors in the current casts who have been with the show just a few months longer than Deena - that is from the very first performance – they are Peter Davidson, Teddy Evans and Ken Christian. We are extraordinarily lucky to have had the dedication and skill of these actors over all those years. Together with other long standing and newer cast members Louci Reynolds, Rachael McConnell, Rebecca Hayes, Darren Anderson and Geoff Griffiths the play has earned its reputation as a well acted show. 

Deena (centre) and the cast from The Trial of the Fifteen
 All the cast and staff at the Norfolk Island Museum say a huge ‘thankyou’ and wish Deena all the best back in New Zealand. We are also very pleased to announce and welcome Rose Stephens as the new Director and wish her every success.

For those who may not have seen the show, Peter Clarke’s script cleverly offers the opportunity to neatly capture the layers of Norfolk’s history through the trial of fifteen characters. From the Polynesian rat to the infamous John Price to our own Fletcher Christian – it’s an entertaining way to soak up our island’s story and is performed every Monday and Wednesday night at 4.45pm. The Museum Theatre is a wonderfully atmospheric building. It was the Protestant Chapel for convicts in the Second Settlement and the ‘trial’ setting uses original court room furniture made in 1896. The setting includes panelling, witness box, judge's bench and stairs, jury box and the accused box and is listed by the Australian Heritage Commission as a significant part of the National Estate. It was made by Dwight Allen, an American whaler who tendered 175 pounds for construction of a dock, jury box, panelling and judge's bench.

Bookings for The Trial of the Fifteen can be made at the REO Café and Bookshop, Baunti Escapes, the Tourist Bureau or by calling 23088.

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