Essence Production's Point of No Return Headed for Victorian Tour

Published by: Sassy Red PR | 30-May-2018
Based on the fascinating true story of Australia's first boys' prison, Point of No Return is a riveting, energetic new Australian drama about a group of youths struggling to survive in Tasmania's Point Puer Boys' Prison. #EssenceProductions #PONR
Venue: Various - please see booking link
Address: Various - please see booking link
Date: 17 July - 17 August, 2018
Time: Various - please see booking link
Ticket: Various - please see booking link
Buy / Ticket:
Call: 03 9742 3068
Based on the fascinating true story of Australia's first boys' prison, 'Point of No Return' is a riveting, energetic new Australian drama about a group of youths struggling to survive in Tasmania's Point Puer Boys' Prison.

Established in 1834, Point Puer Boys' Prison is located opposite Port Arthur Prison and was the first of its kind for the British Empire; an experiment that aimed to rehabilitate young offenders. On opening, there were 68 boys aged from 10 to 20 years old. The inmates were given the opportunity to learn a trade, read, and write, but this was sporadic and depended on the skills and attitudes of the guards, many of whom were once prisoners at Port Arthur. Living conditions in the prison were rough and punishments were often brutal.

From its initial presentation as a short piece by Grade 6 students at the Werribee Primary School to it's first professional Victorian Tour, this July and August, Essence Productions offer Victorian theatre lovers a rare glimpse into a little known corner of Australian history.

Centering around a group of young convicts, 'Point of No Return' is a journey of boys becoming men - of youths desperately seeking a place to belong. A powerful exploration of loyalty, betrayal, and gang mentality, this important new work also explores rehabilitation versus punishment in the prison system. Littered with struggle and hardship, 'Point of No Return' is also a unique tale of hope, as many of these boys left Point Puer to become Australia's first colonists.

Examining issues within a system that are still under heavy scrutiny today, 'Point of No Return' is a tale of the past with relevant links to the future. Ongoing challenges and riots in our very own Melbourne Youth Justice Centres highlight problems with our correctional facilities that are now over 180 years old.

"I found it incredulous when researching Point Puer that, despite their circumstances, these kids still managed to find humour in their lives and took ridiculously stupid risks just to lash back at authority. Putting youths in such horrific circumstances to fend for themselves is hard to fathom. The whole concept of youth rehabilitation is really interesting and from recent events in Australia we still haven't solved it. The recent riots and outbreaks at the youth detention centres in Parksville and Malmsbury reflect what teenagers are about. The North Territory Royal Commission that came out of Don Dale riots highlights that everything they did wrong at Point Puer is still happening today.", explains Director/Writer Alaine Beek.

"The fact that Point Puer was the British governments first attempt ever at separating boys from men in prisons AND attempting rehabilitation instead of punishment is astonishing and, for its time, groundbreaking. And for all its many failures it also had successes - many of the youths survived and became the first colonists of Australia. Yet I find it difficult to comprehend a ten year old boy being put on a prison hulk and sent to Australia. It would have been horrifying."

Operating since 2003, Essence Productions is one of Melbourne's longest running, successful independent theatre companies. With a residency at the Werribee Park, their shows 'What Was That' and 'Down To Earth' have been performed each weekend for the past 15 years and have been seen by over 14 000 thrill-seeking theatre lovers. Headed by award-winning playwright/actor Alaine Beek, Essence Productions is an ensemble of professional artists dedicated to creating and producing original theatre through the discovery and exploration of real Australian stories.

Point of No Return

Written and Directed by Alaine Beek
Performed by Will McDonald, Alex Roe, William Farnsworth, Jeremy Withers and Phil Cameron-Smith
Sound design by Michael Withers

2018 Victorian Tour Dates and Venues:

Bendigo Capital Theatre - 50 View Street, Bendigo
17 July, 7:30pm
Tickets: $35 Full, $30 Concession, $16 Student
Bookings: 03 5434 6100 or online at

The Potato Shed - 41 Peninsula Drive, Drysdale
20 and 21 July, 8pm
Tickets: $38 Full, $34 Concession, $30 Grps 20+, $20 Students
Bookings: 03 5251 1998 or email

Wyndham Cultural Centre - 177 Watton Street, Werribee
27 and 28 July, 8pm
Tickets: $35 Full, $30 Concession and Grps 8+, $25 Student under 25, $15 Under 15
Bookings: 03 8734 6000 or online at

The Melba Spiegeltent - 35 Johnston St, Collingwood
1 - 11 August, 2018
Wed - Sat, 8pm
Tickets: $32 Full, $27 Concession, $17 Students
Bookings: online only at
Enquiries: 0439 690 091

Frankston Performing Arts Centre - 27 to 37 Davey St, Frankston
17 August, 12pm
Tickets: $30 Full, $25 Concession, $18 Grps 10+ and Students
Bookings: 03 9784 1060 or on line at

Newsletter Sign Up

Join Our Growing Community

ART NEWS PORTAL is a global crowd sourced art news feed.
Everyone is welcome to share their art and culture related news.