Black Jack Anderson – the play

The cast of the play, Black Jack Anderson, (Elaine Forrestal in black – centre)

What a great performance!

Congratulations to the drama students from Esperance Senior High School. With the help of Luke Robson and their teachers they performed twenty three scenes from the book, Black Jack Anderson during the Festival of the Wind in Esperance at the weekend.

Bare footed and dressed in appropriately scruffy shirts, jeans and hats they brought to life the story of Australia’s most notorious pirate with flare and enthusiasm. Even the kissing scene, which Luke tells me did elicit a few protests early on, was carried off convincingly. And there was not a black eye-patch in sight! For me this is particularly important because Black Jack Anderson was a  real pirate, living off the land on the remote and windswept Middle Island, raiding passing ships to supplement supplies of essential goods (as well as any valuables that might come to hand) and, as their clothing wore out, improvising garments and even boots, from seal skins. I think it is necessary to portray Anderson and his men with historical accuracy, rather than cliched misconception, and Luke and the students did this extremely well.

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