There are 5 x double passes up for grabs to opening Night, Friday 28 April 2017, 7.30pm, for This is Eden at fortyfivedownstairs.

Simply email the answer to this question:  ‘What is the ratio of Australians who have convict history’ to: [email protected]

Competition closes: April 24

Good luck!


The play is based on a chance discovery of a previously unknown convict ancestor (Emily Goddard’s great-great-great Grandmother) and the hardships she endured during her 7-year sentence in the Cascades Female Factory in Hobart Town during the 1830’s – 1840’s. The play is, dark, humorous and provocative; an ‘antibonnet’ drama about the rebellion and resistance of the female convicts of Van Diemen’s Land.

Cascades Female Factory in Hobart Town was a place of hard labour, overcrowding and shockingly high rates of infant mortality. The factory was the first port of call for 5,000 of the 25,000 female prisoners sent to Van Diemen’s Land before their placement into ‘service’ with the colony’s free settlers. The plight of these displaced women, who for the rest of their lives bore the shame of their ‘stain’ in a society strictly divided into free and convict classes, resonated with Goddard who found strong parallels with modern Australia’s hardened attitude to asylum seekers.

It is a slant on history which is not normally told – normally our history lessons come from the ‘white male’ perspective. So it is very refreshing to hear our history being told from the female perspective.

Using the same devices, the convict women used to entertain and rebel, This is Eden explores and exposes these links with contemporary attitudes and hypocrisy with subtlety and humour. Current and cruel, This is Eden is at once an examination of our dark past, a parody of the way we perceive it, and a call to arms to contemporary Australia.

With 1 in 7 Australians having convict ancestry I think we all can relate.

For more information about the show please visit