Democray on show

Bridgette Barry-Murphy | Bendigo Weekly | 15-May-2015

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eureka!: Danny Cole and David O’Brien. Photo: Andrew Perryman.
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The 160th anniversary of the 1854 Eureka Stockade treason trials will be celebrated with a scripted reenactment at Bendigo Supreme Court on Saturday.

The Eureka: Democracy on Trial show comes on the back of two performances in March at the Supreme Court in Melbourne.

The same cast of, predominately Melbourne-based barristers, will be performing in Bendigo as part of the Victorian Law Foundation’s Law Week.

Director and barrister Kylie Weston-Scheuber says the production will attract those interested in law, history and theatre.

“As anyone who has been to court will know, the courtroom is itself something of a theatre, involving a mix of drama, costume and tradition,” she said.

“We have costumes from the period, and a judge and barristers in traditional garb.

“We also have an amazing Irish fiddler, Chris Fitzgerald, playing live Irish music during the show.”

The one hour performance seeks to accurately reflect the reality of the two-day trial, while engaging the audience by inviting some viewers to sit in the jury box.

“We have selected witnesses from the original trial who bring events to life through their first-hand accounts – including a police spy, a magistrate, a gold-broker’s assistant, a miner and a reverend,” Ms Weston-Scheuber said.

“Because Timothy Hayes (and the other 12 men who were tried) were all charged with treason, the death penalty was a real possibility.

“This reenactment therefore gives a unique insight into what it looks like to see a person on trial for their life.”

The show is produced by BottledSnail Productions, which is the Melbourne legal industry theatrical project company.

All barristers, solicitors, law students and legal support staff are welcome to participate in the legal productions.

Eureka: Democracy on Trial performances will be held at 11am and 2.30pm with tickets available at www.ticketbooth.com.au

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