2022 - Shortlisted
This remarkable play is both ghost story and tragedy, inspired by 200 years of real accounts of an abandoned hospital in the West Australian township of York. The play begins in the present day, then travels to 1985 when a group of cub scouts experiences hauntings, then to the end of World War I when the building was a military hospital, then back to the truth of colonial brutality on Country.
The first part of the play engages many of the familiar tropes of popular ghost stories. This is hugely entertaining. But as the play progresses, the writers take us from comedic terror to unspeakable trauma. The stylistic shifts are well handled, and the text is finely tuned to underline connections through time. This is ambitious storytelling of a kind rarely seen on our stages.