BRINGING “BOGGO” TO LIFE – THE PRISON PLAYERS
Historic Number Two Division is much as it was when it closed in 1989. Although the silent, empty cellblocks of Boggo Road are haunting, the site today does not convey the reality of prison life, of being “inside”, of “doing time”. The cellblocks, yards, tracks, compound, quadrangle, gatehouse, walls and towers – are the perfect stage to bring the drama of the prison to life.
Since 2001, The Prison Players have been recreating “life” inside its red-brick walls, to thrill and chill audiences – entertaining and educating visitors – school groups, tourists, corporate and professional organisations – through their dramatic visual depictions of the past, using authentic period props and trained people.
Visitors to Boggo Road are immersed in the past – passing through authentic daily re-enactments – from sensational gaol breaks, riots and protests to the mundane, daily procedures, chores, and duties of inmates and officers. Every day is different.
In the minds of the Prison Players, visitors to the gaol are either “Inmates” like themselves or “Officials”, and interact with them only in the way they would in an active, fully functioning prison. The Prison Players remain trapped, as spirits, in the time period in which they live.
There are two divisions reflecting two different eras of the human history of Boggo Road:
(Recreating H. M. Gaol for Women, Brisbane circa 1900s)
(Recreating Number Two Division, H. M. Prison, Brisbane circa 1950s)
The Players work is ongoing, with members striving to “get it right”. New scripts are in development – 2013 will mark the 110th anniversary of the opening of HM Prison for Women – now Number Two Division. To commemorate this significant period of Boggo Road Gaol’s history the Female Division of the Prison Players will be presenting a series of fantastic immersions for visitors of His Majesty.