The Captive

How far will a man go to call a place ‘home’? In a land of immigrants, who are the dispossessed?

This is the premise of Ben Ellis’s stark play about early Australian settlers.

It’s 1840 and a ship is wrecked on the uncharted coast of colonial Australia. On evidence of a female survivor, Angus Mitchell, an enterprising Scottish immigrant, is employed to search for her amongst the Aboriginal tribes of a wild and foreign land, beyond the new boundaries of his own civilisation.

The hunt will take Mitchell far from his loving, spirited wife and will reveal the shocking brutality of which men are capable.

However, Ellis’s characters are nuanced and your sympathies will be torn as you watch the characters’ desperate struggle for a better life in a new land. Brilliant performances by Gareth Glen (Angus Mitchell) and Rachel Waring (Heather Mitchell) remind you that moral decisions are complex and likeable human beings can be flawed.

The horrific treatment of Australia’s native people is dealt with unflinchingly and the play’s end has a grim inevitability about it. You will leave feeling that you’ve had an intimate glimpse into someone’s life as their decency is destroyed by desperation. It’s food for thought.


Sundays and Mondays, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 November 2010
Evenings at 7.30pm
Tickets £13, £9