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Written by Alaine Beek, The Scrunch Test is based on Alaine’s Scottish family (mostly her parents) on Christmas Day.  It is a black comedy that deals with the pressure of trying to have a ‘perfect’ Christmas and the communication breakdown that ensues around the issues of alcoholism and inability to trust each other with some basic truths including the son telling his father he is gay.

The Scrunch Test was performed at the Malvern Theatre, November 2017 and won ‘People’s Choice for Best Written Script’, ‘People’s Choice for Best Performed Script’ and Ross Daniels won best actor in the role of the father (Playhouse Players 2017 One Act Playwright Competition)




In 2015, Alaine received a grant from the Wyndham City Council to assist in creating a new script about the Chirnside family.

Told for the first time through eyes of the Thomas, Andrew, Mary and A.S. Chirnside.  This is a drama that ends with a spine tingling performance of ‘Nellie Melba’.  After many years of research followed by workshops and rewrites. A reading was held in the Mansion on Monday 16th November 2015.  

Essence Productions received overwhelmingly positive feedback from Werribee Park Management, staff and volunteers, Chirnside descendents, Werribee Historical Society staff, and many theatre practitioners.  

Alaine is continuing to develop the script and is now looking for funding to take this play to full production status.


In 2012, the Werribee Open Range Zoo commissioned Essence Productions to produce a short play to be performed each night for their Wild Nights winter holiday programme.

Alaine wrote a 15 minute play called ‘Was that a Bunyip?'.   The play was aimed at engaging families with young children.  The show was performed on a rustic stage outside the historic wool shed (located in the Werribee Zoo) and explored themes of history, fun and the conservation of animals.

‘Was That a Bunyip’ centers on two characters – Harry the Hunter, who believes he was there to protect the Chirnside family from the wild animals.  The only problem is that Harry didn’t realise he was in a zoo.  Betty the Bunyip helps him understand the need to look after the animals (not shoot them). Of course they became best friends.

Tim Grech, then Manager Visitor Development and Learning for Werribee Open Range Zoo said that;

'The script, like the show, is brilliant'.

Jenny Grey, CEO, Zoos Victoria also wrote of the play;

"The number of conservation messages and strong story line in the Bunyip performance ensured that this is a 'sweet spot' project and will no doubt increase awareness of the conservation work we do.'

Werribee Open Range Zoo is an African themed zoo in Werribee, about 32 kilometres south-west of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.