History through thought provoking and entertaining performances.
Essence Productions was founded by Alaine Beek in 2003. Her shows are written and produced by Alaine and her talented team of professional artists located in the West of Melbourne, Australia. Together they aim to inspire, entertain and enlighten their audiences through live performance.
(Winner of Judges Choice for Best Written Play, People's Choice for Best Written Play and People's Choice for Best Performed Play (at the Victorian Drama League National One Act Playwright 2014 Awards).
WHAT WAS THAT
Tickets to this were a Christmas present to me as I go to these type of productions often. I had already learned about the famous Melbourne family, the Chirnsides, but being in their manor house, Werribee Mansion was amazing.
Fun, interesting, funny, interactive. Gorgeous venue and wonderful actors made for a very enjoyable evening. Small group meant everyone could see and hear. Easy to find and great communication from the provider in the lead up to the evening.
Received a voucher for my birthday and it was such a great surprise! Fun, interactive and spooky adventure. The hosts were funny and engaging. Would definitely recommend this for an experience out of the ordinary.
The interactive play was brilliant! The actors relied solely on their acting skills, effective use of the setting and it's history. Around of applause for the two gentlemen working behind the scenes. They were not seen during the entire performance yet they supported the actors well. My wife and I had a great time.
The actors were great and included the audience very well. It was a great way to experience some of the history of the Mansion. As it was a balmy night - we were able to go out on the balcony to a full moon - which added to the ambience of the evening while we were having drinks at the end of the show - a great show!
Enjoyed the historical content and theatrical display. Loved the performers who were not only entertaining but friendly and engaging. Do yourself a favour and buy your tickets now!
What a great experience. When we booked we weren't entirely sure what this theatre show had in store for us, but our expectations were exceeded. Quality acting and productions. Would highly recommend.
The Werribee Park Mansion Night Performance was absolutely brilliant. If you want a good laugh and a couple of scares, the you will love this. It was performed by brilliant actors, whom we enjoyed chatting to after the event over a glass of bubbly.
What a fun evening! Loved the performers! Maggie the maid and Mr Duncan the butler were great comfortable in their roles and interacted with each other and the group very well. The beautiful mansion is the perfect setting for the story telling of the history of the original family and it was interesting seeing it in
this way. A well acted show with some comedy and a few scary moments! It was very enjoyable and can definitely recommend it to others.
Really worth it! I was very nervous after reading that there were a few scary parts but it’s really worth it for a good night and a lot of laughs!
We have been reflecting and chatting about the show again this morning…it really was incredible!. We loved the story/script and the characters. Each of the performances had us totally spellbound. I also thought the pared back set and costumes were so unique & clever (very cool!). It was a real ‘happening’!!
My partner and I saw ‘Jack & Millie’ last night. Congratulations on your writing, the acting, the direction… and amazing how effective a set can be with two boxes and a long scarf!
A powerful true story, that could easily affect anyone of us, a family member or a friend. It is brilliantly told and performed in a manner that is clear in its message of personal struggle with a serious illness and the many thoughts (good and bad) that go on in one's mind during this struggle. From my personal experience with my ‘Jack’ it was a little scary at times thinking about my battle with inner thoughts. Yet there are many wonderful lighthearted moments mixed in the seriousness of the story, for me, it was somewhat cathartic. Importantly it is truthful and forthright in highlighting the reactions and emotions of family and friends once diagnosis is known. I thoroughly recommend Jack and Millie.
Really enjoyed the evening- very thought provoking- I have a friend going through treatment for prostate cancer and it really set me thinking about how he may be feeling.
Jack and Milly is an honest, heartfelt and funny play that is beautifully crafted and thoroughly engaging
Loved it. Fun and quirky. I didn't think it black at all, but colourful and full of light, love, texture, illuminating and honest. Cast was brilliant.
Absolutely well put together acting superb, writing was precise and cut through with that wonderful sense of humour.
What a breath of fresh air! This funny and positive (yet gritty and real) exploration of one woman's cancer diagnosis was a delight from start to finish. As I took my seat, I mentally prepared myself for a depressing cancer story. Instead, I laughed and smiled my way through Jack & Millie.
Beautifully acted, with just the right amount of realness. I'll be talking about this production for years to come.
Night theater performance at Werribee historic farm was a red balloon birthday gift. Highly
entertaining. Our hosts provided a strong performance that had the guests laughing at times and
jumping in fright at others. The stories combined local historical fact with such emotion that you
were taken on the journey back to life in the 19th century. Bravo and thank you for an
All the emotions! Everyone had a great time with the characters and it was a great immersive
Great night's entertainment. Fantastic atmosphere wandering around the ancient farm buildings by lantern light.
What a great night. We highly recommend this to anyone. Great actors, well set up and
enjoyable evening which got the audience involved.
This was my 2nd show with this company after having previously attended 'What Was That' at
the Mansion a few years back. Absolutely loved the experience and would recommend to locals
and visitors alike - topped off by drinks at the end of the show.
What a great experience! A fantastic night had by the entire family. Can't wait to book our 'What Was That' tickets.
Authentic surroundings and great performance by the two actors together with the mixture of
young and older participants made this experience a memorable one.
Great crowd involvement and very entertaining. Would recommend to anyone who was
interested in the 1860's history of the area.
Alaine Beek’s play manages to be historically responsible, educative, psychologically credible and entertaining to boot. Point of No Return is a naturalistic piece, an exceptionally well-made play, and Beek directs it like a screenplay. All the actors are set challenges, none more stratospheric than the guard’s scene with his mongrel dog. Phil Cameron-Smith’s performance has an eye-of-the-hurricane focus.
The dialogue is heartfelt and funny, the tension palpable, and the onstage action often surprising and fierce. Although the situation is outside most people’s direct experience, the audience can easily identify with the characters and become totally engrossed in the world that is being created before them. This is a truly beguiling piece of writing that also translates effortlessly onto the stage.
Everyone was blown away by the performance that was “Point of No Return’ . . . To the world around them, these boys were unwanted, they were forgotten, and they were
unimportant. But for those 80 minutes, they mattered. They matter to us. They became our
children, our brothers, our allies, who we worried about, who we cared for and who we long
to save. That in itself is the heart of this play- it serves as a reminder that no one is too hopeless to save. . . . It is through Alaine’s courageous writing, and the incredible performances of this wonderful cast, these boys and other boys like them, will matter.
Head of Drama,
A powerful story. a totally enjoyable and sometimes confronting performance. I loved every moment, congratulations
I write in support of this
engaging new historical drama. Much has been written and documented about Australia’s
convict heritage but little of the boys sent for rehabilitation to the Point Puer boys prison near
Port Arthur, Tasmania. Every character’s journey through the drama is crafted with aplomb by Ms Beek to create a compelling, moving and sometimes humorous story that is a triumph of the human spirit. Point of No Return is a play that has the possibility to tour, be staged by professional or amateur theatre companies or even schools. I have no hesitation in recommending Point Of No Return for production or publication.”
Complete Works Theatre Company
The actors deliver highly convincing performances in which the depth of their bond and
affection is apparent. A play worth seeing.
Independent Arts Journal
My gal pal Kate and I LOVED the show. We were into it the minute we walked into the theatre. Really enjoyed the story, the set and nod to our past. What a talented bunch of young actors too!
In My Mothers Words written and directed by regular, Alaine Beek, is based on the playwright’s
own relationship with her mother and has a very human and poignant quality to it ….. The play
and performers move nicely through the emotions of frustration, annoyance, surrender and,
finally, connection. The concluding moments are most heart-warming.
Victoria Drama League
Alaine Beek’s ‘The Scrunch Test captures with honesty and delight a subject matter that is often
treated harshly and without understanding.