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.

Was That A Bunyip, Essence Productions, Family Play, Werribee Zoo, Australia, Victoria, Melbourne Tourism

Written by Alaine Beek

Fully Developed Script

Cast - 1 Male, 1 Neutral

Duration - 22 Minutes

Suitable Age - All Ages


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

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


Jenny Grey, CEO, Zoos Victoria,

"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.