The true story of one of the most dramatic, yet now forgotten chapters of Australia's early maritime history, Hell Ship is a tale of hardship and heroism; of survival and love.
In 1852, the emigrant clipper Ticonderoga limped into Port Melbourne after a nightmare three-month voyage from England. By the time she reached Australian shores, she was a floating catastrophe with nearly 200 of her passengers dead after a typhus outbreak.
Told from the perspective of the ship's young surgeon who bravely nursed many of the sick passengers back to health, Michael Veitch uses his trademark dry humour and razor sharp wit to illuminate the dark and inhumane conditions of the so-called hell ship on its journey across the seas in a story personal to his family; the young surgeon was actually his great-great grandfather, James William Henry Veitch.
Written by and Starring Michael Veitch
Directed by Peter Houghton
... an encounter with the extraordinary in one's own family story, as well a brilliant focus on the hidden histories that make up the country we became. A thrilling and moving night in the theatre.