Where the Coal Meets the Sea

On behalf of the University’s Coal River Working Party, I would like to express our sincere thanks to David Witchard and his fellow Dram1020 colleagues for Monday evening’s (10 November 2008) splendid performance piece Where the Coal Meets the Sea.

‘Where the Coal Meets the Sea’ was a University of Newcastle Drama 1020 production of a Historic Walking Tour (with a twist) around Newcastle’s historic Coal River Heritage Precinct located in Newcastle East. Australia.

For those of us who were fortunate enough to attend, we were all blown away. And we will never forget the experiences that they created for us. The scene of the little family experiencing the 1942 shelling of Newcastle was exceptionally moving. I loved the local kids with their replica coal ships (I counted 13 of them), and the return of the Pasha Bulker (I heard that Minister Joe Tripodi almost rescheduled another visit to Newcastle because of it). Our 1950s lifeguard looked after us all very well, and looked the part as he took us to visit Lucy (was that her name?) who showed us her collection of sea shells, as well as telling us of the ones that fell from the skies in 1942. The passionate miner at the Coal Monument, the Depression camp people, the songs and charms and the final arrival as convicts under the command of Captain Menzies made authentic with a drenching from a wet dog. What a performance! You made us feel like the Governor or even Prince Charles. What an achievement.

It would be fantastic if it could be performed again for next year’s Heritage Festival in April 09, the theme is ‘Our Place in Space Under the Southern Cross’. It runs from 4 April to 19 April 2009. We will support them in what even way we can.

Gionni Di Gravio

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