What Was That?: The 1000th Show

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What Was That?: The 1000th Show

One historic mansion, seven actors, 20 years, 1000 shows, 23,000 satisfied thrill seekers.

Running at the Werribee Park Mansion since 2003, Essence Theatre Productions invites Art and History lovers to join them as they celebrate their 1000th performance of What Was That? on Saturday the 12th of August, at 8pm.

It is July 1908 and visitors are rare at Werribee Mansion. The mistress, Mary Chirnside, tragically died three months ago and since then there have been multiple strange occurrences in the house. Despite this, the only two remaining servants, Maggie (the Head Maid) and Mr. Duncan (the Butler) have tried to stay positive as they await the new masters.

Welcomed by Maggie as “Old friends of The Chirnside’s”, What Was That? is an immersive, roaming play filled with drama, comedy, and wonderfully scary elements. Most importantly, it allows people to experience the magnificence of the Mansion as the story unfolds throughout the house.

Written by Alaine Beek and based on the true story of The Chirnside Family, this exclusive experience has entertained over 23 000 delighted audience members since it began – welcoming them into one of Victoria’s largest and most opulent properties. Now in its 20th year, the success of Essence Productions’ What Was That? is a testament to the marrying of arts and history in Victoria and how the results act to showcase some of our finest attributes to locals, interstate, and international guests, alike.

Running since 2003, Essence Theatre Productions is an independent theatre company founded by Alaine Beek with a focus on bringing Australian stories to life through performance. They are the resident theatre company at Werribee Park. Other company productions include The Dress, The Scrunch Test, Shepherd Kings, Down to Earth, Testing Nothing, A Good Coffee, Jack and Millie, and their season of Point of No Return, which toured nationally to rave reviews.