Kingston Arts presents Hell Ship – The Journey of the Ticonderoga.
On the back of his successful tour of 'Flak,' Michael Veitch has put together another one-man show, based this time on one of the most dramatic, yet now-forgotten chapters of Australia's early maritime history.
In 1852, the emigrant vessel Ticonderoga limped into Port Phillip Bay after a nightmare voyage from England during which a quarter of her nearly 800 passengers and crew had died from typhus. As its victims—Scottish families seeking a new life—were buried hastily at sea, schools of sharks, it was said, followed the stricken vessel all the way across the Indian Ocean.
When news of the ‘fever ship’ reached Melbourne, the city went into a panic. Typhus could wipe out a crowded city such as theirs—just the mention of the word filled people with dread. Special editions of the papers were printed to tell the grisly story of the ill-fated vessel to transfixed readers.