Time Out Melbourne

This event has finished

Could thylacines be roaming the fringe? Time Out talks to Sarah Hamilton and Justine Campbell

For Sarah Hamilton, who grew up in Tasmania and worked as a bushwalking guide for six years, Tasmania's thylacine has been life-long fascination.

"It was almost a fantasy to think that the Tasmanian tiger was still out there and that I might one day see one," she says, remembering the long treks into the wilderness.

Now this writer and performer is transforming her fascination into art, bringing a new thylacine-themed show to the Melbourne Fringe, working with regular collaborator Justine Campbell.

Hamilton's obsessions were nourished in childhood by the many stories circulating of strange things seen in the wild. Indeed, her own parents have seen ‑ or claim to have seen ‑ the elusive carnivorous marsupial.

"It was late at night, on the east coast," says Hamilton. "Mum has no doubt that it was a thylacine. But my dad never talked about it. When I asked him he would say, 'Oh, I don't remember that'."

Now that his daughter is writing a show about thylacine sightings, his memory of the event has returned, but this, says Hamilton, highlights one of the problems in talking about the thylacine: "People are afraid of being ridiculed."

A consequence of this silence is that we've never really faced up to the conservation implications of the thylacine's disappearance.

Although, Hamilton works by day as a presenter at Melbourne Zoo she insists that They Saw a Thylacine is not a lecture.

"It's not a lament, and it's not educational," she says.

According to Justine Campbell, director and performer, it will be fantasy mix of dialogue, monologue and funky stage design.

"It's a narrative two-hander," says Campbell. "It's a comedy, with glitter, fake nails, flesh and thylacines. And maybe some dry ice."

Sign up to our monthly Arts newsletter

By Andrew Fuhrmann   |   Photos by Luke Lennox

They Saw a Thylacine details

Fringe Hub, Rehearsal Room
521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne 3051

Telephone (03) 9660 9666

Nearby Stations: North Melbourne

Price $16.00 to $23.00

Date 20 Sep 2013-05 Oct 2013

Open Tue-Sat 6.30pm; Sun 5.30pm

Director: Justine Campbell

Cast: Justine Campbell and Sarah Hamilton

North Melbourne Town Hall map

Report a problem with this page

Restaurants and bars nearby

The Courthouse Hotel

40m - Pub dining takes a turn for the plush in this beautifully maintained Art...


85m - A standing room only café has opened directly across the road from Auction...

Auction Rooms Café

103m - Going to North Melbourne is like getting out of town without having to get...

Banter Wine Bar

145m - Crisp, thin-crust pizzas and a drink selection of unusual wines have made...

More restaurants and bars nearby

Other venues nearby

Arts House

20m - Arts House splits its program across two venues: the North Melbourne Town...

Lithuanian Club

85m - The Melbourne Lithuanian Club hosts cultural and social activities for the...

More venues nearby
Petit Piknic

Petit Piknic

Melbourne's got the most fun, family-friendly Sunday session at Piknic Electronik

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus

Get the Time Out weekend planner. Straight to your inbox, every Thursday.
Read more