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The Ballad of Rosie Quinn - Valley Fiesta's Blindfolded Event

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Haunting convict tale comes to life for Valley Fiesta

Following a critically-acclaimed, sold-out run at May's Anywhere Theatre Festival, The Ballad of Rosie Quinn, a unique blindfolded theatrical experience, comes to Valley Fiesta. Five shows only this weekend! Book your tickets now!

Held at heritage Holy Trinity Church Hall, The Ballad of Rosie Quinn sees the audience blindfolded and thrust into the dark side of Brisbane's colonial past. Surrounded by actors and musicians, the audience will be immersed in the fictional tale of a young convict Rosie Quinn, as she struggles to make a life for herself in the hellish Moreton Bay Penal Colony. The sounds, scents and sensations will create a vivid, chilling and lingering experience like no other.

Creator and producer Jo Willans became interested in the stories and experiences of women convicts in Moreton Bay after reading about the infamous exploits of convicts housed in the old Women's Factory, which was located at the site of the Queen Street Post Office in the CBD.

Men and women were segregated in the settlement, however, men frequently gained access to the factory, despite its perimeter fence. Recent excavations for the Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade have uncovered more evidence of the role of women in Moreton Bay, unearthing a road that may have been built by women convicts to pave the way to Eagle Farm. Willans says, "I'm fascinated by the lives of the women convicts in Moreton Bay. Their existence was very harsh, and I think that there was considerable exploitation. As a modern woman in Brisbane, I am interested in the women who lived here before me and the conditions they experienced."

The talented cast, which includes Will Boyd, Samantha Paterson, Reagan Warner, Jo Willans, Aimee Monement and Michael Owen, use everyday household objects to ingeniously create a rich sensory experience that will transport audiences to the harsh realities of life in the Moreton Bay Penal Colony. "We spend so much time looking at things these days, especially with so many devices available to us all of the time. Our show gives audiences a chance to enjoy a rich experience with their other senses." And if you're feeling a little hesitant about how intense the experience can be, Willans says, "There were a few screamers last time who got a little fright. People can take a little peek if it gets too scary!"


The 'Reviewers Pick' at the Anywhere Theatre Festival, The Ballad of Rosie Quinn received 5-star reviews.

"A deeply moving production, with such clever attention to detail in designing a non-visual show, The Ballad of Rosie Quinn is a chilling reflection on our history and the way that we remember it." Elise Lawrence, Reviewer

"The Ballad of Rosie Quinn relies on the audience's ability to build an image in their mind based on the narration, soundscape, audio affects, senses of touch and smell and emotion. And it works!" - Fiona Davey, Reviewer


Don't miss your opportunity to experience The Ballad of Rosie Quinn this weekend.

Tickets are now on sale through and priced $30pp.

Choose from the following performances

  • 31 Aug, 2018 7:00PM

  • 31 Aug, 2018 8:30PM

  • 1 Sep, 2018 7:00PM

  • 1 Sep, 2018 8:30PM

  • 2 Sep, 2018 7:00PM

    Please note The Ballad of Rosie Quinn is suitable for ages 15 and over only.

    The Ballad of Rosie Quinn is a mix of campfire ghost story, true crime podcast Casefile, and folk song that will leave your sixth sense tingling. For more information and to secure your visit, please head to


    Presented by Republic of Song, Valley Fiesta and Anywhere Presents

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    When: August 31 at 7 and 8.30pm; September 1 at 7 and 8.30pm; September 2 at 7pm
    Where: Holy Trinity Church Hall, Church St Fortitude Valley
    Cost: $30
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