EUREKA - THE MUSICAL
1854 The battle at the Eureka Stockade
2004 the musical
2014 160 years ago and 10 years ago
Realisation: Berit Seitz
'We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties!' The diggers' oath, 30 November 1854.
The home of Australian democracy
The battle at the Eureka Stockade near Ballarat in 1854 changed Australia forever. It has come to represent popular struggle and has been called the birthplace of Australian democracy.
No votes, no rights
From the early 1850s, hopefuls coming to the Victorian goldfields were required to pay high fees for mining licences and were ill-treated and harassed by the authorities who were meant to protect them. The government dismissed the complaints of this itinerant population, who had no vote and couldn't buy land.
The diggers' flag
By 1854, the diggers of Ballarat were fed up. When their appeal to the government for justice was refused, they declared that they would stop buying gold licences and beneath the diggers' flag – the Southern Cross – swore to defend each other against the authorities. In a time of great hardship and brutal law their resistance was brave. The men of the stockade were risking all and the flag that came to represent their courage and vision now hangs in the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka as a monument to their struggle.
Battle for victory
Before dawn on 3 December 1854, government troops stormed the diggers' flimsy stockade at Eureka Lead, Ballarat. In a fiery battle that lasted only 20 minutes, more than 30 men were killed. Charged with high treason, the diggers' leaders were all eventually acquitted. Within a year the diggers won the vote and the hated gold licence was abolished.
the making of
the storyline of the musical
EUREKA! The Musical tells the story of the O’Malley family caught up in the miner’s rebellion of 1854 in Ballarat, Victoria. It is a time when men on the goldfields questioned the authority of the British Government, and led by Irishman Peter Lalor, they rose up against that authority, by uniting as a nation. They tore down the Union Jack, replacing it at the Eureka Stockade with Australia’s first flag, the Flag of the Southern Cross.
Long Tu is a Chinese miner in Ballarat in 1854. He wears a pigtail and spouts Confucius. All the other miners hate him, but he is befriended by an Irishman, Paddy O'Malley, and his granddaughter Bridie.
Bridie fights with her sweetheart, the miner Sean Flynn, about her friendship with "the Chink", as Flynn calls Long Tu. Then, when Flynn is in dire need, Long Tu helps him. Flynn sees his own prejudice. Long Tu stretches out his hand, Flynn grasps it. Cross-cultural reconciliation is achieved.
But too late for Flynn. Soldiers advance, the air is full of shouts and shots, the stockade is ablaze. Bridie tries to flee to Flynn but the evil Commissioner Grey, who has just unleashed the troops who will smash her life's hopes, clutches her wrist. Bridie screams in her Irish brogue: "Get your filthy British hands off me!"
So is history told in the musical Eureka, an all-singing, all-stomping saga of love and loss on the goldfields.
Peter Lalor a young educated man and engineer by trade
Sean Flynn.his best friend, a poor Irish farmer.
Bridie O'Malley a spirited girl newly arrived from Ireland.
Paddy O'Malley..her grandfather a lovable miner who likes a drink.
Father Smythe...a Catholic Priest.
Anastasia...a miner's wife and mother of eight.
Commissioner Grey...a British officer in charge of the Goldfields.
Alicia Dunn....A Geelong school teacher and Lalor's fiancee.
Sir Charles Hotham....Queen Victoria's representative in the colony.
Lady Jane Hotham....his wife a grand lady and socialite.
Captain Pasley....Commissioner Grey's adjutant.
Mr Dunn...Alicia's father, a respectable gentleman.
James Bentley....the crooked publican of the Eureka hotel.
Mercedes Cortes....a Spanish dancer who runs the brothel
Long Fu.one of four thousand working on the goldfields.
Frederic Vern....A Prussian miner with a soldier's heart, a friend to Lalor.
Rafaello Carboni...an Italian poet and miner, friend to Lalor.
Kardinia...who was there before it all started.
Chorus: Guests, suitors, Raoul and band.
|Peter Lalor||Ian Stenlake|
|Bridie O'Malley||Trisha Crowe|
|Paddy O'Malley||Barry Crocker|
|Mercedes Cortez||Amanda Muggleton|
|Sean Flynn||Simon Gleeson|
|Alicia Dunn||Rachel Beck|
|Sir Charles Hotham||Peter Carroll|
|Lady Hotham||Nancey Hayes|
|Commissioner Grey||Michael Cormick|
|Long Tu||Yang Li|
the cast then and now
Keyboard 1 and 2
Trumpet 1 and 2