In-line with the latest advice from the Australian and Victorian Government on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, all venues at Frankston Arts Centre will be closed to the public until further notice.
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About This Event

Please note that due to the current restrictions, the livestream performance of Hell Ship will be rescheduled. The new date has yet to be confirmed, however as soon as we can we will let you know. Thank you for your patience and understanding in these difficult times.


Frankston Arts Centre and Chester Creative are proud to present Hell Ship: The Journey of The Ticonderoga, to be streamed live from the Frankston Arts Centre stage, direct to your living room.  

" encounter with the extraordinary in one's own family story... A thrilling and moving night in the theatre." - Guy Rundle

In 1852, the emigrant vessel Ticonderoga limped into Port Phillip Bay after a nightmare voyage from England in 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. Forbidden to come into port, Ticonderoga was instead forced to anchor near Portsea where her remaining passengers were either nursed back to health, or allowed to die.

In its day, the Ticonderoga was the most dramatic, most tragic true stories of our maritime history. Today however, the saga is largely forgotten as has the story of one of its heroes, the young ship’s surgeon who bravely nursed many of the sick passengers back to health. This man was performer Michael Veitch’s great-great grandfather, James William Henry Veitch.

This one-man play tells one of our great maritime stories from the wonderful writer and actor Michael Veitch. Known for his artful and tender characters and ability to transfix an audience with a sense of awe as they enter the world he so powerfully creates on stage.

Tickets are priced at whatever you can afford. With a downturn in ticket revenue, your support in exchange for this livestream performance is most welcome. Tickets begin at $0, and can be purchased by clicking Buy Tickets above.

The planned live-stream performance will be rescheduled and we will update this page as soon as we can secure a new date. 

Presented by: Frankston Arts Centre and Chester Creative

This show is handpicked to be in the FAC 2020 Season.

 Thanks to our 2020 partners



" encounter with the extraordinary in one's own family story, as well a brilliant focus on the hidden histories that make up the country we became. A thrilling and moving night in the theatre." - Guy Rundle

"Master story-teller Michael Veitch carries us back to early Melbourne with a personal history woven into our shared colonial past. He brings back from the dead the benighted souls who perished on the hellish journey of the Ticonderoga and the few wretches that survived. It's a poignant tale with a vividly regenerated cast of characters. Michael Veitch does it all, brilliantly and single-handedly." -Max Gillies AM

Join in this FREE online workshop with Michael Veitch presented by Frankston City Libraries on Saturday 8 August, 11am.

Are you one of the many people out there doing an extraordinary job as the family or community researcher, you have all the facts, dates, names and places - but now you find that the 'story' eludes you?  

The re-telling of facts in a way that excites an audience can be a daunting task. Don't worry, this is a regularly occurring issue and one Michael Veitch can assist you with.

The facts in themselves, whilst startling, are often not a compelling story until woven into a form. It takes a certain visual storytelling method to flesh out the bones into a full and rich tale that others can enjoy.

Bring your story ideas - listen to tips and techniques. You'll have the opportunity to put your learnings into practice throughout this workshop under the watchful (and helpful) eye of Michael himself.

Numbers are limited for this invaluable FREE workshop with Michael Veitch. Bookings are essential by registering online using the button below, or calling our friendly library staff on 9784 1020.

Book Your Spot

Detailed Warnings for Teachers

Some adult themes, ages 15+


Subject Links

Drama and Theatre Studies





In its day, the Ticonderoga was one of the most dramatic and tragic true stories of our maritime history. The saga is largely forgotten as has the story of one of its heroes, the young ship’s surgeon, James William Henry Veitch, who bravely nursed many of the sick passengers back to health.


Information for Educators

The history of immigration and maritime engagement has been an important part of Australia’s journey as a nation.

Students can:

ENJOY a local story of love, adventure and bravery. 

ENGAGE in discussions around Australia’s history of settlement and the journeys undertaken by immigrants to Australia by sea.

RESPOND to the effectiveness and impact of a solo performance and the use of live music as part of the work. 


Extension Opportunities

An Education Resource Kit is available for this performance.


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