A Wharfie’s Story is a collaboration between the Collingwood College Theatre Troupe and artists Kym Maxwell, Gerard Van Dyke and Joel Stern.
Originally performed by the Collingwood College Theatre Troupe in the College’s gym, 20th of November, 2015, the final hour-long performance introduced by Jim Beggs was performed on the public lawn of Buluk Park—in front of Library at The Dock on Melbourne’s North Wharf, 21st of November, 2015.
The project is inspired by the autobiography Proud to be a Wharfie by Jim Beggs (2013), a story that traces his life on the Docks as a worker and unionist. The students present their interpretation of wharfie labour and integrity through action and voice with feedback from choreographer Gerard Van Dyke, anda live sound performance developed with Joel Stern. The site specific show brings attention to the changing conditions of labour and workers’ rights at the Docks based on Jim Beggs’ time there from the 1950s. Even though 90% of the world’s trade travels via the ocean, the wharfies’ world and stories are somehow invisible and this show aims to bring it to the foreground.