Crate of Souls
Product Code: 978-1-921586-41-5
by Verity Laughton
The Crate of Souls is a play which follows the journey in 1836 of three immigrant ships: the Buffalo, the Rapid, and the Africaine, from England heading towards the as yet uncolonized South Australia. South Australia was going to be a new sort of colony, founded according to the reprobate Edward Gibbon Wakefield’s plan of ‘systematic colonization.’ South Australians were to be a new sort of colonist too – men and women of means, many of them Dissenters, shut out from preferment in Anglican England – travelling for four to six months along with their emigrant labourers whose passages they had funded - to make a deliberate investment in a land which they saw as virtually uninhabited though of course they knew that in fact, it was not.
But really, as one of the characters says in the play, these could have been ‘any ships travelling any ocean in search of any number of Utopias’.