About The Show

The Secret History of Queensland is a presentation of songs and stories about Queensland history. These compelling tales of the past are delivered through music, song and stories, all illustrated by live sand-painting, digitally projected for audiences of all sizes and ages. The show can be performed as a theatre presentation or as an interactive, child-centred school performance.

The history of our place is carried in the personal histories of the people who live here. Using this premise, Emma Nixon and Nicole Murray began with stories gleaned from their own Queensland families, and built on these authentic experiences with research in the State Library of Queensland to construct an entertaining and educational show.

Queensland’s history is rich and varied. Every person has their own stories of connection to Queensland that weave together to form a rich cultural and historic tapestry. Exploration of stories from within Emma and Nicole’s own families have led to tales of Queensland pirates, convicts, bushrangers, immigrants, pioneers, and true experiences of living in this state of extremes.

Nicole, Emma and Rebecca present these intriguing stories with an equally fascinating instrumentation: they are highly accomplished musicians who accompany their singing with violin, viola and cello, a skill known as “fiddlesinging”.

In The Secret History of Queensland performance, Nicole also creates a stunning series of illustrations by drawing on a lightbox with sand to create images of sailing ships, historic houses, convicts, horses and riders, cleverly constructing the next image out of the remains of the last. The lightbox images are projected onto a screen for the audience to see.

The Secret History of Queensland was developed in response to an invitation from the State Library of Queensland to prepare a creative musical performance for Queensland Week 2012, researched from the collections of the Library.

To learn more about our shows for schools, concerts and festivals, visit our "Bookings and Information" page.