Matilda Fish and the Bushranger

Matilda Fish main image

Brigid storyteller - white backgroundBushrangerExciting History

The real story of Matilda Fish, who was held up twice by the same bushranger, performed for your students at your own school.

Meet William Geary, ex-soldier, escaped convict, desperate to stay free and find a good hot meal. Starving in the bush, he and his gang creep closer to a lonely house among the trees…

Meet Matilda Fish, abandoned by her husband on Sydney’s rough outskirts, now the North Shore, with her large family. She was bringing them up with considerable ingenuity…until the door burst open and bushranger William Geary’s gang arrived.

A thrilling, fast-paced romp of a play by two actors, this story is based on a true tale from Sydney’s colonial history. Where do our sympathies lie, with the bushranger brutalised by harsh punishment, or the woman hamstrung by the law? A clever final twist lets students grapple with tricky issues.

Integrated Curriculum Learning


  • Early colonisation of Australia – who came here in the 18th and 19thcenturies and why.
  • Everyday life of colonial children and families, and how this is different from students lives today.
  • Why men became bushrangers.
  • What ‘justice’ was like in colonial times – students decide at the end of the play if William Geary should hang for his crime.


  • All three strands of language, literature and literacyare addressed.
  • Different literary forms including narration, poetry and song are demonstrated.

Music and DramaBen and guitar - white background

Students will

  • listen, respond to and participate in traditional and original music
  • experience theatrical techniques, including narration, characterization and dramatic climax
  • observe how tension, pace, dialogue, and movement work.

Backing music from the production is supplied in the teaching packs.


Dates Terms 2 and 3.

For specific dates, please see our calendar page.

Cost $630 for up to 90 students (plus GST). Extra students $7 each. Maximum 250 students per performance
Suitability Years K-6
Length 1 hour including 10 mins Q&A

Drama workshops and playwright seminars

We also offer both drama workshops with our actors after the performance, and seminars with award winning author and playwright Wendy Blaxland.

For more information, please visit the workshops and seminars page.

SCHOOL RESPONSESBrigid pointing - white background

“What a brilliant show! The performance was spot on, a mix of history, comedy and music, and kept the students engaged from start to finish. The script was historically correct yet simple enough for a young audience.”

Hazelbrook Public School

“The children have learnt so much from your presentation. The play had humour as well as knowledge for them to go away with. We were delighted they all were so engaged.”

Our Lady of the Nativity School

“It’s so lovely when history can come to life on the stage.”

Sydney Grammar School – St Ives Prep School

School testimonials about Blaxland and Daughter productions.


(02) 7901 1920


Please fill out the booking form and return it to

For more information please fill out the form below and someone will be in contact within 48 hours.

School enquiry



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