Lost Voices Presents

Jane Franklin and The Rajah Quilt

By Cate Whittaker
23 - 24 Nov 2023 (4 performances)
Thu 23 Nov 2023 1:30 pm
Thu 23 Nov 2023 7:00 pm
Fri 24 Nov 2023 1:30 pm
Fri 24 Nov 2023 7:00 pm
Studio Theatre

World Premiere 

Tirelessly striving to advance Tasmania, Governor Sir John Franklin and wife, Jane, a knock at midnight brings dismissal, disgrace and at dawn the boarding of The Rajah.

This tragic, yet moving play tells of the unjust dismissal of the highly-efficient, effective and extremely clever Governor’s wife, Jane Franklin, after working tirelessly to change Tasmania’s penal colony into a cultural centre, where girls were state educated; and convict women removed from the abuse of assignment to be taught skills.

Boarding the Rajah for home Jane faces her worst nightmare and nemesis- the reoffending convict woman, in Betsy, the Captain’s wife’s maid. The two clever women in opposite corners of life spar continually, with Jane methodically processes Betsy’s pardon, Betsy telling her, “Treat me like a person, not a problem.”

The tables are drastically turned when Jane discovers her name is notorious, being blamed for her husband’s dismissal. Unable to face life Jane’s saved by Betsy, who teaches her to sew. Sitting together stitching the Rajah Quilt they share life stories, laughter, and finally their sorrows. Its Betsy’s arms Jane cries in- a recognition of shared paths of unjust disgrace. 

The quilt is the catalyst supporting women in sorrow- helping Jane survive, convict women coming out on the Rajah survive, women in Changi survive, women of CWLs in WWI survive.

This World Premiere is by the acclaimed writer of Forgotten, Cate Whittaker. 



Full $50 | Concession $45 | Children $25
Family of four $30 | Students $28 | Groups 6+ $45

Balcony A Reserve

Full $45 | Concession $40 | Children $20
Family of four $25 | Students $25 | Groups 6+ 40

Balcony B Reserve

Full $40 | Concession $35 | Children $15
Family of four $21.25 | Students $20 | Groups 6+ $35

*all bookings will incur a $5 transaction fee


95 mins (no interval)

Patrons' Advice

Recommended for ages 15+
No babes in arms permitted
Contains references to suicide, strong language, sexual references, loud noise, and fast lighting changes.

For wheelchair and accessible seating enquiries, please contact our box office on (03) 6146 3300 or boxoffice@theatreroyal.com.au