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Finding Fanny Finch

Accompanied by the music of Friends of Wendy Cotton, three historians untangle the remarkable story of the ‘notorious’ Fanny Finch.

Fanny’s great-great-great granddaughter Alice Garner and great-great grandson Bill Garner will come together with local historian Kacey Sinclair in performing Finding Fanny Finchat The Bridge Hotel on Thursday July 11 at 8pm.

Alice is best known as a film and television actor (Sea Change, The Secret Life of Us) and as a presenter on Coast Australia but she also holds a doctorate in history. As does her father Bill Garner, also a playwright and screenwriter. Kacey is currently writing a PhD on Fanny and the show is based on her ever-expanding research. Together they will tease out the twists and turns of the largely unknown story of early Castlemaine’s most famous female personality. 

 Hailed as Castlemaine’s first successful businesswoman Fanny Finch started out selling sly grog and then ran restaurants and boarding houses at Forest Creek, Castlemaine and Amherst. She was also one of the first women to vote in Australia in the first municipal elections here. She was bold and outspoken, writing to the local press and taking her enemies to task despite constant attacks on her reputation as a sly grogger and brothel keeper.

Fanny’s story, from her arrival in South Australia in 1837, the year after Adelaide was founded, to her arrival alone at the Mount Alexander diggings in 1852, is the more remarkable because she was the illegitimate coloured daughter of a London servant. 

Even for those who believe they are familiar with the Fanny story, the show promises to be full of surprises.

Tickets $10 plus BF available HERE | $12 on the door | 8PM start