On board with Troy Larkin, Actor at Old Melbourne Gaol!
Built in the 1800s to house Victoria’s rapidly growing criminal population, the Old Melbourne Gaol is one of Melbourne’s oldest surviving buildings and one of the city’s must-see attractions! Between 1842 and its closure in 1929 the gaol was the scene of 133 hangings including Australia’s most infamous citizen, the bushranger Ned Kelly. Today you can visit the Old Melbourne Gaol to find out what life was like for the men and women who lived and died here all those years ago!
Today, we catch up with Troy, actor at the Old Melbourne Gaol to find out about the roles he plays and some interesting facts about the gaol!
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a Melbourne based actor, former teacher and history fanatic. This allows me to be involved in a number of different roles at the Old Melbourne Gaol. The Gaol employs many professional actors to help interpret Melbourne’s fascinating history through plays, storytelling and interactive tour experiences. I am lucky enough to part of the acting team working onsite.
Firstly, I have the immense honour of playing the coveted role of Ned Kelly in the Gaol’s original play about the man himself. I also play Sergeant Henderson in the Gaol’s Arresting Experience Tour in the former Russell Street Watch House. This is an extremely fun interactive tour where the audience is endowed as new inmates and taken through a ‘lockup’ experience to learn about what it was like to be under lock and key. I also perform in the night-time version of this experience called ‘A Night in the Watch House’ which is quite different to the day tour and is for people over 16. It has a few twists and turns and a couple of frights but is still lots of fun.
Fun fact: If you pick up an audio tour of The Gaol… That’s my voice!
How did you get involved in tourism? What attracted you to the Gaol?
Tourism, for me, is about giving people amazing new experiences. The Gaol certainly excels at that while giving visitors choice information and showing great respect for the historical gravity of the site.
What’s something people might not know about the Gaol?
The Gaol houses the original gallows where Ned Kelly was executed. However if you’re more of a rock n’ roll fan it is also the same spot where the lead singer of The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger stood to film his final scene playing Ned Kelly in the 1970 film.
What does your typical day look like?
Like I said before, I have the opportunity to take part in so many different roles so every single day is different! It could be anything from donning the beard and armour to play Ned Kelly or the officer’s blues to be Sergeant Henderson. During the holidays we also take school groups on an eye-opening trip back in time when children were still being imprisoned. I love it, and it gives them a sense of how good they really have it these days.
What is your favourite part of the job?
I enjoy every aspect of my work. I thrive on telling the old stories of the gaol and seeing people’s jaws drop when they hear some of the outrageous and incredible things that have happened here. But as a Gaol guide I get to take people around to see the original and fully restored front gates to the Gaol. For me, they are a definite highlight and sadly are often missed by visitors.
Do you have a special place in the Gaol?
Surprisingly enough for a gaol, these days the exterior grounds are quite lovely.
Do you have any advice for people travelling to Melbourne for the first time?
Come and get locked up at The Old Melbourne Gaol… You won’t regret it!
For information, ticket prices & more visit their website.