Just after 2.00 a.m. on February 9, 1913, the ship Terra Nova arrived at Oamaru harbour, and dropped off two men. They spent the remainder of the night in the home of the harbourmaster. In the morning, they sent a secret telegram conveying one of the biggest news stories of the 20th Century: the death, returning from the South Pole, of Captain Scott and his party.
The Night Visitors imagines the extraordinary impact of these two men and their secret upon the Oamaru harbourmaster and his family, during the wee hours of February 9, and over the next few days as the tragic news became known. The intensity of the night visitors and their story pushes the family to the edge of crisis, but from this maelstrom new understandings and relationships emerge.
Virtually everything in the play that happens outside the harbourmaster’s house is factual. Virtually everything that happens inside is fictitious. The play was commissioned by the Oamaru Scott 100 Committee.