Way back when, Wednesdays

Look who’s talking

Page 13 of the Leader Messenger dated 30 November, 1983 featured an interview with talented young ventriloquist Linda Jane and her friend Charlie.  Does anybody remember watching Linda Jane and Charlie on Channel 9’s talent show New Faces?  The article focused on Linda’s emerging career in ventriloquism and on her childhood experiences.  Linda Jane and other artists were to appear in a series of concerts to entertain inmates and staff in Adelaide’s gaols.  A brave girl!  Prisoners at Yatala Labour prison had been rioting and lighting fires.

A ventriloquist can change their voice and make it seem like the words they are speaking are coming from a puppet or dummy, which is commonly referred to as having the ability to ‘throw your voice’.  The technical term for a ventriloquist’s dummy is a ventriloquial figure.

In the 1940s and 1950s ventriloquism was incredibly popular in Australia. Hundreds of people performed the art of ventriloquism on stage.  Ventriloquism became a novelty, when electronics used in modern film made it easy to convey the illusion of a non-living character having a voice.  Less people visited the theatre to watch comedy and musical acts.  Fortunately technology and the Internet have created new opportunities for ventriloquists to build new audiences and connect with fellow performers.  Carrying on the tradition, Darren Carr and David Strassman are two ventriloquists who are popular with Australian audiences.

If you find ventriloquist dummies creepy, you are not alone. Fear of ventriloquist’s dummies is known as Automatonophobia.  People who suffer from this phobia feel stressed in the presence of ventriloquilist dummies.  They may also dislike animatronic creatures, dolls or wax statues.  Anything that resembles a sentient being.  Symptoms range from feeling uneasy when looking into their glass eyes, to experiencing panic attacks, an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath or nausea!


Jailhouse dummy

About Time: SA’s History Festival

It’s almost here… There’s only 3 weeks left until May, which means History Month in SA!
About time: South Australia’s History Festival runs from Thursday 1 May until Saturday 31 May with almost 500 events occurring across the state.

The Library is holding three key events during this time, starting with Kidstory History on 1 May. You can join David our Local Historian, for an interactive story time designed especially for kids aged 3-5. Theses sessions will take you back in time to three key eras in Tea Tree Gully’s history through stories and objects from our Local History collection.

roller dicso BWDay-Glo, Go-Go and Roller Disco: TTG in the 1980s, is a feature event looking  at the growth in the Tea Tree Gully area during the 1980s from the development of the O-Bahn to the expansion of Golden Grove, but does it in the form of a roller disco! Immerse yourself in the 80s, the music, the images and the history! Roller skates provided. WARNING! Event may contain traces of Duran Duran!

highercombe BWOur final and  largest event is the Community Archaeological Dig at the Highercombe Hotel Museum starting the week Monday 19 May. The Local History Service, Highercombe Museum, TTG Historical Society and Flinders Archaeological Society are joining forces to conduct an archaeological dig and the public are invited to help! If you can dig, photograph or help us catalogue-we want you. What will we find?

All events require bookings and all details can be found on our website.

You can check out the huge range of events across the state on the About Time website!