Hamlet moves to Brambuk

AN OUTDOOR Shakespeare company will move its annual production at Heatherlie Quarry in the Grampians because of this year's bushfire.

The company, OZACT, has performed Shakespeare at Heatherlie Quarry each autumn since 1999.

Director Bruce Widdop said the Grampians National Park bushfire meant this year's performance of Hamlet would be in the bushland surrounding Brambuk National Park and Cultural Centre.

"It is a beautiful location which is sure to delight all," he said.

Country Fire Authority District 17 stalwart Kevin Bolwell said parts of Heatherlie Quarry were damaged in the fire.

"An old crane and an old bridge for the railway were damaged," he said.

"Some other structures, such as wooden beams over doorways were also damaged.

"It was very unfortunate."

He said OZACT's performances were always on a rock ledge at the quarry.

"They have had to move the performance because that part of the quarry is still in the fire zone and hasn't been re-opened yet," he said.

Mr Bolwell said the quarry was a significant part of the region's history.

Stone from Heatherlie Quarry was used to build some of Victoria's finest buildings, including Parliament House, Melbourne Town Hall, the GPO, museum and public library.

A narrow-gauge rail was built from Heatherlie to Stawell to carry slabs of stone from the quarry.

"Heatherlie Quarry then became overgrown with scrub and about 20 years ago we found it again and resurrected it," Mr Bolwell said.

He said he was confident it would re-open to the public soon.

Mr Widdop said OZACT had performed Shakespeare in the Grampians each year for the past 18 years.

The OZACT performance will be on April 18, 19 and 20.

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