From a true life tragedy


From a true life tragedy, transformed into a play and film. Property of the Clan written in 1992 by Nick Enright was enthused by the murder of Leigh Leigh in Stockton Australia. It was then performed in 1995 with the title Blackrock. What spirals from this tragic event is a web of lies, emotions, guilt and cover-ups?

The original story that has provided Nick Enright the story line is in fact a true story. The murder of Leigh Leigh occurred while she was attending a party on the beach. The 14-year-old was assaulted by a group of boys. Her naked body was found in the sand dunes the next morning, with severe genital damage and a crushed skull. Mathew Grant Webster an 18-year-old, pleaded guilty to her murder. Guy Charles Wilson aged over 18 pleaded guilty to assault and a third male aged 15, pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor.

One of the most distinguishable differences between the book and movie, is the relationship between mother and son. Jared and Diane can be identified as having a great relationship in the book where they would talk and listen unlike the film. It can be seen that in the film Diane is trying to tell Jared of her breast cancer but he just blows her off and hangs out with his mates. As the audience we feel that Jared is very rude and an uncaring teen. In the play we sense a good relationship, because it was Jade (his sister) who would always argue with her.

There are many similarities between the book and movie, such as the continuing of name calling towards Tracy and her death. With differences of seeing Tracy being portrayed as a physical character and meeting her parents and seeing their suffering can position the audience in giving their own opinion in the film. She wears revealing clothes and she is wearing a necklace with a bell on it so the boys know she’s coming, which tells us that she is a “sleep around” and “asking for it”. She got drunk and was having consensual sex before the others boys come along. As the audience we can see how she became a victim, not as innocent as they describe in the play. In the film she has her best friend Cherie, who was also a troublemaker who would run off on her mum and she smashed up Ricko’s car. In the play Jade (Jared’s Sister) was her best friend but she was much more innocent minded, who didn’t go to the party, she was just as equally depressed and uprooted about Tracey’s death.

Not only did Ricko kill Tracy, in the film he killed himself. He would rather die than face the lifelong consequences. The Tracey’s family and the audience has just been left with feeling like Ricko didn’t get the justice he deserved. There is now no closure to her family. Property of the Clan has given us readers that chance for remorse and justice as Ricko is arrested and accepts the fact of punishment, justice has been served.

There are many differences from the book and movie. The few differences that were dramatically different had a big effect on the movie plot, such as Ricko’s suicide. The relationship change between Jared and Diane has caused the audience to feel different emotions, because in the film Jared is a disrespectful teen and doesn’t deserve anything. While Tracey was being named and shamed in both film and play, the audience has only been able to form their own opinion from the film compared to the play where we feel emotional. This adaption from play to film has caused many reviews, but it has opened the eyes of many.