Jackie Kerin - Writer - Storyteller

The Amazing Case of Dr Ward
(And Other Stories)

The Amazing Case of Dr Ward and Other Stories is a show developed by me and my wonderful collaborator, Sarah Depasquale.

The show is suitable for an inter-generational audience and ideal for festivals.

When you bite into a mango and the juice dribbles down your chin, spread a picnic rug under a shady elm, or pop a fuschia bud, do you ever ask the question: how did these plants come to be in Australia? It is quite possible that the answer lies in a simple invention made of glass and wood.

Who was Dr Ward?

In London, in the early 1800s, a doctor and enthusiastic amateur naturalist, accidentally discovered a plant growing inside a glass container. Aware of the difficulties of transporting live botanical specimens aboard ships, Dr Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward concluded that plants needed to be sealed in transparent cases, protected from salt spray, rats and clumsy sailors. The Wardian case (as it became known) revolutionized the transportation of plants and were in use up until 1962.

The show

Sarah and I begin with the ripping tale of how Dr Ward developed his idea, and we follow with two stories dedicated to specific trees (the golden elm and the weeping rosebud cherry) and a story dedicated to the gardeners.

The Amazing Case of Dr Ward and Other Stories is inspired by the Williamstown Botanic Gardens, designed by Edward La Trobe Bateman and opened in 1860.

For the full story of how this show was developed, see my blog post.


45 - 50 minutes


For audiences under 80 people:

For audiences over 80 people we need:

Cost available on enquiry


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Contact : Mobile 0412 210 098 or via