Home > 1980 - 1989 > Playing Beatie Bow

Playing Beatie Bow

Playing Beattie Bow title card

Year - 1986
Studio - Apollo, The South Australian Film Corporation
Stars - Imogen Annesley, Mouche Phillips, Peter Phelps, Nikki Coghill, Moya O'Sullivan
Director - Donald Crombie
Writing Credits - Peter Gowler (screenplay), Ruth Park (novel)
Music - Garry McDonald, Laurie Stone


Young children in Sydney, Australia, are playing a game called "Beatie Bow" where they chant that name of a child from the Victorian era. That chant causes the actual Beatrice May "Beatie" Bow (Mouche Phillips) to be summoned from the past, who is frightened to be in the modern world. As she runs in fear, she is followed by a concerned Abigail Kirk (Imogen Annesley), where the time portal sends both back to 1873. Beatie's family, including Granny (Moya O'Sullivan) and Dovey (Nikki Coghill) believe that Abigail is the promised "stranger" who is there with a "gift" to save future generations of Bows. The "gift", however, carries a curse, that one of the Beatie children will die at a young age.

Playing Beattie Bow poster

A fire breaks out in the Bow home, and Abigail rescues Beatie's young invalid brother, Gibby (Damian Janko). Later, she falls in love with the oldest brother, Judah (Peter Phelps) but realizes that he is engaged to another.

When Abigail returns to her own time, she discovers that a close friend, Justine (Barbara Stephens) is actually a descendant of the Bow family. She learns from Justine that both Beatie and Gibbie lived long lives, but that Judah died in a shipwreck at the age of 22.

Abigail then meets Justine's younger brother, Robert, who bears a striking resemblance to Judah, and the pair fall in love.

Show Spoilers

Preview Clip