History of Caves House Hotel to be told through song

Director-producer Dawn Jackson and writer-musical director Tim Monley will turn the history of Caves House Hotel and the surrounding area into a musical love story.

Director-producer Dawn Jackson and writer-musical director Tim Monley will turn the history of Caves House Hotel and the surrounding area into a musical love story.

A musical set at Caves House Hotel, and inspired by the venue’s history, will be filmed at the famous location in mid-2019.

Director-producer Dawn Jackson and writer-musical director Tim Monley were in the region last week to pitch their movie idea to the community.

The idea for the film, Caves House – Place of Love, began in 2016 when Jackson travelled to Yallingup with her mother following the death of her father.

Her parents had celebrated an anniversary at Caves House and Jackson’s father had a passion for WA history.

He wrote travel guides for various regions, and raved to Jackson about Caves House and its wonderful history.

When visiting Caves House, Jackson got talking with owner Neil Jilley.

“When he found out I was a filmmaker, he said he would love there to be a film about Caves House,” she told the Mail.

“He gave me this huge historical document that had so much detail.

“Tim and I were finishing another project, we thought to be a drama it would narrow it down to one character, if it was a tourist film it wouldn’t have the richness it deserves, so we said ‘let’s make it a musical’.”

The film will be a love letter to the beloved landmark. Using elements from documentary film, it will piece together tales over the centuries – decade by decade.

The film will centre around the Ngilgi Cave, which narrates the tale, recalling the love stories and characters it has witnessed. Throughout the film, the cave is trying to understand what love is.

Real life identities Mr Edward Dawson, the first tour guide of the cave, and Mr Bignell, the first man to start a coach service to the caves and subsequent Caves House Hotel, have been confirmed as characters.

Jackson and Monley hope to launch the film at CinefestOz 2019. They will return later in the year for more community consultation and will cast some roles locally.

Currently, the duo are crowd funding for the project and also calling for love stories from residents.

“If you do want to support us, and you’ve got a love story to do with Caves House or Yallingup let us know,” Monley said.

“I could write a movie write now based on the information I have and the history but what we want is as much of the community’s own stories, more than what you could already read in a book and things that wouldn’t be written down.”

To share your story with the filmmakers, email dawnjacksonfilms@gmail.com.