Three of Australia’s most revered artists, director Neil Armfield (Keating! The Musical, Cloudstreet), writer Andrew Bovell (Lantana, When the Rain Stops Falling) and artistic associate Stephen Page (The Sapphires, Bran Nue Dae) come together for the first time to adapt Kate Grenville’s prize-winning novel for the stage.
This is the story of two families divided by culture and land.
Convict William Thornhill, exiled from the stinking slums of early 19th-century London, discovers that the penal colony offers something that he never dared to hope for before: a place of his own. A stretch of land on the Hawkesbury River is Thornhill’s for the taking. As he and his family seek to establish themselves in this unfamiliar territory, they find that they are not the only ones to lay claim to the land.
This part of the Hawkesbury is already home to a family of Dharug people, who are reluctant to leave on account of these intruders. As Thornhill’s attachment to the place and the dream deepens, he is driven to make a terrible decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life.
With a thrilling cast including Trevor Jamieson and Jeremy Sims, The Secret River is a major Festival co-commission that vividly explores life in colonial Australia.
DIRECTOR Neil Armfield
ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE Stephen Page
SET DESIGNER Stephen Curtis
COSTUME DESIGNER Tess Schofield
COMPOSER Iain Grandage
SOUND DESIGNER Steve Francis
Lighting Designer Mark Howett
DRAMATURG Matthew Whittet
LANGUAGE CONSULTANT Richard Green
Nathaniel Dean, Bailey Doomadgee, Lachlan Elliott, Kamil Ellis, Roy Gordon, Iain Grandage, Ethel-Anne Gundy, Anita Hegh, Daniel Henshall, Trevor Jamieson, Rhimi Johnson Page, Judith McGrath, Callum McManis, Colin Moody, Rory Potter, Jeremy Sims, James Slee, Bruce Spence, Matthew Sunderland, Miranda Tapsell, Tom Usher, Ursula Yovich
Download the production program
Artist Talk Tue 26 Feb, post-show (free to all ticket holders)
The Secret River stands out as a work of sustained power and imagination, of poetry and insight. No truer piece of fiction has ever been written about the Australian past. THE AUSTRALIAN
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals, Perth International Arts Festival, Sydney Festival and the Centenary of Canberra. Sydney Theatre Company Commissioning Patrons: David Gonski AC and Orli Wargon OAM, Catriona and Simon Mordant AM.
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