'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 a claim to the land. 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.' (Source: Currency Press website)
Other nominations for the 2013 Helpmann Awards include:
Tess Schofield: Best Costume Design
Stephen Curtis: Best Scenic Design
Mark Howlett: Best Lighting Design
Miranda Tapsell : Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play
Nathaniel Dean : Best Male Actor in a Play
Colin Moody: Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play
Produced at the Playhouse Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 14-17 February 2013. Directed by Neil Armfield. Composer: Iain Grandage
To be Performed at the Playhouse, QPAC, 25 February to 5 March, 2016.
'To celebrate the year’s memorable plays, films, concerts, operas, ballets, and exhibitions, we invited twenty-six critics and arts professionals to nominate some personal favourites.' (Introduction)
'One way of looking at a story is as a mental suitcase that brings together a bunch of actions that would be unintelligible as disparate events. Its basic job is twofold: first, to name them, then to order them.
'The naming can be confronting, akin to a biblical judgement. But if it doesn’t take place, then the story isn’t told. What happens then? Nothing good. Which is why one of the most powerful lines in this extraordinary play is when William Thornill, ex-convict lag and born riverman, takes part in a massacre of Hawkesbury Aboriginals, then tells his family with sepulchral finality 'we will not speak of this again'.'