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y separately published work icon The Secret River single work   drama  
Adaptation of The Secret River Kate Grenville , 2006 single work novel
Issue Details: First known date: 2013... 2013 The Secret River
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'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)

Exhibitions

8051303
8014658

Teaching Resources

Teaching Resources

This work has teaching resources.

Teaching Resources prepared by Arts Centre Melbourne.

Teaching Resources

This work has teaching resources.

Teaching Resources prepared by Arts Centre Melbourne, written for VCE.

Notes

  • Other 2013 Helpmann Awards include:

    Nominations:

    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

    Wins:

    Colin Moody: Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play

  • Epigraph: Such a small boat, such a vast sea. –Kate Grenville

Production Details

  • Presented by Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Festival, and Allens (as a Sydney Theatre Company production), Sydney Theatre, 8 January to 9 February 2013.

    Director: Neil Armfield.

    Artistic Associate: Stephen Page.

    Set Designer: Stephen Curlis.

    Costume Designer: Tess Schofield.

    Lighting Designer: Mark Howell.

    Composer: Iain Grandage.

    Sound Designer: Steve Francis.

    Cast including Iain Grandage, Trevor Jamieson, Jeremy Sims, and Bruce Spence.


    Produced at the Playhouse Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 14-17 February 2013.

    Director: Neil Armfield.

    Composer: Iain Grandage.


    Produced by the Sydney Theatre Company (and presented by Allens), 6 February to 20 February 2016.

    Director: Neil Armfield.

    Artistic Associate: Stephen Page.

    Set Designer: Stephen Curtis.

    Costume Designer: Tess Schofield.

    Lighting Designer: Mark Howett.

    Composer: Iain Grandage.

    Musical Director: Isaac Hayward.

    Sound Designer: Steve Francis.

    Tour Director: Kip Williams.

    Dramaturg: Matthew Whittet.

    With Georgia Adamson, Joshua Brennan, Toby Challenor, Shaka Cook, Nathaniel Dean, Frances Djulibing, Jennifer Hagan, Isaac Hayward, Trevor Jamieson, Heath Jelovic, Ningali Lawford-Wolf, Madeleine Madden, Colin Moody, Jeremiah Mundine, Wesley Patten, Kelton Pell, Richard Piper, Rory Potter, James Slee, Bruce Spence, and Matthew Sunderland.

    This production also performed at the Playhouse, QPAC (25 February to 5 March 2016) and the Arts Centre Melbourne (10 March to 19 March 2016).


    Presented by the State Theatre Company of South Australia and Adelaide Festival (a Sydney Theatre Company production), 28 February to 19 March 2017.

    Director: Neil Armfield.

    Artistic Associate: Stephen Page.

    Set Designer: Stephen Curtis.

    Costume Designer: Tess Schofield.

    Lighting Designer: Mark Howett.

    Composer: Iain Grandage.

    Sound Designer: Steve Francis.

    Cast includes Georgia Adamson, Joshua Brennan, Shaka Cook, Nathaniel Dean, Frances Djulibing, Ningali Lawson-Wolf, Bruce Spence, and Matthew Sunderland.


    Sydney Theatre Company production toured the United Kingdom in August and September 2019, which productions at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh (part of the Edinburgh International Festival) and the National Theatre, London.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 2013
    • Strawberry Hills, Inner Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,: Currency Press , 2013 .
      image of person or book cover 1699041327205098328.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 1vp.
      Note/s:
      • Published October 2013
      ISBN: 9781925005004
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Nick Hern Books ,
      2019 .
      image of person or book cover 8629730231372528501.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 136p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication Date: 8 August 2019
      ISBN: 9781848428706

Works about this Work

The Secret Is Out 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 10 April no. 698 2019; (p. 9)

'Wangkatjungka woman Ningali Lawford-Wolf is heading to the United Kingdom as a cast member of the Sydney Theatre Company's production of The Secret River.'

2017 Arts Highlights of the Year Various , 2017 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 396 2017; (p. 39-43)

'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)

The Secret River Exquisitely Illuminates the Unspeakable under the Stars Julian Meyrick , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Conversation , 3 March 2017;

'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'.'

Kate Grenville Interview : Why Perfumes Are Making You Sick Max Opray , 2017 single work interview
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 2 March 2017;
'The author discusses her exposé of the fragrance industry, and why the stage adaptation of The Secret River makes her cry every time'
Shedding the ‘Victim Narrative’ for Tales of Magic, Myth and Superhero Pride Carissa Lee , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 9 June 2016;
'One of the things I love about my culture is the sense of magic within it. Everything was created from some greater power, and I can see why elders worry that our young people are losing that sense of magic, of wonder, within the oldest living culture in the world. ...'
Deeply Moving Evocation of a Tragic Conflict John McCallum , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 14 January 2013; (p. 13)

— Review of The Secret River Andrew Bovell , 2013 single work drama
Moving Portrayal of Troubled Past Jason Blake , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 14 January 2013; (p. 12)

— Review of The Secret River Andrew Bovell , 2013 single work drama
Untitled Elissa Blake , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 20 January 2013; (p. 13)

— Review of The Secret River Andrew Bovell , 2013 single work drama
Vast Vision of Morality Glenn Burns , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 16 February 2013; (p. 19)

— Review of The Secret River Andrew Bovell , 2013 single work drama
Hot Horse, Dry River Michael O'Connor , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: Quadrant , March vol. 57 no. 3 2013; (p. 84-87)

— Review of The Secret River Andrew Bovell , 2013 single work drama
Blanchett goes with Flow to Bring River Tale to Life Tim Barlass , Andrew Taylor , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 2 December 2012; (p. 21)
Australian Story Kristie Broadhead , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: In the City , Summer no. 12 2012; (p. 52)
Blood on the Banks Rosemary Neill , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 22-23 December 2012; (p. 4)
'Reimagined for the stage, The Secret River will take audiences to a confronting place, Andrew Bovell tells Rosemary Neill'
Ripple Effect 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 5-6 January 2013; (p. 10-11)
Their Story, Too: STC Ready to Remind Brits of Settlers’ Havoc Michaela Boland , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 14 January 2013; (p. 3)
Last amended 24 Aug 2020 12:34:44
Settings:
  • Hawkesbury area, Northwest Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,
  • 1800-1899
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