While William Thornhill, the pardoned prisoner who lays claim to his own land in Australia, is the fictional antihero of Kate Grenville’s novel The Secret River, it’s hard to forget to Indigenous people he’s displaced by laying claim to his space are real. Blameless, slaughtered, and real. Read more
A moving and unflinching journey into Australia’s dark history. Adapted from Kate Grenville’s acclaimed novel, this multi-award-winning production from Sydney Theatre Company tells the story of two families divided by culture and land.
William Thornhill arrives in New South Wales a convict from the slums of London. Upon earning his pardon he discovers that this new world offers something he didn’t dare to dream of: a place to call his own. But as he plants a crop and lays claim to the soil on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, he finds that this land is not his to take. Its ancient custodians are the Dharug people.
The Secret River 2019 tour is supported by Ian Narev & Frances Allan, Gretel Packer and commissioning patrons Catriona Mordant AM & Simon Mordant AM and David Gonski AC & Orli Wargon OAM.
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 Inc., Sydney Festival, Perth International Arts Festival and The Centenary of Canberra.