because there was fire


Snake my way around the fence-line, getting nearer. Look at Dad. Still cavemanning. Look at Jane. Still sulking. Look at him. He turns to me and says: “You ready?” And I say… “Fuck yeah.”

On a warm summer night two teens disappear from a neighbourhood barbecue, vanishing without a trace.

There's Clara, seventeen, fed up with her suburb and everyone in it. Everyone except Andrew, the newly arrived rich kid from the right side of the tracks. Sparks fly. They jump in his Monaro and hit the road, yearning for a life of adventure. But they soon learn that escape isn't that easy, and fires can burn beyond control.

Written by Jamie Hornsby, one of South Australia's most exciting new writers, because there was fire is a darkly-comic coming of age story set against the backdrop of the burning Australian bush.

Inaugural commission from Jopuka Productions.

  • drama/thriller
  • 60
  • 2 total
  • 1 female identifying, 1 male identifying
  • women, young people
  • 16 to 18, 18+
  • young adult, adult
  • Australian Script Centre


You can preview the full online text with a Membership


Female | Teen | 5 to 10 minutes
Starts on page 0

EXTRACT: Bloody hate summer. It's the worst. Mozzies and bogans and fuckwits. Oh my. Crack a tinny and kill a few brain cells. Give me a break. Swelter through the days and fidget through the nights. Off of school. Not that I go much. Only one year left. One too many. It's that awkward period in early January. Christmas is done, no more presents, prawns or racist uncles, but nothing's actually started back up yet. Limbo. Three more weeks of this. Fuuuck. Spend my days by the creek, throwing rocks at ducks. Just to hear them quack...


Female | Teen | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 33

EXTRACT: OK. Burn him. We take him into the field. We don't have a shovel, but Andy rips out a fencepost and uses the pointy end to scratch the ground into submission. Pit's not much deeper than a goldfish bowl before we stick him in there. His hair's matted with blood and dust. One of his eyes is open ever so slightly. Like he's looking at me. The flies have started buzzing around him. I feel sick, but I can't look away. I can't move. I can't breathe. I can't -



"...[Jamie Hornsby] is steadily becoming a major voice in new Australian playwriting..."



"... eloquent prose and tight dialogue underscores the description of Hornsby as one of the most promising young playwrights in the country today..."

PLEASE NOTE: This page contains links to files that have been sourced, and websites that are maintained by other businesses and organisations. Please refer to our terms of use.

Search for details of past productions at

AusStage provides an accessible research facility for investigating live performance in Australia.

Search by play title and/or playwright name
Results will open in a new window

PLEASE NOTE: You will be directed to for search results; Australian Plays Transform is not responsible for their completeness. Refer to our terms of use.

SKU: ASC-2102 Category:

We acknowledge that we live and create on unceded lands. We pay our respects to the First Peoples of Australia, and to their elders past, present and future.

© Australian Plays Transform 2024