Based on the novel by Kate Grenville, adapted for the stage by Andrew Bovell.
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.
Read Wesley Enoch’s response to The Secret River in Still Waters, a free essay from Currency Press.
Pre-production resources for 'The Secret River' by Andrew Bovell.
Andrew Bovell talks to ABC about his adaptation of 'The Secret River'.
"The Secret River is a play that will settle into the Australian theatrical canon and remain there for a very long time. Sprawling, profound, and often unsettling, it does as Hamlet insists theatre should do, and holds a mirror up to nature."
"In his stage adaptation of Kate Grenville's The Secret River, Andrew Bovell doesn't muck around. The celebrated playwright and screenwriter takes audiences straight to a scrub-fringed bend in the Hawkesbury River near Sydney, to the site of a violent conflict between an indigenous clan and white settlers - a bloodstained emblem of the way this country was colonised."
Not in Print speaks to Australian playwright Andrew Bovell about his play 'The Secret River'.