The Serpent’s Teeth


Keene's astute and probing insight into the insidious effects of global tensions give us cause to reflect on the true human cost of armed conflict whether it is close to home or not.

"The writing is razor-sharp, remarkably and memorably profound; at times, ravishingly beautiful ... it's extraordinary!" - Australian Stage


Set at the dividing wall of a war-torn country, conflict is an unseen force which disrupts the everyday tasks of people, battling to survive.


Set in an Air Force hangar far from the battlefield. But for five families, who gather to receive the bodies of their sons, brothers and friends, war does not seem so far away.

  • 0
  • 13 total
  • 5 female identifying, 8 male identifying
  • culturally and linguistically diverse
  • 18+
  • adult
  • Currency Press


You can preview the full online text with a Membership


Male | 60+ | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 3

EXTRACT: but in the sea... I felt so happy. Once, Tariq, once there were no happier times. There was no need to look back, to remember. The happy time was the one you were living in. No time before had been better and the future... well, who thought about the future? Now everyone looks into their past to find their happiness and no-one dares to imagine the future... but once, it's true, there were no happier times.


Male | Unspecified | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 24

EXTRACT: Think of it... oranges in our village! There has never been such a thing! There's not much left of our olive groves... but we can plant this tree. They were very pleased with the olive tree that we brought them, weren't they? That pleased me. It was a fair trade. They're good people. The same family has been growing oranges for... for centuries. You like oranges, I know you do, when your mother can get them... well, in a while you'll be able to pluck them from your own tree. Think of that



In advance of the 2008 STC production of 'The Serpent's Teeth', The Australian's Fiona Gruber talks with paywright, Daniel Keene and discusses the processes, influences and experiences that shape his extensive body of work.

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.

Purchase at Currency Press$23.99
SKU: CP-1764 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