The Secret River (play)

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The Secret River
Written by Andrew Bovell
Date premiered 8 January 2013
Place premiered Sydney Theatre
Original language English
Subject The Secret River by Kate Grenville
Genre Drama

The Secret River is a play by Andrew Bovell, based upon the novel of the same name by Kate Grenville. Narrated by Dhirrumbin (originally played by Ursula Yovich), the drama is about a man who is exiled from London in the eighteenth century, and is sent with his family to a penal colony in the Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, where he hopes to make a new start, but its inhabitants, the indigenous Dharug people, are not willing to give up their land.

Produced by the Sydney Theatre Company, the play was first performed on 8 January 2013 at the Sydney Theatre. A 2016 remount toured Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.


Original cast[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Helpmann awards[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2013 13th Helpmann Awards[2] Best Play Won
Best New Australian Work Won
Best Direction of a Play Neil Armfield Won
Best Male Actor in a Play Nathaniel Dean Nominated
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play Colin Moody Won
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play Miranda Tapsell Nominated
Best Original Score Iain Grandage Won
Best Musical Direction Iain Grandage Won
Best Costume Design Tess Schofield Nominated
Best Scenic Design Stephen Curtis Nominated
Best Lighting Design Mark Howett Nominated


  1. ^ "Perth Festival 2013 - The Secret River" (PDF). Perth Festival 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-03.