by Kate Grenville, adapted by Andrew Bovell
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 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.
A deeply moving and unflinching journey into Australia's dark history, Andrew Bovell's adaptation of Kate Grenville's acclaimed novel The Secret River was first performed by the Sydney Theatre Company in 2013.
The play had its UK premiere in August 2019, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, before transferring to the National Theatre, London.
'The Secret River is a sad book, beautifully written and, at times, almost unbearable with the weight of loss, competing distresses and the impossibility of making amends' Observer on the novel The Secret River