Following sell-out seasons around Australia, critically acclaimed production The Secret River will make its Adelaide debut at the 2017 Adelaide Festival.
Co-Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival Neil Armfield’s landmark theatrical Sydney Theatre Company production will be staged in the Anstey Hill Quarry with movements currently underway to create the stunningly epic, open air theatre space.
Presented in association with State Theatre Company of South Australia, and based on the international best-selling book by Kate Grenville and adapted for the stage by award-winning Adelaide based playwright Andrew Bovell, The Secret River marks Armfield’s and Rachel Healy’s first year as Artistic Directors of the Festival.
This monumental show under the stars will be the first time a major theatrical production has been performed in the quarry since the legendary Mahabharata at the 1988 Adelaide Festival.
Originally produced by Sydney Theatre Company, The Secret River was a sold-out hit when it premiered in 2013, earning a rare full house standing ovation on its opening night, followed by seasons at the 2013 Perth Festival and the Canberra Centenary celebrations.
The poignant production has since won six Helpmann Awards including Best Direction for Armfield, Best New Australian Work and Best Play, and most recently earned rave reviews in encore seasons in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
The Secret River is set to be one of the major highlights of the 2017 program.
Based on Grenville’s Man Booker Prize and Miles Franklin nominated novel of the same name, The Secret River tells the story of two families divided by culture and land.
William Thornhill arrives in New South Wales a convict from the slums of London. This new land seems to offer him something of which he hadn’t dared dream: a place to call his own. On the banks of the Hawkesbury River, he plants a crop and lays claim to the soil in which it grows. But the Hawkesbury is already home to a family from the Dharug people; a family whose existence depends on that land. As Thornhill’s attachment to the land deepens, he makes a terrible decision.
The production stars Nathaniel Dean (Candy, Somersault, TV’s Anzac Girls, Puberty Blues, Underbelly) as William Thornhill, and Ningali Lawford-Wolf (Last Cab to Darwin, Rabbit Proof Fence) as Dhirrumbin, as well as stage and screen legend Bruce Spence (The Cars that Ate Paris, Mad Max II, Finding Nemo, Star Wars) as Loveday.
Tickets are on sale now.
Sydney Theatre Company’s The Secret Garden
Tue 28 Feb – Wed 1 Mar, 7.30pm
Thur 2 Mar–Sun 5 Mar, 7.30pm
Tue 7 Mar–Sun 12 Mar, 7.30pm
Tue 14 Mar–Sun 19 Mar, 7.30pm
The Quarry, Anstey Hill Recreation Park, Perseverance Road, Tea Tree Gully
Duration: 2hrs 50min, including interval
Tickets: $40 – $99, on sale Friday 23 September 2016 via BASS 131 246 or adelaidefestival.com.au