24.11.2014

The secret river theatre

Congratulations to all the artists and arts workers involved in presenting such dynamic performances in 2013 and we look forward to more exciting works to come. Make sure you re-charge your batteries, ready to start 2014 with another Festive Season – the opening of Perth International Arts Festival, FRINGE WORLD and more! Will O’Mahony, Alicia Clements, The Skeletal System, Danielle Micich, Humphrey Bower, Ian Sinclair, Rose Riley, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Black Swan State Theatre Company, The Cutting Room Floor, The Last Great Hunt, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, STEPS Youth Dance Company, India Mehta, STRUT Dance, Proximity Festival, Virtual Dust Regional Choreographers Collective, Lucas Jervies, Andre Santos, Kathleen Hoffman. Who to watch in 2014 The Cutting Room Floor – a new theatre collective, most notable this year for producing Poly which ran at Fringe, and for presenting a series of intimate performances inside people’s homes. With a special mention to seeing theatre legends Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones in Driving Miss Daisy. Performing Lines WA delivers the Managing and Producing Services for theatre and dance artists in WA (Maps for Artists), which is a joint initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s art funding and advisory body, and the State of Western Australia through the Department of Culture and the Arts.
William Thornhill, an illiterate Thames bargeman and a man of quick temper but deep feelings, steals a load of timber and is transported to New South Wales in 1806. Some of his neighbours - Smasher Sullivan, Sagitty Birtles - regard the Darug as hardly human, savages with as little right to land as a dog.


The Lieutenant, the second book of the trilogy, is set two decades earlier, when the first colonists arrived in New South Wales. Searching for the Secret River is a memoir of the process of researching and writing The Secret River.
It was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and the Man Booker Prize and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin prize.
As well as Australasia, it has been published in the UK, Canada and the US, and in translation in France, Spain, Slovenia, Germany, Israel, Taiwan, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Greece, Bulgaria, the People's Republic of China, Norway and Portugal.
This partnership has already created some great work and has some ground breaking shows to come. Like many of the convicts, he's pardoned within a few years and settles on the banks of the Hawkesbury River. Spears may be primitive weapons, but settlers know that they can kill a man as surely as a ball of lead from a musket. When the Darug object to being driven off, those settlers have no compunction in shooting or poisoning them.


It shows how events from the historical record were used in the novel, where they were changed, and the reasons for these choices. Definitely watch their spaces in 2014 and anything at The Blue Room Theatre, where it all starts….
Perhaps the Governor grants him the land or perhaps he just takes it - the Hawkesbury is at the extreme edge of settlement at that time and normal rules don't apply. They haven't left fences or roads or houses, but they live on that land and use it, just as surely as Thornhill's planning to do. In drawing back the curtain on the process of writing fiction, it's also a useful and, I hope, reassuring account of the sometimes uncertain process of writing a work of fiction.



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