Sydney Theatre Company is starting 2013 with a bang. The Secret River is sure to make an impact and help Australia in its journey towards reconciliation.

The play, which is also part of the Sydney Festival, is adapted from the hugely successful Kate Grenville novel and is written by Andrew Bovell and directed by Neil Armfield. The delightful Miranda Tapsell, also known as the ‘sexy one’ from The Sapphires, plays a young mother of the Dharug Clan.

“This is a great medium to open up conversations between Australians,” Tapsell explains. “We normally hear either the convict side or Indigenous side but you never hear both points of view and perspectives in one play.”

Tapsell assures me that they’ve remained faithful to the book. However, what sets apart this adaptation is the Dharug people play a bigger role in the story. “I understand Kate’s approach to the book and why she didn’t involve them out of respect,” she continues. “What’s great is that with the help of Dharug man Richard Green and Andrew Bovell we’ve been able to involve the Dharug characters respectfully.”

Tapsell describes the play as tragic, inspiring and strengthening. “For me reading this book gave me a great understanding of where the convicts were coming from and why they were so protective of their own piece of land and not willing to share. It’s been a great journey for me and for me that’s the best way to move forward.”

Published in City News online and in print on Jan 6, 2013


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