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The Drover's Wife - Belvoir

Leah Purcell upturns Henry Lawson's classic tale.
By Kimberley Mai
September 23, 2016
By Kimberley Mai
September 23, 2016

You might know Henry Lawson's tale depicting the hard life of a drover's family in Australia's high country — it's classic Australiana. Now, Indigenous playwright Leah Purcell is turning the story on its head, reimagining The Drover's Wife as a thriller-drama with nods to both the present and past.

Instead of staring down a serpent (as in the original tale), the drover's wife — played by Purcell herself – is confronted in her yard by a secretive Indigenous man covered in blood. There's a fugitive wanted for killing white people in the community, and troopers are everywhere, but there's something stopping her from turning him in.

Purcell is one of Australia's finest actors and the 2014 winner of The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright's Award, a prize which handed Purcell a commission to write this play. She joins forces once again with director Leticia Cáceres to tell this story of an indomitable woman. Characterised as "Tarantino meets Deadwood in the backblocks of 19th century Australia", The Drover's Wife is sure to be one intense, unmissable show.

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