A Stone Soup & Critical Stages production
Chris Bendall
Dann Barber
Lighting Designer Alexander Berlage
Sound Designer
Kingsley Reeve
Photographer: Robert Catto
Grant Cartwright, Valerie Bader, Nicholas Papademetriou, Francesca Savige, Bjorn Stewart.
Originally produced by Pippa Bailey and Chris Bendall

Edge-of-your-seat Australian drama

Invoking the expansive, isolating beauty of rural Australia, Reg Cribb’s epic new play is about a man ravaged by drought, family secrets and love.

The Murray family have been farming the land along the Darling River for five generations. For Tom Murray, it’s all he’s ever known. When his childhood friends Lucy and Billy reappear, deep friendships are tested, and secrets, long buried, are finally awakened – Tom must make the long journey down-stream to reconcile past wrongs and to fight for his wife.




Theatre, Drama


Suitable for audiences 15 and over. Occasional coarse language and adult themes.


120 minutes, plus interval

Previous Seasons

Griffin Independent 2016, NORPA 2016

Technical Specifications

What people are saying

**** The beating heart of the piece is Grant Cartwright’s masterful Thomas Murray, whose silences occupy an an almost physical presence in the performance space, breathing down the neck of each audience member. The Stables’ minuscule stage works excellently with Dann Barber’s set here, with its unfurling planks of wood uncovering a wide river, and deep gashes on the stage. It’s a play that creeps up on you, much like a psychological thriller — in that you don’t realise you haven’t blinked until the lights come up. The final act is thrilling, almost cinematic, bringing the bubbling tensions to a head in a thoroughly cathartic manner. Skip The Revenant and see this one instead. The Music

Grant Cartwright as Thomas Murray is wonderful. Understated, focused and riveting to watch… The production was well conceptualized and lovingly created, under the direction of Chris Bendall, weaving clever design, soundscape, choreography and lighting into the storytelling to create scale in a scaled down space. Australian Stage

What people are saying

Big sky. Big river. Big betrayal. Big secrets exposed as the river recedes. Thomas Murray is a lot of play for your money… Chris Bendall’s direction is imaginative, fluent in its handling of the play’s temporal shifts and notably physical. Designer Dann Barber’s wooden ramp of a stage has all kinds of surprises built into it. Kingsley Reeve’s sound design twangs and shimmers. Sydney Morning Herald

So glad I had the chance to see the play this afternoon. An ambitious script with a beautiful ear for rural speech patterns; utterly committed performances; superb sound, lighting and design; and sensitively and tightly directed with a great awareness of the Griffin stage. Thank you Chris and team – definitely worth flying up for. Arts Hub

Reg Cribb is a writer whose imagination catches fire when presented with the everyday dramas and dreams of ‘ordinary’ Australians…The play is a rich exploration of character and story. The language crackles with humour, bitterness and authenticity. Stage Noise

Community Engagement

Q & As are available post-show. The cast are also available for acting workshops with upper secondary students and emerging artists. The playwright Reg Cribb and director Chris Bendall may be available to speak or lead storytelling / writing workshops where itinerary permits. An Education Pack will be made available for upper secondary students