The Bone Sparrow

Original Novel by Zana Fraillon
Adapted by award winning playwright S. Shakthidharan

"a heartrending tale about how our stories make us" The Times

Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention centre after his mother fled the violence of a distant homeland, life behind the fences is all he has ever known. But as he grows, his imagination gets bigger too, until it is bursting at the limits of his world. The Night Sea brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories.

One night in the form of Jimmie, a scruffy, impatient girl who appears from the other side of the wires, and brings a notebook written by the mother she lost. Unable to read it, she relies on Subhi to unravel her own family's mysterious and moving history.

Subhi and Jimmie might both find a way to freedom, as their tales unfold. But not until each of them has been braver than ever before.

"With an affecting and distinctive narrative voice ... [Zana Fraillon] builds a convincing and complete world. Moving and memorable, The Bone Sparrow deserves to be read by all who care about our common humanity" The Guardian

The Bone Sparrow is a co-production with York Theatre Royal, Derby Theatre, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, and Mercury Theatre Colchester.

The production has been developed in collaboration with our partners Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), Sydney, and SBC Theatre, Bradford.



The Bone Sparrow playtexts by S.Shakthidharan:

£7.99 (published price £10.99)

Buy The Bone Sparrow playtext

Digital Programme

Pilot Theatre have chosen to produce a digital programme as part of our work towards reducing our carbon footprint. We are following guidance as set out in the Theatre Green Book to help guide our learning towards becoming a more sustainable and environmentally responsible

Download Digital Programme PDF

Educational Resources

This resource pack is tailored for educators who are teaching The Bone Sparrow novel by Zana Fraillon within KS3 English and PSHE curricula.
KS3 English Resource Pack PDF

This resource pack is tailored  for Drama educators and GCSE Drama students who may be watching The Bone Sparrow in preparation for the live theatre section of the GCSE Drama written exam. This is Part A and is designed to be used before watching the production.

GCSE Drama Resource Pack Part A PDF

Part B is designed to be used after watching the production, to provide specific key details on moments from the live production that students may want to explore.

GCSE Drama Resource Pack Part B PDF

Tour Dates


York Theatre Royal

25 February – 5 March 2022


Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

9-12 March


Derby Theatre

16-19 March


Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

22-26 March


Mercury Theatre, Colchester

29 March – 2 April


Theatre Peckham

7th April – 23rd April