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.


Appropriate for ages 11+

Educational Resources

This resource pack is aimed at educators who are teaching The Bone Sparrow novel by Zana Fraillon within KS3 English and PSHE curricula. From March 2022, there will also be a resource pack for Drama and Theatre studies, which focuses on the stage production and adaptation of The Bone Sparrow, and coincides with the touring dates.
KS3 English Resource Pack PDF

Tour Dates


York Theatre Royal

25 February – 5 March 2022

Book Tickets

Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

8-12 March

Audio Described and Captioned - Saturday 12 March, 2pm

Book Tickets

Derby Theatre

15-19 March

BSL Interpreted - Thursday 17 March, 6pm

Audio Described - Saturday 19 March, 2.30pm (Touch Tour 1.15pm)

Book Tickets

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

22-26 March

Schools offer: Tickets £10 plus 1 teacher free with every 10 pupils.

Book Tickets

Mercury Theatre, Colchester

29 March – 2 April

Book Tickets

Theatre Peckham

7th April – 23rd April

Public tickets on sale soon
School bookings can be booked now via [email protected]


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