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LEAH PURCELL is a proud Goa-Gunggari-Wakka Wakka Murri woman from Queensland. She is an actor, writer and director. Her directing credits for Belvoir include Radiance (in which she also starred), Brothers Wreck and Don’t Take Your Love to Town (which she also co-adapted and starred in). Her other theatre credits as an actor include The Dark Room, Stuff Happens, Parramatta Girls, The Marriage of Figaro and Box the Pony (which she also co-wrote) (Belvoir); King Lear (Bell Shakespeare); Blood Wedding (Sydney Theatre Company); The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table (Griffin Theatre Company/HotHouse Theatre); and Beasty Girl: The Secret Life of Errol Flynn (Melbourne International Arts Festival). Leah co-directed this year’s acclaimed ABC series Cleverman and has just completed directing a new 7 Network/Screentime series called The Secret Daughter. She is also known for her writing and directing across Redfern Now Series 1 and 2, the children’s TV series My Place, and the award-winning short films She.Say and Aunty Maggie and the Womba Wakgun. Her film and TV credits as an actor include Janet King, Black Comedy, Mary: The Making of a Princess, House of Hancock, Love Child, Last Cab to Darwin, The Darkside, My Mistress, Jindabyne, Lantana, The Proposition, Redfern Now, My Place, Love My Way, Starter Wife and Police Rescue. She is also a best-selling author for her anthology Black Chicks Talking, which was turned into an IF Award-winning documentary. Leah’s other awards include the 2014 Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award, a 2013 AACTA Award for Best Female Actor in a TV Drama for Redfern Now, a Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Play and Matilda Awards for Best Actress and Director for The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table, a Film Critics’ Circle Award and an IF Award for Lantana, two Actor of the Year and one Singer of the Year Deadly Awards, the inaugural Bob Maza Fellowship, and the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship for her artistic endeavours, community philanthropy and cultural activism. Leah is a proud member of Actors Equity.

The Drover's Wife
$20.90 ex GST
$22.99 inc GST

The Drover's Wife

Leah Purcell


  • AWGIE Awards: Stage AND David Williamson Prize AND Major award (2017)
  • Helpmann Awards: Best Play AND Best New Australian Work (2017)
  • Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards: Best Drama AND Victorian Prize for Literature (2017)
  • NSW Premier's Literary Awards: Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting AND Book of the Year (2017)
  • Sydney Theatre Awards: Best New Australian Work (2016)
  • Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award (2014)

Tarantino meets Deadwood in this full-throttle drama of our colonial past, written by the indomitable Leah Purcell.

Henry Lawson’s story of the Drover’s Wife pits the stoic silhouette of a woman against the unforgiving Australian landscape, staring down a serpent – it’s our frontier myth captured in a few pages. In Leah’s new play the old story gets a very fresh rewrite. Once again the Drover’s Wife is confronted by a threat in her yard in Australia’s high country, but now it’s a man. He’s bleeding, he’s got secrets, and he’s black. She knows there’s a fugitive wanted for killing whites, and the district is thick with troopers, but something’s holding the Drover’s Wife back from turning this fella in…

A taut thriller of our pioneering past, The Drover’s Wife is full of fury, power and has a black sting to the tail, reaching from our nation’s infancy into our complicated present. 

Also available as an ebook:


Cast : 1F, 7M doubling possible
Currency Press | 978-1-76062-097-4 | Sales rights: worldwide, except Aust/NZ | PB