But how is it
That this lives in thy mind? What seest thou else
In the dark backward and abysm of time?

Dost thou forget
From what a torment I did free thee?
– The Tempest

Savage is a new play exploring loss, torment and children reared in isolation; a play about the stories we tell ourselves and each other, as a means of protection from the truth we fear most.

One night during a savage storm that drowns out all noise, a child is lost. Twelve years later a small boy walks into a police station. The boy is small, wild and begins speaking in tongues.

Penny and Don, in their mid-forties, meet in a gastro pub. Don is not impressed by the reno’s – this used to be a friendly local. It becomes clear it’s their first date and that they’ve met each other online and not necessarily by choice. It’s possibly the worst first date that has ever taken place – both have lied about their age and their looks; Penny is drunk on arrival and almost mute; Don is having a panic attack, having witnessed a small seemingly savage child crawl into the police station where he works that morning. Don tells Penny the story of the savage boy and suddenly Penny seems to take an interest in him.

Alice is a woman alone, trapped somewhere in an institution, though the real prison is her own mind. Alice lost her first child to cot death but is no longer able to remember this truth. Each night she tells the captivating and haunting story of a child being taken by animals and spirited away to the deeps wilds of the bush and then further, where it is nursed and brought up by the animals that stole it.

Working on a skeleton draft of the play where each narrative stands alone, writer Jane Bodie and director Sarah Giles will work to find a form for these stories through a practical creative workshop. They will also explore how the stories intertwine to create a whole that is both powerful and moving.


Jane is a playwright, screenwriter and director.

Jane’s plays include This Years Ashes (Griffin 2011), Music (PWA Festival 2011), Us (Hampstead Theatre UK), Hallelujah (Theatre 503 UK), Out Of Me (Soho Theatre UK), Ride (Belvoir Company B, 59E59 New York), A Single Act (winner of The Victorian Premiers Literary Award 2007 – MTC/Hampstead Theatre UK) Still, Hilt and Fourplay (Trades Hall, TRS and Edinburgh Fringe.) Jane was short-listed for The Ewa Czajor Memorial Award for her work as a director. She was nominated for the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award and won a Green Room Award for Outstanding Writing in 2003 for Still.

Jane worked at the Royal Court Theatre with the Young Writers Programme and was one of the writers chosen for an attachment at The National Theatre in the UK in 2005. Jane has also written extensively for TV and radio, including several plays for Radio National and Radio 4 in the UK. Her writing for TV includes The Secret Life of Us, Crash/Burn, No Angels and Moving Wallpaper. She is currently working on a screenplay for Channel 4/Altered Image in the UK.

Jane also works as a playwright teacher and dramaturg. She was Head of Playwriting at NIDA from 2010–2012 and is currently Associate Artist at Griffin Theatre Company.


Sarah Giles is a Sydney based theatre director. She graduated from NIDA in 2008 with a post-graduate diploma in dramatic art specialising in directing from NIDA and has a BA from The University of Melbourne with a double major in History and Italian.

Sarah has directed a range of classical and contemporary texts including Mrs Warren’s Profession, Mariage Blanc, Money Shots, Ruby Moon (Sydney Theatre Company); The Farm (NIDA); Vernon God Little (WAAPA); The Ugly One, The Pigeons (Griffin Independent); Kreutzer VS Kreutzer (The Australian Chamber Orchestra); That Face (Red Stitch); The Herbal Bed (The New Theatre); The Bear (Theatre Forward); The Bald Soprano, Face to the Wall (NIDA) and The Maids (La Mama).

As Assistant Director Sarah has worked with Simon Phillips on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Andrew Upton on Long Days Journey Into Night (Sydney Theatre Company); Steven Soderbergh on TOT MOM (Sydney Theatre Company), Michael Kantor on Optimism (Sydney Theatre Company and Malthouse Theatre) Nick Marchand on Strange Attractor (Griffin Theatre) and Peter Evans on The History Boys (Melbourne Theatre Company).

Sarah was the Affiliate Director in Residence at The Griffin Theatre Company in 2009 and was the Richard Wherrett Fellow at Sydney Theatre Company for 2011. She is currently one of Sydney Theatre Company’s Co-Resident Directors.

In 2011 Sarah won a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Direction of an Independent Production for her production of The Ugly One at Griffin Theatre.



A staged reading of Savage will
be presented at Playwriting
Australia’s National Play
at Carriageworks
in Sydney, Sunday 15 June 2pm.
For more information
and to book your tickets, visit
Playwriting Australia’s website.

The staged reading will feature
performances from Anita Hegh,
Geoff Morrell, Susie Porter and
Tom Stokes.


Read an interview with Jane Bodie
about Savage.