Casting announced for the world premiere of The Bone Sparrow

Pilot Theatre and Derby Theatre will present the world premiere of S. Shakthidharan’s adaptation of The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon this spring, and they are delighted to announce the cast for the stage adaptation of this award-winning novel, on at Derby Theatre from Tuesday 15 until Saturday 19 March.

Following their critically acclaimed co-production of Noughts & Crosses in 2019, both organisations are thrilled to be presenting their next production in a series of work for young audiences with this premiere production of award-winning Australian playwright S. Shakthidharan’s adaptation of Zana Fraillon’s beautiful, vivid, and deeply moving story for young adults about a Rohingya refugee boy who has spent his entire life living in a detention centre in Australia.

The Bone Sparrow cast will feature Yaamin Chowdhury (Let Kilburn Shake, Kiln Theatre and soon to be seen in Apple TV’s The Essex Serpent alongside Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes and Sky’s upcoming action-drama Extinction) as Subhi; Mary Roubos (Separate Doors, Chichester Festival Theatre and The Tempest, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre) as Jimmie; Elmi Rashid Elmi (Dune, Warner Brothers and soon to be seen in The Swimmers by Jack Thorne and onstage in the award-winning Barber Shop Chronicles, Fuel and National Theatre) as Eli; Jum Faruq (Five Little Christmas Monkeys, Baby Panda in association with Park Theatre) as Duck; Kiran L Dadlani (Ackley Bridge, Channel 4; Coronation Street and Cold Feet, ITV) as Maa; Siobhan Athwal (Wasted, Southwark Playhouse; Bend it Like Beckham, Phoenix Theatre and Viva Forever, Piccadilly Theatre) as Queenie; Devesh Kishore (Guards at The Taj Theatre by the Lake and Gangsta Granny, Birmingham Stage) as Harvey/ Ba/ Nasir and Mackenzie Scott (Michael Morpurgo’s King’s Arthur, Edinburgh Fringe Festival) as Beaver.

The full cast names and headshots

Playwright S. Shakthidharan said:

"So often we are beaten down by the world. We reshape ourselves to fit into it. Subhi's story is different. In The Bone Sparrow this imaginative young boy discovers within himself a strength that will change the world around him. It is a classic coming of age story: and yet, so much more. The Bone Sparrow is by turns a wondrous tale of epic, mythical adventure; a realistic appraisal of what it means to grow up without freedom; and a vision of renewed solidarity across our supposed divisions. I have had a great deal of fun collaborating with Pilot to develop a grand theatricality for this work and deepen its relationship with the Rohingya community. I hope audiences are as delighted and moved by this story as we were in the process of adapting it.”

The Bone Sparrow will be the third co-production between Derby Theatre, Pilot Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Mercury Theatre Colchester, and York Theatre Royal who, in 2018, formed a new partnership to develop theatre for younger audiences. Whilst out on tour several of the connected education projects with the consortium partners will be working with local sanctuary-seeker and migrant communities. 

Directed by Pilot Theatre’s Artistic Director Esther Richardson, The Bone Sparrow will open at York Theatre Royal from 25February -5 March 2022 and will then tour to Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, Derby Theatre, Mercury Theatre Colchester, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, and Theatre Peckham.

Tickets: £9 - £26 (concessions available, including £5 for 16-25 year olds on Friday evenings, schools £7.50)

For more information and to book tickets, call the Box Office on 01332 593939 or online at