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Ningali Lawford-Wolf, star of The Secret River, has died aged 52

The Wangkatjungkan was leading the cast of the show, which was running at the Edinburgh International Festival and will open at the National Theatre later on this month

Ningali Lawford-Wolf
© Ryan Buchanan, used with permission from the family of Ningali Lawford-Wolf

Ningali Lawford-Wolf, star of The Secret River, has died aged 52.

A statement was released today by Lawford-Wolf's family and Sydney Theatre Company, saying that the performer had been taken ill during the Edinburgh run of The Secret River.

"We've lost one of Australian theatre's greatest treasures", the statement said, explaining that the star passed away "in Edinburgh, Scotland on Sunday 11 August, while she was touring with STC and performing in The Secret River."

Born in western Australia, Lawford-Wolf was trained as a dancer at the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre before gaining a number of stage and screen credits. In the '90s she won the Green Room Award for Best Actress and a Fringe First Award for Best New Production for her one-woman show Ningali, and last year she performed in The Long Forgotten Dream at Sydney Opera House.

The Secret River, which Lawford-Wolf helped create, will be performed in London later this month at the National Theatre, with the National confirming that these 22 performances will go ahead.

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