Australian actress Ningali Lawford-Wolf dies during Edinburgh Festival run

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Ryan Buchanan Photography

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Ningali Lawford-Wolf had been performing in Edinburgh in The Secret River

The Australian actress Ningali Lawford-Wolf has died after falling ill while on tour with a production at the Edinburgh International Festival.

The 52-year-old, who had been performing in the show, The Secret River, died on Sunday.

She was a regular at the festival but was best known for acclaimed performances in films including Rabbit-Proof Fence.

Sydney Theatre Company said they were “absolutely devastated” by the news.

Two shows in Edinburgh were cancelled last week after Ms Lawford-Wolf fell ill before one of her cast mates stepped into her role as narrator for the shows remaining four performances.

‘Incredibly talented’

In a statement Sydney Theatre Company paid tribute to the actress, who they described as one of Australia’s greatest treasures”.

“Ningali was an incredibly talented performer as well as a wonderfully caring and thoughtful person. We’ve lost one of Australian theatre’s greatest treasures.”

Ningali was a Wangkatjungka woman born under a tree at Christmas Creek Station in the far north Kimberley region of Western Australia.

She trained as a dancer at the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre, then continued to perform professionally with Bangarra Dance Theatre in Sydney to build a stage and screen career.

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