Date(s) - 9 Dec 2023
1:30 PM - 3:50 PM
Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre
Discover the secret power of words
Pip Williams’ award-winning New York Times bestseller and book club favourite, The Dictionary of Lost Words, will be brought to vivid life in a new adaptation for the stage by Verity Laughton and directed by one of Australia’s best directors, Jessica Arthur (Grand Horizons, Wonnangatta).
It’s 1886 and the very first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is being compiled. Four-year-old Esme Nicoll has a front row seat. Well, she’s hiding under the sorting table, anyway. As her father and his male colleagues decide which words stay and which go, Esme collects the discarded (often gendered) scraps to compile her own far more radical, far more magical dictionary.
A sweeping historical tale in the spirit of The Harp in the South, The Dictionary of Lost Words follows Esme from her childhood in the 1880s, into adulthood at the height of the women’s suffrage movement and the beginning of the First World War.
This novel captured the imagination of hundreds of thousands of readers around the globe, and was recommended by book club trendsetters like Reese Witherspoon. In 2023, Verity Laughton’s adaptation will unfurl this beautiful and transportive reflection on the love between a daughter and her father, at a time when the women’s rights movement was first gaining traction, into a delectable and warm night of theatre.