The Dictionary of Lost Words (STC) [Melbourne]
The Dictionary of Lost Words (STC) [Melbourne]

Event Information


Tuesday March 5, 2024
6:30 PM


Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse
100 St Kilda Road
Melbourne, Victoria 3004

Auslan Interpreter/s

Kellie Harman & Linda D'Ornay

Language/ Cultural Consultant

Robyn Whitney


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Adapted by Verity Laughton from the novel by Pip Williams
Directed by Jessica Arthur

Discover the secret power of words

Pip Williams’ award-winning New York Times bestseller and book club favourite, The Dictionary of Lost Words, has been beautifully transformed into a hit new play, coming soon to Melbourne. Directed by Jessica Arthur and adapted for the stage by Verity Laughton, this production from Sydney Theatre Company and State Theatre Company South Australia is overflowing with lush sets, period costumes, and incredible heartfelt performances.

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, 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.

The novel captured the imagination of hundreds of thousands of readers around the globe and was recommended by book club trendsetters like Reese Witherspoon. This vivid, new play brings to life a stunning 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 an unmissable night at the theatre.

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