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

Event Information


Thursday December 7, 2023
7:30 PM


Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point
Sydney, NSW

Auslan Interpreter/s

Melissa Smith & Mel Cowie

Language/ Cultural Consultant

Robyn Whitney


Please contact box office team: , or by calling 9250 1777

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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, will be brought to vivid life in a new adaptation for the stage by Verity Laughton and directed by 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 SouthThe 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 starring Brett Archer, Rachel Burke, Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Amazon Prime’s The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart), Raj Labade, Ksenja Logos, Angela Mahlatjie (A Raisin in the Sun), Chris Pitman, Anthony Yangoyan, 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.

Approx. duration 3 hrs (including interval). Subject to change.
Content Strong language, adult themes, theatrical smoke and haze, theatrical blood. Subject to change.


Booking Instructions:

Please contact box office team: , or by calling 9250 1777, or
Via National Relay service can call 133 677 and ask for STC at 9250 1777

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