The Dictionary Of Lost Words
South Australian novelist Pip Williams’ internationally best-selling book, The Dictionary Of Lost Words, comes to vivid life in this world premiere stage adaptation by South Australian playwright, Verity Laughton.
Motherless and ever curious, Esme spends her childhood in the Scriptorium – the “Scrippy”, a converted garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of lexicographers guided by Dr James Murray are gathering words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. She hides beneath the sorting table and catches a word on a “slip” as it falls and soon, she finds other words that have been neglected by the men. Here begins Esme’s collection of her own: the Dictionary of Lost Words.
As the years pass, Esme realises that little importance is placed on recording the words and meanings relating to women’s experiences and as her world expands and her circle of friends grows – actresses, suffragettes, market traders, workers, she realises the power in their silenced voices and decides to lend them hers. And on the way, she comes to understand the many meanings of the word “love”.