“The Dictionary of Lost Words” shatters records at Dunstan Playhouse

The stage adaptation of “The Dictionary of Lost Words” has hit a remarkable milestone, becoming the highest-selling production in the history of Dunstan Playhouse.

The stage adaptation of “The Dictionary of Lost Words” has hit a remarkable milestone, becoming the highest-selling Dunstan Playhouse production in State Theatre Company history.

It was adapted by South Australian playwright Verity Laughton from South Australian novelist Pip Williams’ award-winning and bestselling book and has become the highest selling Dunstan Playhouse production in State Theatre Company South Australia’s 50-year history.

The production, starring Tilda Cobham-Hervey, enjoyed a completely sold-out season in September and October 2023, becoming State Theatre Company South Australia’s highest selling Dunstan Playhouse show ever and one of the best attended shows on record at the theatre.

“It’s a thrill to announce these record attendance numbers for The Dictionary of Lost Words, particularly as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Dunstan Playhouse in 2024,” CEO and Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival Centre Douglas Gautier says.

With box office earnings surpassing $950,000 and an audience of 14,219 people over a three-week season, “The Dictionary of Lost Words” left no seats empty, even selling out all available seats before its first preview. Due to overwhelming demand, restricted view seats were released, which were also quickly snapped up by eager theatergoers.

“Despite post-pandemic challenges, the great ingenuity, talent and work ethic of the incredible staff and artists working on our productions this year ensured that some of our biggest and most appreciative audiences ever got to witness and delight in a grand season of phenomenal and transformative productions, both in South Australia and around the country,” Artistic Director Mitchell Butel.

“And at the heart of that season were South Australian voices telling new South Australian stories. We couldn’t be prouder.”

The success of the production has not been limited to Adelaide, as it has also sold out its Sydney season at the iconic Sydney Opera House, presented by co-producers Sydney Theatre Company. Audiences in Melbourne can look forward to experiencing the magic of the show when it plays at the Arts Centre in February 2024.

Apart from its remarkable box office achievements, “The Dictionary of Lost Words” has received universal critical acclaim, with reviewers describing it as “a must-see,” “a real work of art,” “an overwhelming success,” “an artistic masterpiece,” and “exhilarating.”

This accomplishment serves as a fitting conclusion to a spectacular year for State Theatre Company South Australia (STCSA), marked by increased subscriptions and extensive national and international touring. STCSA productions, including “The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia?,” “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” “Euphoria,” “The Boy Who Talked to Dogs,” and “Girls & Boys,” were on tour in various locations throughout 2023, further solidifying the company’s position as a prominent player in the world of theatre.

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