The Book of Everything

EVENTS 30 Mar 2022, 7:00pm

Adapted by Richard Tulloch

From The Novel by Guus Kuijer, is performed by arrangement with The Cameron Creswell Agency.

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we gather to share performance, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, and pay respect to their Elders, past, present and future.


Nine-year-old Thomas Klopper has a loving mother, a sassy sister, a kind neighbour (who may be a witch!) and a violent father. Thomas also has a wonderful imagination and can see things no one else can, such as tropical fish in the Amsterdam canals and loud hailstorms during Summer. He sees and chats regularly about difficult fathers with Jesus and when his Father hits his Mother, Thomas sees the angels cover their eyes and weep.

As Thomas struggles to make sense of the world around him and the world as he sees it, he begins to record all of this in his Book of Everything. He also records his ambition in life, which is ‘to be happy’.

In this play, imagination, love and kindness are up against ignorance, oppression and fear. It’s a play about being brave and making friends. It’s about being big enough to see that those who are violent are human too. It’s about religious tolerance and faith. It’s about cowardice and courage. It’s simple and complex. It’s about being hopeful and of course, being happy.


Paper Planes soundtrack

Tulips From Amsterdam - Mantavoni

Cornet Chop Suey by Louis Armstrong & his Hot Five


Harry Jones
Harvey Garnaut
Chiara Sgroi
Fionnuala Giles Knopp
Gemma Hughes
Mrs Van Amserfoort
Genevieve Gray
Aunty Pie
Emma Niggl
Zayd Makia
Tana Alispahic, Jasper Goodbody, Roshni Sinha, Max Tzatzaris

Director’s Notes

The Book of Everything is a play in the theatrical style of Magic Realism, where realistic situations and dialogue are combined with elements of dream or fantasy. One is not always sure whether events are really happening or are only happening in a character’s mind.

It was the chance to explore this style with a small group of brave and committed students that drew me to selecting The Book of Everything as our first City Senior Play. It was also an opportunity to experiment with an ensemble style of performance, where the actors would change the set, play the role of active observers as well as perform a variety of characters. As the play shows us the world as seen through Thomas’ eyes, characters could be exaggerated or be a child’s interpretation, while still remaining identifiable. “Thomas saw things no one else could see. He didn’t know why, but it had always been like that”

The play’s narrative is a thought-provoking story that is ultimately both warm and uplifting. The world can be a frightening place and even though we may wish they didn’t, children do see, hear and experience it. The Book of Everything gave us the chance to present a challenging story in ways that would not be too threatening. Humour and joy sit easily next to the difficult themes of domestic violence and fear.

The cast have worked so well together; it is not easy to perform in a world that wanders back and forwards from reality to fantasy. Add to that the extra complications of iso and illness and we really see the resilience and determination of the cast. I congratulate and most of all, thank them for their trust. I have loved working with them and watching as they have developed their skills and built friendships; they have embodied Thomas’ wish ‘to be happy’.

I hope you, our audience, enjoy spending time in Thomas’ world.

Jane Marshall


Production Crew

Ms Jane Marshall
Ms Philippa Bell
Set Artwork
Angus Niggl
Ms Jane Marshall, Mr Richard Brabner, Mrs Rebecca Frith, Mr Eduard Schaepman
Ms Philippa Bell, Ms Jane Marshall
Ms Rebecca Frith, Angus Niggl
Sewing Team
Dr Gabriela Welch, Ms Lucy Scott, Abby Lang, Jiachen Sun
Lighting Design
Ms Jane Marshall, Mr Matthew Sanderson
Lights & Sound
Mr Matthew Sanderson
Mr David Delmenico
Finian Goerke

Special Thanks

Mrs Caroline Merrick & Mr Robert Johnston for their support and excitement in launching the inaugural SS production

Ms Philippa Bell for her patience in answering my constant questions and doing so many extra things!

Mr Stewart Bell for starting me off on this journey

The Arts staffroom for their constant support and assistance

Mr Rod Marshall, Mr Nick Waxman and Ms Nicole Smith

Ms Jess Hird and Mr Gauthier Bouchardeau

Mr Gabe Di Martino, Mr David Kotey and Mr Teni Brown

City Facilities, Marshalls and Cleaners

Creative Crew

The prop lenders: Gabriela Welch, Eva Martin, Harriett Allcroft, Michelle Ryan

James & Patrick