Winner of one 2010 Sydney Theatre Award
Best Production for Children

Winner of one 2011 Arts Hub Award
For Achievement in the Arts by an Individual or Group

Winner of two 2013 Green Room Awards
Theatre – Direction 
(Neil Armfield)
Theatre – Ensemble (Cast)

This delightful production, which began its life in 2009, toured to Wollongong, Adelaide and Sydney’s Seymour Centre in 2011, before heading to the New Victory Theater in New York in 2012. It then had a season at Melbourne Theatre Company in 2013.

About the play
When I grow up, I’m going to be happy.

This is nine-year-old Thomas Klopper’s greatest wish. He isn’t quite an ordinary boy because he sees extraordinary things. Things most people seem to ignore: canals bursting with tropical fish, hailstorms in summer, plagues of hopping frogs. Thomas draws them all in his book, The Book of Everything.

For his stern and serious-minded Papa, the only books that matter are about God. Comical mistakes that Thomas makes are met with punishment instead of laughter. But when Papa attacks Thomas’ beloved Mamma he has definitely gone too far. Even the angels weep. Meanwhile a jovial Jesus drops in for chats, while Thomas befriends the startling Mrs van Amersfoort and a beautiful girl with a creaking leather leg. This is a magical story about a child who learns to act when beset by fear and faced with wrong.

This adaptation of Dutch children’s author Guus Kuijer’s acclaimed book will clutch at the heart and challenge your mind, no matter how old you are.


Alison Bell
Peter Carroll
Andrea Demetriades
Julie Forsythe
Iain Grandage
Claire Jones
John Leary
Genevieve Picot
Matthew Whittet


Written by Guus Kuijer
Adapted by Richard Tulloch
Director Neil Armfield
Set & Costume Designer Kim Carpenter
Composer Iain Grandage
Lighting Designer Nigel Levings
Choreographer Julia Cotton
Sound Designer Steve Francis
Assistant Director Eamon Flack

Image Gallery

Production images by Heidrun Lohr




It’s not quite right to say it’s the best children’s show in town, it’s one of the best shows, period. Warm, witty, wise and wonderful.

New York Post

One of the most delightful family productions I have seen for many years.

The Australian

Brilliantly executed. Absolutely engrossing.

The Daily Telegraph