Tag Archives: Guus Kuijer


Rima Te Wiata (Mrs van Amersfoort), Patrick Carroll (Thomas) and Tim Carlsen (Jesus) in Silo Theatre's  THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING. Photo:

Rima Te Wiata (Mrs van Amersfoort), Patrick Carroll (Thomas) and Tim Carlsen (Jesus) in Silo Theatre’s THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING. Photo: Gate Photography.

My stage adaptation of Guus Kuijer’s wonderful novel The Book of Everything is enjoying a bit of a boom. There are at least two different productions being performed this weekend, with more to come during the year. There’s even a production planned for Finland.

I’ve just seen Silo Theatre’s excellent professional production in the Auckland Arts Festival in New Zealand, which has been getting rave reviews and wonderful ovations.

Next Mevrouw T and I will be driving south of Sydney to see Nowra Players’ version, which happens to star our friend and fine actor Peter Barley.

I wish all cast and crew members broken limbs for the rest of their seasons. And I know all the lines, should anything untoward happen!

Meanwhile, if any readers of this blog happen to be drama teachers, theatre directors or major Broadway/West End producers…or if you or anyone you know would just like to read the play, here’s where you can get the script: Continue reading


Filed under Theatre

A NEW YEAR’S HONOUR for The Book of Everything

The poster for the Melbourne Theatre Company season.

The poster for the Melbourne Theatre Company season.

We just heard that our production of my stage adaptation, The Book of Everything , made the New York Post’s summary of Top 10 Shows for 2012.

Actually it wasn’t in the top 10, but received an honourable mention in 11th place. That’ll do. There are rather a lot of shows staged in New York, I’ve heard.

‘More ideas per minute than most Broadway shows can conjure up in an hour,’ gushed reviewer Elizabeth Vincentelli.

It was very nice to be recognised this way, after a year in which the production had won a Sydney Theatre Award, been staged in the New Victory Theater, 42nd St, and the author of the novel, Guus Kuijer, had been honoured with the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award – the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for children’s literature.

The play will be presented by Melbourne Theatre Company and Canberra Repertory Society during 2013. See it if you can. You can book your Melbourne tickets HERE and your Canberra tickets HERE.

And finally, if you know anyone who may be interested in mounting their own production of the play, rights for amateur, school and professional productions are available. It could be simply staged and requires a minimum cast of 8 (3 male, 5 female) with the possibility of adding other performers for chorus work.

Contact me through the comments box below and I’d be delighted to send a script your way.


Filed under Writing

THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING opens in New York – phew!

Alison Bell, Matthew Whittet, Peter Carroll, Claire Jones in The Book of Everything. Photo Heidrun Lohr.

Well, we’re on. The Book of Everything has opened in the New Victory Theater.

Super response from the audiences and a rave review in yesterday’s New York Post.

‘It’s not quite right to say that “The Book of Everything” is one of the best children’s shows in town.
It’s one of the best shows, period.’
wrote Frank Scheck. He can come again. Continue reading


Filed under Art


Guus Kuijer and the Dutch edition of The Book of Everything.

‘Guus is on TV!’ yelled Mevrouw T. She watches the Dutch language news on the multicultural SBS channel each morning at 8.04 a.m. Indeed, there was Guus Kuijer, shyly rising to his feet to acknowledge the announcement of the winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for children’s literature.

I couldn’t be more delighted if I’d won it myself. Continue reading


Filed under Art

THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING: back in Sydney this week

Matthew Whittet is simply superb as nine (nearly ten) year old Thomas Klopper. Photo: Heidrun Lohr.

Okay, let’s be up front about this. I’m using my blog to plug my play, because it’s a production I’m immensely proud to be part of.

The Book of Everything will be back in Sydney for short season before it goes to the New Victory Theatre, 42nd St, New York in 2012, and I do want everyone to see it. Daytime schools performances are already sold out, but tickets are still available for evening and school holiday sessions. Continue reading


Filed under Uncategorized

SYDNEY THEATRE AWARDS – should I prepare a speech?

Thomas (Matthew Whittet) confesses his doubts to his mate Jesus (John Leary) in The Book of Everything. Photo Heidrun Lohr.

Hollywood’s glamorous Golden Globe Awards are being presented today, while in the Paddington RSL Club tonight a more modest affair will be taking place as the Sydney Theatre Award winners are announced.

My stage adaptation of Guus Kuijer’s novel The Book of Everything has been nominated as Best New Australian Work and also as Best Production for Children. Kim Carpenter has been nominated for his costumes for the show, while our director Neil Armfield, and actors Yael Stone and Peter Carroll are up for gongs for their work on other productions. Congratulations all, and we’re delighted to have been recognised.

The stars will be arriving at the Golden Globes in their limos, walking the red carpet, dressed in Gucci and Armani. In Paddington, Mevrouw T and I will hoping for a good parking spot for the Corolla, then walking the footpath, dressed in clothes sourced from Marrickville recycled clothing shops. I found a fine tuxedo there for $2, but decided against it. Too dressy. It’s just wasn’t me.

No doubt the Golden Globes will be surrounded by glittering parties where the Moet will flow. At the Sydney Theatre Awards it’s buy your own drinks at bar prices – a sure way to keep the acceptance speeches coherent.

Which brings me to my dilemma. Is it uncool to carry an acceptance speech in my pocket? ‘Wow, this is just sooo amazing!’ followed by floods of tears is fine if you win Best New Supporting Actor, but we writers are expected to be witty and articulate. We have thirty seconds to get a few laughs and offer an insightful exit strategy from the crisis in Afghanistan.

It’s hard to do that off the cuff. On the other hand, pulling out a sheet of paper looks as if you expected to win. Even worse is not winning, and someone finding out later that you’d spent a month preparing the speech.

The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter. It’s nice to be nominated. There’s no money involved. It’s probably not even a boost to the career. In the unlikely event of your name being called, everybody wants you on and off the podium asap, and nobody cares how much your grandkids contributed to the Best Production for Children.

Naturally, all of the above is just an excuse to mention The Book of Everything again. It is a super production, and will tour later this year to Adelaide, Darwin, Geelong, Wollongong, and Sydney’s Seymour Centre. Plans are well in train for a modest New York run in 2012. Do make sure you see it.

STOP PRESS: The Book of Everything won the award as 2010 Best Production for Children. Director Neil Armfield and producer/designer Kim Carpenter did the talking, so I could just sit back and be thanked myself – which was much more relaxing!


Filed under Art