A Play Reading of WOLF LULLABY by Hilary Bell


The Ensemble Theatre play reading series is a unique opportunity for audiences to experience readings of new plays and classics being considered for production in future seasons. Our play readings give theatregoers the chance to be part of a creative discussion with the actors, director and in the case of new work, the writer.


In a bleak, remote town, a small child is murdered. Suspicion falls on 9-year-old Lizzie. Convinced her daughter is guilty, Lizzie’s young mother must make the torturous choice between ignoring her intuition and presenting Lizzie to the police. Lizzie is not the only one who is changed forever by the act. The adults around her, bewildered and full of denial, find their accepted beliefs crumbling around them in a play which explores the sources of violence and its legacy.

Tickets: $20 Full/ $15 concession/ $10 Students

The play reading will be followed by a short Q&A with cast and creatives.

Director's Notes

Like a child’s curiosity, the incessant asking of “why?”, our desire to understand motives behind actions we can’t comprehend is one of humanity’s driving forces and an essential foundation of good storytelling.

Prompted by the case of child murderer, eleven year old Mary Bell, and the murder of James Bulger by two ten year old boys (as well as the Eric Smith and Jeffrey Dahmer cases), Hilary Bell wrote this play in 1996 and it has been performed regularly ever since, in Australia and around the world.

It’s popularity no doubt due to this enduring question: Is evil an innate quality from birth, or is it the result of external influences?  Nature vs nurture.

In a world of relentless terror, war, unspeakable injustices of humanity and murder, we are continually compelled to ask why people do these horrific things. When such a monstrous atrocity is committed by a child, it shakes us to the very core. The ‘innocence of youth’ becomes unravelled and we feel the need to blame. But what if it was your child? Would you feel culpable?  Would you tell the truth? And is your truth the right truth to tell? Wolf Lullaby places our very selves and our morality under interrogation. Do we all have the wolf within us?