Nicola Bowman as 'Ava'. Photo by Noni Carroll.


Words by Hilary Bell. Music by Greta Gertler Gold.

Based on the book by Academy Award winning artist, writer and film maker, 

Shaun Tan (Wall-E, The Lost Thing). Directed by Neil Gooding.


Original Cast Recording on Bandcamp (Streaming) Promotional downloads available upon request

Sydney Opera House (2019) Creative learning resources.

Arts Centre Melbourne (2019) Broadway World Press Release

Originally commissioned and produced by National Theatre of Parramatta (2017)

Libretto (Excerpt)

Archival Video: Arts Centre Melbourne (2019)

Archival Video: National Theatre of Parramatta (2017)

                                                                                  Greta Gertler Gold (music) & Hilary Bell (words).


Sheet Music and Tech Specs available upon request


The flights of joy and wonder, and fear, captured by Greta Gertler Gold and Hilary Bell gave Shaun Tan's story the perfect blend of reality and vivid imagination. 

Bernard Zuel, Journalist

Bell's sensitive lyrics have been beautifully set to music by Greta Gertler Gold.. The music is catchy, foot-tapping one moment, just a little scary the next.

Carol Wimmer, Stage Whispers

A sensitive treatment of what remains a beautiful and necessary piece of children's literature. I'm happy to see narratives of mental health taken to the stage and given the type of professional treatment that is worthy of national and international acclaim.

Christina Donoghue, On the Town

How on earth would you create an authentic, entertaining musical adaptation of Shaun Tan's seminal picture book, The Red Tree and the complex issue of childhood depression?.. It's rare I feel moved enough to give a standing 'o' at the end of a performance but if a musical is profound, and this one is, it just feels right.

Brydie Wright, Weekend Notes

The children in the audience loved it, watching enthralled - as did the adults. It's for anyone who has felt miserable, lost or lonely and is about remembering that the world isn't always as bleak as it may appear. 4 stars out of 5.

Lynn Lancaster, Performing Arts Hub

Bonnie Stewart, Nicola Bowman and Ben Fink (2017). Photo by Noni Carroll.

Bonnie Stewart, Nicola Bowman and Ben Fink (2017). Photo by Noni Carroll.