The Lies We Were Told


Conceived and created by a fiery group of teenagers, The Lies We Were Told is an insight into what it’s like to grow up in society obsessed with fiction and what it takes to figure out the facts.

From little white lies about the tooth fairy to the big, trickier ones about gender norms, heteronormativity and queerness, this fresh Australian play unpacks how society places us in a box from day dot. With stories about the hopes and dreams of young people, this is a bold exploration of what it's like to be a teenager living in Australia today.

"You don't stop laughing because you grow older. You grow older because you stop laughing." Maurice Chevalier-
We grow up being lied to. Often for good reasons - so we can believe in something magical, to believe we can be whoever we want to be, or to shield us from pain. This is about those moments. When a lie is revealed and the truth is learnt and in that moment something is discovered, something that will change you forever, something that cannot be unlearnt. From global conspiracies to childhood memories to the most personal moments of all. This is how we grow up. This is life!

An ensemble of young people aged 8-18 will share personal stories and verbatim texts, investigating the moments when it felt like you grew up in one day, or one hour, or one minute and nothing would ever be the same again.

This script includes teachers notes on staging and production. View them here:

  • adventure, comedy, contemporary, ensemble, epic, large cast, monologue and/or audition pieces, non-linear, one-act, political, presentational, satire, spectacle, storytelling, theatre for, by or about young people, verbatim and/or documentary theatre
  • 70
  • 13 total
  • 13 gender unspecified
  • open ensemble
  • young people, queer, women, sustainability, survival, sexuality, self-acceptance, rites of passage/transition, resilience, power, political/social, moral dilemma, memory, mental health, love, lgbtqia+, inventiveness, inclusion, identity, hope, growing up, gender, friendship, feminism, family, community, courage, coming of age, climate change, change, bullying, belonging, alienation, adolescence
  • 8 to 12, 12 to 16, 16 to 18
  • bullying
  • adult, all ages, children
  • Australian Plays Transform


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Female | Teenager | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 11

EXTRACT: An adult nostalgic for his childhood made me believe I could be whoever I wanted to be. And now, 5 years older and in year 12, I view school a lot differently to how I did on my first day of year 7. I’m not radically changed as a person, but I have changed what I value about my school years and I have a lot more hope for my future.


Male | Teenager | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 26

EXTRACT: Okay. I'm not sure if I remember all this. But. So when I was younger, I used to idolise my dad. And well I still kind of do, but not as much. And we would always watch like these cool shows together, like kind of a bit sophisticated shows. And we would always, like have a high standard of what we needed to watch. And I was like, Oh, yes, these are really cool. And then he was like, “You should never watch reality TV shows. Reality TV shows are disgusting.”


Female | Child | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 30

EXTRACT: The one that really kills me is the ALMOST one! “I’m almost done, almost finished, almost ready” Not! How do I know they're lying? Well they've left me waiting, crying, freezing, they’ve even left me so long I have fallen asleep because they are almost ready to tuck me in. ALMOST ALMOST ALMOST ALMOST I have heard the word almost so many times it has lost meaning people.

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