‘Retired people are like nuclear power stations. They like to live by the sea.’
Two ageing nuclear scientists in an isolated cottage on the coast, as the world around them crumbles. Then an old friend arrives with a frightening request.
Lucy Kirkwood’s play The Children premiered at the Royal Court, London, in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs on 17 November 2016, in a production directed by James Macdonald.
The Children was named Best Play at the 2018 Writers’ Guild Awards.
‘Sly, gripping, darkly funny… this is sci-fi kitted out with real people, real dilemmas, real scope. It’s really good’
— The Times
‘A richly suggestive and beautifully written piece of work, provoking questions that will continue to nag and expand in your mind… the genius of the play is to embed its pressingly topical preoccupations in a humane, tragicomic scenario that is never, despite the circumstances, portentous or clangingly apocalyptic in tone… The Children consolidates my view that Kirkwood is the most rewarding dramatist of her generation’
‘Grips compulsively… genuinely disturbing… leaves you an abundance of ideas on which to ruminate’
‘A far-reaching, unsettling play about legacy, survival and responsibility… deceptively lightly written and often tartly funny… Kirkwood tackles huge themes and poses tough, even shocking questions, but weaves them into a droll script that both chastises and sympathises with her characters… there are shades of Beckett, of Sartre’s Huis Clos and of Priestley’s An Inspector Calls here, but Kirkwood has her own bittersweet style’
— Financial Times
‘Meticulous writing… has a pressing, provocative question at its heart – about the responsibility of the older generation towards the younger… [this] is Fukushima meets The Archers, and it’s marvellous’
‘A witty, slippery play of debate as well as an engaging character study… Kirkwood’s play presses a whole raft of buttons, and does so with skill and precision’
— The Stage
‘Remote as Butterworth, cruel as Pinter, but sad too… Kirkwood instils a fine mood – a heavy, melancholic languor – and speckles the play with moments of crack theatricality’
For a study guide from State Theatre Company South Australia click here.