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The Children

From 361 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intelligent, Slow

About the show

Two retired nuclear scientists in an isolated cottage by the sea as the world around them crumbles.  Manhattan Theatre Club brings this new drama from London to Broadway with its original cast. More…

In a remote cottage on the lonely British coast, a couple of retired nuclear engineers are living a very quiet life, enjoying their yogurt and yoga. But outside, the world is in utter chaos following a devastating series of events. When an old friend turns up at their door, they’re shocked to discover the real reason for her visit.

Member Reviews (361)


Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intelligent, Slow
Avg Score

Absorbing, Slow, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if Moves very slow, but raises some thoughtful questions in an interesting way about our roles and purpose in life.

Don't see it if You don’t like serious dramas or prefer fast moving stories.

Exquisite, Masterful, Slow, Morbid, Profound

See it if Death beckons for nuclear disaster survivors. As the bell tolls, old friends explore the limits of how well they can understand each other.

Don't see it if You don’t like meticulously develeoped characters and a slow moving plot. You don’t want to think about how death affects the living.

Also Superb acting. Grave surprises. Wonderfully spooky.

Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Slow, Intelligent

See it if you want to see a finely acted, prototypical British drama about a plausible eco-unfriendly dystopian society & generational responsibility.

Don't see it if a slow-burn, character-driven storyline & dark themes will turn you off from some very smart, if wearisome at times, playwriting.

Also Directed differently, this could have been a taut, chilling thriller i... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Slow, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if Mixing the personal & the topical Kirkwood's climate change drama is both captivating & dull Complex performances help alleviate talkiness

Don't see it if Often progresses at a glacial pace w/echoes of Churchill straining to be heard but eventually hits the mark MacDonald's direction top notch

Clever, Ambitious, Resonant, Intelligent, Slow

See it if you're a fan of the British well-made play, especially if you're of retirement age or interested in the challenges facing that generation.

Don't see it if you get bored with a lot of talk, even smart talk, or squirm when a show slows down so much you can hear the gears whirring away.

Also I'm glad I saw The Children. The play takes on as its subject "aging f... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you are happy with some great acting re: a 21st Century problem and the value of life. It makes one wonder re: the value of life and Why?

Don't see it if only one (clever) scene.. sound system needs work. not a happy play.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Indulgent

See it if you like dystopian stories set in the near future after a nuclear accident, characters whose relationship is slowly revealed,

Don't see it if you don't like discussions of death, dysfunctional families, talk of nuclear incidents, very slow revelation of plot and absurd digressions

Great acting

See it if you enjoy British ensemble comfortable onstage and with each other.

Don't see it if you like your resolutions tied up with a bow and handed to you.

Asks a profound question: what responsibility does the older generation have for screwing up the world?

See it if addresses the ? in fascinating & ultimately moving post-apocalyptic drama, sparks fly among triangle of gifted actors a la "Virginia Wolf"

Don't see it if play takes too long to introduce the "reveal" that answers the ? and animates the plot; but hang in there, it's worth the wait!

Great acting, Disappointing, Banal, Slow, Chilly

See it if You enjoy natural plays about the dailiness of life. You like dystopian dramas. You want excellent acting by a talented cast.

Don't see it if You want more action in a dystopian drama. You want to care about the characters onstage. You want a fast-paced drama.

Great staging, Intelligent, Intense, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if the idea of life after a nuclear meltdown intrigues you. The characters are complex and the staging enhances the foreboding tone.

Don't see it if you prefer an uplifting show with a happy ending.

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Doom, gloom and humor

See it if you like intelligent plays and excellent acting; you are interested in man's technological advances and their potential destructive outcomes

Don't see it if The main topic is interesting and poignant but gets bogged down with past indiscretions. The theme is important and thought provoking.

Overlong—could make its point with about 30-40 minutes cut, A trio of great performances, Disappointing, Intelligent, Inert

See it if you enjoy overlong, talky British dramas. This play could make its point if 30-40 minutes were cut. The three actors shine!

Don't see it if you do not enjoy overlong, talky British dramas.

No feelings, Fluffy

See it if If you want to see a show about a nuclear meltdown happening

Don't see it if You are expecting to feel any emotion in anyway

Also There was nothing good about this play. I’m trying to understand why p... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Edgy, Chilling

See it if You like edgy dramas that keep you involved in uncovering the plot, as the actors introduce bits and pieces of their lives.

Don't see it if You cannot sit for 1 hour and 50 minutes. Do not like conversational dramas. Expect action-packed scenes. Fear impending disasters.

Also The English three person cast is impeccable. The topic of nuclear disa... Read more Read less

Great acting, Slow, Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You like a good English drama with humor, irony and good cast

Don't see it if You want something upbeat.

Cliched, Disappointing, Great staging, Overrated, Boring

See it if you like all things British.This play has a great premise, is timely, great set.Script is overwritten & dull.It drags.At 1:45 is too long

Don't see it if you want riveting drama with subtle performances.Overacting by both women is annoying.Nothing subtle. Very heavy handed. WAY too long.

Original, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Redemptive

See it if you’ll see a quietly atypical piece on an under-portrayed subject handled with that immaculate English restraint. Must be a good listener.

Don't see it if you’re content to believe altruism’s a sham; need gut punches to feel stimulated & blatant displays of emotion to track character progress.

Also I didn’t find this show slow—the opening small talk is immediately rev... Read more Read less

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Slow, Overrated, Intelligent

See it if you like plays which illustrate social issues such as generational responsibility. Acting is great & the play takes some surprising turns.

Don't see it if Despite its merits, this was a bore. Very slow start and staging is so static and uninteresting that you may struggle to stay awake.

Also The staging is actually on an angle which I suppose was aimed to creat... Read more Read less

Interesting, Original, Ambitious

See it if You like plays about family and self-sacrifice, are anti nuclear-energy or enjoy interesting and different themes and characters.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with self-sacrifice or are bothered by talk of death and destruction.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Absorbing, Intense

See it if slow-moving domestic drama set in a British cottage after a nuclear power plant disaster in the area; larger thought-provoking theme

Don't see it if because characters & story develop slowly an uninterrupted 1 hour & 50 min. could seem like an eternity unless engrossed by the story

Also excellent acting especially by Ms. Annis as a subtly creepy Rose

Great acting, Great staging, Relevant, Slow, Overrated

See it if you like talky British stuff with talented British actors.

Don't see it if you haven’t had a nap beforehand. You may find yourself starting to take one here.

Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Overrated

See it if you want drama dealing with a very disturbing problem with man's errors in dealing with nature. Very well acted but long winded.

Don't see it if you are looking for a fast moving play. This is slow and without an intermission, though one would ruin the mood and story line.

Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Overrated

See it if you're intrigued by all the favorable reviews from critics.

Don't see it if you're expecting drama and suspense right away. The action takes some time to get going.

Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you want to think. Based on Japanese nuclear power plant and the Tsunami. This play is in England and the future. Actors are wonderful.

Don't see it if you want a fun, exhilarating play. This is not uplifting. Serious stuff.

December 12th, 2017
“Even though it is completely successful as an eco-thriller, bristling with chills and suspense, denuclearization is not its subject…Its true concerns…become so lofty and yet at the same time so essential that the play is as disturbing to replay in your imagination as it is to see in the first pl...
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December 12th, 2017
“Unsettling and provocative...Kirkwood keeps angles of the romantic triangle secondary to a larger concern: the mess that baby boomers have made of the world and what they can do to clean it up...Behind the subtleties of its direction and acting, 'The Children’s' central question is blunt: What d...
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December 12th, 2017
“A play about responsibility and guilt, reparation and redemption. It’s also a British play, so these heavy matters are handled lightly, wryly, approached from the side until circumstances absolutely demand a head-on confrontation...Kirkwood plays a clever and ultimately heartbreaking game with t...
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December 12th, 2017
"‘The Children’ squanders its provocative premise with dull execution. There are powerful moments in the second half once the main situation has been established…But for all the moments that resonate there are others that feel forced...The three veteran British performers deliver impeccable work....
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