Previews start Nov 28

The Children

10 reviews
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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.

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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.


Cast & Creatives (9)

Reviews (10)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production “If there are lulls in the action, Kirkwood instils a fine mood – a heavy, melancholic languor – and speckles the play with moments of crack theatricality. When electricity kicks back in, she lets levity rush in with it…Macdonald directs with his customary meticulousness, fine-tuned to the moments when moods shift and silence hangs. It is a plaintive piece, heavy with fond memories and unspoken…That's played beautifully by a brilliant cast.” Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production “I wished that Kirkwood had cut more quickly to the main moral dilemma. But, once it shifts into fourth gear, her play grips compulsively. Kirkwood brilliantly contrasts two women with polarized, but equally valid attitudes…It’s a slow-burn play but one that raises profound questions…The performances are also very good…A genuinely disturbing play…The play leaves you an abundance of ideas on which to ruminate.” Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production “Deceptively lightly written and often tartly funny, this is a far-reaching, unsettling play…Kirkwood tackles huge themes…She weaves them into a droll script…Her writing achieves its effects partly through precision…The slow pace can be challenging and the metaphors heavy-handed, but this is still a slippery and troubling play. It is beautifully delivered in Macdonald’s subtle production by Francesca Annis, Ron Cook and Deborah Findlay, who play like a finely tuned musical trio.” Full Review

The New York Times

for a previous production “A richly disturbing new play…Deftly interweaving the political with the personal…‘The Children’ makes for a companion piece to Churchill’s ‘Escaped Alone’…The connection is heightened by the presence of the invaluable Ms. Findlay...Both plays, too, have been directed by Macdonald, who remains one of the best directors going when it comes to navigating scripts that like to catch their audience off guard. But Kirkwood at the same time remains her own woman.” Full Review

The Independent (UK)

for a previous production “A richly suggestive and beautifully written piece of work, provoking questions that will continue to nag and expand in your mind long after the lights have slowly died on its extraordinary final sequence…The genius of the play is to embed its preoccupations in a humane, tragicomic scenario that is never portentous or clangingly apocalyptic…Macdonald's production is a miracle of tactfully shifting tones…Kirkwood is the most rewarding dramatist of her generation.” Full Review

Time Out London

for a previous production “A smart new play…It is very English, somewhat menacing, and often funny…James McDonald’s production is also a fine character piece: Annis’s reserved, sly Rose, Cook’s sometimes excruciatingly unreconstructed Robin and Findlay’s square, sentimental Hazel all spark off each other beautifully, old pals whose relationship remains alive and unstable.” Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production “It’s a piece with much to offer – interwoven are musings on ageing, regret and desire – but it’s a pity that it takes such a meandering path to get there…James Macdonald’s production could certainly do with an injection of pace; Cook lost his lines quite badly at one point last night...The finest work comes from an intriguingly enigmatic Annis, who compellingly suggests the beating heart under Rose’s rather distant professional exterior.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production “An intriguing if problematic piece…At times the play feels heavy-handed in its use of metaphor, but Kirkwood is a smarter writer than that and ‘The Children’ is a witty, slippery play of debate as well as an engaging character study...Macdonald’s production is one of gentle tension coupled with occasional flashes of silliness and humor…A couple of the dramatic beats feel forced and there are sizable cracks in its narrative logic but Kirkwood’s play is never less than compelling.” Full Review

The Arts Desk

for a previous production “Kirkwood neatly satirizes some of the absurdities of these aging baby boomers…Macdonald’s production is atmospheric and meditative…Despite some dips in energy, and a painfully inconclusive ending, there is much to enjoy here, with good performances from Deborah Findlay, Francesca Annis Ron Cook…The dance sequence is wonderful, but the autumnal tone of the piece still needs improving.” Full Review

Auditorium (UK)

for a previous production “Kirkwood takes her time, which means that much of the play is backstory, recounting the history of the characters. While this does not feel forced, I do wish she’d get to the crux of the dilemma quicker. This is when the play is at its most compelling…This is a quietly devastating play that contains a great deal of questions. However, Kirkwood’s script never feels overloaded. ‘The Children’ proves she is a dramatist of great skill, able to handle her material with finesse.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
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