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.

... Read 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.

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$60 - $149

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$47 - $89
through 2/04


$89 Orchestra & Front Mezzanine
$67 Mid Mezzanine
$47 Rear Mezzanine


Offer valid on select seating for all performances through 2/4/2018 except 12/12/2017. Additional blackout dates may apply. Regular price for $89 tickets is $140; regular price for $67 tickets is $90; regular price for $47 tickets is $60. Prices subject to change. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Normal service charges apply to phone and internet orders. Limit of 6 tickets per order. Offer subject to availability and prior sale. All sales are final – no refunds or exchanges. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice.

Playbill Club
$47 - $89
through 2/04


Orchestra/Premiere Circle/Front Mezz: $89 (Reg. $149)
Mid-Mezzanine: $67 (Reg. $90)
Rear Mezz: $47 (Reg. $60)

$47 - $89
through 2/04


$89 Select Orchestra/Front Mezzanine
$67 Mid Mezzanine
$47 Rear Mezzanine


Offer valid on select seating for all performances through 2/4/2018 except 12/12/2017. Additional blackout dates may apply. Regular price for $89 tickets is $140; regular price for $67 tickets is $90; regular price for $47 tickets is $60. Prices subject to change. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Normal service charges apply to phone and internet orders. Limit of 6 tickets per order. Offer subject to availability and prior sale. All sales are final — no refunds or exchanges. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice.


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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Broadway News

“A simmering, ultimately searing drama by Kirkwood...Superb three-member cast...A quiet but exquisitely well-observed slice of life, set in an all-too-easily foreseeable future, when life itself has become, well, more thinly sliced...MacDonald calibrates the play’s subdued but unmistakable nuggets of conflict expertly...’The Children’ does dawdle a bit here and there...But the preciseness of the play’s naturalism is integral to its quiet impact, as well as its larger meanings.” Full Review


“A quietly upsetting drama...A play that oscillates between thought-provoking and boring...This play is not meant to address a single generation, but it is difficult to emerge from the show not thinking about the baby boomers...Macdonald places these unsettlingly real performances in a handsome production that sadly fails to grab hold of our full attention until about halfway through...Beautifully rendered, none of it adds up to the sustained tension that this play demands.” Full Review


"Its sterling cast intact, Kirkwood’s harrowing play exposes us to the drab lives and dark pasts of three nuclear physicists...Director James Macdonald does a masterful job of deepening and darkening the sense of menace that haunts this strange play...So much depends on the actors to hold off our impatience. Luckily, these mesmerizing performers could keep us enthralled through any of the cataclysmic events alluded to in the play." Full Review


“In British playwiright Kirkwood’s deceptively subtle drama ‘The Children’, three characters in their sixties consider their responsibility to the younger ones living now...Terrific three-member cast...With another author, the 100-minute play might have been shaved down to set up an adventure story of sensational heroism, but the great impact of Kirkwood's drama comes from its naturalism and simple presentation of a moral issue.” Full Review

Time Out New York

“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 does it mean to be responsible?" Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"‘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...But the actors' fine efforts are not enough to fully breathe life into this willfully slow-paced, sluggish work, which treats minor domestic issues and the future of the planet with equal gravity.“ Full Review

The New York Times

“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 place...The naturalness of Mr. Macdonald’s stage movement in such a confined space is central to the containment of energy that makes the play thrilling.” Full Review

The Huffington Post

“A sturdy drama; interesting, arresting, and enigmatic enough to hold interest...All do a fine job...A worthwhile evening in the theatre. But is worthwhile, one wonders, enough?...Doomsday plays have been around for quite some time; ‘The Children’, for all its mystery and topicality, doesn’t begin to rank with the others...The actors are accomplished, and do perfectly well with their material...’The Children’, alas, is simply good enough.” Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

“In her new play, Kirkwood has imagined an honestly nightmarish situation...However, the playwright compromises herself with some remarkably creaky, old-fashioned plotting. A play designed to disturb ends up producing an oddly lulling effect...’The Children’ is a rather depressing affair, not least because its intentions are so good; however, it leaves one with a sense of the difficulty of dramatizing the issues with which Kirkwood is concerned.” Full Review

Theater Life

“Connects to its audience on a level deeper than stagecraft...Kirkwood structures her compassionate, heart-wrenching treatise on social responsibility with such craft, you become wrapped up in the interrelations of this trio without even realizing they are symbols of modern society, yet struggling to redeem itself...Macdonald’s direction keeps the action on a credible level with a welcome lack of showy theatricalism. This subtlety is echoed in the acting.” Full Review

New York Theater

“Seems like a small, slow domestic drama...but turns into an unsettling meditation on some very large themes...Kirkwood roots her larger themes in concrete details, a series of startling surprises, and some resonant metaphors, woven into nearly two hours otherwise filled with seemingly idle small talk...Might try the patience of the average attention-deficit New Yorkers, but ‘The Children’ hits home by the end...The three veteran British actors bring credible characters to life.” Full Review

Front Row Center

“The interpersonal relationships are dolled out like poker chips until the entire piece assembles itself. These performances are subtle and focused...MacDonald’s direction pays great attention to the details of familiar behavior...It is to Kirkwood’s credit that the threat and the impossibility of the situation creeps up on us like radiation poisoning itself. As the play concludes, however, the story collapses in on itself...Too bad. A missed opportunity.” Full Review

The Huffington Post

"A very good play with very good performances and a very good production design and very good direction, all working together to give you that delicious feeling of being in very good hands...The three actors couldn’t be in more sync if they were a string quartet that had spent a lifetime perfecting their focus and interplay...How easy all involved make a fresh, compelling drama like this seem." Full Review

Broadway Blog

“James Macdonald's sometimes gripping, sometimes dull production…combining a modicum of tension, mystery, and a refreshing spray of laughter…For all its dramatic circumstances, 'The Children' is not nearly as intense as its outline suggests. Talky, expository passages, where little transpires, combine with a thinning plotline to introduce occasional longueurs during its intermissionless hour and 50 minutes. Thanks to the lovingly honed performances, though, you remain invested for most of it.” Full Review

AM New York

“A grim post-apocalyptic drama...The cultural issues and character conflicts raised in Kirkwood’s sobering and absorbing new work hark back to the very notion of giving — not gifts, but oneself — for the sake of community and future generations...The visually stylized, well-acted production is directed by Macdonald...It begins slowly and mysteriously...Black humor occasionally pops up...A social drama that is disturbing and thought-provoking.” Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"These three are a true ensemble and it is a marvel that even in the silences, much is said. Macdonald's direction allows the surprises and the twists and turns to unfold naturally. He brings out the best in his trio of superb actors. Buethers’s set and costume design, together with Mumfords lighting and projection design and Pappenheim’s sound design, keep us at the edge of the world. All these elements keep us just off kilter enough to feel that this is now, relevant, and important." Full Review

New York Daily News

“A slow-moving but ultimately thought-provoking and haunting drama about legacies...Patience is required for this 110-minute one-act, but there are payoffs...Buether’s sets and costumes, Mumford’s lighting and projections and Pappenheim’s sound design enrich the atmosphere. The three actors deliver lived-in, persuasive performances. Director Macdonald’s staging exerts an insistent tug and nudges out flecks of humor in the dark subject.” Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"It’s a quietly disturbing beginning as directed by James MacDonald, and we are instantly engaged and desperate for an explanation for this troubled air. And it will come, but we will have to just sit back and wait it out...What is beautifully done in this intriguing and powerful play, is the teasing out of information about the world they live in and the circumstances they find themselves...It’s a slow cooking machine here, but wildly satisfying in the end." Full Review


“The way Kirdwood's tackled climate change is cause to rejoice. She's not only taken on that more problematic than ever issue but managed to weave it into a potent mix of polemic and fact inspired fiction...Remarkably fresh, absorbing, disturbing, and entertaining...The actors and the script's detours into humor and bonding...keep us engaged in this dark story's at times overly slow, and perhaps ten minutes too long, creep towards its inevitably disturbing ending.” Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"The success of 'The Children' is primarily the result of Kirkwood's effective and judicious use of tropes, particularly the extended metaphor of the nuclear 'disaster' that has displaced Hazel and her husband Robin from their dairy farm...Under Macdonald's purposive and gentle direction, 'The Children' raises significant enduring questions left for the audience to grapple with." Full Review

Gotham Playgoer

“A pace that was much too glacial for my taste. I found the changes of tone from humor to drama to a dance number and back irritating. The three actors are superb but the relationship of their characters seemed trivial next to the larger theme of their obligation to future generations. If seeing fine British actors in their prime is enough for you, you will enjoy yourself. If you need a spare, tightly-knit, well-integrated piece, you won’t.” Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

“Kirkwood's all too believable play about the aftermath of a nuclear accident, is much more than a cautionary dystopian tale...The intact transfer is a fortuitous one, resulting in a polished ensemble piece that captures a sense of the characters' history...Kirkwood does a wonderful job of revealing the details of the accident by weaving bits of information into conversations that are otherwise laced with domestic chatter...and the sort of gallows humor that is intended to keep despair at bay." Full Review

The Wrap

“A very scary, cautionary drama…Kirkwood’s play, to its credit often resembles a vintage episode of ‘The Twilight Zone.’ An ominous tension pervades the production…The language of Kirkwood’s characters bristles with intelligence…Macdonald directs an extraordinary trio of actors. With fine precision, he buffets Findlay’s constantly fraught portrayal of a woman clinging to life through her illusions with the grounded resignation at the heart of Annis and Cook’s performances." Full Review


"An extraordinary play now making its U.S premiere under the subtle and super-steady hand of director James Macdonald...With layers that unfold like an onion and a construction as solid as an Erector set, Kirkwood’s 105-minute piece may initially seem like a pungent if well-made domestic drama, a la Albee or Pinter, but the author proves to have much more than marriage on her mind...'The Children' reveals itself as a deeply philosophical work." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"Lucy Kirkland has penned theater for our time...Kirkwood’s play rivets attention and raises questions sure to elicit lively discussion. Except for a thoroughly unnecessary passage about the vicissitudes of the cottage toilet, the piece is beautifully crafted...Acting is terrific...Macdonald has kept this multilayered play accessible and human, relegating philosophical issues to after the curtain falls." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You’re looking for a profound work!

Don't see it if You need some more exciting...

Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Must see

See it if you want an acting lesson along with some VERY thought-provoking themes that will leave you thinking long after the show is over.

Don't see it if you're not patient and ready for a bit of a slow-burn of a show. It takes a little while to unfold, but it's worth it.

Banal, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You enjoy slow plays where almost nothing happens.

Don't see it if You like a plot to exist in your theater.

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see 3 excellent actors tell a difficult story, and simultaneously make you laugh and feel incredibly uncomfortable

Don't see it if You're not OK leaving the theater addressing a moral dilemma in your mind

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

See it if Strong ensemble, excellent story line

Don't see it if If you don't care for British Accents

Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Slow

See it if interesting premise

Don't see it if i'm not the target audience, so perhaps that's why i couldn't connect to it, didn't care for the characters, and was bored throughout

Funny, Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent

See it if you like an interesting take in post-apocalyptic story told in a different way.

Don't see it if post- apocalyptic stories.

Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You can ignore the marketing campaign, which is misleading. This is a slow-burning gem, filled with great performances, and a sense of dread

Don't see it if You don’t like “talky” theater. Not much happens onstage, or in the story. But those tidbits still have us talking about the show days later

Great acting, Intelligent, Intense

See it if You are interested in theatre about our impact on the environment told by a small ensemble.

Don't see it if If you want more upbeat fare.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great writing, Slow

See it if You like small British productions and like to hear dialogue that really sounds like it is real people talking. You like to think.

Don't see it if Mixing humor with a serious show is not your cup of tea. Can't do a show with no intermission.

Disappointing, Needs a good dramaturge to edit

See it if good British actors who can define their characters well is enough for you. Some interesting moments and a tough subject but. . .

Don't see it if you want a tightly written play where the various stories weave together meaningfully or if you want insights about the purpose of the play.

Intelligent, Quirky, Banal, Confusing, Slow

See it if You like straight plays with moral questions

Don't see it if You enjoy a fast paced evening at the theatre and/or musicals.

Great acting, Intense, Riveting, Great writing

See it if you enjoy 3 character British productions with excellent dialog; you like serious plays with some very funny lines

Don't see it if you might find the ending confusing; you have difficulty with British accents; you can't sit through a 1 3/4 hour play with no intermission

Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if You like your romantic triangles laden with larger questions of social responsibility.

Don't see it if You don't like your humorous repartee to end in tears and trauma.

Also Interesting mix of comedy and tragedy in the story of three retired nu... Read more Read less

Funny, Relatable, Slow burn, Brooding, Pervaded by a sense of doom and dread

See it if You'd like a play about the past having consequences, musing on age, love, responsibility, some natural and some absurdity

Don't see it if you're uninterested in the problems of old people, need a show full of action, want to leave the theater hopeful and happy.

Boring, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Overrated, Slow

See it if you are so opposed to nuclear power that you would enjoy a bad play which shares that opinion, even if the characters are unbelievable.

Don't see it if you think that, in a play about issues of life and death, it is important to care whether the characters live or die!

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if You want to see a play about a real ethical dilemma. However, the dialogue is so boring it almost defeats the purpose

Don't see it if You want to see a play with a thoughtful premise that is also well written

Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You like an interesting premise which is developed quite well although it perhaps takes a bit too long to get to the point

Don't see it if You do not like straight plays which are about rather obscure subjects with unusual charcaters.

Funny, Clever, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if Themes of responsibility, dying (or not), love, devotion, betrayal, environmentalism all in the wake of a great cataclysm interest you.

Don't see it if You don't want a long (but engaging) intermissionless, very talky play that withholds the meat of the play til towards the end.

Also Recommended. I thought the set-up was excellent. The moral questions p... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You like shows that raise important questions about science, the environment, and the debt older generation owe to younger ones

Don't see it if You'd like to see something light-hearted, or if you want an escape from the societal challenges in the news.

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

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, Great writing

See it if You want a lovely meditation on long settled people working through their history.

Don't see it if You need more common theatrics.

Great acting, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You typically like shows that transfer from London. Acting was fantastic.

Don't see it if You are not keen on British style plays. This one is very slow and a bit boring for my taste.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Must see, Resonant

See it if A very good play by an exciting new playwright. Begins as a small domestic drama/comedy then slowly unfolds to reveal so much more.

Don't see it if You don't like three character single unit set plays that require you to pay attention and think.

Also Bravo to the MTC for producing such a non commercial play. I look forw... Read more Read less

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!

Cast & Creatives (9)