The Children
Closed 1h 50m
The Children

The Children NYC Reviews and Tickets

(362 Ratings)
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.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (362)

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127 Reviews | 24 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant

See it if You want to see a unique and powerful play with a lot to say about personal responsibility and aging.

Don't see it if You only like lighthearted shows. Do not like plays.

59 Reviews | 22 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you want a solidly written drama that makes you think about the implications of wanting more out of life. The acting is also top notch.

Don't see it if you have to see cheesy musicals with pop songs or must have young actors in order to enjoy something.

72 Reviews | 22 Followers
Great acting, Great writing, Profound, Relevant, Masterful

See it if you like the type of play that reveals itself to you gradually and makes you think.

Don't see it if you don't like British plays. Read more

143 Reviews | 19 Followers
A peek into the future, and a glimpse into our souls.

See it if you think that three characters with conflicting agendas, hiding secrets from the audience and each other, is a recipe for suspense.

Don't see it if "domestic dramas"--even this one, with its 21st century, end-of-the-world vibe--lack the kind of theatricality and spectacle you prefer. Read more

214 Reviews | 44 Followers
Intense, Masterful, Must see, Great acting, Thought-provoking

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.

122 Reviews | 13 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you love edgy, thought-provoking dramas with some humor. This show was perfectly written, with many twists and turns, just like life.

Don't see it if you only go to revivals or comedies.

105 Reviews | 58 Followers
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent, Ambitious, Relevant

See it if you like plays about real moral questions & personal responsibility. You want to see seniors represented onstage as 3-dimensional people.

Don't see it if you want a play with sexy young people to look at or lots of flashy action / melodrama. You don't like moral dilemmas or have no patience. Read more

464 Reviews | 155 Followers
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. Read more

Critic Reviews (48)

The New York Times
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 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.”
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Time Out New York
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 does it mean to be responsible?"
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New York Magazine / Vulture
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 the complex relationships among these three old friends...There’s the sense of three expert players staying in close harmony, at first reserved, eventually released.”
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The Wall Street Journal
December 14th, 2017

"A gently probing and eccentrically unsettling play...This play is best when it skillfully keeps its questions hovering in the air, letting none settle to earth...The direction by James Macdonald creates a taut but playful psychological drama that lets nothing become pedantic, following the text’s lead and dissolving most solemnity with glints of wit...At the same time, there was something unsatisfying here. Perhaps it was the sense that there really was meant to be, in the end, a takeaway."
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New York Daily News
December 12th, 2017

“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.”
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December 14th, 2017

"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."
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The Hollywood Reporter
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...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.“
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Entertainment Weekly
December 12th, 2017

“What at first seemed like an intimate domestic meditation on the post-apocalyptic emerges, much more intriguingly, as a nuanced, humane, yet scathing indictment of the Baby Boomers...Director James MacDonald tightens the atmosphere, tracing the shift in mood from an ordinary afternoon to a seismic evening with grace...The playwright has a gift for realism, with actors to match it, but tests the limits of its effectiveness as she gets exceedingly blunt with theme."
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