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“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
“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 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
“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
“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
"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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
"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
"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." Full Review
“Kirkwood's tremendous new play is the kind of work we need to be making, and supporting, right now...Macdonald is a master at executing real, darkly comic characters in stark scenarios. His deft hand brings to the stage a nuanced, streamlined performance with just a hint at some tricks. But it’s Kirkwood’s script that deserves the most attention...Filled with a millennial insight into the baby boomers in a way that never feels patronizing, but boldly poetic and disarmingly comic." Full Review
“A very small play about some very big thing, profound, in fact, with its life and death matters...If Kirkwood was aiming to show how life boils down to routine, she did perhaps too good a job, because the minutiae of their lives slows the action...The cast embody the characters with stunning naturalism...MacDonald expertly lulls our expectations before lowering the boom at the end...It's the deceptive ordinariness of it all that makes ‘The Children’ so deeply unnerving.” Full Review
"Full of neat, jolting visual surprises…The audience delights in Kirkwood’s delight for language…You may well be listening to a delightful radio play…The true test of sitting and watching a play with no intermission for close to two hours is that you want to follow Hazel, Rose, and Robin to where they are going, to listen to them more. But Kirkwood has imagined the right end for them, right before a far more profound end presents itself.” Full Review
“What is truly marvelous is the gap between the comfortable dialogue between the twosome, and then the threesome, and the emotions snaking around and under them...The play goes in unexpected places, both charming and disturbing the audience, held breathless by what we don’t know...You will find yourself pondering the questions 'The Children' asks for a long time to come....Macdonald deftly maneuvers his brilliant cast around the tilted world they inhabit." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"Unfolds with lots of talky exposition, but fortunately the three cast members give performances full of energy and the right amount of shading to make the characters’ tragic fate all too real...At nearly two hours long without an intermission, the show, with many unnecessary scenes, can be a slog to sit through...Ms. Annis, Mr. Cook, and Ms. Findlay are exquisite even when the material they have been given is not." Full Review
“The play gets going slowly...All three actors are in top form, portraying well-developed, multidimensional characters under Macdonald’s meticulous direction...Ultimately, this is a difficult piece of theater, and the ambiguous though beautiful ending presents so many implications it makes the head spin. Whatever the conclusion, anyone who sees the play will find it hard to stop thinking about the universal and troubling issues it raises.” Full Review
“A relevant and trenchant play that uses the dystopian reality of nuclear meltdown as an impetus for exploring big questions on an intimate scale...Kirkwood insightfully devises rich and fascinating characters whose diverging worldviews reflect the paradoxes that come with personal responsibility, maturity, and eventual death...The imagery of the play is stark and memorable...An acclaimed transfer from London, the performances are pitch-perfect.” Full Review
See it if drama that pushes boundaries that bristle with chills and suspense. It has a Sam Shepard feel but with more subtleties. Well staged & acted
Don't see it if a deep under belly of relationships may haunt you. The start is a bit slow but the pace picks up nicely
See it if There was no story exposition. I had no idea what was happening. I had no idea these people were retired nuclear scientists. There was
Don't see it if mention early on about "when it happened", but what? It was no until the very end that the reason for these people getting together became
See it if you enjoy a very well acted play with incredible acting and a slow build. The play is very "British" in demeanor.
Don't see it if you need immediate gratification, are impatient or don't want to have to "think" as the play unfolds.
See it if You want to see an interesting concept and occasional powerful scene or well-written monologue.
Don't see it if You don't want the poignant subject dealt with rather blandly through a love triangle that diminishes the impact of the core point.
See it if you enjoy good acting and plays about baby boomers. A story about responsibility, professional calling, ecological disaster and aging.
Don't see it if you are bored with love triangles, eco-horrors and people in their 60s. This slow, intimate play would be much better in a smaller theater.
See it if you like theatre about contemporary issues, that makes you think.
Don't see it if you prefer big, flashy productions or light comedy. There are funny moments, but it is no comedy.
See it if a very deep and well written play that always seems to be taking you someplace else than it really is.
Don't see it if it's ultimately a very dark play with a very sad ending
See it if You like thoughtful theater and welcome the opportunity to think about mortality and hard, scary social issues
Don't see it if You want only to be amused and undisturbed
See it if you like BAM. If you like serious drama. If you like relevant stories pertaining to the environment.
Don't see it if you do not like plays, if you do not like drama.
See it if This is very topical, somewhat depressing but pertinent to today’s world. Good acting.
Don't see it if You don’t want to think about negative consequences affecting us. It’s not an uplifting play.
See it if You want to see a beautiful production that takes a look at where our planet is headed. Important to see.
Don't see it if You want fun and uplifting play. This will leave you extremely thoughtful and full of questions about humanity
See it if a take on the creeping terror of a nuclear disaster might appeal to you.
Don't see it if your preference is for a play that grabs you early, emotionally, by the throat, and won’t let go.
See it if your taste leans toward dialogue-driven small ensemble plays that deal with serious subjects.
Don't see it if 90+ minutes of a single set, three actor show without intermission is not your thing.
See it if you enjoy a well written, well acted piece with a slight twist and an effective set. This quasi post apocalyptic piece can be unsettling.
Don't see it if hardcore drama is not your thing. The piece requires your attention and can be depressing.