Theatre Review: The Children at Nottingham Playhouse

Words: Megan Morley
Thursday 28 March 2024
reading time: min, words

Life beyond the nuclear fallout zone? This play paints a picture of what that might be like...

Children 156

Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children is a rollercoaster of a performance, running seamlessly through comedic highs and emotional lows, showing the cracks of complex relationships and a broken world.

When old friend Rose turns up out of the blue to visit Hazel and Robyn, their lives, regrets, hopes and morals are laid bare in the evening to follow. Living just outside the exclusion zone of a nuclear disaster, there is far more to this story than survival.

The set is overcast by a vivid glowing sky, creating an atmospheric space for Rose, portrayed by Sally Dexter, to pose her life changing question. I was apprehensive of this play, with only three cast members and one set location, I worried it could lose my attention. I am pleased to say I was completely wrong. There’s a ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’ feel to this play which pulls you in completely as a fly on the wall in the intimate set. You never knew what may come next as arguments turn to laughter and laughter turns to tears

 I found myself consumed in their world

My favourite part being an impromptu dance routine, followed by an overflowing toilet and a slap in the face. This story is beautifully chaotic. With impressive performances from Caroline Harker, Sally Dexter and Clive Mantle, there isn’t a dull moment throughout and I found myself consumed in their world. Caroline Harker in particular delivered a stand out performance as Hazel, with her impeccable comedic timing and expressions, yet easy ability to bring you back down to reality with her in the serious moments.

The play leaves you longing to know more, with an uncertainty that runs riot throughout the entire story. I would highly recommend this play to anyone (even doubters like me!).

The Children runs at The Playhouse from Wednesday 27th March to Saturday 6th of April 2024.

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