(5 / 5)
A simple kitchen – nothing special, nothing lavish, a simple country kitchen, on a slight slant, suspended in the middle of the stage gap. This is the basis for the next two hours, and this is nothing but intriguing and interesting.
Now two hours – or just under as the usher informed me – with no interval seems daunting. It’s only fantastic writing, acting and general execution that could pull this off. The Children has all these attributes and more and is more than successful at achieving our attention and full indulgence in the performance.
Based in said kitchen, we meet three 60-odd year old characters – once all friends, it has been 38 years since they were reunited and we are introduced to their past, present and future, full of emotion, complications, witticisms and intrigue. The three are retired physicists from the local nuclear power station which in the last few years has had a malfunction causing a disaster in their local community.
This brilliant writing by Lucy Kirkwood does not exactly beat around the bush – we are delved into the lives of these people and all their emotions, problems and being forced to acknowledge possibilities of our own future and the likelihood of this situation in our own lives. We are also coaxed into looking at our fragility as human beings and the question of age and responsibility – the ability to be carefree when young and how this slowly boils down to the dependency of others.
The performers are fantastic – with age comes talent and experience and they are at home on the stage. As naturalistic as a play can be, we feel as if we are intruding and watching real life – the actors ability to bounce off one another, make text seem flawless and executed brilliantly along with personal touches to bring to life the characters, their feelings and interactions.
Without harping on about this miniscule fact – those two hours fly by. We do not want to leave these characters, we want to find out more, we want to see more and we want to be with them, through thick and thin. The Children not only tickles you, but it wakes you up to honest facts and leaves you feeling thoughtful but also entertained.