The Children

by Lucy Kirkwood

The Children Top / Details / Extras / The Company

“Retired people are like nuclear power stations. We like to live by the sea.”

Two retired nuclear scientists in an isolated cottage by the sea as the world around them crumbles.

Together they are going to live forever on yogurt and yoga, until an old friend arrives with a frightening request.

“At our time of life we simply cannot deal with this shit.”

Royal Court Theatre commissioned The Children with a generous grant from the Berwin Lee New Play Commission.

First Look Tickets
At the Royal Court no piece of work we premiere has ever been seen before and the first few performances in front of an audience are the final part of a long creative process that starts with the playwright. We need the audiences’ feedback to complete this and have decided to open up the first three previews in a new way to make this an integral part of the process. As a result we will be inviting online feedback from audience members who attend First Look performances so they can share what they think with the artistic team, therefore influencing the final piece.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

'Beautifully written...See it.'

Mail On Sunday | Georgina Brown

★ ★ ★ ★

'Raises profound questions about whether having children sharpens, or diminishes, one’s sense of social responsibility.'

The Guardian | Michael Billington Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

'Lucy Kirkwood is the most rewarding dramatist of her generation.'

The Independent | Paul Taylor Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

'A witty, provocative play that raises vital questions about social responsibility.'

The Stage | Natasha Tripney Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

'It has a pressing, provocative question at its heart – about the responsibility of the older generation towards the young.'

The Telegraph | Dominic Cavendish Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

'The Children remains tantalisingly hard to define: it is about age, responsibility, and a reckoning, of sorts. It is a love triangle. It is a young playwright writing inquisitively about her parents’ generation. It is very English, somewhat menacing, and often funny.'

Time Out | Andrzej Lukowski Read full review

'It’s very astonishing in such a young playwright that she understands not the old as a demographic, but individuals who are old and I think that’s one of the triumphs of the play.'

BBC Saturday Review | Andrea Rose Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

'A far-reaching, unsettling play about legacy, survival and responsibility.'

Financial Times | Sarah Hemming Read full review

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Mon – Sat: 7.30pm
Thu & Sat mats: 2.30pm (from 26 Nov)
Running Time:
 1 h 50 mins
Age Guidance: 14+


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