Press Releases

The Children

4 Jan 2018

Three of Australia’s finest actors, Pamela Rabe (Wentworth), Sarah Peirse (Switzerland) and William Zappa (Rock ‘n’ Roll), star in Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company’s Australian premiere co-production of The Children – an incisive drama about the responsibility each generation faces in leaving a better world for those that follow.

Opening on Thursday 8 February at Southbank Theatre, The Sumner and directed by MTC Associate Director Sarah Goodes,The Children is a new play by one of contemporary theatre’s most compelling voices, Lucy Kirkwood.

Sarah Goodes said, ‘Lucy Kirkwood is one of the most exciting playwrights working today. Her play presents a fragile normality that rumbles with big ideas and questions about generational responsibility and how we chose to live our lives. The opportunity to experience this brilliant new play performed by three of this country’s best actors should be snapped up in a heartbeat.’

In an isolated cottage on the English coast, two retired nuclear physicists are living a quiet existence. Life is tough, electricity is rationed, and they keep a Geiger counter on hand for good reason. But they have worked all their lives for their retirement and now they are determined to enjoy it. Until one day, an old friend and colleague arrives unexpectedly, bringing memories of the past and a frightening challenge for the future.

Lucy Kirkwood is a British playwright whose first play It Felt Empty When the Heart Went at First But it is Alright Now earned her a nomination for Best Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards. Her critically acclaimed play Chimerica premiered at Almeida Theatre in 2013 and subsequently transferred to the West End, winning Best New Play at the 2014 Olivier and Evening Standard Awards, as well as the Critics Circle Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. In 2017 Chimerica had its Australian premiere at Sydney Theatre Company to critical acclaim. The Children premiered in November 2016 at the Royal Court, London, while her most recent play Mosquitoes, opened at the National Theatre in September 2017.

MTC Associate Director Sarah Goodes’ reputation as a leading director of new Australian and international work has been built on widespread praise and multiple award nominations. For MTC her recent work includes Three Little Words, John and Switzerland (following its acclaimed season in Sydney). Formerly Resident Director at Sydney Theatre Company, Sarah directed The Hanging, Disgraced, Orlando, Battle of Waterloo, The Effect, Vere (Faith), The Splinter, and Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness. Her other directing credits include Elling, Black Milk, The Sweetest Thing, and The Small Things (B Sharp Belvoir); The Colour of Panic (Sydney Opera House); Vertigo and the Virginia, The Schelling Point, Hilt, and What Happened Was (Old Fitzroy Theatre); and The Unscrupulous Murderer Hasse Karlson Reveals the Gruesome Truth about the Woman Who Froze to Death on a Railway Bridge (Darlinghurst Theatre Company). In 2015 she was the recipient of the Gloria Payten Travel Scholarship.

Cast Pamela Rabe, Sarah Peirse, William Zappa
Director Sarah Goodes
Set and Costume Designer Elizabeth Gadsby
Lighting Designer Paul Jackson
Composer and Sound Designer Steve Francis

Season Dates
3 February – 10 March

Opening Night
Thursday 8 February

Southbank Theatre, The Sumner

03 8688 0800

‘A brilliant, provocative piece of drama.’ Financial Times

‘Lucy Kirkwood’s new play is a richly suggestive and beautifully written piece of work.’
The Independent

A co-production with Sydney Theatre Company

Published on 4 January 2018