The Children (play)

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The Children
Written byLucy Kirkwood
Date premiered17 November 2016 (2016-11-17)
Place premieredRoyal Court Theatre
Original languageEnglish
SettingBritish coast

The Children is a play written by Lucy Kirkwood which premiered in London in 2016 and then on Broadway in 2017.


The play premiered in London at the Royal Court Theatre, running from 17 November 2016 through 14 January 2017. The cast featured Francesca Annis, Deborah Findlay, and Ron Cook, directed by James Macdonald.[1][2]

The play premiered on Broadway, produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club with the same cast, running at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre from 28 November 2017 to 4 February 2018. Direction was again by James Macdonald.[3][4] The play received two Tony Award nominations, for Best Play and Best Featured Actress in a Play (Findlay).[5]

The Australian co-production by the Melbourne Theatre Company and the Sydney Theatre Company won the 2018 Helpmann Award for Best Play. Its director, Sarah Goodes, won the 2018 Helpmann Award for Best Direction of a Play and Pamela Rabe won the 2018 Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Play.[6]

A production of the play ran in Toronto at the Canadian Stage Theater from September 25 to October 21, 2017.[7] The Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago ran a production of the play, directed by Jonathan Berry, from April 18 to June 9, 2019.[8]


The play concerns two retired nuclear physicists, the married couple Hazel and Robin, who live in a remote cottage on the British coast. The world outside is dealing with a major disaster at a nuclear power station. They are visited by Rose, who is also a nuclear physicist.

The event that served as the inspiration for the play was the 2011 Fukushima nuclear explosion in Japan.[9]


  1. ^ Shenton, Mark (2016-09-11). "Casting Announced for Royal Court Premiere of Lucy Kirkwood's The Children". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  2. ^ Billington, Michael (2016-11-25). "The Children review – Kirkwood's slow-burning drama asks profound questions". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  3. ^ Clement, Olivia (2017-12-12). "Lucy Kirkwood's The Children Opens on Broadway | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  4. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (2017-12-14). "Broadway Review: 'The Children'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  5. ^ "2018 Tony Award Nominations: SpongeBob SquarePants and Mean Girls Lead the Pack". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  6. ^ "2018 Nominees | Helpmann Awards". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  7. ^ "Canadian Stage". Canadian Stage. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  8. ^ "The Children | Steppenwolf Theatre". Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  9. ^ Sommer, Elyse. "A CurtainUp Review. 'The Children'" CurtainUp, December 13, 2017

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