Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children kicks off State Theatre Company South Australia’s 2024 season

State Theatre Company South Australia will present the SA premiere of Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children in February, kickstarting its jam-packed 2024 season.

A trio of Australia’s most celebrated and beloved actors – Tina Bursill (Doctor Doctor, The Moodys), Genevieve Mooy (Wellmania, The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race) and Terence Crawford (1984, Girl From The North Country) – grace the stage in this tender and provocative production directed by Corey McMahon (The Bleeding Tree, After Dinner, Eh Joe).

From award-winning playwright and “the most rewarding dramatist of her generation” (The Independent) Lucy Kirkwood, The Children is a storm-gathering exploration of survival, desire, friendship and duty, premiering at the Dunstan Playhouse following acclaimed productions in London, New York, Melbourne and Sydney.

The production’s creative team includes designer Victoria Lamb, lighting designer Nic Mollison, Victoria Lamb and composer Belinda Gehlert.

Like HBO’s Chernobyl and in the tradition of the Company’s other recent climate change focused work like Hibernation, the darkly funny and provocative drama grapples with seismic questions about the future of the planet and the moral dimensions of humanity.

Set in a small English coastal cottage, former nuclear scientists Hazel and her husband Robin are enjoying a quiet retirement, despite living just outside the exclusion zone of a dangerously crumbling nuclear power plant. She practices her yoga, while he tends to his cows and, bar the rolling blackouts, their lives seem mostly untouched by the chaos outside – until a visit from an old friend and colleague with hidden intentions shakes their peaceful existence, forcing them to confront their secret jealousies and their past and future.

Ultimately, The Children delves into the important question – what responsibility does each generation have for the next?

Director Corey McMahon describes The Children as “a big, little play”

It is seriously good writing. When I first read the play, I was so taken by it that I immediately went back to the beginning and read it again!

“Lucy has expertly captured the existential crisis we are all facing as we navigate a future in the shadow of the climate crisis. Her characters, Hazel, Rose and Robin are forced to deal with the consequences of decisions they were a party to 30 years ago – decisions that have had a profound impact on the lives of people in the present. What I love about the play is that despite the epic themes Lucy is exploring, she has set the story in a very real and very relatable world, with characters we recognise.

“It’s such a privilege to be working with a cast of acting greats; all big hitters, who will bring this startling play to life on stage. I am looking forward to being reunited with Terry Crawford (this will be our third production together) and I am beyond excited to have the opportunity of working – for the first time – with Tina Bursill and Genevieve Mooy.”

The Children, Dunstan Playhouse

Feb 2-17, 2024

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