The Children is an intelligent, complex, moving and challenging, yet fun play. So it does not offer a simple night of light entertainment, but it is a brilliant piece of work by actors, writer, director, and crew in perfect harmony. It’s not about children, yet it very much is – it concerns the future of children, and the child-like immobilisation of people affected by an overwhelming trauma.
At first glance, this story seems like three ordinary people dealing with the aftermath of a devastating, earthquake and consequent, nuclear accident. As it unfolds, however, it delves at considerable depth into poignant issues of relationships, responsibility, decision-making, the climate crisis, and the inexorable descent of our civilisation into the irresistible vortex of unrestrained capitalism.
It is not moralistic, but brings us face-to-face with some of the biggest questions that face us in our complex society. It is beautifully written, and it is peppered with delightful and very funny lines, superbly delivered by this excellent cast.
All three actors are clearly very well cast and directed by Corey McMahon. Tina Bursill is enigmatic and mysterious in a central role as Rose, who we discover has a history with the other two nuclear physicists and former colleagues whom she is visiting after several decades. Terence Crawford is charmingly laconic and convincingly likeable as Robin, husband to Hazel, energetically played by Genevieve Mooy, who has some of the best lines, some of which could have been delivered a little more clearly in this acoustic.
Set (Victoria Lamb), Lighting (Nic Mollison) and Music (Belinda Gehlert) along with the rest of the very competent creative team, all work together in support of this fine acting to make a challenging and provocative opening work for the State Theatre Company South Australia's 2024 season. If this is an indication of things to come, it augurs well for a great year of theatre for this excellent company
State Theatre Company South Australia presents
by Lucy Kirkwood
Director Corey McMahon
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse | Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide SA
Dates: 2 -17 February, 2024