This week, the Progress Theatre are staging Lucy Kirkwood’s perturbing post-apocalyptic play The Children. Insightfully directed by Ali Carroll, it raises profound questions about the poisoned legacy of the present.
Retired nuclear scientists Robin and Hazel live frugally in a coastal cottage in the wake of a nuclear disaster. It seems retired people are like nuclear power stations. They like to live by the sea.
We meet the domestically fastidious yoga loving Hazel (played with polished precision and a hint of humour by Liz Paulo) obsessively chopping vegetables as she reluctantly ‘welcomes’ a former colleague, the glamorous Rose (a feistily funny portrayal by Mel Sherwood) into her spartan home. But why the hostility?
As the past unravels, we begin to comprehend Hazel, the dutiful mother of four, and her simmering resentment towards the liberated single lifestyle Rose, who still nurses a clandestine passion for Robin (a roguishly assured performance by Peter O’Sullivan). “If you don’t grow, you don’t live”, the former re-iterates, exasperatedly.
There are moments of delicious hilarity, involving rogue plumbing, illicit pepperoni and the spectacular Hazel dance routine, as the play slow-burns towards its startling conclusion… will we learn why Rose is really here?
This powerful play provokes an abundance of questions. Don’t miss it!