Written by Lucy Kirkwood
A Canadian Stage and Centaur Theatre Co-Production
Opening at the Centaur Theatre in Montreal on November 9
Featuring: Geordie Johnson, Laurie Paton, and Fiona Reid
The zeitgeist in the air presently might be foreboding enough to have put local artistic directors on the theme of apocalyptic disaster when setting their seasons. The upcoming Caryl Churchill play, Escaped Alone which will open soon at Soulpepper (https://soulpepper.ca/performances/escaped-alone/6160) and the recently closed Canadian Stage production of Lucy Kirkwood’s, The Children, are two cases in point. Both had their genesis at London’s Royal Court Theatre and both involve small casts who are engaged in big issues – like huge, catastrophic issues. Both begin with prosaic, mundane dialog while slowly (sometimes too slowly) building toward the big reveal.
The Children is structured a bit like an Edward Albee play. Robin (Geordie Johnson) and Hazel (Laurie Paton) are a married couple and Rose (Fiona Reid) is the former colleague from the plant – the nuclear power plant that is – who comes for a visit. With the introduction of alcohol into the conversation the truth gradually begins to unfold. It seems that back in the day – at the plant – Robin was having a relationship with both women. And apparently all of them as engineers were a bit negligent in their duties. Forty years on there is now a huge Chernobyl-like disaster that has occurred and needs to be cleaned up. Now who is willing to go back into that radioactive environment and do the work that must be done?
Don’t look at me – I’ve been a solar power advocate for years!