Lucy Kirkwood's play The Children is a near-future drama about the aftermath of a catastrophe at a nuclear power station, exploring the responsibilities we have towards future generations. It was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, London, on Thursday 17 November 2016.
The play is set in 'a small cottage on the east coast', where Hazel and Robin, two retired nuclear scientists in their sixties, are living in the wake of a disaster at the local power station where they used to work. Even though electricity is rationed and a Geiger counter is on hand to check for signs of radiation, they seek to preserve a semblance of normality: Robin now farms, while Hazel practises yoga and the pair keep in touch with their eldest daughter, Lauren. But when Rose, a fellow nuclear physicist whom they haven’t seen for 38 years, suddenly turns up, their precariously ordered existence is disrupted, and they are forced to consider the impact of their lives on the next generation.
The Royal Court premiere was directed by James Macdonald and designed by Miriam Buether, with Francesca Annis as Rose, Deborah Findlay as Hazel and Ron Cook as Robin.