The Children, written by Lucy Kirkwood, is a riveting drama about human relationships in the aftermath of a major disaster, when a tsunami strikes a nuclear power plant. The three-person, two-hour play is obviously inspired by the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. Hazel (Deborah Findlay) and Robin (Ron Cook), survivors forced to leave the contamination zone and take refuge at a seaside cottage, receive an unexpected visit from their friend Rose (Francesca Annis). She is a nuclear scientist who had a romantic relationship with Robin 38 years ago.
The play comes to the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre by way of London’s Royal Court Theatre. Findlay, Cook, and Annis reprise their roles, and the London production’s director, James McDonald, and set designer, Miriam Buether, are also involved.
The Children is a particularly thought-provoking play at a time when we may be on the precipice of a global environmental disaster. Especially in light of current political developments, it can raise one’s sensitivities to the realities of how we deal with life when disaster strikes and the questions of what kind of future will we leave our future generations, how we can make our world and environment safe for our children.