‘Let’s have all the skeletons out of the closet, today, of all days!’
It’s 23 April, Shakespeare’s birthday.
In Brixton, Nora and Dora Chance – twin chorus girls born and bred south of the river – are celebrating their 70th birthday. Over the river in Chelsea, their father and greatest actor of his generation, Melchior Hazard, turns 100 on the same day. As does his twin brother Peregrine. If, in fact, he’s still alive. And if, in truth, Melchior is their real father after all…
A big, bawdy tangle of theatrical joy and heartbreak, Wise Children is a celebration of show business, family, forgiveness and hope. Expect show girls and Shakespeare, sex and scandal, music, mischief and mistaken identity – and butterflies by the thousand.
Emma Rice (Romantics Anonymous; Tristan & Yseult) brings her unique, exuberantly impish vision to Angela Carter’s great last novel, Wise Children, launching her new theatre company of the same name.
★★★★★ “I cannot imagine anyone who loves theatre not being bowled over by this life-enhancing, brilliantly uninhibited, all-singing and dancing adaptation… Joyous.” – The Observer
★★★★★ “Pure, unadulterated theatre with an airtight company, subject, direction and production… [Emma] Rice not only blind-casts the whole piece, but single-handedly gives a masterclass on how to play with gender.” – Broadway World
★★★★ “Spectacular… An inventive, smart and saucy production. [Emma] Rice’s re-launch is a splashy one, celebrating the sheer razzle-dazzle of a life in theatre.” – The Guardian
★★★★ “Emma Rice does justice to the verve and racy humour of [Angela] Carter’s writing… The result is a pleasing oddity, tinged with melancholy yet joyous and inventive.” – London Evening Standard
★★★★ “A celebration of the value of family: biological, surrogate, professional or all of the above. And with its blend of music hall and circus, of high drama and high comedy, it’s a summation of everything [Emma Rice] does best.” – The Times (behind paywall)
★★★★ “The whole thing comes across as one huge love letter to theatre, albeit one that encompasses its seedier aspects as well its power to transform and enchant.” – The Stage
★★★★ “There are so many inventive touches, you almost wish it was reined in by 25%. Yet that is the appeal of an Emma Rice show: the whole thing is so dolloped with theatrical bombast, so suffused with warmth, it finally melts you into submission.” – Daily Mail
“There is much inventive entertainment to enjoy.” – British Theatre Guide
Co-produced by the Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Oxford Playhouse and York Theatre Royal.
Want to know more about Wise Children?
After the performance on Fri 1 Mar there will be a post-show Q&A with the company.