Theatre Review: THE CHILDREN at People’s Light

It is a wonderful thing for a theater junkie to watch three actors with well over a hundred years of experience just at People’s Light in addition to a myriad of roles in professional theaters both in the area and nationally.  You join them in a Tony nominated play written by an oft awarded English playwright, then you throw in a wonderful, experienced director, and you have a true theatrical treat.

The Children by Lucy Kirkwood takes place in a cottage on the East coast of England.  It is the home of two retired nuclear physicists, Robin (Graham Smith) and Hazel (Marcia Saunders), and the nuclear factory that has spread through the countryside.  They are joined by Rose (Janis Dardaris) whom they haven’t seen in over forty years.  All three worked at the power plant when they were younger and now both miss the camaraderie of that time and feel sad about what has happened to the surrounding land as a result of their time there.  Robin and Hazel live a life of complacent contentment.  They surrender to the restrictions and sacrifices of their post-apocalyptic life in England.  They live their daily routine acceptingly.

Enter Rose whom they have not seen in over forty years.  Initially it is a game of catching up and remembrances.  We find that they have “histories” with each other, and we learn about both the danger and of nuclear.  The play goes to discuss many contemporary issues from the personalized view of each character.

Daniel Zimmerman’s set design does a wonderful job creating the proper atmosphere.  His cottage looks well lived in while reflecting the sparseness of the times.  Dennis Parichy’s lighting scheme is a perfect complement for the set.  Marla Jurglanis’s costume design helps the characters read the place and time.  They all join to assist director Abigail Adams in creating a poignant play about contemporary issues.

The play runs an hour and forty minutes without intermission, but the time flies by.  The brilliance of these three actors keeps you riveted and fascinated.  They are each in the moment through the whole play.  They have us feel the characters.  It is a class in acting and directing.  The play runs until February 9th.  For tickets and information go to www.peopleslight.org or call the box office at 610-644-3500.

Photos by Mark Garvin.

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