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The Children

The Children

Lucy Kirkwood


“The Children” is set in ‘a small cottage on the east coast’, where Hazel and Robin, two retired nuclear scientists in their mid-sixties, are living. A recent disaster at the local power station where they used to work has devastated the area and they live under the threat of radiation pollution. Electricity and water are rationed and they keep a Geiger counter to check for signs of radiation. However, Hazel is determined to preserve some semblance of normality and live the healthiest life she possibly can. So, Robin now farms, while Hazel practises yoga and devours salad. But when Rose, a former colleague whom they haven’t seen for 38 years, suddenly turns up, she disrupts their precariously ordered existence. Rose is determined that they must fix the problems they have caused for the next generation, even if it means certain death. Exploring issues of accountability, guilt, and morality, Lucy Kirkwood’s three-hander presents a very real, post-nuclear world.

Nick Hern Books


Lucy Kirkwood

Lucy Ann Kirkwood, born in October 1983, is a multi-award-winning British playwright and screenwriter. She is writer in residence at Clean Break. In June 2018 Kirkwood was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in its “40 Under 40” initiative.


Her play “Chimerica” premiered at the Almeida Theatre, London, in 2013, in a co-production with theatre company Headlong. It transferred to the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End and won the Critics’ Circle, Evening Standard and Olivier Awards for Best New Play, and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for best play in the English language by a female writer.


Her other work includes “NSFW” (Royal Court, 2012); “small hours” (co-written with Ed Hime; Hampstead Theatre, 2011); “Beauty and the Beast” (with Katie Mitchell, National Theatre, 2010); “Bloody Wimmin”, as part of “Women, Power and Politics” (Tricycle Theatre, 2010); “it felt empty when the heart went at first but it is alright now” (Clean Break at the Arcola Theatre, 2009; winner of the John Whiting Award); “Hedda” (Gate Theatre, 2008) and “Tinderbox” (Bush Theatre, 2008).


Lucy Kirkwood’s work for television includes E4’s series “Skins” (2007-13) and her original series “The Smoke” (Kudos/Sky One, 2014). She was also the co-recipient of the inaugural Lee Berwin Award, designed to promote the craft of playwriting in the UK and the US.

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