Wise Children

Wise Children

4 (53) · Contemporary, New Writing

‘Let’s have all the skeletons out of the closet, today, of all days!’

Lyn Gardner avatar
24 October 2018  ·  Follow on Stagedoor
“Emma Rice’s new company deliver with Angela Carter’s twisty story spanning a hundred years and telling the family history of Shakespearian actor Melchior Hazard and his illegitimate twin daughters, the Chance sisters, a pair of hoofers. This is fabulous stuff—as saucy as a seaside postcard and as tender as a broken heart—operating as a series of illusions and reveals as it explores high culture and low art and asks what family really means. This gorgeously gaudy performance feels like a very personal show from Emma Rice and one which revels and celebrates the transforming power of theatre itself.”


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.

Critic reviews

Razzle-dazzle showbiz twins bewitch and delight in an inventive, smart and saucy production

The Guardian

Emma Rice returns with racy, joyful oddity inspired by Angela Carter

Evening Standard

Emma Rice launches her new company with a messy, melancholic and occasionally magical staging of Angela Carter's final novel

The Stage

This celebration of showbiz and the value of family is glorious — a controlled explosion of theatrical glee

The Times

Emma Rice's new company, also called Wise Children, opens its first production, an adaptation of Angela Carter's novel Wise Children


Angela Carter's love letter to the stage works better on the page

The Telegraph

Emma Rice returns to the London stage with an exuberant celebration of theatre

Financial Times

Rice’s production is one that rightly glitters with the childlike wonder and delight of Carter’s work but never shies away from how wisdom is hard gained


Date & time

Show ended
Mon 8 Oct - Sat 10 Nov, 2.30pm & 7.30pm


The Cut SE1 8NB London, UK · Get Directions

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