Full casting is announced for Stephen Unwin’s All Our Children, his gripping debut play which probes one of the darkest episodes in recent history. Written and directed by Unwin, formerly artistic director of the Rose Kingston and English Touring Theatre, All Our Children runs at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre from 26 April to 3 June 2017, with a press night on 2 May.
The cast comprises: Edward Franklin (Doctor Thorne, Shakespeare in Love, Hay Fever) plays Eric, Rebecca Johnson (The Trip (Series 1,2,3), The Carrier, Casualty 1900s) plays Martha, Lucy Speed (Jamie Johnson, Cradle To Grave and National Treasure) plays Elisabetta, Colin Tierney (The Odyssey and The Iliad, The Father) plays Victor and David Yelland (The Winter’s Tale, Taken at Midnight, Henry IV) plays Bishop Von Galen.
Unwin’s elegant debut work shows a world caught in a spiral of horror and examines a brutal system which sanctioned mass murder for those who led, what the Nazis called ‘lives unworthy of life’. An astonishing and chilling story of courage, betrayal and humanity, Unwin unfolds a rich dramatic narrative, and explores cultural, moral and social arguments which still rage today.
Stephen Unwin said:
“All Our Children comes from a deep place. I am the father of a profoundly disabled young man, but also the son of a German-Jewish refugee and was brought up as Catholic. The story of the conservative Bishop von Galen’s campaign against euthanasia and murder fascinated and moved me. And I was shocked by the pseudo science and rationality that the Nazis offered in defence.
How do we value those who are not productive; how do we support those who can’t support themselves; how do we protect the most vulnerable? The challenges that the disabled face today are, thankfully, a long way from the horrors of Nazi Germany, but some of the philosophical and social questions that it raises are fiercely relevant today.”
All Our Children is Unwin’s first original play, although he has written eight books on theatre and drama and translated several plays.
Unwin is one of the UK’s leading theatre directors. He founded the English Touring Theatre in 1993 and opened the Rose Theatre Kingston in 2008 becoming Artistic Director until 2014. His many other credits include King Lear with Timothy West (Old Vic), Hedda Gabler (Donmar), Hamlet with Alan Cumming (Donmar), Man to Man (with Tilda Swinton), The Conquest of the South Pole (with Alan Cumming) – both seen at the Royal Court – and Sandra/Manon (with Simon Russell Beale) – seen at the Donmar Warehouse. He is also campaigner for the rights and opportunities of people with learning disabilities and was appointed the Chair of Kids in November 2016, the national charity providing services to disabled children, young people and their families.