“Fantastic”, “Spectacular”, “Glorious”. Critics have run out of superlatives with which to describe Emma Rice’s touring production of Wise Children. We’ve collected together some of the best from its premiere at The Old Vic and on tour.
Update Aug 2019: The production will be screened in more than 250 cinemas across the UK and Ireland from Thursday 3 October 2019 via More2Screen. Cinema tickets are on sale now at WiseChildrenCinema.com.
The production, the inaugural show by Rice’s company of the same name, ends its UK tour at the Coventry venue from 2 to 6 April 2019. As an extra treat for audiences in the Midlands, Rice, who also directs the production, will play the role of Nora Chance, which had previously been played by the show’s choreographer, Etta Murfitt.
Wise Children is based on Angela Carter’s novel of the same name. It is a big, bawdy tangle of theatrical joy and heartbreak that celebrates show business, family, forgiveness and hope. The entertaining theatrical tale is packed with showgirls and Shakespeare, sex and scandal, music, mischief and mistaken identity.
It is Shakespeare’s birthday. In Brixton, Nora and Dora Chance – twin chorus girls born and bred south of the river – are celebrating their 75th 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…
Wise Children premiered at the Old Vic, which co-produces the show, as part of Matthew Warchus‘ fourth season as Artistic Director. Following its London premiere, it toured to Oxford Playhouse, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, HOME Manchester, York Theatre Royal, Richmond Theatre and Storyhouse Chester before arriving at the Belgrade Theatre.
Joining Rice in the cast are Gareth Snook as Nora’s twin, Dora, Paul Hunter and Mike Shepherd (Melchior and Peregrine Hazard), Ankur Bahl and Sam Archer (Young Melchior and Peregrine), Omari Douglas (Showgirl Nora), Mirabelle Gremaud and Melissa James (both Showgirl Dora), Bettrys Jones (Young Dora), Katy Owen (Grandma Chance), Patrycja Kujawska, Stu Barker, Alex Heane and Ian Ross.
Wise Children runs at the Belgrade Theatre as part of a spring season that also includes The Mousetrap, wrestling comedy Glory and touring musical Club Tropicana.
Wise Children runs from 2 to 6 April 2019 at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre, Belgrade Square, Corporation St, Coventry CV1 1GS. Performances are Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, with matinees Thursday and Saturday at 2pm. Tickets are priced £19.25-£27.25. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!