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Wise Children Tickets

Old Vic Theatre

Angela Carter's novel is adapted for the stage by Emma Rice in this story of showbiz, Shakespeare and scandal. Created in Rice's distinctive style full of life and excitement, the production marks the launch of Rice's new company by the same name at the Old Vic.

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

Emma Rice’s new theatre company Wise Children arrives at The Old Vic to begin a London residency. Opening with an adaptation of Angela Carter’s 1991 novel of the same name, the production is co-produced by Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Oxford Playhouse and York Theatre Royal.

It is 23 April, Shakespeare’s birthday. Twins and ex-showgirls Nora and Dora Chance are celebrating their 70th birthday down in Brixton. Across the river in Chelsea their father, and famed actor, Melchior Hazard is turning 100. His twin, Peregrine, should also be celebrating – that is, if he is still alive.

But as the story weaves on, twists, turns and surprises are all in store as it transpires that Melchior may not be their father after all… With live music, magic, mishaps and plenty of mistaken identity, Wise Children is the exuberant, unique and uplifting show that brings to life themes of theatre, joy, heartbreak and forgiveness in one unforgettable production.

Cast members include Sam Archer as Young Peregrine, Ankur Bahl as Young Melchior, Mirabelle Gremaud as Young Nora, Bettrys Jones as Young Dora, Omari Douglas as Showgirl Nora, Melissa James as Showgirl Dora, Paul Hunter as Melchior, Etta Murfitt as Nora, Gareth Snook as Dora, Mike Shepherd as Peregrine, Patrycja Kujawska as Wheelchair/Lady Atlanta and Katy Owen as Grandma Chance, as well as Stu Barker, Alex Heane and Ian Ross as Musicians.

Director Emma Rice is best-known for her work with Kneehigh Theatre, producing shows including The Red Shoes, Tristan & Yseult, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk and the ever-successful Brief Encounter. Recently finishing her tenure as Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, Rice also directed new musical Romantic Anonymous.

The production also features design by Vicki Mortimer, lighting by Malcolm Rippeth, sound and video design by Simon Baker and compositions by Ian Ross, as well as choreography by Etta Murfitt, puppetry design by Lyndie Wright and animation by Beth Carter and Stuart Mitchell.

Packed full of theatrical treats, Wise Children marks the premiere of a new theatre company dedicated to bringing magical stories to life. The production plays at The Old Vic for a strictly limited season, from 8 October to 10 November 2018, with a press night on 17 October 2018.

Sorry this show closed 10 November 2018, we recommend these similar productions.

A View From the Bridge
The Constituent
Fawlty Towers
Performance dates:
09 Nov 2018 - 10 Nov 2018
Age recommendation:
Recommended 12+
Audience Notes:
Those who enjoy Emma Rice’s work, which has spanned across popular theatre company Kneehigh and a stint as the Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, will be thrilled by her signature style.

Wise Children Reviews

34 Reviews
  • 5 Stars38%
  • 4 Stars38%
  • 3 Stars21%
  • 2 Stars0%
  • 1 Stars3%

User Reviews

Performance date: 09 October 2018

A unique piece of theatre that is both weird and wacky BUT very enjoyable! Excellent acting and storytelling.

Performance date: 25 October 2018

We really enjoyed this play. Very different and a bit 'off the wall'. It was the story of twin performers' lives and the family's past. The cast changed roles and genders having several sets of the same characters on stage at times. Lots of fun.

Performance date: 10 October 2018
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