Gillian Bevan stars in Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds’ much-anticipated production of The Children, alongside Imogen Stubbs and Michael Higgs.
Lucy Kirkwood’s post-apocalyptic drama was hailed by The Guardian as one of the top three plays in their ‘Best Theatre Shows of the 21st Century’, following two retired nuclear scientists whose isolated life by the sea is disrupted by an old friend with a frightening request.
Gillian Bevan takes on the role of Hazel, who lives with her husband in a remote cottage on the British coast, as the world outside deals with a major disaster at a nuclear power station.
The Children is at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds Friday 10th – Saturday 25th March, 2023.
You’re starring in The Children at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, what can you tell us about the show?
On the face of it, it’s about two retired nuclear scientists, Robin and Hazel, who have retired to live by the sea. An old friend, Rose. turns up out of the blue and turns their world upside down. But really it’s about fission – both nuclear, and the fission of love and relationships in a time of climate emergency, how we should respond to the New World order, and what responsibilities one generation has to another.
What was it about Lucy Kirkwood’s script that made you want to be part of this production?
The writing – it is phenomenal. And the fact that Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds are being brave enough to mount this new-ish play in a season of classic writing.
Tell us a little about your character Hazel, what are you enjoying most about the role?
Hazel is funny, direct, caustic at times, loving – she is challenged by the events in the play and is seemingly quite tough but like most of us has a vulnerability. I love her!
And what are you finding most challenging?
Learning the lines. Hazel speaks in an idiosyncratic way which is delicious but a tough learn. I’ve been learning it for the past two months! I’m nearly there…
What’s it been like working with your fellow cast mates?
We’ve been emailing, but we don’t actually start rehearsing till next week. I think the three of us are in our bunkers reading and learning – I’ve been walking by the canal saying my lines out loud. People avoid me like I’m a mad woman – I’m used to it now….
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see The Children?
The Guardian calls the play one of the “top three best theatre shows of the 21st century.” They are not wrong – it’s a tremendous work, roughly 90mins long, but not short on ideas or laughs. It makes you laugh and cry and THINK. Often in the same heartbeat.
What’s not to like for an evening’s entertainment?!