It’s 23 April, Shakespeare’s birthday, Nora and Dora Chance’s birthday, and Peregrine and Sir Melchior Hazard’s 100th birthday. A bond links them all. Melchior Hazard, the greatest Shakespearean actor of his generation, is the natural father of twins Nora and Dora, but they are divided by a river and a lifetime of lies. Rejected by their father, Nora and Dora are brought up in a theatrical boarding house by Grandma Chance and supported by their Uncle Peregrine. Now, on their 75th birthday, they tell the story of their lives as showgirls, daughters, lovers, and carers. Is it too late to find acceptance from their father? And are there any more skeletons to come out of the closet? Wise Children is adapted from Angela Carter’s 1991 novel of the same name and tells a bawdy and extravagant tale of joy, heartbreak, lechery, and forgiveness. It is a brilliantly bonkers, spangly theatrical world where normal rules are thrown out of the window and confusion reigns.
Editor’s Note: This is a play with music and, in the original production, the actors were also the musicians and dancers. However, this can be adapted as needed.
Wise Children guide sections