Wise Children – review
Old Vic

Words by: Elana Joseph | Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 1:23 PM

This is exactly what you go to the theatre to see. Music, singing, lights colour, puppets, wonderfully choreographed dancing and a lot drama. The story like many of Shakespeare’s, is complicated and filled with moments of rejection, mistaken identity and duality. Angela Carter’s classic tale has been adapted for theatre by Emma Rice seems as through it was made to be played on stage in this fun and vibrant performance.


This is exactly what you go to the theatre to see. Music, singing, lights colour, puppets, wonderfully choreographed dancing and a lot drama.

Etta Murfitt and Gareth Snook as the elderly twins, Nora and Dora Chance, narrating their complicated lives in South London, from conception until their 75th birthday, where they have been invited to their estranged father, Malchoir Hazard, 100th birthday North of the river.


Using puppets to portray the little girls as they grow up living with their Grandma Chance, played by Katy Owen, a quick witted loveable lady who is left as the twins’ guardian after a series of unfortunate events. Bettrys Jones and Mirabelle Gremaud as the tween girls, struggling to come to terms with being rejected by their father, Malchoir. To joyfully accepting the love of their uncle, and father’s twin, Peregrine.


Melissa James and Omari Douglas as the rightfully glamourous showgirls. Taking to the stage gracefully and full of sass. But really stealing the show is Grandma Chance, played by Katy Owen, her quips and no shit attitude make for an entertaining time for the growing Chance twins. Wondering around naked (in a very theatrical ‘granny suit’) shocking anyone who will listen while still maintaining a very sweet tenderness for the two girls throughout their lives. The Chance Twins’ younger twin half-sisters are appropriately horrendous, contrasting a wonderfully sweet mother who just wants to get to know the disowned children of her husband Sir Malchoir.


It was enjoyable to see the role of the twins, both the Chance girls and Hazard boys, played by various actors throughout different stages in their lives, it worked perfectly in adding to the chaos of the story and each actor able to put their own stamp on the characters.


a comical and dramatic story about family and acceptance, which has you leaving glad to of been part of such a fabulous retelling of Wise Children.

Weaving themes of duality throughout, North vs South of the river, wealth vs struggle, and how sometimes they slip through to the other side and nothing is quite as simple as you would expect. Families are forged, broken and remade slightly differently and perhaps much better than before.


It would have been interesting to of seen the developments of several storylines; especially the hint of sexual abuse between Peregrine and Dora is brushed over leaving the audience somewhat confused with it’s very fleeting and then forgotten appearance.


An exciting trip down memory lane taking you down unexpected twists and turns, giggles, tears and excitement. Still managing to get the audience to feel for all their heartaches through such a comical and dramatic story about family and acceptance, which has you leaving glad to of been part of such a fabulous retelling of Wise Children.



NEED TO KNOW: Wise Children is at The Old Vic until 10 November 2018 | book tickets | Wise Children goes on tour following its run at The Old Vic.




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