08 December 2016
Back to the future
Not formally a double-bill, the latest productions on the main and studio stages at the Royal Court nevertheless make a fascinating couple.
Both The Children and The Sewing Group are the work of female dramatists in their early thirties who began on the venue’s Young Writers’ Programme: Lucy Kirkwood, whose credits include the multi-award-winning Chimerica about East-West politics, and E.V. Crowe, whose hit, Kin, explored violent rivalry among schoolgirls.
Their new plays start with an apparently simple domestic scene from a particular English era, but each withholds its real story- line until late, revealing both pieces to be dealing with the responsibility of past generations for present problems.
A Crowe line about returning “to before we made decisions that have got us to where we are now” could be slipped without disruption into Kirkwood’s script, while a Kirkwood speech – a woman in her sixties is told that “a hundred years ago, you’d probably be in the ground by now” – could do equal service in the other work.
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