Sorry, Wise Children closed on 10 Nov 2018

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About the show

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

Director Emma Rice brings her new theatre company Wise Children to The Old Vic, beginning a London residency with a limited run of Angela Carter’s novel of the same name. A magical tale of mischief, mishaps and family secrets, the production marks the company’s stage debut.

Adapted from the successful 1991 novel, Wise Children is a showbiz tale taking place on 23 April, or better known as Shakespeare’s birthday. Twins Nora and Dora Chance are celebrating their 70th birthday, whilst their father, and renowned actor, Melchior Hazard turns 100 on the same day.

His twin, Peregrine, should also be celebrating – that is, if he is still alive. But as the tale begins to twist and turn, it transpires that Melchior may not be their real father after all… So who is? Packed with surprises, live music and a lot of sex and scandal, Wise Children is a big, bawdy tale of theatrical joy and inevitable heartbreak.

Casting includes 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, Katy Owen as Grandma Chance and Stu Barker, Alex Heane and Ian Ross as Musicians.

Director Emma Rice is best-known for her work with Kneehigh Theatre, with productions including the ever-successful Brief Encounter, The Red Shoes and Tristan & Yseult. Rice also recently finished a tenure as Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, producing productions including Romeo and Juliet and new musical Romantics Anonymous.

Further creative team includes designer Vicki Mortimer, lighting designer Malcolm Rippeth, sound and video designer Simon Baker and composer Ian Ross. The show also features choreography by Etta Murfitt, puppetry design by Lyndie Wright and animation by Beth Carter and Stuart Mitchell.

With plenty of entertainment, theatre and exuberance guaranteed, Wise Children is the premiere of a brand new theatre company. The production plays at The Old Vic from 8 October to 10 November 2018, with a press night on 17 October 2018.

Who Should See It?

Fans of Emma Rice’s work, and those familiar with the work of Kneehigh, will find similar theatrical styles and mesmerising storytelling here.

Wise Children is recommended 12+.

Playing at

Old Vic Theatre
103 The Cut
Seating Plan

Old Vic Theatre seating plan

Booking period

12th Oct 2018

5th Jun 2020

10th Nov 2018

Running time



Recommended 12+