The Children’s Hour

Warning: Non-fashion post below!

I promise a re-cap of my London weekend is coming sometime this week
(when the weekend is actually over and I have pictures uploaded!)

However, I feel the need to write about the performance I saw today ASAP:

The Children’s Hour

(starring Keira Knightley and Elizabeth Moss)

For a play whose central theme is gay love, there isn’t much mention of it in Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour! Much like Knightley’s film Atonement a devastating lie ruins the lives of many in ways that cannot be reversed. Set in a 1930’s New England boarding school, the play attempts to show the effects of accusing someone of homosexuality. In the small town of the play, the repercussions are innumerable but the devastation, unfortunately, isn’t felt by the audience.

The script was a bit dry though the actor’s did their best to make the characters come to life–the only problem was, they never did. Between the stiff opening scenes. and Knightley’s constant accent slippage the characters failed to worm their way into the hearts of the audience. The detachment of the audience was furthered by the script’s odd focus on developing non-central characters throughout the first act. Little changed when the second act moved forward, despite the insight
into the central women’s lives. When Moss’s character commits suicide, instead of feeling intense sadness the audience feels nothing.

 

I would love the chance to see the 1961 film version of the play starring Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine to see
if the acting or the script was the essential flaw of this play. Here’s a clip of the movie to pique your interest:

 

Post more tomorrow,

A

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2 thoughts on “The Children’s Hour

  1. Pingback: Cheating on 30 for 30: London Weekend | Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

  2. Yes, I left the theatre unsure of what I should feel or what Hellman wanted us to feel. It is an alright production but it certainly isn’t worth the steep ticket prices at the Comedy Theatre. Thanks to the film clip, I’ll also be interested to watch the film and possibly enjoy it more.

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